is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than
we can suppose." -- J. B. S. Haldane
off-campus courses here.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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
Comparative Vertebrate Morphology. A comparative and functional study of
vertebrate anatomy from an evolutionary perspective. Alternate years.
Prerequisite: Biology 155. (1 course credit).
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).
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.
(0.25 to 1 course credit).
(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
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).
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).
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).
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).
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
years. Prerequisite: C- grade or better in BIOL 150 and BIOL 155 and junior
standing (or permission of the instructor). (1 course credit).
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).
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).
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
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).
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).
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).
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
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).
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
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.