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Biology Course Descriptions

BI100 TOPICS IN BIOLOGY (4). A study of some of the areas of biology most relevant to today’s students, such as ecology, reproduction, genetics, or evolution. (Intended for general education.) May be repeated when topics vary and/or may be international if so designated according to topic. [Skill: T] 

BI102 HUMAN BIOLOGY (4). A survey of how the human body functions. Stresses those aspects which will be useful in the students’ personal lives: nutrition, genetics and reproduction, and disease prevention. Laboratory. [Skill: T] 

BI130 FIRST YEAR SEMINAR IN BIOLOGY (1).Biology is a discipline with a wide breadth, from molecular biology to ecosystems ecology, with an array of career choices. Different disciplines, particularly for those careers that require professional school or post-undergraduate studies, vary in the specific undergraduate education they require. This course enables a student to explore different career paths in the biological sciences and to determine what courses will best prepare them to meet their educational goals. The course also introduces the student to time management and study skills. Finally, the course introduces students to reading and analyzing biological research. 

BI131G-NS HUMAN NUTRITION (4). Studies the basic principles of nutrition and their application to good health. Applied topics include physical activity, pregnancy, age-related changes, weight control and other contemporary issues. Laboratory. [Skill: T]

BI230 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES I (4). This course examines the relationship between cellular, organelle and molecular structure to the basic activities that all living things undertake. It includes basic biochemistry, membrane and organelle structure and function, cellular reproduction, enzymes and metabolism and the central dogma. Students learn about the nature of science by undertaking open-ended research projects using modern investigative laboratory techniques, by reading and analyzing the work of other scientists, and by preparing both written and oral presentations of their project findings. Laboratory.

BI231 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES II (4). This course is a comparative study of the major anatomical structures and physiological processes of living organisms. Basic taxonomy and major life cycles are covered, as well as how organisms solve problems of fluid transport, gas exchange, excretion of waste, water/salt balance, nutrition, communication and movement. The course also focuses on the study of evolutionary processes and the interaction of organisms with each other and with their environment. Topics include natural selection, speciation, behavior, dynamics of populations, species interactions, ecosystem and global dynamics, and conservation biology. Laboratory. [Skill: Q]

BI330G-NS ANIMAL DIVERSITY (4). An overview of the biological diversity of animals and protozoa at the Kingdom, Phylum, Class and Order levels. An examination of anatomical and genomic criteria and techniques used to construct phylogenetic trees. Review of the evolutionary mechanisms that give rise to diversity. Examination of the current state, past history and future prospects of biological diversity on Earth. Examination of current concepts in the conservation of biological diversity. Intended for majors and general education. Laboratory. [Skill: O] Prerequisite: BI231.

BI333 PLANT BIOLOGY (4). Structure, function, taxonomy, and ecology of plants. Topics include photosynthesis, reproduction, hormones, nutrition, water relations, evolution, and identification. Laboratory. [Skill: O] Prerequisites: BI230 and BI231.

BI336 EVOLUTION (4). The one unifying theory of biology is the theory of evolution by natural selection. Topics include natural selection speciation, biogeography, population genetics, character evolution, and macroevolution. Laboratory. [Skill: Q] Prerequisite: BI230 and BI231.

BI338 VERTEBRATE ANATOMY (4). Laboratory sections and lecture presentations are combined to study the comparative anatomy of vertebrates and their invertebrate chordate relatives. Evolutionary trends in development, structure and function are studied to understand the various adaptations vertebrates have made to fit their environment. Laboratory. [Skill: W] Prerequisite: BI231.

BI340 ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY (4). A comparative study of physiologic systems in all animals, emphasizing vertebrate species. Laboratory. [Skill: T] Prerequisite: BI231.

BI343 MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY (4). A survey of the microbial world including: microbial growth, metabolism, molecular biology and genetics; medical, food and water microbiology; and microbial taxonomy. Also includes the vertebrate immune system and other defense mechanisms. Inquiry based laboratory activities enhance students’ ability to ask and answer scientific questions. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BI230.

BI346 GENETICS (4). A study of formal and molecular genetics. Topics include Mendelian genetics, epistatic systems, viral and bacterial genetics, DNA structure, gene mapping, transcription, translation, gene structure and regulation and eukaryotic genome structure. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BI230.  

BI349 PARASITOLOGY (4). A survey of the anatomy, life cycles, modes of infection and effects on hosts of selected animal and protistan parasites. Emphasis is placed on parasites of medical and veterinary importance. Laboratory activities include methods for diagnosis of parasitic infections and projects to reinforce elements of proper experimental design. Laboratory. [Skill: W] Prerequisite: BI231.

BI350 ADVANCED TOPICS FOR BIOLOGY MAJORS (4). The advanced study of some of the areas of biology, such as ecology, physiology, pharmacology, and health science nor offered as regular courses in the biology curriculum. May be repeated when topics vary. Prerequisites: BI230 and BI231. 

BI352 BIOETHICS (4). An examination of ethical systems and forms of argumentation as they bear upon case studies in bioethics and medicine. Dominant ethical theories will be studied and critiqued. Reasoning at the levels of principles, rules, and particular judgments will be distinguished. Case Studies in clinical, legal, policy issues will be explored. [Skill: T].

BI380 RESEARCH PARTICIPATION (2). Student participation in a research project which is either part of a faculty member’s ongoing research or of the student’s own design. May be taken four times for credit. Taught Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

BI431 BIOCHEMISTRY (4). The molecular properties and biological significance of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids and polysaccharides are studied. A detailed study of enzyme activity, metabolic pathways and bioenergetics is considered. Study of eukaryotic cell structure and function is undertaken along with an in-depth study of translation. Laboratory includes research projects to study DNA using PCR. Student presentations on the major topics develop professional communication skills. Laboratory. Prerequisites: BI230 and CH231. 

BI434 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (4). Basic concepts of the central dogma will be studied. Gene expression in eukaryotes, regulation at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels will also be emphasized. Cancer and developmental biology will be used as the focus for understanding concepts. The laboratory will focus on basic molecular techniques including nucleic acid isolation, gel electrophoresis, cloning techniques, Southern and Western techniques, and PCR techniques. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BI230.

BI493 BIOLOGY RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (4). Students find, read, interpret and analyze primary scientific literature in the context of a research project. Readings will vary based on the student’s research question. Research questions may be student-initiated or directed by a member of the Biology faculty. Students will design and conduct one or more small scale experiments related to the research question and present the data and conclusions in one or more industry-standard presentation formats. Laboratory. Prerequisites: BI230, BI231, Biology major or minor and Junior or senior standing.

BI494 BIOLOGY RESEARCH PRACTICUM (2 -4 ). Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a Biology faculty mentor. The project may be an extension of a research project initiated in BI493, Biology Research Experience. Students study appropriate background literature, design and conduct experiments, analyze data and present data and conclusions in one or more industry-standard presentation formats. Prerequisites: BI493 Biology Research Experience and permission of instructor

 

Environmental Studies

ES101G-NS ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (4). This course examines the interaction of humans and the environment, within the context of key ecological and evolutionary principles. Topics include conservation, ecotoxicology, agriculture, climate change, natural resource use, environmental ethics, environmental policy and sustainability. Intended for general education. Laboratory. [Skill: T]

ES332 ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGY (4). This course covers physiological, population, community and ecosystem ecology with a focus on methods of field study and conservation biology. Application of ecological and evolutionary principles to real-world environmental issues. Topics include nutrient cycling, biomes, population dynamics, species interaction, restoration and landscape ecology. The course will also investigate the social, economic, and political aspects of applied ecology. Laboratory. [Skill: Q] Prerequisites: BI230 and BI231. 

ES350 ADVANCED TOPICS IN FIELD BIOLOGY (4). This course contains an extensive field component. Lectures at Wilmington College will be followed by a one to two week field experience at biological field stations. Prerequisites: BI230 and BI231.

ES493 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (4). Students find, read, interpret and analyze primary scientific literature in the context of a research project. Readings will vary based on the student’s research question. Research questions may be student-initiated or directed by a member of the Biology faculty. Students will design and conduct one or more small scale experiments related to the research question and present the data and conclusions in one or more industry-standard presentation formats. Laboratory. Prerequisites: BI230, BI231, Junior or senior standing and a Biology major or minor.

ES494 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE RESEARCH PRACTICUM (2-4). Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a Biology faculty mentor. The project may be an extension of a research project initiated in ES493, Environmental Science Research Experience. Students study appropriate background literature, design and conduct experiments, analyze data and present data and conclusions in one or more industry-standard presentation formats. Prerequisites: ES493 and permission of instructor.

 

Health Science

HS231 MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY (4). This course is designed for those students who intend to pursue careers in medicine, nursing, dentistry, microbiology, pharmacy, physical therapy, athletic training and medical technology. This course will teach the prefixes, suffixes and combining forms necessary to form proper medical terminology. It will include the rules for proper medical term formation, pronunciation, spelling, and definition of basic terms and abbreviations used in medical records. It will also include learning common pharmaceutical and anatomical terms and terms related to symptoms, diagnosis, surgeries, therapies and diagnostic tests. Prerequisites: Sophomore, junior or senior standing and Biology or Athletic Training major.

HS344 HUMAN ANATOMY (4). This course primarily studies the anatomy of the human body with an introduction to function. It is intended for those planning a career in the health sciences. Topics include basic cell structure, organization of tissues, organs and systems, and detailed gross anatomy of each of the major organ systems. Laboratories center on identification of structures and their parts. Laboratory. [Skill: I] Prerequisites: BI102, BI131G-NS, BI231 or AT130.

HS345 HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY (4). This course primarily studies the physiology of the human body. It is intended for those planning a career in the health sciences. Topics include basic cell function, the mechanisms of function for each of the organ systems and their integrated function within the organism. Homoestatic mechanisms are systems stressed. Laboratories utilize computer simulations as well as hands on, minimally invasive physiologic activities. Laboratory. [Skill: T] Prerequisite: HS344.

HS493 HEALTH SCIENCE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (4). Students find, read, interpret and analyze primary scientific literature in the context of a research project. Readings will vary based on the student’s research question. Research questions may be student- initiated or directed by a member of the Biology faculty. Students will design and conduct one or more small scale experiments related to the research question and present the data and conclusions in one or more industry-standard presentation formats. Laboratory. [Skill: W] Prerequisites: BI230, BI231, Junior or senior standing and a Biology major or minor.

HS494 HEALTH SCIENCE RESEARCH PRACTICUM (2 -4). Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a Biology faculty mentor. The project may be an extension of a research project initiated in HS493, Environmental Science Research Experience. Students study appropriate background literature, design and conduct experiments, analyze data and present data and conclusions in one or more industry-standard presentation formats. Prerequisites: HS493 and permission of instructor.