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Biology - Spring 2014

BIOLOGY 104N – Biology on the Big Screen
4 semester hours
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, genetic modification, 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. Movie viewings outside of scheduled class times will be required.

 

BIOLOGY 104N – Human Genetics
4 semester hours
Shifley, Emily

In this course we will explore what genes are and how genetic information is copied, modified, and passed onto offspring.  We will discover how genes act during normal development and human physiology and compare this with instances of disease such as birth defects and cancers.  Additionally, we will discuss emerging technologies such as reproductive, gene, and stem cell therapies and their implications for human health.

 

BIOLOGY 124N:  Biomedicine, Germ Theory and Health Care Systems
4 semester hours
Goodman Margaret

Prerequisites:  NONE
The practice of medicine is shaped by a multiplicity of factors, ranging from the underlying physiology and the biological causes of disease through the cultural and political influences on the health care system. The primary focus of the course will be biological, learning about the physiology of the body. From this grounding in human physiology we will explore our current understanding of how the body functions in health and disease, and then examine how this understanding influences the practice of medicine. We will delve into the history of medicine, including excerpts from Hippocrates, Galen and Vesalius, again considering how concepts of health and disease shape the practice of medicine. Finally, we will consider the health care systems in the US and Germany, building from our emphasis on physiology and cultural influences on both how medicine is practiced and how different cultures define wellness and disease. 

 

BIOLOGY 132B – Herpetology
(4 credits)
Gribbins, Kevin

Open to all students
We will study the unique anatomy, physiology, natural history, and evolution of reptiles and amphibians. Lectures will start with a taxonomic introduction to the reptiles of the world, focusing mainly on those of the United States and particularly those found in Ohio. We will continue with discussions of the evolution and adaptations that have enabled reptiles to make the transition to land and fill their specific terrestrial niches. Our course includes a weekly field experience in which students travel to parks and reserves around the Springfield area. We will collect and photograph central Ohio amphibians and reptiles and will then research the specimens so as to produce presentations on their natural history, taxonomy, habitat/collecting site, evolution, and unique features.

  

BIOLOGY 133B – Introduction to Ornithology
(5 credits)
Ritzenthaler, John                                                              

Open to all students
This course focuses on the biology, ecology, and identification of birds and their habitats. The semester will follow a lecture-laboratory format with several field trips exploring the anatomy and physiology of birds, their ecological interactions within specific environments, and identification skills to understand the common birds of Ohio. Evaluation is based on quizzes, a project, two lecture exams, and a final exam. There are no required prerequisites.

 

BIOLOGY 180B - Concepts of Biology
5 semester hours
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 220 – Neurobiology
5 semester hours
Pederson, Cathy

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180 or Psychology 120
This course introduces students 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.

 

BIOLOGY 233 - Ornithology
(5 credits)
Ritzenthaler, John

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
Students will investigate the biology, ecology, and identification of birds.  We will combine lecture, laboratory, and field experiences to understand taxonomy, structure, behavior, and identification by sight and song.  The 400-plus species of birds recorded in Ohio will serve as our basis for our study of the incredible diversity of birds throughout the world.  Several weekend field trips as well as early morning bird walks are required.

 

BIOLOGY 237 - Microbiology
5 semester hours
Yoder, Jay

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

 

BIOLOGY 250 – Behavioral Ecology
5 semester hours
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 semester hours
Collier, Matthew
Pederson, Cathy

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 258B - Extended Field Studies - Ecology
1 semester hour
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.  This trip will take place from Friday March 21st (12:30 pm) to Tuesday, March 25th (11 pm) and requires a $25 fee for food.

BIOLOGY 258B - Extended Field Studies – Winter Tracking
1 semester hour
Phillips, Richard

Prerequisite:  Must have taken BIOL 170 and 180.  Instructor permission required.
Many suggest the mere act of observing something influences it.  Although many technical solutions have been suggested by wildlife ecologists, one of the most efficient means of assessing an animal's interaction with its environment is through winter tracking.  Based from the Biology department’s Wakeley Lake property in Michigan’s Huron National Forest, we will learn to identify animals based on their tracks.   Both as a class and individually, we will record our observations and determine important winter habitat features as indicated by the tracks left by various mammals of the northern forests.  We will also discuss possible issues associated with inferences we make based on tracking.  The trip will take place from Friday, February the 13th (12 pm) through Sunday, February 16th (11pm).  Should weather force cancellation of the prior date, alternative dates are Friday, February 20th through Sunday, February 23rd.  The trip requires a $40 fee for housing and food.

 

BIOLOGY 312 - The Cell
5 semester hours
Shifley, Emily

Prerequisites:  Biology 170, 180 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 324 - Animal Physiology    
5 semester hours
Gribbins, Kevin

Prerequisites:  Biology 170, 180, and Chemistry 162
This course focuses on the function of the tissues, organs, and organ systems of multicellular organisms.  We will survey membrane function, respiration, circulation, digestion, locomotion, osmoregulation, excretion, nervous function, endocrine function, and reproduction.  The topics covered will be placed in an evolutionary and ecological framework and will focus on how different animals adapt and survive within their specialized niches.

 

BIOLOGY 326 – Human Anatomy and Physiology II
4 semester hours
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 semester hour laboratory course offered separately in conjunction with this course (Biology 327). Offered every year.

 

BIOLOGY 327 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory  
1 semester hour
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 346 – Ecology
5 semester hours
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 semester hours
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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