This course will examine patterns of biodiversity, processes maintaining it, and its prospects in light of human activity. Conceptually, we will focus on paradigms of ecology with implications for environmental conservation. In some cases, ecological paradigms will be contrasted with economic paradigms as we explore the ideological battleground of environmental issues. Topics will include community ecology, biogeography, demography, ecosystem functioning, extinction, global climate change, population viability, species interactions, and species invasions of native communities. These topics will show what we know about the diversity of life on Earth, but also what we don't know.