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Biodiversity and Conservation

Biodiversity and Conservation Domain
(63 credits including Core)

Mentor

graham [dot] bell [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Graham Bell) , 514-398-6458
Department of Biology

A toad inhabits a biodiverse area for students to study.

This Domain is open only to students in the BSc and BSc (Ag.Env.Sc.) Major in Environment Programs

What is biodiversity, and what ecological and social strategies can be used in conservation efforts?

This Domain links the academic study of biological diversity with the applied field of conservation biology. The study of biological diversity, or "biodiversity," lies at the intersection of evolution with ecology and genetics, combining the subdisciplines of evolutionary ecology, evolutionary genetics and ecological genetics. It has two main branches, the creation of diversity and the maintenance of diversity. Both processes are governed by a general mechanism of selection acting over different scales of space and time. This gives rise to a distinctive set of principles and generalizations that regulate rates of diversification and levels of diversity, as well as the abundance or rarity of different species.

Conservation biology constitutes the application of these principles in the relevant social and economic context to the management of natural systems, with the object of preventing the extinction of rare species and maintaining the diversity of communities. As the impact of industrialization and population growth on natural systems has become more severe, conservation has emerged as an important area of practical endeavour.

See also Student Resources for information for New Students, including:

  • Suggested First Year Courses
  • Taking courses on both campuses
  • ENVR course sections - beware!

Program Requirements (effective Fall 2009)

NOTE: Students are required to take a maximum of 30 credits at the 200 level and a minimum of 12 credits at the 400 level or higher in this program. This includes Core and Required courses.

Core: Required Courses (18 credits)

ENVR 200 - The Global Environment
ENVR 201 - Society,Environ&Sustainability
ENVR 202 - The Evolving Earth
ENVR 203 - Knowledge, Ethics&Environment
ENVR 301 - Environmental Research Design
ENVR 400 - Environmental Thought

Core: Complementary Course — Senior Research Project
(3 credits*)

AGRI 519 - Sustainable Development Plans (in Barbados)
ENVR 401 - Environmental Research
ENVR 451 - Research in Panama (in Panama)
* Only 3 credits will be applied to the program; extra credits will count as electives.

Domain Complementary courses (42 credits)

9 credits, basic courses in the biological principles of diversity, systematics and conservation:

BIOL 304 - Evolution
or AEBI 212 - Evolution and Phylogeny (M)
BIOL 305 - Animal Diversity
or AEBI 211 - Organisms 2 (M)
BIOL 465 - Conservation Biology
or WILD 421 - Wildlife Conservation (M)

3 credits of ecology:

BIOL 308 - Ecological Dynamics
or ENVB 305 - Population & Community Ecology (M)

3 credits of statistics:

BIOL 373 - Biometry
or AEMA 310 - Statistical Methods 1 (M)

9 credits, interface between science, policy and management:

AGRI 550 - Sustained Tropical Agriculture (in Panama)
ECON 208 - Microeconomic Analysis&Applic
or AGEC 200 - Principles of Microeconomics (M)
ECON 225 - Economics of the Environment
GEOG 302 - Environmental Management 1
GEOG 370 - Protected Areas
GEOG 408 - Geography of Development (in Montreal or Africa)
GEOG 410 - Geog of Underdvlpmnt:Cur Probs

3 credits of field courses:

AGRI 452 - Water Resources in Barbados (in Barbados)
BIOL 331 - Ecology/Behaviour Field Course (at Mont St. Hilaire)
BIOL 334 - Applied Tropical Ecology (in Barbados)
BIOL 553 - Neotropical Environments (in Panama)
GEOG 495 - Field Studies-Physical Geog (in southern Quebec)
GEOG 499 - Subarctic Field Studies (in Schefferville)
WILD 475 - Desert Ecology (in Arizona)

6 credits of general scientific principles

BIOL 324 - Ecological Genetics
BIOL 342 - Contemp Topics in Aquatic Ecol
BIOL 432 - Limnology
or ENVB 315 - Science of Inland Waters (M)
BIOL 441 - Biological Oceanography
ENVB 313 - Phylogeny and Biogeography (M)
ENVB 410 - Ecosystem Ecology (M)
GEOG 272 - Earth's Changing Surface
GEOG 321 - Climatic Environments
GEOG 322 - Environmental Hydrology
GEOG 350 - Ecological Biogeography
MICR 331 - Microbial Ecology (M)
ENVB 430 - GIS for Natural Resource Mgmt (M)
or GEOG 306 - Raster Geo-Information Science
ENVB 437 - Assessing Environmental Impact (M)
PLNT 460 - Plant Ecology (M)
WILD 311 - Ethology (M)
WOOD 420 - Environmental Issues:Forestry (M)
OR, a second field course from the Domain curriculum may also be taken

3 credits of Social Sciences:

AGEC 333 - Resource Economics (M)
ANTH 339 - Ecological Anthropology
ANTH 416 - Environment/Dev: Africa (in Africa)
ECON 326 - Ecological Economics
GEOG 404 - Environmental Management 2 (in Panama or Africa)
GEOG 498 - Humans in Tropical Envirnmnts (in Panama)
GEOG 510 - Humid Tropical Environments
URBP 520 - Globaliz: Planning & Change (in Barbados)
WILD 415 - Conservation Law (M)
Note: if this course is taken, 1 additional credit of complementary courses must be taken

6 credits of organisms and diversity:

AGRI 340 - Princ of Ecological Agricult (M)
ANTH 311 - Primate Behaviour and Ecology
BIOL 335 Marine Mammals
BIOL 350 - Insect Biology and Control
or ENTO 350 - Insect Biology and Control (M)
BIOL 355 - Trees: Ecology & Evolution
BIOL 427 - Herpetology
ENTO 352 - Biocontrol of Pest Insects (M)
ENTO 440 - Insect Diversity (M)
ENVR 540 - Ecology of Species Invasions
or BIOL 540 - Ecology of Species Invasions
PLNT 304 - Biology of Fungi (M)
PLNT 358 - Flowering Plant Diversity (M)
WILD 307 - Natural History of Vertebrates (M)
WILD 350 - Mammalogy (M)
WILD 420 - Ornithology (M)
WILD 424 - Parasitology (M)