Mengjia Song WR 150

1

MengjiaSong

WR150

Project3

04/22/2015

BiodiversityandConservation in Education

Aswesaytheword“biodiversity,&quot itmeans“thecollection of all the lifeon earth.It consists of theorganismspresentin differentecosystems. Itrefersto geneticvariation,ecosystem variation,orspeciesvariationwithin an area,biome, orplant&quot(Biodiversity, wiki).Thediversityof lifeis an essentialbutbroadtopicin biology(Barrett, Alexander, and Dasgupta 12). An individual`sknowledgeof animalandplantnames,as wellas their taxonomies, depends on their level of studyof biologicalsciencesandtheir interestin thesubject(Yli-Panula and Matikainen 2). This paper will examine the scholars’take on biodiversity and the importance of teaching children on thesame when still young.

In thearticle“Biology”, theauthormentionsvarioustopicsin biologysuchas howto writeabout nature,thelossof biodiversity, andmanagingwetlands, etc. (Biology, 59). Suchbibliographiesexposescholarsto a largenumberof articleson relatedtopicswithout theinformationthrough librariesordatabases. An interestedscholarcan findvaluableinformationin a shorterperiodthan one whohas to seekmaterialas a primaryresearcher. Thearticleson Biology revealvariousongoingprojectsconcerningbiodiversity from theextinctionof dinosaurs to thepreservationof diminishingriversin theUnited States to theecologicalmanagementof savanna in South Africa (Biology 59). There is somuchto learnfrom conservationactivitiesglobally thatitmight not be possibleforanysinglescholarto coverthebreadthof theinformationthat is availableon thesubject.Meanwhile,primaryresearchis equallyimportantbecauseitproducesnewinformationon varioustopicsof concernin biology,biodiversity, andconservation.

Manyscholarssupporttheargumentthatthere is a linkbetween ecosystems andbiodiversity (BEF). Researchfocusingon biodiversity suggeststhatin naturalecosystems, thefunctionsof natureare controlledby theinteractionbetween animalsandplants(JochenFrund &ampGarcía 1). Forinstance,activitiessuchas seeddispersionandpollination illustratetheinteractionsbetween animalsandplantsin variousecosystems (JochenFrund &ampGarcía 1). Someresearchers findvariousspecieshavedifferentresponsesto ecologicalnetworksandenvironmental filters in an attemptto achieveecosystem functions(JochenFrund &ampGarcía 1). With moreresearch,environmentalistscan understandthebiodiversity of naturalecosystems andexplaintherelationshipbetween ecologicalnetworksandBEF.

Understanding the ecosystem helpsscientists to spot the irreversible changes in the environment andthey try to modify species that can adapt to the changingenvironment. Syntheticbiologyis a growingfieldof studythat capitalizeson theformationof newformsof life.Criticschallengetheethicsof syntheticspeciessince naturecan healitself ifthere are therightconditions.There is alsocriticismof thetotalcostof suchexperimentssince itmay extendbeyond theactualdollarvaluesspenton engineeringtheartificialspecies(Boldt 1). Themajorityof environmental scientistsholdthepositionthatdespite theincreasingneedsof geneticengineering,humanbeingsstilllackthemoralobligationto improvebiodiversity (Boldt1). The efforts of conservationist receive boostfrom teacherswho introducestudentsto biologyandbiodiversity. The primary knowledge gained at the under creates aprimary sense of responsibility towards plants and animals. There arepeoplewhoare naturallymoreinterestedin learningabout variousspecies.Theyendup becomingself-taughtexpertssince theycan easilyrecognize,nameanddescribeorganismsin their immediatehabitat(Yli-Panula and Matikainen 3). To educatethosewhohavelessinterestin thesubject,one can improvetheir abilityto paymoreattentionto it.

In teachinganimalknowledgeandtaxonomy, teacherscan aidpupils’memoryto rememberanimalsin their immediateenvironmentssuchas bees,cockroaches, flies,rats,cowsorsquirrels (Yli-Panula and Matikainen 568). Ateachercan alsohelpstudentsto rememberanimalsby their charactersandstereotypessuchas charismatic dolphins orscary bearsandviciouslions(Yli-Panula and Matikainen 568). Anotherstrategyis to sortanimalsby sizeandhelppupilsto remembertheanimalsthat are eitherbigorsmall.

Theknowledgeof biodiversityas taught in schools helps students to have the basic understandingof what impacts negatively on different animals and plants. Theybecome aware of the activities deemed as a major disruption of thenatural environment. Fora longperiod,theglobal biodiversity has beenunder thethreatfrom pressuresthat emanatefrom humanactivitiesthat interferewith thenaturalhabitats(Barrett, Alexander and Dasgupta 16). Thenaturalenvironmenthas beenexhaustedof its biodiversity ordestroyedas a directresultof humanactivitiesandencroachmentof ecosystems (Boldt 1). Deforestation foragriculturehas destroyedmillions of acresof naturalforests.Consequently, a hugeamountof animalpopulationsweredisplaced,diminishedorkilled.Conservationists haveworkedvigorouslyto restoretheforeststhrough tree plantingexercises.Rebuildingforestswill not restorethelostecosystem to thefullest.Thereasonbehind thisis thattheecosystem is a &quotcomplexanduniqueinteractionbetween plantsandanimalsin a specifichabitat.Oncetampered ordestroyedis impossibleto restoreto its originalstate”(Boldt 1). There is a series of ongoing campaigns spearheaded byconservationist to havehuman activitiesstreamlined to accommodate biodiversity.

Activities in high populationsettlements results in animalsadapting to unnaturalhabitat. In developedcountries, constructors try as much as possible not to deplete anexisting species as a result of interfering with the environment. Ina studyconductedby Cynthia Berger in theeffortwith scientistsallover theworldcalled“Walking on theWild Side,&quot shediscoversthaturbanareasare capableof supportingan unexpectedwealthof species.During thefour-year period,theresearchers havestudiedbirddiversityin 54 differentcitiesas wellas plantdiversityin 110 cities(Berger 31). Theresultshowspositivesignsthatmanyspeciesare thrivingin thecities.Scholarsin France discoveredan interestingfindingthatcloseto one-third of the900 knownwild beepopulationsin thecountrythrivedin andaround thecityof Lyons. Therefore,itis stillpossibleforanimalsto liveharmoniously in a human-dominated environment.

Theexistenceof protectedareaswithin thecitiessuchas parks,trails,andrecreationareaspromotedtheexistenceof birds,insects,andsmallmammals(Berger 32). Theseprotectedareasvaryin sizes,buttheyallsucceedin sustaininglifewithin theharshconcretejungleof thecities(Berger 34). Forexample,in theBronx, fifty acresituated&quotThain Family Forest” has beeninstrumentalin protectingurbanbiodiversity in thearea.Nationalenvironmental agenciesalsobecometheleadersof conservationprogramsthat supportthehelpof businesses,residents,andschools.Theycomeup with transformational projectsthat converturbanpropertiesinto conducivehabitatsfornativeplantandwildlife species(Berger 34). Furthermore,morecitiesare risingto thechallenge.Seventy-eight citiesin twenty-seven stateswerecertifiedby National Wildlife Federation`s Gardens forLife (NWF) as Community Wildlife Habitats (Berger 34). Thus,thevisionto obtaina protectedareasin citiesthat can benefitthelocalecosystems is feasiblewith theeffortsfrom differentagenciesandorganizations.

A feasible solutionforbiodiversity is to improvetheknowledgein schools.Educationis a strongelementthat can transformlivesof theyounggeneration.Children,wholearnabout animalandplantspecies,as wellas thebenefitsof conservation,are morelikelyto engagein personalconservationactivitiesin adulthood (Berger 34). With betterinteractive taxonomy educationthat is designed,peoplewill becomemoreinvolvedin conservationactivitiesin their communities(Yli-Panula and Matikainen 567).

With propereducation,governmentsandbusinessescan improvetheoutcomesof preservationeffortsas morepeoplewill be willingto participatein conservationactivitiesafter appropriateeducation.Science,which is mainlydrivenby empiricalstudies,will benefitfrom informationby improvingoutcomesfornewapproachesto conservation.Agoodexampleis geneticengineeringforspeciessynthesisbecauseithelpsscientistto comeup with plantsandanimalsthat are tolerantto theprevailingconditionsand,therefore,fewerchancesof them becomingextinct.

To enhancethelearningprocessforyoungstudents,teacherscan designactivitiesthat will enablestudentsto relatewith thenaturallife.Theseactivitieswill helpto relievetensionbetween economicdrivendevelopmentandconservationwithout jeopardizingtheenvironmentthat sustainsalllife.Itis thegoalof conservationenthusiaststo guardthecomplexity of biodiversity andtheviability of an ecosystem. Accordingto Gardner et al. (1), thenetlossis not achievablesolelybutratheras partof a broadconservationstrategyappliedpriorto theachievementof zero biodiversity loss.Thesestrategiesincludeavoidanceof harmfulpractices,minimization of invasive activitiesandremediation measureforexistingdamages (Gardner et al. 1).

With peopleconcerned about environmental issues,itwill be easierforbusinesses,financialinstitutions,andgovernmentsto adoptandaccomplishbiodiversity programs.Asitstands,manyconservationprogramshavefacedpublicoppositiondue to widespreadignoranceof biodiversity conservationissuesandselfishinterests.Thegoalto achievenonetlossof biodiversity is as ambitiousas itis necessary.However,to achievethis,andmoredesirableoutcomesforconservationandbiodiversity, childrenneedto receivemoreinformationthan merelyhowto identifya ratoran elephant in their biodiversity classes.Theyneedunderstandingof whatitmeansto killa beeandtheimplicationof such an actionon humansurvivalandotherformsof life.In thismanner,schoolswill helpconservationists andscholarswhocan advancethecourseof environmental preservationandrestoration(Yli-Panula and Matikainen 569).

Hopefullyin thefuture,researchers will reportnonetlossresultsin biodiversity conservationprojects.Maybethen,peoplewill be moreopento bioengineering to restoreextinctspeciesandpromotesyntheticecosystems forthesakeof biodiversity andtheenvironment.

Workcited

Barrett,Christopher B., Alexander J. Travis, and Partha Dasgupta. &quotOnBiodiversity Conservation And Poverty Traps.&quot ProceedingsOf The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America108.34 (2011): 13907-13912. AcademicSearch Premier. Web.10 Apr. 2015.

Berger,Cynthia. &quotWalk on the Wild Side. (Cover Story).&quot NationalWildlife (World Edition)53.2 (2015): 30-35. AcademicSearch Premier. Web.10 Apr. 2015.

&quotBiology.&quot ScitechBook News 28.1 (2004):59-66. Academic SearchPremier. Web. 10 Apr.2015.

Boldt,Joachim. &quotDo We Have A Moral Obligation To Synthesize OrganismsTo Increase Biodiversity? On Kinship, Awe, And The Value Of Life`sDiversity.&quot Bioethics27.8 (2013): 411-418. AcademicSearch Premier. Web.10 Apr. 2015.

Gardner, Toby, Hase,Amrei, Brownlie, Susie, Ekstrom, Jonathan, Pilgrim, John, Savy, Conrad andStephens, Theos .&quotBiodiversity Offsets And The Challenge Of Achieving No NetLoss.&quot ConservationBiology 27.6 (2013):1254-1264. AcademicSearch Premier. Web.10 Apr. 2015.

JochenFründ,Schleuning and García, Daniel. &quotPredicting Ecosystem FunctionsFrom Biodiversity And Mutualistic Networks: An Extension OfTrait-Based Concepts To Plant-Animal Interactions.&quot Ecography38.4 (2015): 380-392. AcademicSearch Premier. Web.10 Apr. 2015.

Yli-Panula, Eija, andEilaMatikainen. &quotStudents And Student Teachers` Ability To Name Animals In Ecosystems: A Perspective Of Animal Knowledge AndBiodiversity.&quot JournalOf Baltic Science Education13.4 (2014): 559-572. AcademicSearch Premier. Web.10 Apr. 2015.