This is the home page for BIOL 375: Conservation Biology at NJIT, when it being taught by me! The course is also offered by Dr. Maria Stanko, and she maintains her own resources.
Conservation biology was famously defined by Michael Soulé as a ‘crisis discipline,’ meaning one in which the very systems being studied are at risk of damage or extinction. Thus conservation biology cannot be a ‘pure’ science in which we take our time to really understand everything about how, say, an ecosystem functions. Often there isn’t time. So conservation biology asks questions like:
What do we need to know to be able to protect or repair this natural system?
How can we demonstrate the value of this natural system so that others will help us protect it?
Conservation biology is underpinned by the disciplines of ecology and environmental science, and it is increasingly difficult to be, say, an ecologist without being a conservation biologist, because there are almost no places on this planet that are not affected, or actively threatened, by human actions.