Biodiversity Course Preview for Spring 2014 at RU’s Schaumburg Campus

This spring the Sustainability Studies Program at Roosevelt University will offer SUST 330 Biodiversity for at the Schaumburg Campus. Taught by popular Adjunct Professor Maris Cooke in an innovative weekend/hybrid format, the 13-week seminar meets on five Saturdays and utilizes Blackboard for online interaction. The Saturday meetings are opportunities for field study, as detailed below in Prof. Cooke’s preview of the course:

What is biodiversity and why is it important? What factors are threatening the rich and varied abundance of life on Earth, and what are scientists doing to stem the losses in genetic, species and ecosystem variation?  Come take a walk on the wild side as we explore the biodiversity of the Earth’s prairies, woodland communities, wetlands and waters. 

We’ll go behind the scenes at the Field Museum of Natural History; study the oceans and the coral reefs through the rich resources of Shedd Aquarium; follow the springmigration of the nation’s imperiled song birds; learn how scientists track coyotes at the Crabtree Nature Center; and learn to use telemetry data to find the radio-collared wolf packs of Minnesota’s Superior National Forest. Join us as we learn about the importance of conserving biodiversity to our natural systems and human communities. 

Fast Facts about SUST 330 Biodiversity

  • SUST 330, section L30
  • Meets Saturday 10am-4pm on five dates: Feb. 1, Feb. 22, Mar. 8, Mar. 29, and Apr. 19
  • Online interaction required (through Blackboard)
  • Hands-on, field-based learning opportunities about biodiversity and conservation
  • Pre-requisite: ENG 102
  • Taught by: Professor Maris Cooke (mcooke@roosevelt.edu)

SUST 330 Spr2014 Flyer

If you are interested in enrolling in SUST 330 this coming spring, please contact your academic advisor. And if you’ve never tried an online course before, taking a hybrid course such as this is a great way to “test the waters,” since students will have ample opportunity to interact with the instructor and each other face-to-face, as well as get help/support with the online component if need be. Prof. Cooke is a longtime expert in online teaching and is someone who makes it fun and highly interactive.

Detailed Course Description (from the RU Catalog)

Development, pollution, agriculture, invasive species, and habitat destruction have resulted in an alarming loss of species worldwide. This course explores biodiversity in the context of ecology, conservation, ecosystem restoration, and regional planning. Students learn about a variety of natural science concepts and theories relevant to understanding the biological and ecological significance of biodiversity, such as ecosystems, species, genes, ecological interactions, and evolution. Students will gain a detailed understanding of the importance of conserving biodiversity to natural systems and human communities; and will learn the value of open space, parklands, and wildlife refuges for preserving biodiversity, particularly in urban areas.

Field experiences in selected ecosystems in the region (such as prairie or wetlands restorations, forest preserves, waterways, and/or dunes) provide students with opportunities to learn and apply biodiversity assessment techniques, such as field-based plant or animal surveys. Includes field trip / service learning opportunities with local conservation and restoration organizations in the Chicago region.

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