Biodiversity and Mass Extinction: Understanding the Biosphere, Safe Planetary Boundaries, and Human Well-Being

Instructor: Dr. Shahid Naeem

Fulfills requirement: Environmental Policy, Management, and Finance (EPMF)
Day: Wednesday
Dates: Feb. 21, 28, March 7, 21, 28 (Module 2, 5 sessions)
Time: 6:10 – 8:10 PM
Room location: Schermerhorn Extension 652
Course number: ENVB 0423 N
Call number: 88246

Course Description
New course!

In this course, we will explore the scientific principles underlying the origin of life, the fundamental units of life, from cells to species to biomes, and the biosphere. We will review the methods and tools for quantifying biodiversity and understanding origination, extinction, and assessing mass extinction.  We will use this information to consider the safe planetary boundaries of Earth and the fate of humanity and life itself in the next century.

About the Instructor

Dr. Shahid Naeem is the Director of The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES). He oversees the development of research science programs that benefit from the combined resources of the Consortium for Environmental Research and Conservation. Naeem studies the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss. He is interested in how changes in the distribution and abundance of plants, animals, and microorganisms affect ecosystem functions and, by extension, how ecosystem services are affected. He is actively involved in bringing the science of biodiversity and ecosystem function to conservation, restoration, and policy development. He is author, co-author and editor of over 100 scientific publications and co-chaired the UN Millennium Assessment’s Biodiversity Synthesis Report published in 2005. Naeem is also a professor of ecology in Columbia University’s Department of Evolution, Ecology and Environmental Biology (E3B). He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley; was a postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College of London, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Michigan; and served on the faculties of the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota before coming to Columbia in 2003.