Form & Function of Diverse Lifeforms

Course Description

Survey of the form and function of diverse life forms on earth. Describes representative members of the various kingdoms within the framework of evolutionary ecology and conservation. Includes current issues in habitat loss, extinctions, preservation of tropical rain forests and coral reefs, resource values for humans and restoration ecology.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify members of phyla, and name representative taxa and describe their characteristics.
  • Explain evolutionary processes and adaptive radiation within the different phyla.
  • Describe the varying extinction rates throughout geological history (causes and consequences).
  • Describe the human impact upon habitat loss, species richness, and the health of Earth’s biosphere.
  • Explain the roles and methods of restoration ecology (including agencies and organizations that are actively engaged in this technique).
  • Discuss the importance of protecting and preserving bio-diversity (ecological reasons, and human benefits such as medicine, food, interaction with indigenous cultures, eco-tourism, etc.).


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