Topics in Introductory Biology: The Biology of Alien Invasions
- BIO 172 (for the non-science major)
- Dr. Janet Morrison, The College of New Jersey
Our planet and society are faced with profound challenges resulting from human activity on a global scale. One of the most important challenges is the introduction of alien (non-native) species into new territories that are oceans and continents away from where they evolved and have always lived. Some of these species become invasive in their new territories, causing major disruptions in the invaded ecosystems. Given the many services that well-functioning natural ecosystems provide for human society, and our obligation to preserve the diversity of life on Earth, scientific investigation of alien invasions is of critical importance to a sustainable future. Students in this course will explore the current science and socio-environmental concerns about biological invasions, with in-depth reading, discussion, writing, field trips, and group-based scientific work. The course meets once per week for three hours in a biology laboratory, in order to allow for deeply engaging class and field learning activities.