Conserving Earth's Biodiversity


International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 1 April 2000




Wilson, E.O. and Perlman, D.L. (2000), "Conserving Earth's Biodiversity", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 1 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Conserving Earth's Biodiversity

Conserving Earth's Biodiversity

Edward O. Wilson and Dan L. PerlmanIsland Press1999

Keywords: Conservation, Interaction, Models, Learning

The Conserving Earth's Biodiversity CD-ROM is an entirely new way to study and teach conservation biology and environmental science. Created from the ground up to make the most of today's multimedia technology, it provides a rich learning experience and a wealth of valuable information and materials - including interactive models that allow learners to study dynamic systems, detailed maps, and links to resources on the World Wide Web -- that build upon and enhance traditional approaches to the subject. The program's insightful pedagogy combined with a unique use of multimedia makes it an ideal complement to any standard textbook.

The structure of Conserving Earth's Biodiversity is based on the teachings and writings of renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University. The program introduces a wide variety of conservation topics and offers a set of tools that allow learners to explore key issues in depth. It helps students understand the major aspects of conservation biology, including its biological, social, political, and economic elements, and describes what needs to be known and understood in order to protect biodiversity. Twenty-one video clips of Wilson discussing his own experiences, studies, and insights based on many years of research introduce learners to the major topics examined. The program offers:

  • 21 video clips of E.O. Wilson;

  • 80 essays;

  • more than 100 overviews of important regions, taxa, and issues;

  • ten interactive exercises that enable students to explore quantitative topics in conservation biology and biodiversity studies;

  • 15 detailed world maps that illustrate topics such as deforestation patterns, distribution of ecosystems, location of critical conservation regions, human population density, current land cover, and plant diversity. The program provides tools that allow students to zoom in and study details of the maps, and to compare multiple maps in order to gain a deeper understanding of human-environment interactions;

  • challenging, engaging questions, read by Wilson, that help students get the most out of a wide variety of interactive activities and provide connections between the topics examined and their own daily lives;

  • in-depth case studies of conservation issues in Costa Rica and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as well as many other short examples;

  • more than 1,000 full-color photographs;

  • active links to conservation Web sites (which will be accessed through the Island Press Web site, ensuring that the links remain current) along with references to further information in traditional books and journals.

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