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Academic Program > Major and Minor Fields of Study > Biology

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Biology

Chair David J. Hicks, Aron K. Costello, Rachel E. Polando, Kristen H. Short, Jerry E. Sweeten

The mission of the Department of Biology is to provide a nurturing, academic environment where students and faculty can explore and move toward an appropriate mastery of the major conceptual ideas of biology which include: cellular, organismic and population levels of life.

Baccalaureate Degree

Major in biology; 49-51 hours: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L, 229, 229L, 331, 331L, 360, 395; 364 and 364L or 422 and 422L; 315 and 315L or 413 and 413L; one course selected from: BIOL 241, 241L, 243, 243L, 322, 322L; one course selected from: BIOL 313, 313L, 332, 365; four hours of electives in biology; three hours of internship (BIOL 475) or research (BIOL 397 and 494 and 496); two semesters of chemistry with lab selected from: CHEM 105, 105L and 106, 106L, or 111, 111L and 113, 113L.

No more than four hours of combined internship and practicum credit can count toward the major.

Majors must successfully complete a senior comprehensive evaluation before graduating. Details are available from the department chair.

Minor in biology; 24 hours: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L, 16 hours of departmental electives.

Requirements for the teaching major are available in the Office of Teacher Education.

Courses BIOL

101 GENERAL BIOLOGY - 3 hours
An introduction to the principles of biology for the non-major. Topics may include cell biology, evolution, anatomy and physiology of major organ systems, human biology, heredity and ecology. May not be used for credit in the biology major. C-4NB.

102 HUMAN BIOLOGY – STAGES OF LIFE - 3 hours
An introduction to the basic principles related to human life history, from fertilization through death. These will serve as the vehicle for considering how scientific methodology illuminates issues in both the personal and public arenas. Both personal decisions and public policy issues are impacted by our understanding of underlying biological/scientific principles. Topics such as the mechanisms of fertilization, development, homeostatic system integration, systemic physiology of selected systems (e.g. cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, reproductive) and the continued changes associated with aging will be addressed. May not be used for credit in the biology major. C-4NB.

106 PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY I - 3 hours
An examination of the nature of science and scientific thinking through an introduction to living organisms and their relationship to the environment. Biostatistics, biodiversity, and ecological processes will be covered. Corequisite: BIOL 106L. Fall. C-4NB.

106L PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY I LAB - 1 hour
An examination of the nature of science and scientific thinking through an introduction to living organisms and their relationship to the environment. Biostatistics, biodiversity, and ecological processes will be covered. Corequisite: BIOL 106.

108 PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY II - 3 hours
Integrating principles of biology, stressing the common responses of life to the problems of existence. Major topics include cellular organization of organisms, genetics, evolution, and organismic processes that maintain life. Examples drawn primarily from vertebrates and vascular plants. The associated laboratory (BIOL 108L) involves animal dissection. Corequisite: BIOL 108L. Spring. C-4NB.

108L PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY II LAB - 1 hour
Laboratory experience in microscopy, Mendelian genetics, population genetics, and anatomy and physiology of selected animals and plants. Data interpretation and scientific writing (laboratory reports and laboratory notebooks) will be emphasized. Corequisite: BIOL 108.

202 FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN ANATOMY - 3 hours
A regional approach to the study of human structure. Emphasis is on the basic structural organization of the human body, underlying anatomical principles, and the anatomical details appropriate for allied health students. Cannot be taken for credit within the biology major. Spring.

202L FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN ANATOMY LAB - 1 hour
Laboratory course to complement BIOL 202. Laboratory work in identifying anatomical structures in humans. Emphasis on musculoskeletal, circulatory, and nervous systems. Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 202.

204 FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY - 3 hours
An introduction to the basic principles of human physiology. Emphasis is on the basic functional mechanisms operating at the cellular, organ and system levels as well as the integrative control process that regulate each system. Cannot be taken for credit within the major following BIOL 420. Fall. C-4NB.

204L FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Laboratory work supplements the investigation of the systems covered in BIOL 204. Prerequisite: Concurrent or prior enrollment in BIOL 204. Fall.

214 FIELD ECOLOGY - 3 hours
A field and laboratory-oriented introduction to ecological principles and environmental issues, including an extended off-campus field trip. C-4NB.

 

225 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY - 2 hours
Definitions and origin of biodiversity, threats to its maintenance, value of preserving variety, ecological and genetic principles relating to preservation, and practical strategies for preservation. Corequisite: BIOL 225L. Spring, alternate years.

225L CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Data collection and hypothesis testing in conservation biology. Corequisite: BIOL 225.

227 ORNITHOLOGY - 3 hours

This course offers an overview and introduction to the evolution, morphology, physiology and identification of birds (Class Aves). Class will include fieldwork.

229 INTRODUCTION TO MOLECULAR BIOLOGY - 3 hours
Introduction to the major classes of biological molecules. Structures and functions of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids will be covered in addition to examples of cell structures, enzymes and metabolic pathways. Corequisite: BIOL 229L. Prerequisites: One year of biology and one year of chemistry. Spring.

229L INTRODUCTION TO MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Focus is on the isolation and measurement of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Experience in thin layer chromatography, spectrophotometry, electrophoresis and light microscopy. Corequisites: BIOL 229.

234 INTRODUCTION TO HISTOLOGY - 3 hours
For students interested in the cellular components of tissues from vertebrate animals. Emphasis is placed on the appearance of primary tissues and the major organ systems. Tissue microanatomy will be examined stressing function as well as structure. Corequisite: BIOL 234L. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L.

234L INTRODUCTION TO HISTOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Laboratory experience in the identification and description of the microanatomy of the primary tissues and major organ systems of vertebrates. Corequisite: BIOL 234. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L.

241 VASCULAR PLANT SYSTEMATICS - 3 hours
Evolution and classification of ferns, fern allies and seed plants; characteristics of major plant families; plant geography. Corequisite: BIOL 241L. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L. Fall, alternate years.

241L VASCULAR PLANT SYSTEMATICS LAB - 1 hour
Floristic study of a local natural area, plant identification techniques, and characteristics of important plant families. Corequisite: BIOL 241. Fall, alternate years.

243 INTRODUCTION TO ALGAE, PLANTS AND FUNGI - 2 hours
Biology of algae, fungi, bryophytes and vascular plants. Life cycles, ecology, interactions with humans and the evolution of major groups. Corequisites: BIOL 243L. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L. Fall, alternate years.

243L INTRODUCTION TO ALGAE, PLANTS AND FUNGI LAB - 1 hour
Analysis of classification, morphology, life cycles, and ecology of selected algal, plant and fungal taxa. Corequisite: BIOL 243.

252 EVOLUTION - 3 hours
Mechanisms and consequences of natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, adaptation, and speciation.  Computation of heritability, relative fitness, and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Macroevolution and interpretation of phylogenies and DNA sequence evolution. Discussion and analysis of classical and contemporary primary literature relating to evolutionary theory. Prerequisites: BIOL 106/L, BIOL 108/L.

275 PRACTICUM IN BIOLOGY - 1-4 hours
Observation of and participation in the activities of a professional in biology or an applied field that makes significant use of biological principles. Examples of appropriate mentors include, but are not limited to, genetic counselors, research scientists and industrial scientists. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: Appropriate course work in biology and related fields.

312 MARINE BIOLOGY - 3 hours
The ocean as an environment, a survey of marine communities and adaptive strategies of organisms that live there. Emphasis on the biology, ecology and life histories of marine organisms. Prerequisites: BIOL 106 and 108. Spring, alternate years.

313 MICROBIOLOGY - 3 hours
Taxonomy, morphology, physiology, and ecology of bacteria and viruses. Relationships between microorganisms and their natural environments and with animal hosts are introduced. Corequisite: BIOL 313L. Prerequisite: BIOL 229, 229L.

313L MICROBIOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Laboratory experiences in isolating, growing, and identifying, bacteria, molds and viruses. Mastery of aseptic techniques is expected. Corequisite: BIOL 313. Prerequisite: BIOL 229, 229L.

315 ECOLOGY - 3 hours
Relationships of individual organisms to the environment; structure and dynamics of single-species populations; interactions between and among populations; and the structure, dynamics and function of biotic communities. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L. Fall, alternate years.

315L ECOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Collection, analysis and presentation of ecological data. Corequisite: BIOL 315.

322 PLANT PHYSIOLOGY - 3 hours
Fundamental principles of physiology as related to higher plants. Includes vascular plant structure, water relations, soil and mineral nutrition, metabolism with emphasis on photosynthesis, growth, regulation and development. Corequisite: BIOL 322L. Prerequisites: BIOL 229, 229L. Spring, alternate years.

322L PLANT PHYSIOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Laboratory and field study of water relations, photosynthesis, growth and other plant processes. Corequisite: BIOL 322.

331 INVERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY - 3 hours
An introduction to major invertebrate phyla of the animal kingdom. Morphological and taxonomic characteristics, functional and evolutionary relationships, natural history, and ecological relationships and life cycles of representative types will be discussed. Corequisite: BIOL 331L. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L. Fall, alternate years.

331L INVERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
A survey of major invertebrate phyla with dissections. Some outside collections will be made. A detailed laboratory notebook is required. Corequisite: BIOL 331.

332 DNA SCIENCE - 3 hours
A laboratory course that will introduce the student to DNA and how it can be analyzed and manipulated in order to obtain a novel gene sequence from an organism. Topics will include DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction, restriction digestion, bacterial transformation, plasmid purification and analysis, gene sequencing, and bioinformatics. Laboratories will emphasize the use of appropriate controls, troubleshooting, and how the nature of science is reflected during the execution of a novel experiment. A mandatory lab fee will be charged. Prerequisite: BIOL 229 and 229L. January.

350 ANIMAL BEHAVIOR - 3 hours
Mechanisms, development, ecology, and adaptive significance of animal communication, social behavior, mate selection, reproduction, and parental investment. Students will develop, perform and present a research project. Prerequisite: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L.

360 GENETICS - 4 hours
Development of the theory of the gene from Mendel to modern times. Inheritance patterns, chromosomal genetics, and storage and readout of genetic information at the molecular level. Prerequisite: BIOL 229 and 229L. Fall.

364 COMPARATIVE VERTEBRATE ANATOMY - 3 hours
An evolutionary and comparative morphological study of the organ systems in the phylum Chordata. Emphasis of the course is on the functional significance of specific vertebrate structural adaptations and their inclusion in the basic vertebrate body plan. The associated laboratory BIOL 364L requires animal dissection. Corequisite: BIOL 364L. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L.

364L COMPARATIVE VERTEBRATE ANATOMY LAB - 1 hour
Laboratory experience in the dissection and identification of the various vertebrate anatomical systems including the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, circulatory, digestive, renal, reproductive and nervous systems. Emphasis will be on the cat as a representative mammal with frequent references to other vertebrates and chordates. The laboratory requires animal dissection. Corequisite: BIOL 364. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L.

365 CELL BIOLOGY - 3 hours
Structural and physiological aspects of the cell; its molecular subcellular and cellular organizations with emphasis on various microscopic and cytological techniques; its function as related to its organization including permeability, metabolism, reproduction, differentiation and certain other specialized functions. Prerequisite: BIOL 229 and 229L. Fall.

375 INTERNSHIP IN BIOLOGY - 3-6 hours
Student interns will function as applied professionals in biology or a related field. Internships involve significantly more independence and decision-making responsibility than do practica. May not be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: junior standing or above, appropriate course work in biology and related disciplines.

395 ORIENTATION TO RESEARCH (W) - 1 hour
An introduction to searching and interpreting scientific literature, and to posing and developing research questions in the field of biology. Students develop a viable research proposal under the direction of a faculty mentor. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L; ENG 111. Spring.

397 DIRECTED BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH - 1 hour
Guided research in biology is carried out under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students will develop research protocols for a student-designed research project. Prerequisite: BIOL 395.

 

 

413 LIMNOLOGY - 3 hours
An in-depth examination of the ecological relationships across the biological, chemical, and physical parameters of inland lakes and streams. A watershed approach will be emphasized. Corequisite: BIOL 413L. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L, one college-level chemistry class with laboratory. Fall, alternate years.

413L LIMNOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Laboratories will provide the necessary skills to plan and execute research and interpret data from on-site lake and stream studies. Writing laboratory reports in scientific format and keeping an appropriate laboratory notebook is required. Corequisite: BIOL 413.

422 VERTEBRATE PHYSIOLOGY - 3 hours
A survey of organ system function in vertebrates. Emphasis is on mammalian systems, their specific processes, and the nervous and hormonal processes integrating the activity of the various systems. Topics include cellular metabolism, blood, nerve and muscle function, circulation, respiration, digestion, water and electrolyte balance, and the nervous and endocrine systems. Corequisite: BIOL 422L. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L; one year of chemistry. (Exercise Science majors may substitute BIOL 204, 204L and ESS 325 for BIOL 106 and BIOL 106L). Spring.

422L VERTEBRATE PHYSIOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
Laboratory experience in the collection, and analysis of physiological variables of vertebrates. Investigations focus on the responses of most major physiological systems (including integumentary, muscular, circulatory, digestive, renal, respiratory, nervous and sensory systems). Investigations will utilize various vertebrates including humans. Corequisite: BIOL 422. Prerequisites: BIOL 106, 106L, 108, 108L.

431 IMMUNOLOGY - 3 hours
Cells and tissues of the immune system and the nature and function of antigens and antibodies.  Survey of immune capabilities of humans and animals, immune diseases, immunodeficiency states, transplantation of organs, and the influence of nutrition on the immune system. Corequisite: BIOL 431L. Prerequisite: BIOL 365 or BIOL 313

431L IMMUNOLOGY LAB - 1 hour
A laboratory course emphasizing study and application of immune assays and techniques.  Culture and isolation of clinically relevant bacteria, cell culture, and immune based assays will be performed.  Techniques dovetail with the content and concepts discussed in lecture, providing students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge and master the technique. Lab fee required.  Corequisite: BIOL 431. Prerequisite: BIOL 365 or BIOL 313

475 SENIOR INTERNSHIP IN BIOLOGY - 3 hours
Student interns work in a professional environment as a part of their Senior Comprehensive Evaluation. Students design the internship with the help of a faculty member from the Biology Department and a person who serves as the student’s mentor during the internship Only students with senior standing will be permitted to enroll and senior internships may not be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BIOL 395.

494 SENIOR RESEARCH I - 1 hour
Research hypothesis and methods development under the direction of a faculty mentor. Prerequisite: BIOL 395, 397.

496 SENIOR RESEARCH II - 1 hour
Preparation and presentation of senior research in biology under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students are required to prepare and present the results of their senior research in both written and oral formats. Prerequisite: BIOL 494.

380 or 480 SPECIAL PROBLEMS - 1-4 hours
A student who has demonstrated ability to work independently may propose a course and pursue it with a qualified and willing professor. The department chair and the vice president and dean for academic affairs also must approve. A set of guidelines is available at the Office of the Registrar.

385 or 485 SEMINAR - 1-4 hours
An in-depth consideration of a significant scholarly problem or issue. Students pursue a supervised, independent inquiry on an aspect of the topic and exchange results through reports and discussions.

 


 

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