Academic Bulletin Biology Courses - Course Descriptions - 2015-16

Course Descriptions

BIO 101 Human Biology

A one-semester course offered primarily for majors in the social sciences and the humanities. This course will emphasize reproduction and development, structure/function, genetics, and evolution. The ethical implications of biological knowledge also will be considered. In the laboratory, students will investigate biological problems related to humans. Three lecture/discussions and one laboratory period weekly. A student who decides, on the basis of his experience in BIO 101, to major or minor in biology should consult with the Chair to discuss options.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 102 Plants and Human Affairs

This non-majors course will explore the interface between humankind and the plant world. Through lectures/discussion, ancillary readings, and local field trips, students will study the impact that plants have had on the development of human culture. Some topics to be covered include plant morphology, economically important plants, plant biotechnology, and plant-derived drugs. Attention will be given to modes of inquiry in the plant sciences. BIO 102 does not count toward the laboratory science distribution requirement. Offered in the fall semester of odd-numbered years.

Prerequisite: BIO 101.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 111 General Biology

First semester of a two-course sequence in the concepts of biology for biology majors. This course is a prerequisite for all advanced courses in biology. BIO 111 covers biomolecules, cell biology, genetics, and evolution. Three lectures and one laboratory period weekly. Offered in the fall semester.

Prerequisites: None.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 112 General Biology

This is the second semester of a two-course sequence in the concepts of biology for biology majors. This course is a prerequisite for most advanced courses in biology. BIO 112 covers animal and plant structure/function relationships and evolution and diversity. Three lectures and one laboratory period weekly. This course is offered in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: BIO 111.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

 

BIO 151 Evolution

This is a course designed to provide a basic introduction to the processes of evolutionary change and the pattern of biological diversity. Lecture/discussion will focus on the evidence for evolution, including case studies from a variety of organisms. This course is designed for students not planning to major in Biology and will not count toward the requirements for the Biology major, but it may count toward the Biology minor.  This course is offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years.

Prerequisites: BIO 111 or 101.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 211 Genetics

This is a course designed to introduce the modern concepts of the gene. The lectures stress the theory and experimental evidence relating to transmission, molecular, and developmental genetics. The laboratory is investigative in nature. This course should be taken during the sophomore year and is offered in the fall semester.

Prerequisite: BIO 112.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 212 Cell Biology

The primary emphasis of this course is the structure and function of the eukaryotic cell. Lectures, readings, and discussions will cover cellular organelles, types, metabolism, interactions, and regulation of activities. The laboratory focuses on cellular structure and function through the techniques of modern cell biology. This course should be taken during the sophomore year and is offered in the spring semester. 

Prerequisites: BIO 211 or 213.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 213 Ecology

This course is an introduction to the interrelations of plants and animals with their environment. Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are considered. Some weekend field trips may be included. This course is offered in the fall semester.

Prerequisites: BIO 112 or permission of instructor.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 221 Comparative Anatomy and Embryology of the Vertebrates

This is a course presenting a broad evolutionary theme of the vertebrates using the facts of comparative anatomy, embryology, and paleobiology. It is offered in the spring semester of odd-numbered years.

Prerequisites: BIO 112 or permission of instructor.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 222 Biology of the Invertebrates

This is a course designed to provide students with an introduction to the diversity of invertebrate organisms through lectures, reading and discussion of primary literature, student presentations, and laboratory work. Emphasis is placed on structure, functional morphology, physiology, ecology, and evolution. A field trip during spring break has been included in recent years. This course is offered in the spring semester of odd-numbered years.

Prerequisites: BIO 112 or permission of instructor.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 224 Biology of the Vascular Plants

This course is an introduction to the science of botany. A strong emphasis will be placed on the evolutionary trends in the vascular plants, with additional coverage of developmental biology, plant breeding systems, and some of the physiological adaptations plants have evolved in the transition to life in terrestrial environments. The laboratories will be primarily observational (in the field or the lab), with a broad exposure to plant diversity and taxonomy. This course is offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years.

Prerequisites: BIO 112 or permission of instructor.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 225 Microbiology

This course is designed to introduce the student to the lifestyles and impact of the smallest organisms known. Lecture/discussion will examine topics such as microbial cell structure and function, growth and nutrition, genetics, antibiotics and pathogenesis, and microbial diversity. The laboratory is organized around an investigative, discovery driven project.  This course is offered in the fall semester of odd-numbered years.

Prerequisites: BIO 211 or permission of instructor.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 226 Parasitology

This is a course designed to introduce students to the major groups of animal parasites. Emphasis in lectures and discussion of primary literature is placed on general principles, including diversity, morphology, transmission biology, and the ecology and evolution of the different parasite taxa. The laboratory work includes the detailed consideration of particular parasite species as representatives of larger groups, as well as an independent research project on the parasites of a selected host species. This course is offered in the fall semester of even-numbered years.

Prerequisites: BIO 112 or permission of instructor.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 311 Molecular Genetics

This is a course designed to explore in detail the molecular biology of the gene. Lecture/discussion will focus on areas of current interest and will include analysis of experimental evidence which underpins our understanding of gene structure and function. The laboratory is investigative in nature and provides primary experience with recombinant DNA technology, genomics, and bioinformatics.

Prerequisite: BIO 211.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 313 Advanced Ecology

This course emphasizes the investigative approach to ecology including experimental design and data analysis. Lectures/discussions focus on areas of current interest in ecosystem, community, and population ecology. Several field trips and an independent investigation are required. This course is offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years.

Prerequisite: BIO 213.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 314 Developmental Biology

This course is designed to introduce you to the processes of growth and development that occur in the early stages of an animal’s lifetime. Through both lecture and discussion of literature, we will investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying these developmental processes. The laboratory work will consist of molecular, cellular, and organismal approaches to understanding development. This course is offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years.

Prerequisite: BIO 211.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 315 Organismal Physiology

The major physiological systems (nutrition, transport, gas exchange, elimination of wastes, coordination, and defense) are considered from the adaptational perspective in this course. The emphasis is on the physiological system as it is related to the survival of vertebrates in their natural environments. The laboratory focuses on physiological techniques and methods of analysis. This course is offered fall semester of even-numbered years.

Prerequisite: BIO 212.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 316 Evolution of Developmental Mechanisms

Research into embryogenesis has illuminated the molecular mechanisms of development for a select few organisms in exquisite detail. The field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology compares the developmental mechanisms of these model systems to distinct, understudied taxa. Using this comparative approach, we can infer the characteristics of the common ancestors of these organisms. In this course, we will explore how molecular, paleontological and evolutionary techniques can yield insights into animals that existed half a billion years ago. Evaluations will be based on discussion of primary literature and several short papers. Typically offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years.

Prerequisite: Biology 211

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

 

BIO 351 The Evolution of Populations

This course will provide an in-depth examination of the population-level effects of evolutionary processes.  The first half of the semester will focus on examining advances in evolutionary biology, centered around a quantitative approach to understanding the principles of population genetics.  The second half of the semester will involve close reading of primary literature focused on a narrow topic in population biology.  Offered in the spring semester of odd-numbered years.

Prerequisite: BIO 211

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 371 Special Topics

These are innovative courses or special programs in library research. Descriptions of special topics courses will be posted at the time of pre-registration. Students desiring a special library research project should make the appropriate arrangements with individual faculty members.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Credits: 1 or 1/2

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 387, 388 Introduction to Research

Students may pursue independent research on selected problems.  Students should make arrangements with individual faculty members during the semester preceding their enrollment in the course to determine their research focus and to discuss expectations. Students are typically expected to produce a final research paper and to present the work at an on- or off-campus colloquium.  Students may repeat BIO 387 and/or BIO 388, but only 1 credit total of Introduction to Research may be counted toward the major.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Credits: 1/2

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)

 

BIO 401 Senior Seminar

This is a seminar course required of all majors. Critical reading of primary literature, oral expression, and experimental design are emphasized. Students intending to be off-campus during the first semester of their senior year should take this course during their junior year. This course is offered in the fall semester.

Credits: 1

Distribution: III.D. (Natural Science/Mathematics)