An All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) is an effort to compile the full list of species of all taxa present in some area on the planet. No ATBI has ever been (or ever will be?) completed, but this class is an ongoing effort towards a working ATBI for the Bennington College campus (which is unusually diverse for its area). Each cycle of the class addresses some taxonomic or ecological group. Inventory efforts from past terms are compiled at http://wiki.bennington.edu/wiki/Bennington_Biodiversity_Project. The tentative target for this term is spring flora, including some challenging groups (grasses, sedges). Students will learn the specialized tools for studying these organisms, become acquainted with their taxonomy and systematics (and with systematic concepts in general), and contribute to the Bennington College ATBI wiki (currently at around 530 species; this effort should take it well past 600). This class can be taken multiple times for credit.
This course will be offered the second seven weeks of term.