I think it is very difficult to teach conservation biology, since it’s a complex discipline. We mustn’t talk about CB separately from the discipline of ecology or genetics. In my qualification I didn’t have any explicit conservation course. As students, we only received a few pieces of information with CB relevance related to our research results on the population genetics or during the conservation and environmental classes.
First of all if I design a course, I would plan two parts of the course, a theoretical and a functional one. In the theoretical part we would hear the hot topics of the conservation (area conservation, species conservation in situ and ex situ, genetics background of the conservation, how can we plan a nature reserve…). I think we must put emphasis on the local developments and practises (i.e. case studies). It’s very important to know and study about the negative trends in the world like rainforest logging or whaling, but in my opinion we must hear several times about why it’s important to preserve the native domestic animals and plants, or what is happening in the local conservation programs. In the functional part the students would go to the national parks, or to the species conservation center and do a personal project. They would join to the work for 2 or 3 weeks and at the end of field work they would make an oral presentation about the experience.
Biology BSc Student
Szt István University