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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Aaron Wirsing
ESRM 150
Seattle Campus

Wildlife in the Modern World

Covers major wildlife conservation issues in North America. Some global issues are also treated. Examples of topics include the conservation of large predators, effects of toxic chemicals on wildlife, old-growth wildlife, conservation of marine wildlife, recovery of the bald eagle, and gray wolf.

Class description

The influence of humans increasingly shapes the natural landscapes and systems of this planet, leading to concerns and sometimes conflict involving wildlife. This course is intended to provide an introduction to wildlife biology and conservation by investigating the suite of pressures influencing species survival. We assume that you do not have a background in college-level biology and that you are not in a natural resource or biology program. A strong interest in learning how and why humans affect wildlife is essential to succeeding in this course.

Student learning goals

Teach students how to research a wildlife species of interest

Teach students how to synthesize available information

Teach students how to effectively communicate species' past, present, and potential interactions with humans and the natural world

General method of instruction

Lecture with discussion sections.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisite.

Class assignments and grading

There will be three exams and no final exam. All exams will be non-cumulative. The format of the exams will be a combination of multiple choice, definitions, and short answer questions.

Throughout the quarter there will three short, low-risk 1-page writing assignments based on course content or some aspect of current wildlife conservation issues. The papers will be assigned in class and due the following week. These are geared toward encouraging students to think more broadly about and apply what they have learned in class.

Your involvement in the class is very important! Accordingly, you will receive 50 points for your contributions to a series of web-based assignments (“Species of the day” submissions) and 50 points for your contributions in the discussion sections. For the “Species of the day” exercise, to get maximum points you will need to submit at least one piece of information about five different species (see link under Catalyst Tools for more information). To get maximum points for participation in the discussion sections, you will need to submit a “5-minute essay” after each meeting. Each essay, written on a note card, should feature a question or observation that demonstrates your engagement in the day’s discussion. Linda Uyeda (TA) will provide you with more details about the 5-minute essays during your first discussion meeting.

There are a total of 500 points available for this course. Grades in this course will be broken into the following categories: Exams: 300 points (100 points ea) Short Writing Assignments: 100 points (33.3 points ea) Class participation: 100 points Total: 500 points


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Aaron Wirsing
Date: 10/08/2012