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Course Descriptions

Biology Course Listings - Spring 2013

BIOLOGY 104N – Biology on the Big Screen
4 credits
Burgett, Amber

This course will address the accuracy with which movies, TV shows, and media outlets portray biological concepts underlying important contemporary issues.  The course will focus on four main topics: emerging infectious diseases, global climate change, food production, and biodiversity. Students will gain an understanding of the biological principles and concepts that underpin these often contentious and frequently debated issues. The course will use primary literature and current research within the field to give students an increased scientific awareness and improved scientific literacy. This course is paired with English 101, Section 8W taught by Dr. Seth Reno. There will be overlap between these two courses, including shared class sessions, readings, film viewings, writing projects, and excursions. Students who are interested in the intersections between the humanities and the sciences, as well as those who intend to pursue an English/Biology double major or minor, are encouraged to register for both classes.

BIOLOGY 110N - Survey of Biology
4 credits
Mason, David

Open to all students
This course deals with such topics as:  The Origin of Life; Basic Chemistry of Life; Energy for Life; Cell, Tissue, and Organ Structure and Physiology; Reproduction and Development; Basic Genetics; DNA to Proteins; Human Diseases (Cancer, Viruses, Bacteria, Fungi, Protozoans); Human Evolution; and Ecosystems.

BIOLOGY 180B - Concepts of Biology
5 credits
Collier, Matthew and
Yoder, Jay

Open to all students planning to major in Biology
A survey of concepts common to most areas of the biological sciences.  Topics including the scientific method, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, energy flow, flowering plant and animal biology, and the evolution of diversity will be covered.  Prerequisite (with BIOL 170) to all other major courses.

BIOLOGY 214 – Developmental Biology 
5 credits
McWhorter, Michelle

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
Developmental biology is the study of how single celled zygotes (or fertilized eggs) become multi-cellular organisms with specialized tissues and organs.  This course is designed to provide an overview of the major features of animal development focusing primarily on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie these developmental events.  Lecture topics will include gametogenesis, fertilization, gastrulation, and organogenesis.  Laboratory components will use a range of developmental model organisms to highlight some of the main tenants of developmental biology.  There will be an emphasis on how cells in the developing embryo differentiate into specific cell types, germ layers, tissues, and organs.  This course is writing intensive.

BIOLOGY 220 – Neurobiology
5 credits
Pederson, Cathy

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180 or Psychology 120
This course introduces biology majors and minors to the intricacies of the nervous system.  The course begins with the basics of neuronal communication and then moves to the organization of the nervous system (particularly the brain) into various systems as well as the visual, auditory, and motor systems.  Laboratories will focus on the anatomy and current understanding of the mammalian brain.  To this end, laboratories will include dissection of mammalian brains, interpretation of MRIs and an independent project.

BIOL 223 - Survey of Human Disease
4 credits                                                                    
Mason, David

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
This course considers the major diseases that affect the human organism.  It includes what causes the disease, clinical signs and symptoms, treatment, and prevention.  A general overview of disease is considered first, including infections, autoimmune, genetic diseases, and cancer, to be followed by specific disease problems relating to each organ system.

BIOLOGY 235 – Morphology of Vascular Plants
5 credits
Collier, Matthew

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
This course will cover comparative morphology, anatomy, and life histories of vascular plants (e.g., whisk ferns, ground pines, ferns, horsetails, gymnosperms [ginkgo, cycads, and pines], and angiosperms).  Students will also examine classification, nomenclature, relationships, reproduction, and economic importance of vascular plants.
BIOLOGY 237 - Microbiology
5 credits
Yoder, Jay

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
Basic principles of bacteriology and virology, stressing structure, metabolism, classification, and application.

BIOLOGY 250 – Behavioral Ecology
5 credits
Burgett, Amber

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
This course will explore how the behavior of organisms contributes to survival and reproductive success of individuals. We will examine the evolution and significance of a wide variety of animal behaviors including life history strategies, foraging decisions, sexual selection and mate choice, cooperation and altruism, parental care, and predator-prey dynamics.   This course will draw heavily from primary literature and empirical research of animal behaviors, with an emphasis on current methodology and experimental design. The course will combine weekly discussions, lectures, and labs to provide an overview of the past, present and future of the field of behavioral ecology. A semester-long project will require student groups to design and conduct an observational or manipulative experiment on some aspect of behavioral ecology and present these results in the form of a manuscript and a 15 minute conference style presentation.  This course fulfills Group 4 and Zoological requirements for biology majors.

BIOLOGY 255 – Biological Literacy
4 credits
Collier, Matthew
McWhorter, Michelle

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
A study of common sources, methods, and techniques used in scientific writing and in presenting biological literature.  There will be a strong emphasis on bibliographic sources as well as written and oral presentations of biological material.

BIOLOGY 258 - Extended Field Studies - Ecology
1 credit
Phillips, Richard

Prerequisite:  Must take concurrently with Biology 346
We will travel to Mississippi to visit a retired farm with a mix of bottomland hardwood, fallow fields, and pine plantations.  With our bug spray, laptops, and field notebooks, we will compare species composition across taxa and among habitat types.  We will also conduct ecological experiments of interest to the individuals in the group.  Past projects have included mark-recapture studies of reptiles, distributions of frog species, and tree diameter and lizard size.  We will run preliminary analyses to examine ecological similarities and differences among species assemblages in Mississippi and compare those with data collected in Ohio during class labs at Wittenberg. 

BIOLOGY 312 - The Cell
5 credits
Goodman, Margaret

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and Chemistry 162            
Cell biology focuses on the structure and function of the cell, examining individual structures and building toward a synthesis of the dynamic metabolic processes of the cell.  These processes include synthesis of cellular components, metabolic pathways, and signaling pathways.  This course is writing intensive. 

BIOLOGY 326 – Human Anatomy and Physiology II
4 credits
Pederson, Cathy

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180 and one upper-level biology course
Students will learn about the major systems of the human body in both lecture and laboratory.  Topics to be discussed include the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune and urinary systems.  Disease states will also be discussed.  Assessment will include 3 written examinations, writing assignments, and a final examination.  One credit laboratory course offered separately in conjunction with this course (Biology 327). Offered every year.

BIOLOGY 327 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II laboratory  
1 credit
Pederson, Cathy

Co-requisite:  Biology 326
Laboratories will focus on the anatomy and physiology of each system as they are discussed in the Biology 326 lectures.  Laboratories will include dissection.  Assessment will include weekly review sheets, an independent project and paper, and lab practical examinations. Offered every year.  

BIOLOGY 328W - Electron Microscopy/Comparative Microscopic Anatomy
5 credits
Gribbins, Kevin

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
This course deals with the preparation of vertebrate tissues, sectioning, and staining followed by the study of the basic structure and normal function of cells and tissues of multiple vertebrate taxa by means of light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The lab component will include both a student driven project (either light or TEM) and prepared slides that are either made by the students or are catalog purchased. Students have the potential to gather enough morphological data from their specific projects to present at local or national scientific meetings.  This course is writing intensive.

BIOLOGY 346 – Ecology
5 credits
Phillips, Richard

Prerequisites:  A Biology group 2, 3, or 4 course and Math Placement 22
Ecology is the study of interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms.  We will examine both theoretical and applied aspects of ecology in the classroom.  Laboratories will investigate specific hypothesis from observation to analysis, leading not only to increased knowledge of ecological principles, but also to a more advanced understanding of scientific investigations in stochastic environments.  You will be required to analyze datasets as well as present those in both presentation and publication form.  This course should prepare students for advanced degrees in ecology as well as provide the framework for novel applications of ecology in other biological fields.  This course is both writing and math intensive.  There is an optional, but recommended extended field studies associated with the class.

BIOLOGY 406 - Senior Capstone    
4 credits
Yoder, Jay and
Gribbins, Kevin

Prerequisite:  Must have senior status
The capstone course uses a topic-driven approach to promote synthesis of biological concepts and emphasize the inter-relatedness of different disciplines within biology. These concepts range from the molecular level through organismal biology to populations and ecosystems. The course will rely heavily on the primary literature with emphasis on the process of scientific discovery. In this course students develop skills in presenting scientific material in both oral and written form. This writing-intensive course is required of all biology majors and is to be taken during the senior year.

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