I spoke briefly about functional ecology and the biodiversity-agriculture vortex that can occur with increased reliance on chemical inputs leading to less biodiversity which leads to greater need for chemical inputs. And of course, there was time for some talk about falcons in New Zealand vineyards.
The class is small and the students are all enthusiastic. We have a mixed group of both undergraduates and graduate students from backgrounds including pest control services from arthropods on rangelands, biodiversity in biofuel crops, seed management in Uganda, and the influence of riparian ecosystems on streams. In just one short class I realized that this is going to be a great group to work with. We've even decided that our group project for the quarter will be a review paper about biodiversity in California agriculture- a very relevant topic that will be fun to research and write about, and which will be complemented by the very exciting list of speakers we've got lined up for the term. Hooray for teaching!