The Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies at Connecticut College is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program that builds on one of the nation's leading undergraduate environmental studies programs. The C- ter fosters research, education, and curriculum development aimed at understanding contemporary ecological challenges. One of the major goals of the Goodwin-Niering Center is to enhance the understanding of both the College community and the general public with respect to ecological, political, social, and economic factors that affect natural resource use and preservation of natural ecosystems. To this end, the C- ter has offered six conferences at which academicians, representatives of federal and state government, people who depend on natural resources for their living, and in- viduals from non-government environmental organizations were brought together for an in-depth, interdisciplinary evaluation of important environmental issues. On April 6 and 7, 2007, the Center presented the Elizabeth Babbott Conant interdisciplinary conference on Saving Biological Diversity: Weighing the Protection of Endangered Species vs. Entire Ecosystems. The Beaver Brook Foundation; Audubon Connecticut, the state of?ce of the National Audubon Society; the Connecticut Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; Connecticut Forest and Park Association and the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program joined the Center as conference sponsors. During this two-day conference we learned about conservation and endangered species fromawiderange ofperspectives. Likeallof theconferences sponsored bythe Goodwin-Niering Center, this conference was broadly interdisciplinary, with pres- tations by economists, political scientists, and conservation biologists.
Saving Biological Diversity: An Overview.-What Are We Trying to Save? And Why? Toward a Policy-Relevant Definition of Biodiversity.-Part I Protecting Populations of Particular Species.-Navigating for Noah, Setting New Directions for Endangered Species Protection in the 21st Century.-Economics of Protecting Endangered Species.-Center for Plant Conservation: Twenty Years of Recovering America's Vanishing Flora.-The Piping Plover as an Umbrella Species for the Barrier Beach Ecosystem.-Restoring Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) to New England.-Part II Saving an Ecosystem Through Endangered Species Recovery: Conservation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.-Sea Change: Changing Management to Protect Ocean Ecosystems.-Valuation of Natural Resource Improvements in the Adirondacks.-Minimum Dynamic Areas for Matrix Forest Ecosystems.-Restoring America's Everglades: A National Imperative.-Part III The Need for Global Efforts to Save Biological Diversity.-Implications of Local Conservation and Land Protection for the Global Environment.-Creative Approaches to Preserving Biodiversity in Brazil and the Amazon.-International Treaties and Laws on Biodiversity Protection.-Advancing Conservation in a Globalized Worls.-New Perspectives.
1. Truly multidisciplinary approach - Each of the three sections of the book (on endangered species, ecosystems and global environmental problems) includes chapters by people with very different backgrounds and perspectives in fields such as ecology, conservation, philosophy, law, economics and policy. Both researchers and managers/conservationists have contributed their points of view.
2. Accessible to general readers - The contributors were asked to write chapters that are accessible to a non-specialist, and the chapters were carefully edited to remove (when possible) or define (when necessary) specialist jargon, regardless of whether it came from economics, biology, law or political science. The distinctive styles and analytical approaches of different disciplines still come through, but a general reader should be able to understand the concepts in any chapter.
3. Facilitates comparison and synthesis by the reader - Although Robert Askins attempts to summarize the major conclusions of this book in a final chapter, readers will discover their own connections and conclusions as they read about the same basic issue from many perspectives.
4. Use as a textbook - Because this book is accessible and will trigger interesting ideas and discussions, it would be an excellent text to use for supplemental reading in a conservation biology or ecology course, or as one of the main readings in a seminar course.