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BIOLOGY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

A special fee is charged for all courses with laboratories.

General Education Course *
Writing Intensive Course **

Biology 101. Biological Concepts. An inquiry into the common features of life at the molecular, cellular and organismic levels including: osmosis, mitosis, meiosis, photosynthesis, respiration, cytology, classical and molecular genetics, development, evolution, and ecology. Biology majors entering prior to 1998 must make at least a C- in this course before taking advanced biology courses. 3 lecture hours and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits. *

Biology 112. Fundamentals of Botany.  An inquiry into the common features of life at the molecular, cellular, and organismic levels in plants. Emphasis on classification, metabolic processes, ecology, evolution, cell biology, and importance to society. For Liberal Studies majors or students seeking endorsement. Does not meet the requirements for a biology major or minor. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 113. Fundamentals of Zoology. An inquiry into the common features of life at the molecular, cellular, and organismic levels in animals. Emphasis on life cycles, genetics, ecology, evolution, and economics of the various phyla. For Liberal Studies majors or students seeking teaching endorsement. Does not meet the requirements for a biology major or minor. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 121. The Unity of Life. The first of a two-semester introduction to the college-level study of biology for biology and health pre-professional majors. Major topics include the molecular and cellular basis of life, energy and life, photosynthesis and cellular respiration, classical and molecular genetics, mechanisms of evolution, and classification schemes. Biology majors must make at least a C- in this course before taking advanced courses. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 122. The Diversity of Life. The second of a two-semester introduction to the college-level study of biology for biology and health pre-professional majors. Major topics include eubacteria and archaea; protists; fungi; plant structure, reproduction and development; major animal phyla; animal reproduction and development; and ecological relationships, populations, communities, and ecosystems. Biology majors must make at least a C- in this course before taking advanced courses. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 126. Essential Laboratory Techniques (CHEMISTRY 126, EARTH SCIENCE 126, PHYSICS 126). Good laboratory techniques, skills and safe practices are taught by actual practice in the laboratory. 1 credit.

Biology 202. Animal Morphology. A comparative study of embryonic development, anatomy and evolution in representative vertebrate groups. 2 lecture and two 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits. **

Biology 206, 207. Human Anatomy and Physiology. Basic physiological principles and integrated anatomy and physiology of the integumentary, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular and lymphatic systems (BIOL 206) and the skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, excretory and reproductive systems (BIOL 207). BIOL 206 is recommended as a prerequisite for 207. 3 lecture and one 2-hour laboratory periods. 4 credits each semester.

BIOLOGY 292.  Internship in Biology.  A semester-long, on-the-job learning experience designed to apply the principles of biology.  3-15 credits.

Biology 295. Special Topics in Biology. Specialized courses on a variety of topics that may be offered periodically. 1-4 credits.

Biology 300. Biostatistics and Experimental Design. This course foucses on identifying and using proper statistical analysis techniques to solve biological problems. Scientifically valid methods of experimental design will also be emphasized. Students will learn how to apply a broad range of statistical tests commonly used in Biology and other scientific disciplines, including but not limited to parametric and nonparametric analysis of variance, simple and multiple linear regression, and principal component analysis. Laboratory exercises will involve extensive use of computer software to conduct statistical analyses. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 304. Microbiology. A study of the structure, physiology and activities of micro-organisms as related to their role in nature, disease, immunological interactions, industrial processes and human affairs. Basic concepts and fundamental techniques for isolation, growth, identification and immunological reactions are stressed. 3 lecture and two 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 306. Vertebrate Physiology. The principal functional processes in vertebrate organs and organ systems including respiration, circulation, hormonal coordination, water balance, thermoregulation, nervous coordination, and responses to special environments. Prerequisites: CHEM 111 and BIOL 103 or 122. 3 lecture and one 3-hour lab periods. 4 credits. **

Biology 307. Plant Form and Function. The investigation of the relationship of morphology and anatomy to physiological processes in vascular plants. Emphasis on respiration, photosynthesis, hormonal interactions and other metabolic activities of the cells, tissues, and organs of plants. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab period. 4 credits.

BIOLOGY 310.  Diagnostic Microbiology.  A study of various human pathogens and the diseases they cause, with emphasis on host-pathogen interaction including host defense mechanisms, virulence factors, and an in-depth review of the major bacterial and viral disease agents.  The lab will focus on the use of diagnostic media and identification techniques used to identify disease agents.  Prerequisites:  BIOL 304 and CHEM 305.  3 lectures and one 3-hour lab period.  4 credits.

BIOLOGY 311, 312.  Studies Abroad.  Primarily intended for transfer of credit earned abroad in courses in biology.  1-18 credits.

Biology 321. Plant Taxonomy. The morphology, classification and systematics of the vascular plants with emphasis on family characteristics. The laboratory stresses the identification and herbarium preparation of local plants collected during weekly field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 102 or 122. 2 lecture and two 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 324. Genetics. A study of classical and modern genetics, including the mechanisms for the replication, continuation, variation of regulation and expression of genetic information. 3 lecture and one 3-hour lab periods. 4 credits. **

Biology 341. General Ecology. The principles underlying the interrelations of groups of organisms with their environments, including the population, community and ecosystem levels of organization. The lab normally includes local field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 122. 3 lecture and one 3-hour lab periods. 4 credits. **

Biology 342. Plant Ecology. The relationships of plants to their physical and biological environment with a consideration of plants in populations, communities, ecosystems and plant associations within Virginia. The lab emphasizes local field investigations and includes extended field trips to the coast and the mountains. Prerequisite: BIOL 102 or 122. 3 lecture and one 3-hour lab periods. 4 credits. **

Biology 352 (SCIENCE EDUCATION 352). Methods in Biology for Secondary Teachers. A study of the appropriate methods and materials for teaching high school biology courses. 3 lecture periods. 3 credits.

Biology 360. Terrestrial Ecology. An advanced study of ecological principles governing the operation of terrestrial ecosystems. Major topics covered include plant and animal responses to abiotic factors, species interactions, processes controlling ecosystems structure and function, and major terrestrial biomes. Research techniques and advanced statistical analysis at the population, community, and ecosystem level will also be considered. Laboratory normally includes local field trips and an extended field trip to the mountains. Prerequisite: BIOL 341. 3 lecture and one 3-hour laboratory periods. 4 credits.

Biology 361. Aquatic Ecology. A study of lakes, ponds and streams including their origin, development, morphometry, geochemistry, energy balance, productivity, and the dynamics of plant and animal communities. Laboratory includes a field trip within Virginia. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103 or 122 and a semester of Chemistry is recommended. 2 lecture and two 3-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 364. Man and the Environment. A consideration of local, national and international environmental problems. Three lecture periods. 3 credits. **

BIOLOGY 390.  Directed or Independent Study.  Must be approved by the head of the department. May be repeated as 391.  1-18 credits.

BIOLOGY 392.  Internship in Biology.  A semester-long, on-the-job learning experience designed to apply the principles of biology.  3-15 credits.

Biology 399. Evolution. A study of the basic processes of organic evolution including the historical development of evolutionary theory, sources of variation, adaptation, natural selection, speciation, the fossil record, biogeography and major steps in evolution. Prerequisites: BIOL 324, 341. 3 lecture periods. 3 credits.

Biology 400. Unifying Biological Principles. An integrative study of phenomena common to all living creatures: metabolism, homeostasis, reproduction, development, inheritance, life’s interactions and the environment through time and space. Themes are studied from the perspective of both cellular and organismic levels of complexity. Open only to junior and senior biology majors and minors. Prerequisites: BIOL 324, 341. 3 lecture periods. 3 credits. **

Biology 412 (CHEMISTRY 412). Biochemistry. A study of the chemistry of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids in biological systems. Prerequisite: CHEM 305 or permission of instructor. 3 lecture  and one 3-hour lab period. 4 credits.

Biology 425. Modern Genetics. A study of the structure and function of hereditary material at the molecular level. Topics include DNA-RNA structure and replication, protein synthesis, and homeostasis. Prerequisite: BIOL 324. 3 lecture and one 3-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 426. Cell Biology. A study of the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including plant and animal cell types. Emphasis on the structure and function of membranes, mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticula, plastids, nuclei and nucleoli. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103 or 122. 3 lecture and one 3-hour lab periods. 4 credits. **

Biology 461. Biological Seminar. Short oral presentations by students on selected, researched biological topics. May be repeated. Open to junior and senior biology majors and minors. 1 lecture period. 1 credit.

Biology 471. Ornithology. Identification, classification and morphology of birds common to Virginia. Saturday field trips. Prerequisites: BIOL 103 or 122 and permission of instructor. 3 lecture/lab periods. 2 credits.

Biology 474. Entomology. A study of insects: morphology, ecology, evolution, physiology, or taxonomy of the class or of a particular order. Prerequisites: BIOL 103 or 122 and permission of instructor. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Biology 485. The Ethics of Biology. A study of basic ethical principles coupled with student-led discussions of how these principles apply to contemporary personal and professional biological concerns. Open only to biology majors and minors. 1 credit. *

BIOLOGY 490.  Directed or Independent Study.  Must be approved by the head of the department. 1-18 credits.

Biology 492. Internship in Biology. A semester-long, on-the-job learning experience designed to apply the principles of biology. 3-15 hours.

Biology 495. Special Topics in Biology. Specialized courses on a variety of topics that may be offered  periodically. 1-4 credits.

Biology 496. Research Projects in Biology. With the approval of a faculty member and the department chair, a student may carry out an individual research project. The nature of the project must be determined between the student and faculty member and approved by the department chair before the student may register for the course. May be repeated. 1-4 credits.

Biology 498. Honors Research in Biology. Students conduct research in biology under the direction of a faculty member and the Senior Honors Research Committee. May be repeated as 499. 3 credits. **

Biology 500. Field Ornithology. A summer field course for advanced undergraduates, graduates, teachers, and naturalists. Students are expected to learn the techniques of censuring breeding bird populations in Prince Edward County and other selected sites. Identification of bird species by sight and by sound is emphasized. The course includes a study of the behavior of breeding birds, the habitat favored by each species, and ecological factors that affect the efforts of birds to perpetuate their species. 6 credits.

Biology 501. Advanced Field Ornithology. A field course for advanced undergraduates, graduates, teachers, and naturalists who have successfully completed BIOL 500. Identification of 100 birds by sight and sound is required by the end of the course. Students must formulate and execute an original research project involving birds in the field in Prince Edward or its surrounding counties; projects may be chosen from bird population studies in areas not previously censured, investigations of the decline of certain bird species, interpretations of bird song and its meanings, studies of the breeding behavior of selected bird species, or similar field research problems. Prerequisite: BIOL 500. 6 credits.

Biology 505. Field Mammalogy. An intensive summer field course for advanced undergraduates, graduates, naturalists, and teachers. An overview of the mammals of the world will be presented with a detailed emphasis on the mammals of Virginia. Students are expected to learn techniques for research in mammalogy including censuring, tracking, and museum specimen preparation. The course will also include a study of mammalian ecology, behavior, and evolution. Students will prepare a written and oral “Species Report,” and are expected to attend all field trips to different regions of  Virginia and to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. 6 credits.

Biology 541. Field Ecology. A study of ecosystems, communities, and populations for advanced undergraduates, graduates, teachers, and others interested in their natural surroundings. Students are expected to become familiar with ecological sampling techniques. Prerequisites: Courses in General Botany and General Zoology recommended. 6 credits.

Biology 543. Field Botany. A field course for advanced undergraduates, graduates, teachers and naturalists. Emphasis is placed upon the ecology and the taxonomy of local plants in their natural habitats. Daily trips are made to local biological communities where some samples are examined and collected to enhance future recognition of the plants. Identification to scientific names is included for the most common bryophytes, pteridophytes, wildflowers, shrubs and trees of the Piedmont. One or more extended field trips are made to the mountains or coast to observe distinct but somewhat different biological communities. Students are expected to attend all field trips.  6 credits.

Biology 574. Systematic Entomology.  A summer field course for advanced undergraduates, graduates, teachers and naturalists.  An introduction to the study of insects, their morphology, evolution, life histories, physiology, ecology, and taxonomy. An extensive insect collection is required. For advanced undergraduates and graduates. 6 credits.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Environmental Studies 500. Chemistry of the Environment. This course reviews chemical concepts used in environmental chemistry for both polluted and non-polluted environmental settings. The consequences of industrial activities, as well as methods and processes dictated by regulatory requirements are included. It also reviews chemical concepts and applications as they relate to the natural and man-made environment and will serve as a basis for more specialized study of the atmospheric, lithospheric, and hydrospheric processes. Hands-on work with field problems and problem solving, requiring literature searches and individual experimentation, will be a major part of the course. Two lecture and one 3-hour lab periods; 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM. 111, 121, 351 and 381.

Environmental Studies 520. Stream Processes and Landforms. This field course will examine the dynamics of rivers and landforms which result from streamflow. Watershed morphology, hydraulics and channel form will be reviewed. The human impact on fluvial systems, particularly urbanization and erosive land use, will be discussed with regard to current models of river channel changes.  Prerequisite: EASC 354. 6 credits.

Environmental Studies 550. Biostatistics and Experimental Design. This course foucses on identifying and using proper statistical analysis techniques to solve biological problems. Scientifically valid methods of experimental design will also be emphasized. Students will learn how to apply a broad range of statistical tests commonly used in Biology and other scientific disciplines, including but not limited to parametric and nonparametric analysis of variance, simple and multiple linear regression, and principal component analysis. Laboratory exercises will involve extensive use of computer software to conduct statistical analyses. Students will be required to give one oral presentation based on statistical analyses conducted in a publication from a scientific journal. A short written summary of this presentation will be required. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

Environmental Studies 564. Environmental Issues.  An in-depth study of the major environmental issues challenging modern society, including a close examination of the causes of these issues and an analysis of corrective measures that could be applied to each. Major topics addressed are population dynamics; resource use, abuse, management, and conservation; consequences of pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss and climate alteration. Emphasis is placed on establishing eccentric ethical viewpoints and developing Earth-sustainable systems. 3 credits.

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