Freshman Interest Group 


FIG Course

Dr. Brian Barber, Instructor


Biodiversity lays the foundation for nature’s ability to properly function.  In turn humans depend on a healthy-functioning natural system.  Adequate biodiversity provides us with many things including new genetic material for agriculture, medical discoveries, recreational opportunities and good mental health.  This course will examine key themes in our understanding of biodiversity.  Students enrolled in this course will have a better understanding of issues, challenges and potential solutions to our current biodiversity crisis.  Course meetings will largely consist of group discussions of assigned readings.  Discussions will focus on critically evaluating and analyzing information, hypotheses and knowledge that arise from the readings.  Writing assignments will emphasize succinct but thorough interpretation of information, policy, conservation and societal impacts of biodiversity.



1)   Students will understand key biodiversity concepts and issues at multiple geographic levels.

2)   Students will gain appreciation for the value of biodiversity in multiple arenas of society.

3)   Students will appreciate, explore and discuss the complex societal, cultural and political views on biodiversity.

4)   Students will gain a basic understanding of how scientists measure, quantify and compare biodiversity by participating in field and lab exercise.

5)   Students will explore and compare both current and historical levels of biodiversity.

© 2017 University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute.