Diversity and Conservation*

*Fundamental course required to complete the 12-course Executive Education Program

Instructor: Dr. Matt Palmer
Course number: ENVB 0300 N

Fulfills requirement: Fundamental (F)
Day: Thursday
Dates: November 14, 21, December 5, 12, 19 (Module 3, 5 sessions)
Time: 6:10 – 8:10 PM

Course Description

Human life and well-being are dependent on goods and services provided by nature. However, this natural capital is chronically undervalued and often poorly understood. Biodiversity – the variety of life on earth – supports many ecosystem functions and the loss of diversity can have both obvious and subtle consequences. This course explores the scientific issues related to the origin, distribution, and functions of biodiversity and the consequences of biodiversity loss. We discuss a range of tools for conserving biodiversity – including species recovery plans, protected area management, and ecosystem-based management.

About the Instructor

Dr. Matt Palmer is a faculty member in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B) at Columbia University. His research interests are based in plant community ecology, with emphases on conservation, restoration and ecosystem function. Dr. Palmer has done research on the effects of microtopography and plant interactions on centimeter-scale diversity patterns in fens of the New Jersey Pinelands. He is currently conducting research on the community dynamics and ecosystem functions of urban forests and green roofs, the population biology of rare plants, and the effects of forest canopy disturbance on understory structure and function.