The biological sciences and education often highlight a dichotomy between addressing conservation biology scientifically and addressing it creatively. However, this is unnecessary and hinders efforts in conservation biology. Through the means of a “romantic teaching” education, both science and imagination can be employed so that efforts in conservation biology are understood and appreciated by scientists, politicians and the general public.
General Biology encompasses all aspects of the life sciences. We will explore the world around us with a very broad scope, investigating everything from the microbes that live within us to the ecosystems we ourselves inhabit. All of life is subject to the same natural forces. We will describe the myriad of different ways that life responds to these forces, the progress being made in expanding our understanding through biological research, and how this insight is being applied in the field and in the lab.
Radiation. Invisible stuff. Scary enough to manipulate nations, but convenient enough to ignore for that perfect suntan – what is radiation exactly, and how does it age, mutate, or potentially kill us?
You probably remember the 1993 film, Jurassic Park. If not, the skinny is that a bunch of ambitious scientists use dinosaur DNA from preserved mosquitoes combined with modern reptile DNA to create your family fun dinosaur theme park (with real-life dinosaurs). It turns out this work of science fiction is a little more science and a little less fiction these days. I am not actually talking dinosaurs here, but we are now in an era where de-extinction is becoming possible. Before anyone goes all, honey, grab the flares, just STOP, collaborate and listen.
Human beings make for great scientists, but crummy biological test subjects. Think about it for a minute—if you were a researcher, how would you study an organism that is genetically diverse and takes decades to mature? These are only a couple of the many challenges that biologists face when studying human health and disease.