Monmouth College Department of Biology

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Biology Courses
"My suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose." -- J. B. S. Haldane

See off-campus courses here.

101G.* Life on Earth. A broad survey of organisms and life processes and the forces that shaped and continue to shape our ecosystem. (1 course credit).

150G.* Investigating Biological Concepts. An investigative approach to learning fundamental concepts in biology from molecules to cells to organisms.  Concepts will include the process of scientific inquiry, basic biochemistry, basic cell function (cellular respiration, photosynthesis, protein synthesis, genetics, cell division), and fundamentals of animal and plant physiology.  Labs will emphasize problem-based or inquiry-based learning.  Lectures will combine traditional format with problem-posing and questioning. (1 course credit).

155G.* Introduction to Ecology, Evolution and Diversity. An investigative approach to learning fundamental concepts in biology from organisms to ecosystems.  Concepts will include the process of scientific inquiry, mechanisms of evolution, the evolutionary history of biological diversity, and fundamentals of ecology.  Labs will emphasize problem-based or inquiry-based learning.  Lectures will combine traditional format with problem-posing and questioning. (1 course credit).

200. Cell Biology. Introductory study of the structure and function of living cells and their components. Prerequisites: C- grade or better in Biology 150 or 155 and Chemistry 140. (1 course credit).

201G.* Field Botany. A study of plant associations and the abiotic conditions that permit their development. The laboratory is concentrated at the Ecological Field Station with visits to other types of plant habitats. (1 course credit).

202. Genetics. An introduction to the principles of heredity in animals and plants, including the contemporary understanding of genes and gene mechanisms. Laboratory exercises use both plants and animals to elucidate genetic principles. Prerequisites: C- grade or better in Biology 150 or 155. (1 course credit).

203. Comparative Vertebrate Morphology. A comparative and functional study of vertebrate anatomy from an evolutionary perspective. Alternate years. Prerequisite: Biology 155. (1 course credit).

204. Human Anatomy and Physiology. A systematic analysis of the structure and function of the human body. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in Biology 150 or consent of the instructor. (1 course credit).

210. Biology Research Methods. An introduction to research methods used in biological sciences including: 1) the literature search, reading and evaluating scientific literature, scientific writing, and incorporating previous literature into a proposal for research; 2) an introduction to commonly used statistical analyses focusing on an understanding of when specific common tests are appropriate and how to interpret then and utilize appropriate statistical software; 3) a very brief introduction to applications of mathematical modeling such as calculus to investigating biological problems.

250. Special Topics. (0.25 to 1 course credit).

290. Wilderness. (0.5 course credit). An exploration of the values of wilderness via direct experience and readings. We will travel to a specific wilderness ecosystem to consider the history of human interactions with wilderness and the demands and impacts on the wilderness by modern as well as indigenous cultures. The values of wilderness to human existence, both material and spiritual, will be examined.

300. Special Problems. A special course in a laboratory exercise, a field problem, or readings for the student who wishes to investigate a topic in biology beyond those normally offered. The particular problem is selected in consultation with the biology faculty. (0.25 to 1 course credit).

302. Microbiology. A general study of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi). emphasizing morphology, physiology, ecological relationships, and the nature of disease and its control. Consideration is also given to viruses. Laboratory sessions provide for experimental demonstration of basic concepts and for familiarization with fundamental microbiological methods.  Alternate years. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in Biology 200. (1 course credit).

307. Ecology. An introduction to the principles and concepts that describe the interactions of living organisms with their environments. Laboratory sessions involve field study of local flora and fauna and their habitats with the aim of illustrating fundamental concepts and basic ecological methodology. Prerequisites: C- grade or better in Biology 150 and 155. (1 course credit).

308. Vertebrate Embryology. A descriptive study of development and differentiation in vertebrates. Laboratory sessions are balanced between detailed microscopic examination of vertebrate embryos and experimental study of growth processes. Alternate years. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in Biology 150 or 155. (1 course credit).

315. Conservation Biology. Conservation biology is the science of protecting the world’s wealth of biological diversity.  In this course we will define diversity and learn how it is distributed globally, the study of biogeography.  We will learn how to measure biodiversity and then discuss the values of and threats to biodiversity.  The latter portions of the course will focus on practical aspects of conserving biological diversity by managing individual species, populations, and ecosystems.  Included will be how to design and manage protected areas and the potential for reestablishing populations in areas where they have been extirpated.  Laboratories will focus on the natural history and identification of local fauna, and methods for studying and collecting from natural populations. Alternate years. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in BIOL 150 and BIOL 155 and junior standing (or permission of the instructor). (1 course credit).

320. Parasitology. A general study of the biology of parasitism. Lectures and labs will emphasize systematics and taxonomy of parasites, behavioral and physiological effects of parasites on hosts (including humans), and how human modification of landscapes affect parasites. Prerequisite:  C- grade or better in BIOL 150 and 155. (1 course credit).

325. Advanced Physiology. Detailed study of human cellular and systemic physiology, emphasizing muscle, cardiovascular, neural, respiratory, renal, and reproductive physiology. Advanced Physiology will build on fundamental knowledge acquired in BIOL 204. Laboratory exercises will be both descriptive and experimental. Alternate years. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in BIOL 204. (1 course credit).

333. Evolution. Evolution encompasses the synthesis of all of biology from molecules to ecology. In doing so, evolution addresses the fundamental paradox: the diversity of living organisms. This course offers an exploration of the processes of evolutionary change in animals, plants and microbes. Population genetics, microevolution, speciation, adaptive radiation, and macroevolution will be addressed. Also, the origin of Homosapiens will be considered. Prerequisite:  C- grade or better in BIOL 202. (1 course credit).

345. Animal Behavior. A study of the diverse and fascinating range of animal behavior. How do we explain that in various animals we can observe infanticide, competition, and polygamy, but also cooperation, altruism, and monogamy? Using an evolutionary approach, this course will examine both the proximate mechanisms and ultimate reasons that explain the great variety of animal behavior as elucidated by animal behaviorists through ingenious experimentation and patient observation. Prerequisite: Junior standing science major. Cross-listed with PSYC 345. (1 course credit).

350. Science Seminar. An introduction to the literature of the physical and biological sciences, providing the student with the opportunity to prepare and present reports. Speakers from outside the College are invited to speak each semester. May be repeated for credit. CR/NC. (0.25 course credit).

354. Molecular Biology. A course designed to explore the biology and molecular regulation of gene expression. Emphasis is placed on how gene expression is controlled in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems. Topics will include gene transfer in microorganisms and the genetic basis of cell specialization in eukaryotes. Manipulation of these processes in the laboratory will also be discussed. Alternate years. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in Biology 200 or permission of the instructor. (1 course credit).

355. Molecular Biology Laboratory. Molecular biology laboratory is the companion course to BIOL 354 and will practice concepts taught in the lecture. Basic molecular biology techniques will be employed and include the preparation of reagents, DNA isolation, plasmid manipulation and DNA transfection. Students will have the opportunity to apply current recombinant in vitro DNA technology in preparation and expression of a transgene using a prokaryotic system. Alternate years. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in Biology 200. Co-requisite: Biology 354. (0.5 course credit).

440. Research I. An individual research project chosen by the student in consultation with the biology faculty. Includes designing and executing a research project as well as keeping a detailed laboratory notebook. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in BIOL 210. (0.5 course credit).

450. Research II. A continuation of Research I. Students are expected to finish the research projects they began in BIOL 440. The main focus of this course will be analyzing and prsenting research results in poster format and in a formal scientific paper. Students will be further required to serve as mentors to their peers enrolled in Research I. Prerequisite: BIOL 440. (0.5 course credit)

*”G” courses fulfill the life science general education requirement.  BIOL 101 and 201 are recommended for non-majors.  BIOL 150 or BIOL 155 are recommended for science majors or other exceptional students with consent of the instructor.
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