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Take an expedition with us to investigate the amazing diversity of life on this planet.

Healthy ecosystems require a large, diverse group of organisms, each doing their part.

Healthy ecosystems provide crucial direct, indirect, and aesthetic-ethical benefits to humans.

Areas that have a high diversity of unique and threatened species are known as biodiversity hotspots.

California's endemic plant species support a rich, diverse group of native and visiting organisms.

The storied Galápagos Islands are a heavily studied biodiversity hotspot that require our protection.

Human activities threaten the endemic plant and animal species of the Gaoligongshan region of China.

Madagascar's geologic history set the stage for the evolution of the island's unique flora and fauna.

How does Central America’s mountainous spine contribute to the rich biodiversity in the region?

The Philippines is home to one of the most diverse assemblages of species in the world.

São Tomé and Príncipe may be home to more endemic bird species than anywhere else on Earth.

Where do we find biodiversity? Life is everywhere on Earth, but it is not distributed evenly.

Several factors, such as climate and geography, determine the preferred habitats of various organisms.

When and how did biodiversity studies begin, and how have they changed over time?

What types of equipment and logistical support do scientists need in the field to study biodiversity?

Collecting specimens in the field launches the lab work of analysis, documentation, and cataloging.

Scientists estimate that we have documented only about 10 percent of the Earth's biodiversity.

Human activities and population growth threaten biodiversity in almost every corner of our planet.

How do introduced species cause problems for biodiversity and what makes a species invasive?

As human activities warm the Earth, biodiversity levels and distributions are changing at alarming rates.

Why are the oceans becoming more acidic and how does that threaten biodiversity?

Our greatest tool for stemming the loss of biodiversity is the symbiosis between science and education.

Efforts to slow extinction rates focus both on species themselves and the preservation of their habitats.

Advocates for biodiversity conservation come in all forms, from single individuals to international agencies.

See how local policies can grow into global efforts to protect life on Earth.

How does natural selection give rise to new species?

What is the connection between genes and biodiversity?

When organisms reach new habitats or become isolated, the stage is set for new species to evolve.

Over time, species richness has undergone significant ups and downs.

How does genetic diversity within populations contribute to species survival?

Explore why understanding ecosystem diversity is critical to making sound conservation decisions.

Discover how evolutionary lineages are linked through a shared history and depicted in the tree of life.

Examining the details of the tree of life provides important lessons for conservation efforts.

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Global Environmental Literacy Initiative credit

Thank You

This course encourages students of all ages to explore the natural world and become active stewards of the environment and is supported by the Global Environmental Literacy Initiative, with major funding provided by the Pisces Foundation.

Explore IBSS

The Academy's Research Institute

The mission of the Academy's Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability is to gather new knowledge about life's diversity and the process of evolution—and to rapidly apply that understanding to our efforts to sustain life on Earth.