Course Description

Survey of the scope and importance of biodiversity. Examines concepts of biodiversity, with emphasis on the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning and human society. Threats to biodiversity are considered, as well as conservation and preservation solutions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe biodiversity, including concepts of species richness and genetic diversity.
  • Discuss global biodiversity, with attention to biogeographic distributions and endemic species.
  • Explain the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning.
  • Explain the economic value and human benefits of conserving biodiversity, including medicine, food, cultural importance, and tourism.
  • Describe threats to biodiversity, natural populations, species, and habitats.
  • Formulate a policy, based on sound conservation principles, to manage biodiversity.


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We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 200,000 alumni worldwide.

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School of Arts, Letters, and Sciences

“Our faculty are established scholars and creators in their own fields. They are dedicated to making your entry into their disciplines a successful one, preparing you for your career as well as graduate study.”
School of Arts, Letters, and Sciences
Jackson M., Class of 2021, Military Veteran
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