A message from Professor Ellen Ketterson:
You are invited to enroll in a new class entitled ABEH-A 401/BIOL-L 410 SPECIAL TOPICS IN AVIAN CONSERVATION: ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND RESILIENCE.
Earth is experiencing its 6th mass extinction, biodiversity is in steep decline, and the potential consequences are alarming. This course will focus on the dimensions of the problem as seen through diverse perspectives – legal, humanistic, biological, socio-ecological – as well as how it is portrayed by the media, scholars, scientists, and community members. Students will engage in devising solutions.
I am the organizing instructor and I am a biologist who studies birds, migration, and environmental change. Additional instructors will come from around the College of Arts and Sciences, the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the Conservation Law Center and more. This course is part of the Fall 2021 Themester on Resilience.
The class will meet on Tuesday and Thursdays from 1:10-2:25 PM., room TBD.
There will be one field trip on a Saturday, date TBD. If enrolled, you will be expected to attend. We will have rain date if possible, likely date is October 16th (subject to change), ~7AM-2PM.
The format will be assigned readings for Tuesdays for summary and discussion, and an opportunity to hear from an expert speaker on the same topic on Thursdays. Some weeks may begin with a speaker and end with a discussion. We will mix it up based on speaker availability. You will be asked to write a proposal to solve some aspect of the problem. There will be tests along the way to solidify understanding. You will do some speaking in front of the class.
The course is listed under animal behavior (ABEH-A 401) and Biology (BIOL-L 410) and for graduate students (BIOL-Z 620). There is room for 23 students, including 3 graduate students. This course fulfills an advanced lecture in the standard Biology BS and Biology BA degrees; it fulfills one course in the Evolutionary/Ecological Perspectives Area in the Animal Behavior BS degree.
What skills will you learn? You will learn about bird ecology, evolution, and animal behavior with an emphasis on bird migration, in order to understand why birds are declining in numbers and diversity. You will learn why we should care about birds, what ecological services they provide, and what cultural significance they have. You will learn about policy and determinants of attitudes and opinions to understand what can be done.
I hope the class will attract students who want to learn more about birds and to engage with an urgent, complex societal problem that does not have easy answers.
Distinguished Professor of Biology, Science Advisor, Environmental Resilience Institute