Conservation and the Environment

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s): Leon Radix

Course Director Name: Leon Radix  

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information: (WHATSAPP 473-456-0374)

Course Director Contact Information: 

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  9:00 am to 11:00 am (M & W)

Course Director Office Hours: 9:00 am to 11:00 am (M & W)

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location: Caribbean House, 2nd floor

Course Director Office Location: Caribbean House, 2nd floor  

Course Support:   Akima Ventour, Email:, Phone: Ext 3435

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

This course is an introductory conservation biology course.  As such, one of the primary goals of the course is to introduce students to the principles and general concepts of conservation biology. Students enrolled in this course will investigate current theories regarding the ongoing extinction of species.  The primary focus of the course will be recent vertebrate extinctions.  However, we will also explore some case studies of recent plant and invertebrate extinctions. Students will become intimately acquainted with several species that we have lost (some within the lifetimes of the students) and several additional species that are currently on the verge of extinction.  We will also be exploring ecological, educational, philosophical, economic, and cultural values that affect human perceptions of conservation and extinction. This course will be intensive in terms of reading, writing, and self-expression.  Students will be expected to verbalize their thoughts and observations on assigned readings in classroom discussions.  Students will also help each other formulate and bring into focus, what will be their unique philosophical viewpoints on conservation and extinction.  Student presentations will centre on the basic conservation biology concepts introduced in the course. The formal concepts introduced in this class will be presented by your professors and will be supplemented by group discussions, lab/class activities, and field trips. 

Course Objectives: 

This course is designed to help you:

  1. Understand and apply major concepts in conservation biology including:
  2. Viability issues of small populations in a fragmented landscape
  3. Components and conservation of biodiversity
  4. Processes of extinction
  5. Island biogeography
  6. Conservation of genetic diversity
  7. Management of exotic species
  8. Legal and on-the-ground protection of endangered and threatened species
  9. Design of biodiversity preserves 2. Develop scientific skills including:
    1. Learn to ask the questions that conservation biologists ask Learn to recognize and interpret patterns found in nature and embedded within conservation biology issues   
    2. Gather, interpret, and communicate quality information               
    3. To immerse students into the natural environment to gain first-hand experiences and knowledge of the unique threats facing the flora and fauna of Grenada 
  10. Become vested in the conservation of organisms and their habitat and realize that biodiversity is extraordinary!         

Technical Skills Outcomes: 


Student Learning Outcomes:

Please see Course and Session Learning Outcomes document in the Resources folder.

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

MWC – PLO1: Apply the scientific method for designing and conducting controlled field and laboratory experiments, testing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting and communicating results. 

MWC – PLO2: Apply the scientific method for designing and conducting controlled field and laboratory experiments, and effectively use scientific literature and communicate scientific knowledge.

MWC – PLO3: Analyze key ecological issues across Planet Earth, with a focus on ensuring longterm species viability, and the health of marine and terrestrial environments.

BIOL – PLO1: Apply the scientific process for conducting laboratory and diagnostic experiments, testing hypothesis, interpreting data and communicating results

BIOL – PLO5: Demonstrate effective communication of scientific knowledge.

BIOL- PLO6: Demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking skills.

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less 

Course Materials:

Text: Primack, R. B. 2008. A Primer of Conservation Biology: 4th or 5th Edition.   

Supplementary Readings/Resources: 

Quammen, D. 1996. The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in the Age of Extinction

Caughley, G. & Gunn, A. 1996. Conservation Biology in Theory and in Practice 

Course Grading Requirement:

Exams (50% of grade): This course consists of three exams.  Exam questions will come from the assigned reading material, class lectures and discussion, guest presentations, field trips, and class activities.  Note: Exams may consist of multiple choice, true or false, short answer, matching, and fill-in-the-blank questions. 

Endangered or Extinct Species Presentation (30% of grade): Student teams (each team consisting of three to four students) will thoroughly research a species that has recently become extinct or is on the brink of extinction.   This assessment should include life history, probable proximate, and ultimate causes of near extinction or extinction, and the potential ecological, economic, cultural, and/or philosophical impacts that the loss of this species may have on the local/global human community.  Students will present this report to the class.  These oral reports should be 15-20 minutes in length and must include at least 5 scientific literature citations that are distinct from class material. Please allocate 3 minutes for a question period after presentation.  Note: Most students do PowerPoint presentations. Additional information for this project will be provided during the course.  

Field Trip Summary and Assessment (10% of grade): Students are required to complete a personal filed trip. They will write a field trip report (worth 10%). The report must include your observations, questions you may have, points for further discussion, reflection, etc.  The paper will be a minimum of 2 pages, typed and double-spaced. For the other field trip, students will do an infield assessment using a checklist and will undergo brief informal interviews (Not graded, goes toward participation points). Note: Field trip attendance is mandatory unless approved by the professor a MINIMUM of 48 hours before the date of the trip.  

Participation and Class Activities (10% of grade): Classroom activities will revolve around the required readings and lecture topics.  Students will be expected to fully participate in all classroom activities which in some cases will require short oral presentations. Failure to participate will result in a loss of points. Note: Failure to attend class is the most common way to lose points!

Course Requirements:


Course Schedule

BIOL 211:  2022 Tentative Spring Lecture Schedule 


M: Lecture 1

W: Lecture 2



Introduction and Syllabus Review 

Exploring the Origins of Conservation



Biodiversity Explained 

Value of Biodiversity



Threats to Biodiversity I

Threats to Biodiversity II



Forestry and Ecosystem Services- Guest Lecture

Catch Up Session




Species Conservation




Protected Areas 



Case Study Discussion 1

Ocean Spirits Guest Lecture



Midterm Exam

Midterm Week



Case Study Discussion 2

Conservation Activity and Catch Up Day




The Challenges of Sustainable Development



What are Bats Good For? Guest Lecture

Mangrove Restoration Guest Lecture



Conservation Projects Teaser

Ridge to Reef Guest Lecture



Catch Up Session




Group Presentation 1 

Group Presentation 2 



Group Presentation 3 

Class Activity



Final Exam Week 

Final Exams Week

School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.