How do scientists and conservationists study the biological diversity of our world?

An introduction to the world of zoos and botanical gardens. Students will learn of the diverse and cutting-edge ways in which scientists and conservationists study the world’s biological diversity and work to conserve it. Taking advantage of two world-class institutions a short distance from the Danforth campus, the class will meet every week at an off-campus site (primarily the Saint Louis Zoo and Missouri Botanical Garden, but also several other institutions) to hear lectures from leading authorities at these institutions, as well touring facilities to see first-hand how research is conducted and how these institutions work to preserve endangered species. Students will write three short papers; each paper will be based upon a class lecture and its associated readings. Must be taken Credit/No Credit. Credit 2.0 units. Fall Semester, Wednesdays, 1:00PM-3:50PM. Course is for first-year, non-transfer students only. Students interested in taking this course should reach out to Professor Losos ( and describe why they want to take this course. Instructor: Jonathan Losos, William H Danforth Distinguished Professor, Biology Department.

* This course engages first year students in discussions about current biological research. It is optional and does not replace requirements for the Biology major or for pre-health careers. See the Handbook for Biology Majors for details of Biology major requirements.