2015-2016 Biology Courses

BIOL 103 Human Anatomy and Lab (4)
This course focuses on the study of the structures of the human body in an integrated lecture/lab setting. The course approaches anatomy from both the microscopic and macroscopic perspectives and includes developmental and comparative aspects of each organ system. A human cadaver is used in the lab. BIOL 103 does not fulfill biology major requirements. Offered Fall semester.
BIOL 104 Human Physiology and Lab (4)
The mechanisms of human biological function are the basis of this course in an integrated lecture/lab class. Normal processes within cells, organs, and systems form the foundation for understanding disease and subsequent medical treatment. The study of physiology requires some familiarity with the basic concepts of chemistry. BIOL 104 does not fulfill biology major requirements. Prerequisite: BIOL 103 or instructors’ permission. Offered Spring semester.
BIOL 110 Environmental Biology, LE (3)
This course takes an integrated approach to understanding biological and ecological processes, natural resources, and urban and wild environments. Topics include resource management, sustainability and public policy, as well as an exploration of personal choices that influence the environment. Fieldwork and service-learning projects are an integral part of the course. Learning goals that will be emphasized in this course include the development of critical and analytical thinking skills, as well as social responsibility and ethical awareness.
BIOL 111 Clinical Microbiology and Lab (4)
This course is designed for pre-nursing and allied health majors and does not count toward the biology major or minor. The techniques and principles of microbiology, especially as they relate to human disease, are examined in this course.
BIOL 131 Human Genetics, LE (3)
This course is an exploration of the principles of inheritance and an introduction to the molecular biology that underlie them. The class focuses on classical genetics and molecular techniques as they relate to human biology, disease, evolution, and society. Lab exercises, data analysis and case studies will be integrated throughout to familiarize students with the process and methods of science and to develop critical and analytical thinking skills.
BIOL 202 Organisms and Evolution (4)
In this course, students will be exposed to the process and pattern of evolution, as it applies to animal and plant communities. An evolutionary perspective will be taken throughout, as the course underscores how the environment and biological laws shape the adaptations in diverse animal and plant groups. Classification and phylogenetics will highlight the functional and structural relationships among living organisms. Students will also explore the relationships between humans and biological diversity. Students will apply the scientific method through experimental design as well as data analysis and interpretation as it relates to the diversity of life on Earth.
BIOL 203 Introduction to Ecology (4)
This course covers evolutionary biology and ecology, with the goal of exposing you to a broad range of topics and ideas in both disciplines and as an integrated whole. We will examine how organisms interact with their environment at the individual, population, and community levels, while also looking at the current state of many important ecosystems on Earth. Additionally, we will explore the mechanisms of evolution that have resulted in the diversity of life on Earth. This course is designed to help you develop skills of science, including observation, written and oral communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving, in a collaborative environment. Pre- or co-requisite: MATH 240.
BIOL 204 Principles of Genetics (4)
Genetics, the study of inheritance, relates to all aspects of Biology since all living organisms must possess, maintain, and pass on their genetic material. Traditionally this discipline is separated into classical concepts (e.g. Mendelian) and modern concepts (e.g. Molecular). However, this division is historical and unnecessary. Our course will intentionally meld these components to build an authentic understanding of the current field. Also, since genetics is the basis of variation in biology and a source of modern technology, social issues involving diversity and bioethics are interwoven to enhance the understanding of the application of this science. Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
BIOL 205 Introduction to Cell Biology (4)
This course is an introduction to molecular and cellular biology in an integrated lecture, discussion, and lab format. Course topics include the basic synthesis, structure and processing of biological molecules, enzyme function, cellular structure, signaling, as well as cell types and differentiation. In lab, you will also learn to perform basic cell and molecular biology lab techniques, such as micro-scale measurement, microscopy, and sterile technique and learn to design experiments to test hypotheses, and collect and analyze data to test their hypotheses. Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
BIOL 221 Invertebrate Biology and Lab (4)
A systematic examination of all invertebrates and their classification. Structural characteristics, life cycles, and evolutionary relationships will be examined in the course. Prerequisites: BIOL 202, 203 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106).
BIOL 300 Special Topics (1–4)
Offered on demand during May term or in the Fall or Spring semesters. Covers special topics normally not offered in the regular biology curriculum. A maximum of four hours of BIOL 300 may be used toward the biology major or minor. Prerequisites: usually BIOL 202, 203, 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106) but may differ by offering.
BIOL 301 Comparative Anatomy and Lab (4)
An integrated lecture/lab covering the anatomic relationships of all chordates. It includes aspects of embryology and evolution as they pertain to chordates. Lamprey, shark, cat, and human anatomy are emphasized. Offered Fall semester. Prerequisites: BIOL 202, 203, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106); CHEM 111, 112.
BIOL 303 Microbiology and Lab (4)
An introduction to general and medical microbiology. Topics will include the fields of bacteriology, virology, and mycology. Special attention will be given to human pathogens and their host-parasite relationships. Immunological and other host defense systems will also be introduced in the course. Historical developments and investigators will be discussed. The laboratory portion of the course will include a research project. Prerequisites: BIOL 204, 205; CHEM 111, 112.
BIOL 304 Developmental Biology and Lab (4)
This course is a study of animal development including an introduction to the mechanisms of cell differentiation, division, embryonic patterning and organ development. Genetic control over the process of development will be examined with emphasis on signal transduction pathways, gene regulation. Errors in developmental regulation and an analysis of the evolution of development are also included in the course. Experimental methods and model systems are introduced in the course and we will use primary literature throughout. The laboratory will include research projects that are designed and carried out by the students. Prerequisites: BIOL 202, 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106, 331); CHEM 111, 112. CHEM 303 is recommended.
BIOL 306 Aquatic Biology and Lab (4)
Principles of marine and fresh water ecology are studied including taxonomic and fieldwork procedures. Prerequisite: BIOL 202, 203 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106); CHEM 111, 112. Background in physics is recommended.
BIOL 307 Comparative Physiology and Lab (4)
The general physiological processes in major groups of animals will be addressed. From the most primitive to the most complex, the physiology of animals will be studied through evolutionary and embryological approaches. Integrated lecture/lab. Pre- or co-requisites: BIOL 202, 203, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106), CHEM 111, 112.
BIOL 310 Plant Biology and Lab (4)
This is a course that deals with the biology of plants. As a survey type course, it proceeds from the microscopic cell level to the structure and function of higher plant organ systems. The evolution of diversity and classification within the plant kingdom will be covered. Ecological and soil water relationships will be discussed. Weekly lab experiences will deal with the microscopic organization of plant bodies, identification of plants, local field trips, and some practical horticulture and greenhouse experience. A functional knowledge of basic cell biology as well as lab and microscope skills will be needed. Prerequisites: BIOL 202, 203, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106); CHEM 111.
BIOL 313 Astrobiology and Lab (4)
Astrobiology is the interdisciplinary study of the origin of life on Earth and the search for life beyond our planet. Drawing on current research in disparate fields, such as planetary science and biochemistry, students will use Utah’s unique environmental features as a backdrop for engaging in discussions about conditions that push the limits of life. Students will explore topics such as life in extreme environments, life in space, and the molecular origin of life. They will participate in field trips and lab work, as well as read current primary literature in the field. Prerequisite: BIOL 203, 204 (pre-2011: BIOL 105).
BIOL 315 Principles of Paleontology (4)
This course introduces the organisms that compose the fossil record as well as the methods that paleontologists use to reconstruct the life of the past. Topics include modes of preservation, classification and the species problem, biases of the fossil record, phylogenetic reconstructions, functional morphology, paleoecology, morphometric analyses, evolutionary developmental biology, evolutionary trends, and critical intervals in the history of life. Same as ESS 315.
BIOL 321 History of Life on Earth (3)
This course examines a number of fundamental questions about the history of this planet’s biosphere. Questions include: how has the earth changed as an abode for life over the course of geologic time? How has life on earth changed over geologic time? Have there been significant interrelations between changes in the earth and changes in its biota? How can we scientifically study unique and unrepeatable events? Answers to these questions will give students a better understanding of not only the nature and history of our planet, but also of the methods used by scientists to study events in the deep past. Same as ESS 321.
BIOL 345 Environmental Science and Lab (4)
This interdisciplinary course will take an integrated approach to environmental processes and problems by drawing upon concepts from chemistry, ecology, microbiology, geology, and hydrology. Students will gain an understanding of the chemical, physical, and biological factors that control the cycling of elements, nutrients, pollutants, and energy in the biosphere (atmosphere, surface waters, ocean, soils, and sediments), and how anthropogenic activities have altered these cycles. Field and lab research methods will be covered, as will data collection and statistical analysis related to a range of topics in environmental sciences. Prerequisites: BIOL 111 or higher; CHEM 111, 112.
BIOL 350 Biochemistry and Lab (4)
A study of the chemistry of living organisms. Begins with a review of basic biology and organic chemistry as it applies to the biological systems, the structure and function of the cell, water and its importance in the biological system and energy considerations. Detailed discussions of protein chemistry, enzymology, carbohydrate structure, cellular metabolism, and lipid chemistry. Prerequisites: BIOL 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105); CHEM 304. BIOL 204 is recommended. Same as CHEM 350.
BIOL 370 Scientific Computing (4)
An introduction to programming techniques that apply to a wide range of scientific disciplines. Topics include basic programming principles, equation solving, and model simulation. Prerequisites: PHYS 211, or both PHYS 151 and MATH 201 or equivalent. Students who have completed CMPT 201 may not take this course without instructor’s approval. Same as CHEM 370 and PHYS 370.
BIOL 387 Undergraduate Teaching (1)
For teaching assistants in the biology classes. Practical experience in teaching and grading undergraduate biology courses. A maximum of two credit hours of BIOL 387 may be applied toward the major or minor. Prerequisite: consent of program chair and instructor.
BIOL 400 Advanced Topics in Biology (1–5)
Topical courses that are not currently a part of the regular curriculum. For junior and senior biology majors only.
BIOL 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
A student-initiated in-house study of some biological topic or project. A maximum of four credit hours of BIOL 401 can be credited toward the Biology major or minor. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
BIOL 402 Immunology and Lab (4)
An introduction to the complex interaction of cellular signals and events that constitute the human immune response. Humoral and cellular mechanisms of immunity, histocompatibility, hypersensitivities, cytokine signaling, and the complement system will be examined in some detail. The laboratory will introduce the elemental methods of immunology and the immunological diagnosis of diseases. Prerequisites: BIOL 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106, 331); CHEM 111, 112, 303. BIOL 303 is recommended.
BIOL 403 Cellular Neuroscience and Lab (4)
The focus of this course is molecular and cellular neurobiology, including neuronal differentiation, cell structure, function, and connectivity. We will focus on how neurons are made, communicate, and are connected into circuits. Model systems used to study neuroscience will be introduced and we will use primary literature throughout. The laboratory will include research projects that are designed and carried out by the students. Prerequisites: BIOL 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106, 331); CHEM 111, 112, 303.
BIOL 404 Ecology and Lab (4)
A discussion of the basic principals of plant and animal ecology and the processes that maintain the structure and function of ecosystems. The course examines connections between ecology and some pressing environmental problems, and includes ecological phenomena that require background understanding of chemical and physical processes. Class and lab projects involve reading of primary literature, experimental design, data analysis, and independent research. This is a senior level course that builds on other course information and skills. Prerequisites: BIOL 202, 203 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106); CHEM 112; MATH 240.
BIOL 405 Cell Biology and Lab (4)
An exploration of cell structure and function with a molecular focus, including an in-depth discussion of gene expression, the cell cycle, signaling mechanisms and neoplasia. The integrated laboratory emphasizes current techniques in molecular biology. Prerequisites: BIOL 204, 205 (pre-2011: BIOL 105, 106, 331);
CHEM 111, 112, 303, 304.
BIOL 409 Advanced Topics in Neuroscience (2)
This seminar style course examines current research at the intersection of psychology and neurobiology. A variety of topics (e.g., learning and memory, addiction) are explored across multiple levels of analysis, including molecular genetics, neurobiology, animal behavior, and human neuroimaging. Students are expected to propose novel research incorporating interdisciplinary methodology. Prerequisites: BIOL 204 (pre-2011: BIOL 105); PSYC 205, 390, or instructor permission.
BIOL 420 Senior Seminar (2)
This course is designed as a senior level capstone in the Biology curriculum. Students will develop a sense of significance of communication of data in fields of science. They will learn how to use the current databases, journals, and Internet to access scientific literature. They will also build a proficiency in writing and communication skills with regards to sharing scientific information.
BIOL 430 Undergraduate Research (1–4)
Students undertake a portion of a research project and learn all aspects of scientific inquiry. One credit hour equates to three hours per week in the laboratory. This course may be taken one credit at a time. Permission of a faculty mentor is required.
BIOL 440 Internship (1–4)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of program director and Career Center internship coordinator. A maximum of 4 hours of BIOL 440 may be applied toward the major or minor.
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