What’s the measure of species diversity of a habitat? Is it the number of inhabitants? Is it the number of species? Or is it the presence of a rare species? In this article, field biologist Abhijeet Bayani throws light on how he approaches this question of species ‘diversity’ in his classroom (a.k.a nature), while ensuring that his undergraduate students do not confuse it with a very related concept of species ‘richness’.
Andrea D. Phillott, Professor in Environmental Studies, teaches Conservation Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Studies at FLAME University, Pune. In this article, she writes about an innovative approach she has followed to develop disciplinary literacy in her students viz., assigning them readings from popular literature, both fiction and non-fiction, pertaining to conservation science.
What approach could a teacher take if her students are wary of numbers and statistical analyses? Could an ecologist replicate fieldwork within the confines of a classroom? A recent research paper discusses the use of sweet, colourful candies as a teacher's aid for imparting mathematical reasoning and introducing the strategies of fieldwork.
Kailash Chandra, Director of Zoological Survey of India gives a quantitative glimpse on the status of threatened species endemic to India. He also talks about the research fellowships and publications offered by the institute.