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Principles of Biology

Course NumberBIO 111W
Lab Hours45
Lecture Hours45
Course DescriptionIntroduces the fundamental concepts underlying biology and the relevance of these concepts to the student as a member of our global society. Includes the basic chemistry of the cell, cell structure and metabolism, molecular biology, genetics, the origin and evolution of living things, and ecological principles. Applicable as science lecture and laboratory credit for non-majors. Not appropriate for biology majors. Credit may be earned in BIO 111W or BIO 111HW but not in both. (45-45)

Outcomes and Objectives

Skill Development - The student should be able to competently communicate about biological topics.
  1. Read critically.
  2. Write to promote learning.
  3. Write to demonstrate learning.
  4. Listen actively.
  5. Speak effectively.

Skill Development - The student should be able to engage in the process of the scientific method as a means of investigation and as a way of thinking critically.
  1. Conduct laboratory experiments in small groups.
  2. Adhere to laboratory safety guidelines given by instructors and the lab manual.
  3. Make observations.
  4. Distinguish between fact and opinion.
  5. Recognize the limitations of science by asking scientifically answerable questions.
  6. Develop a testable and measurable hypothesis.
  7. Distinguish among a guess, hypothesis, and theory.
  8. Conduct experiments.
  9. Recognize the independent and dependant variables.
  10. Recognize the value of control groups an identify the controlled variables.
  11. Collect data.
  12. Analyze date.
  13. Make predictions based on evidence.
  14. Distinguish between simple correlation and cause-and-effect.
  15. Present data graphically to identify trends, patterns and their implications.
  16. Communicate effectively with others in the capacity of exchanging and evaluating ideas during the presentation of findings.

Skill Development - The student should be able to use the modern available technology used in scientific investigation.
  1. Use a microscope to view small objects.
  2. Use computers to help manage and analyze data.
  3. Use other appropriate instruments.

Skill Development - The student should be able to demonstrate the relationship of biology to other fields of knowledge.
  1. Discuss examples where biology relates to other scientific fields such as chemistry, geology, astronomy, psychology, economics, and agriculture.
  2. Discuss examples where biology relates to non-scientific fields of politics, ethics, and industry.

Skill Development - The student should be able to demonstrate literacy in the following areas of scientific information.
  1. Describe the scientific investigative process.
  2. Distinguish the difference between living and non-living things.
  3. Generalize the basic chemical and energetic principles that govern any biological system.
  4. Identify the structure and functions of cellular components.
  5. Describe ATP production I the context of respiration and photosynthesis.
  6. Summarize metabolic pathways and the role of enzymes.
  7. Describe the relatedness of transcription, translation, gene expression and regulation.
  8. Outline mitosis and describe its relationship to cancer.
  9. Outline meiosis and predict patterns of genetic inheritance.
  10. Relate population genetics, natural selection, evolution/adaptation, biodiversity, and taxonmic groupings observed in earth's natural history.
  11. Relate ecology, energy flow, chemical cycles, population dynamics, behavior and natural selection.
  12. Defend the need for environmental conservation and practices that promote ecosystem sustainability.
  13. Identify basic human anatomy and explain its function.

Skill Development - Students should develop themes as common links between broad topics within biology by demonstrating that they can
  1. Analyze and evaluate the relationship of science, technology and society.
  2. Recognize the use of energy in a variety of biological settings.
  3. Give examples of homeostasis.
  4. Give examples of biological unity within biological diversity.
  5. Describe different levels of biological organization.
  6. Identify emergent properties of biological organization.
  7. Relate biological forms to their function.
  8. Explain the impact of evolution on biological systems.
  9. Illustrate the interdependence of biological systems.
  10. Identify relevant scientific information needed to make an informed ethical decision.
  11. Point out the rapid advances currently being made in biology.

Skill Development - Students should identify how the field of biology can inform choices regarding actions and lifestyle as member of the global society by demonstrating that they can
  1. Appropriately choose between scientific and non-scientific methods of critical thinking to problem solve and investigate.
  2. Discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of biotechnology to our current society.
  3. Identify the value of genetic diversity in the human species.
  4. Discuss the theory of evolution in the context of correlating current models of earth's natural history and the tree of life; explaining current changes in the allele frequencies of populations; predicting the impact of changes in earth's current ecology on populations; and relating evolution to the belief of creationism.
  5. Predict the consequences of human impact on the environment.
  6. Make informed responsible decisions in terms of personal health issues based on the function of human organ systems, human dietary needs, and human sexuality.

Literacy Content - The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the scientific investigative process and evaluate experimental design.
  1. Identify the compenents of a well-designed experiment.
  2. Evaluate a controlled experiment.
  3. Distinguish among a guess, hypothesis, theory, cause-and-effect and simple correlation.

Literacy Content - The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of how living things differ from non-living and never living things.
  1. Identify the characteristics of living things.
  2. Differentiate living from non-living and never living.

Literacy Content - The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of basic chemical concepts that are at the foundation of biology.
  1. Describe the importance of chemical principles, organic chemistry and pH to understanding biological systems.

Literacy Content - The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of basic cellular structures and functions.
  1. Identify basic characteristics of a cell.
  2. State how prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells differ.
  3. Identify cellular structures: nucleus, nuclear membrane, mitochondria, chloroplasts, centrioles, cilia, flagella, golgi bodies, rough endoplasmic reticulum, smooth endoplasmic reticulum, cell wall, plasma membrane.
  4. Explain how information and substances are able to cross the cell membrane.
  5. Discuss the function and value of enzymes in the maintenance of living things.
  6. Identify the environmental factors which can influence enzyme activity and explain how these factors can enhance or retard an enzyme's effectiveness.
  7. Define and explain photosynthesis and cellular respiration in general terms.

Literacy Content - The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of how cells use genetic information and the implications of this information for the human community.
  1. Explain the processes of transcription and translation as they relate to the production of enzymes for maintenance of cellular function.
  2. Describe the structure function relationships of nucleic acids in the processes of transcription and translation.
  3. Describe the use of recombinant DNA procedures for the production of medicine and gene therapy.
  4. List the functions of different types of cell division.
  5. Explain what occurs during each stage of mitosis and meiosis.
  6. Identify the similarities and differences between mitosis and meiosis (I & II).
  7. Explain how cancer is caused and treated.
  8. Understand and explain the importance of haploid gametes.
  9. Understand and explain how genetic variety is generated by mutation, cross-over, segregation, independent assortment and fertilization.
  10. Explain how genetic abnormalities can arise from errors in meiosis.
  11. Use Mendel's principles of genetics to make simple predictions regarding genetic crosses of monohybrid and dihybrid crosses.
  12. Recognize that many aspects of genetics cannot be explain in purely Mendelian terms - such as lack of dominance, multiple alleles, polygenic inheritance, pleiotrophy, linkage, sex-linked genes, and environmental effects - by solving genetic problems involving these different inheritance patterns.

Literacy Content - The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of how population genetics, natural selection and evolution relate to each other.
  1. Define and distinguish among population, species, and subspecies.
  2. Provide supportive evidence that two organisms belong to the same species.
  3. Work with the principles of population genetics in terms of populations, species, subspecies, gene frequency, speciation, and isolation mechanisms such as isolation, seasonal isolation, behavioral isolation and genetic isolation.
  4. Define and explain how natural selection results in evolution.
  5. Explain how genetic variety, mutations, sexual reproduction, gene expression and excess reproduction influence natural selection.
  6. Use ecosystem interactions and niches to explain the phenomenon known as convergent evolution and divergent evolution, adaptive radiation, gradualism, and punctuated equlibrium.
  7. Identify present day primates and hominoids and theories of human evolution which is supported by scientific evidence.

Literacy Content - The student should be able to demonstate an understanding of the principles of ecology and how they relate to the human community.
  1. Describe the levels of energy and material exchange within an ecosystem with appropriate vocabulary -herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, and decomposer, producers, consumers an decomposers, trophic levels, energy of biomass, numbers and energy, producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and tertiary consumers.
  2. Construct a food chain and explain what it represents.
  3. Relate the food pyramid concept to the challenge of feeding the human population. Explain why precipitation and temperature and/or altitude can influence the type of biome existing in a given area.
  4. Identify the characteristics that vary between biomes and provide examples.
  5. Describe the process of succession.
  6. Provide an example of the introduction of an organism which has altered a food chain or food web.
  7. Define and provide examples of predator/prey, parasite/host, commensal, mutualistic and competitive organism interactions.
  8. Describe a common organism's habitat and niche.
  9. Provide an example of and explain how human intervention has altered an ecosystem.
  10. Explain how biological amplification works and provide an example of biological amplification.
  11. Describe measurable characteristics of a population that can predict and influence its future growth.
  12. Diagram and label a typical population growth curve.
  13. Define carrying capacity and identify factors that can determine carrying capacity in terms of density independent and density dependant factors.
  14. Relate the general biological principles of population growth to the human population and its history.
  15. Explain the ecological significance of several types of behavior and the ecological significance of instinct, insight, conditioned, imprinted and learned behavior.

Literacy Content - The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the health implications of human anatomy, physiology, nutrition and reproduction.
  1. Explain how the circulatory and respiratory system function together to exchange and move the components of blood.
  2. Explain how the principles of diet, basal metabolic rate and food groups related to human nutritional needs and problems.
  3. Give examples of pschological eating disorders and deficiency.
  4. Identify the sequence of parts of the human food tube and identify the organs that work in conjunction with the human food tube.
  5. State the function of the organs associated with the digestive system.
  6. Identify how muscles contract and function within the human body.
  7. Describe in general terms how the nervous and endocrine systems use different methods to send messages that coordinate the responses and functions of the human body.
  8. Explain how the presense or absence of the Y chromosome determines sex in humans and relate this to sex chromosome abnormalities and non-disfunction.
  9. Discuss the roles of hormones in the maturation process of males and females and describe their involement in sexual function as an adult.
  10. Explain the differences between the production of sperm and egg as related to the process of gametogenesis and meiosis.
  11. List the leading methods of contraception and their effectiveness in preventing births and STDs.

Literacy Content - The student will demonstrate an understanding of the tree-of-life as a scientific hypothesis accounting for the development and evolution of life on earth.
  1. Define spontaneous generation and biogenesis and describe experiments of historical significance which supported or discredited spontaneous generation and biogenesis.
  2. Explain Oparin and Haldane's hypothesis and how Stanley Miller's expriment supports his view.
  3. Explain the endosymbiotic theory.
  4. List the general sequence of the appearance of major groups of plants and animals as a response to changes in earth's environment.
  5. List the categories (from largest to smallest) used in the science of biological classification.
  6. Classify organisms into correct kingdoms based on cellular characteristics.
  7. Correctly write the scientific name of an organism.
  8. List and describe four forms of evidence used by scientists to develop evolutionary histories and classify organisms.
  9. List five kingdoms.
  10. Describe the structure and reproductive-cycle of a virus as well as why viruses, prions and viroids are not considered to be living.
  11. Define microorganisms an identify major groupings of microbes.
  12. List harmful and beneficial effects of bacteria as well as their major taxonomic characteristics.
  13. List harmful and beneficial effects of protests as well as their major taxonomic characteristics.
  14. List harmful and beneficial effects of fungi.
  15. Identify taxanomic characteristcs of plants.
  16. Identify taxanomic characteristics of animals.
  17. Provide examples of how animals respond to and interact with other organisms and how they respond to the physical environment.

The student will be able to:
  1. Perform writing tasks to promote learning.
  2. Demonstrate the learning of concepts through writing.

Perform writing tasks to promote learning.

    Demonstrate the learning of concepts through writing.

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