Becoming Interested in Biology

Becoming Interested in Biology

Difficulty Rating: Easy . Academic Discipline: Ecology . Keywords: career in science, invasive species

Standards: Diversity of Life, Nature of Science, Science and Values

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Clip Guide

Clip Guide

: Here you will find clear descriptions of what you just saw, how they know what they said they knew, why they know it to be trustworthy information. Finally we will ask the question, "So what!" and explore why the information is important.

WHAT do we know?

At the start of his 1994 presentation "Biological Invasion Overview," Peter Vitousek describes why he cares about biological invasion and how the book Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants changed the course of his studies as an undergraduate student, inspiring him to become a biologist. 

WHO is this?

Dr. Peter Vitousek is an ecologist and professor at Stanford University, where he has been faculty since 1984. He has a PhD in biology and focuses primarily on nitrogen and phosphorus enrichment in soils and the impact of invasive species.  He is a Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment. Dr. Vitousek began college as a Political Science Major but was inspired to change the focus of his studies after reading a Charles Elton book about ecology for an English class. Dr. Vitousek was born in Hawaii and continues to conduct field work there periodically. A summary of his talk on invasive species and global change is available on the AGCI website in the Elements of Change Series, Biological Invasion as an Element of Change, pages 65-67.

Printable Companion Guide: 
Further Reading
Further Reading: 

A summary of this presentation can be found in the AGCI library under Biological Invasion as a Global Change, 1994, p 65.

Elton, Charles S. 1958. The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. (1958) 2000.