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Resources for Instructors

Protecting Life on Earth

An Introduction to the Science of Conservation

Michael Paul Marchetti (Author), Peter B. Moyle (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 232 pages
ISBN: 9780520264328
September 2010
$54.95, £46.00
Other Formats Available:
Written to be accessible to any college-level reader, Protecting Life on Earth offers a non-technical, yet comprehensive introduction to the growing field of conservation science. This multifaceted exploration of our current biodiversity crisis delivers vivid examples throughout, including features on some of nature’s most compelling wildlife. Beginning with a brief introduction to environmental history, the text introduces the central concepts of evolution and ecology, and covers several major issues related to the conservation of biodiversity including extinction, climate change, sustainability, conservation law, and invasive species. It also touches on adjacent disciples such as economics and sociology as they relate to conservation. The text even includes practical advice on the decisions we make every day—how we spend our money, where we live and work, what we eat and buy. Throughout, Protecting Life on Earth underscores the ways in which our future is tied to that of Earth’s threatened species, and demonstrates exactly why conservation is so vitally important for us all.

From the Authors:

Written for introductory courses for non-majors, especially non-science students, this new text emphasizes vertebrates, reflecting both the interests of the authors and the need to capture student interests using charismatic animals.

Beginning with environmental history, each chapter focuses upon basic principles of evolution and ecology. Following chapters deal with such topics as extinction, climate change, sustainability, conservation law, economics, and invasive species. It ends with a chapter on what the readers can do to make things better.

The students in mind are both those already with an interest in conservation, if unformed, and those liberal arts students who need a class for an science credit. For the latter students, the authors challenge them and create interest where it was lacking before.

Although available as a paperback, the text is also available as an e-book for a lower price.
1. Environmental History
2. Variation, Natural Selection, and Evolution
3. Species: The Basic Unit of Conservation
4. Climate and Global Patterns of Distribution
5. Ecology: Individuals and Populations
6. Ecology: Communities and Ecosystems
7. Biodiversity and Extinction
8. Value, Economics, and the Tragedy of the Commons
9. Conservation Science
10. Conservation and the American Legal System
11. Invasive Species and Conservation
12. Restoration Ecology
13. Conservation in Action
Michael P. Marchetti is Associate Professor of Biology at California State University at Chico. He is coauthor, with Julie Lockwood and Martha Hoopes, of Invasion Ecology. Peter B. Moyle, Professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at the University of California, Davis, is coauthor of Comparing Futures for the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta, and author of Fish: An Enthusiast’s Guide and Inland Fishes of California, Revised and Expanded (all available from UC Press) among other books.
“This worthwhile book can be used by teachers to stimulate student interest in the value of protecting our natural world.”—Thomas Brown Nasta
"Protecting Life on Earth is an excellent introduction to conservation biology: concise yet comprehensive, and full of interesting real-life examples of conservation problems and solutions. This could be the basis for an introductory course, or just interesting reading for someone wanting to learn what this field is about."—Dr. Daniel Simberloff, University of Tennessee

"An excellent introduction to the science and policy of conservation biology for anyone interested in becoming better informed about today's pressing environmental challenges; nicely complemented by discussions of environmental economics and law, and including real-world conservation problems and the ways in which they are being addressed."—Wayne P. Sousa, University of California, Berkeley

"I have never seen a more comprehensive and succinct presentation of conservation biology—the most important topic of our time. It bridges the gap between science and people with easy to read, non-technical prose. Conservation is everybody's business, and Protecting life on Earth is a must read for everyone who cares about the future of the planet."—Mike Dombeck, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point University, System Fellow of Global Conservation, former Chief, U.S. Forest Service

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