- Section 1. Species Richness and the Extinction Crisis
Estimates of global species richness and introduction to biogeographic patterns. Constructing and interpreting species accumulation curves. Comparison of alpha, gamma, and beta diversity. The extinction crisis.
- Section 2. Ecological Biogeography
Species-area curves, island biogeography, dispersal, experimental tests of island biogeography and application to conservation biology.
- Section 3. Historical Biogeography
Plate tectonics. Sympatric and allopatric speciation, including the roles of vicariance and dispersal, and their influence on biogeographic patterns. Latitudinal gradients. Hotspots and conservation biology.
- Section 4. Global Patterns in Physical Conditions
How Earth's shape, tilt, and rotation affect distribution of energy, change of the seasons, and global rain patterns. Drivers, characteristics and locations of Earth's major biomes.