Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BMZA 250
Course Title:
Conservation Biology
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores the challenges of declining biodiversity and examines the role of zoos in contributing to population and habitat conservation. Provides field experience with species conservation programs. 201, 202, 203. Department permission required. Prerequisites: BMZA 101. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Articulate clearly and support actively the concept of wildlife conservation in both personal and
    professional environments.
  • Apply appropriate conservation measures to various captive and natural environments, based on an analysis and understanding of current issues, historical perspective, and field experience.
  • Inform and improve professional practice through the analysis of historical records of reintroductions of species to the wild.

Course Activities and Design

The format for this course is traditional lecture presentations plus demonstration and laboratory experience in conservation biology. Lecture will be presented utilizing a variety of multimedia and interactive presentations. Laboratory experiences will be largely hands-on, team based, collaborative experiences involving instruction primarily at the Rock Creek campus and projects at field sites.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Produce a term paper describing, comparing and contrasting methods of conservation biology as practiced in the field and with captive populations.
  • Lecture midterms and final exam.
  • Team projects developing and implementing a conservation education outreach project relevant to zoos.
  • Lab assignments, attendance and participation.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Issues, & Concepts:

  • History of conservation biology
  • History of zoo conservation biology
  • Conservation values and ethics
  • Definition of biodiversity, species richness, and conservation hotspots
  • Threats to wildlife
  • Efforts to protect wildlife in their native environments and in captive settings
  • Habitat destruction and fragmentation
  • Invasive species
  • Overexplotation
  • Climate change
  • Poaching, bush-meat and pet trades
  • Human population pressure on wild populations
  • Strategies for dealing with biodiversity threats
  • Establishing protected areas and habitat restoration methods
  • Major conservation laws and evaluating threatened and endangered listing status
  • The role of zoos in conservation research
  • The role of zoos as education centers for the public
  • Enhancing human diversity in conservation science
  • The role of zoos as conservation tools for rescuing and sustaining endangered species through captive breeding and reintroductions

Process Skills:

  • Identify and evaluate local businesses' use of endangered species in seafood restaurants and pet stores
  • Perform habitat restoration
  • Learn and apply conservation research methods in zoos
  • Analyze and identify overexplotation and apply sustainable harvesting methods
  • Measure biodiversity in the field
  • Evaluate declining populations in the field
  • Learn about local zoo conservation projects and participate in conservation efforts for these species
  • Evaluate habitat fragmentation through edge effect field experiment
  • Design a theoretical zoo based on conservation, education, and research goals
  • Develop a conservation education outreach project
  • Design and administer a public attitude survey related to conservation