Environment and Society in a Changing World



About Module 10

Biodiversity is a measure of variation and richness of living organisms at a particular scale. In this module, we are going to learn some of the important roles that biodiversity plays in human systems. The module begins by explaining what biodiversity is, what causes biodiversity, and why we care about it. The module then discusses biodiversity loss throughout history and around the world today. Human activity is causing extensive and alarming biodiversity loss, with many species going extinct. But humans are also active in conserving biodiversity. The module closes with a discussion of threats to the extinction of one particularly noteworthy species: humans.

What will we learn in Module 10?

By the end of Module 10, you should be able to:

  • define biodiversity and explain the value of biodiversity in both ecocentric and anthropocentric terms;
  • describe geographic trends in biodiversity, including factors that influence biodiversity and biodiversity hotspots;
  • discuss how changes in biodiversity are influenced by processes at many spatial and temporal scales;
  • describe problems associated with biodiversity loss, as well as progress in protecting biodiversity.

What is due for Module 10?

There are two reading assignments and a Written Assignment associated with Module 10. 

Module 10: Lesson Assignments
Requirement Location Submitting Your Work
Reading Assignment: Conservation Triage Threats to Biodiversity No submission
Reading Assignment: Colony Collapse Disorder Biodiversity and Ecosystem Resilience No submission
Written Assignment 6: Biodiversity Written Assignments Submit in Canvas
Quiz 3 Modules Submit in Canvas 


If you have any questions, please post them to our Course Q & A discussion forum in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum often to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate. If you have a more specific concern, please send me a message through Inbox in Canvas.