Biology Course Descriptions

Biology 101 - Introductory Biology

Full course for one semester each, taught by several staff members. The course furnishes an understanding of biological principles and the properties of life. Among topics considered are structure and function of plants and animals, relations of organisms to each other and to their environment, energy relations of organisms, integrative and coordinating mechanisms of organisms, cell biology principles, genetics, molecular biology, reproduction, development and growth, and the evidence for organic evolution. The laboratory work deals with the descriptive and experimental aspects of the topics covered in the lectures. Biology 101 or consent of the instructor is a prerequisite for Biology 102. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 102 - Introductory Biology

Full course for one semester each, taught by several staff members. The course furnishes an understanding of biological principles and the properties of life. Among topics considered are structure and function of plants and animals, relations of organisms to each other and to their environment, energy relations of organisms, integrative and coordinating mechanisms of organisms, cell biology principles, genetics, molecular biology, reproduction, development and growth, and the evidence for organic evolution. The laboratory work deals with the descriptive and experimental aspects of the topics covered in the lectures. Biology 101 or consent of the instructor is a prerequisite for Biology 102. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 263 - Molecular Ecology

One-half course for one semester. A survey of how molecular genetic tools are used to investigate ecological processes in natural populations of plant and animal species. Specific topics include methods for studying genetic variation at the protein and DNA levels, quantitative predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory, and application of molecular genetic markers to research questions related to natural selection, gene flow, genetic drift, and non-random mating. Conferences will be student-led and based on the primary literature. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102. Consent of the instructor is required for students who have completed related 300-level coursework. Lecture-conference.

Biology 272 - Reproductive Biology

One-half course for one semester. An introduction to the cellular, endocrine, and evolutionary aspects of reproduction in animals. Lectures will emphasize the cell biology, anatomy, and physiology of vertebrate reproductive systems and present a comparative approach to understanding sex determination. Conferences will highlight contemporary literature on topics such as in vitro fertilization, birth control, hormone imposters, and animal cloning. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102. Lecture-conference.

Biology 281 - Exercise Physiology

One-half course for one semester. This course will explore the metabolic, muscular, cardiovascular, and sensorimotor aspects of human physiology. Particular attention will be directed to the requirements for and responses to vigorous physical exercise. Prerequisite: Biology 101 or 102. Consent of the instructor is required for students who have completed more advanced work in biology. Lecture-conference.

Biology 322 - Plant Physiology

Full course for one semester. An analysis of cell biology, biochemistry, metabolism, ecophysiology, and development of plants. Lecture topics include water relations, respiration, photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, mineral nutrition, plant hormones, plant molecular biology, genetic engineering, the role of environmental signals in plant development, and the environmental physiology of Pacific Northwest forests. Lectures will be supplemented with readings in research journals. Laboratory exercises are designed to demonstrate basic research techniques as well as the principles covered in lectures. Students are required to conduct an advanced, independent project. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102 and Chemistry 101/102. Chemistry 201/202 is recommended. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 332 - Vascular Plant Diversity

Full course for one semester. A survey of vascular plants using evolutionary and ecological principles to interpret patterns of diversity in vascular plant form and function. Topics include plant species, methods of phylogenetic reconstruction, paleobotany, plant reproductive biology, and plant ecological interactions. Laboratory work will include a survey of flowering plant families with an emphasis on learning elements of the flora of the Pacific Northwest. Laboratory projects will demonstrate methods used for establishing evolutionary relationships, assessing genetic structure in natural populations, and identifying adaptive features of plant form and function, and will include independent research in the laboratory or field. Prerequisite: Biology 101/102. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 342 - Animal Behavior

Full course for one semester: This course presents an integrated approach to the study of behavior—the phenotype through which an organism interacts with, and also modifies, its environment. We will study how behavioral phenotypes are shaped by the social and physical environment and analyze how they are implemented through development by neural physiology, gene networks and individual genes. Conversely, we will study how behaviors modify the environment and thus impact the physiology and genetics of organisms as well as the evolution of species. Examples will be drawn from both laboratory and field studies using comparative molecular and behavioral approaches to identify patterns and recurring themes, which will be discussed in the context of existing theories about animal behavior. Practical (lab) sessions will cover both bench skills and field techniques that will then be applied in independent student projects. Prerequisite: Biology 101/102. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 351 - Developmental Biology

Full course for one semester. An analysis of mechanisms of early development of invertebrates and vertebrates. Emphasis is on the cellular, molecular, and genetic study of the determination of the body plan, with readings from the primary literature. The morphogenesis of selected organ systems is also presented. The laboratory emphasizes experimental work. An independent laboratory project is required. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102 and Chemistry 101/102. A course in genetics or cell biology is strongly recommended. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 356 - Genetics and Gene Regulation

Full course for one semester. The molecular biology of eukaryotes, particularly as it relates to the control of gene expression. Genome organization, packaging and perpetuation, and mechanisms of gene regulation will be treated in depth, with the focus on experimental approaches and what they reveal about the conversion of genotype to phenotype. The laboratory will emphasize molecular approaches to analysis of complex genomes and gene expression. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102 and Chemistry 101/102. Chemistry 201/202 is recommended. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 358 - Microbiology

Full course for one semester. The biology of microorganisms, including structure and function of the prokaryotic cell, metabolism, genetics interactions with host organisms, and cell-to-cell communication. Course will emphasize current areas of active research using the primary literature to illustrate key concepts discussed in lecture. Laboratory exercises emphasize interactions of bacteria with their environment and with host organisms, using classical and molecular genetic techniques to address biological problems. An advanced independent research project is required. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102, Chemistry 101/102. Recommended: one course in genetics (Biology 356 or 361). Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 361 - Genetics

Full course for one semester. Basic concepts of genetics, with emphasis on molecular genetics. Topics include DNA structure and replication; RNA structure; transcription; translation; genetic code; mutations and mutagenesis; recombinant DNA technology; genomics; genetics of cancer; principles of gene segregation; genetic analysis of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, including humans; and gene regulation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In the laboratory, students spend most of the semester on an original molecular genetics research project. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102 and Chemistry 101/102. Lecture-laboratory. Not offered 2006-07.

Biology 366 - Population Ecology and Evolution

Full course for one semester. The basic concepts of population ecology and population genetics are explored to provide an in-depth understanding of evolutionary biology and conservation biology. Topics include population growth and regulation, demography, interspecific interactions, population genetics, quantitative genetics, evolution of phenotypic plasticity, evolution of life histories, and basic molecular evolution. Examples are chosen primarily from the vertebrate literature. Laboratories emphasize the ecology of amphibian development, experimental design, and computer simulation. These skills are then put to use in both field and laboratory independent projects. The course is supplemented by field trips and video presentations. Prerequisite: Biology 101/102. One upper-division biology course is highly recommended. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 367 - Scientific Computation

Full course for one semester. See Physics 367 for description.

Physics 367 Description

Biology 372 - Cellular Biology

Full course for one semester. An in-depth study of the structure-function relationships within eukaryotic cells. The course emphasizes macromolecular organization and compartmentation of cellular activities. Lecture topics include evolution of cells, cellular reproduction, motility, signal transduction, cell-cell interactions, RNA and protein processing, energy transduction, functional specialization, cell death, and cancer. Laboratories investigate models of cellular regulation and incorporate methods that integrate morphological and biochemical techniques. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102 and Chemistry 101/102. Chemistry 201/202 is recommended. Lecture-laboratory.

Biology 381 - Animal Physiology

Full course for one semester. An intensive treatment of the cellular biochemistry and biophysics that result in the structure and integrative function of signaling pathways and the organisms that they regulate. Endocrine and neuronal regulatory interactions receive equivalent attention. Emphasis is placed on contemporary research examples to illustrate the concepts and topics discussed. The laboratory portion introduces the student to diverse techniques of modern cellular physiology. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102, Chemistry 101/102, and Chemistry 201/202, or consent of the instructor. Lecture-laboratory. Not offered 2006-07.

Biology 431 - Seminar in Biology: Contemporary Topics

One-half course for one semester. An examination of current topics and areas in biology with an emphasis on primary literature. Participants will lead group discussions and/or make oral presentations. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102, two additional units of biology with laboratory and junior or senior standing, or consent of the instructor.

Bacterial Pathogenesis. An examination of how plant, animal, and human bacterial pathogens interact with host organisms to cause disease. Topics include adhesion, colonization, invasion, subversion of host cell signaling events, toxins, evasion of the host immune response, and bacteria-to-bacteria signaling as they pertain to pathogenesis.

Biological Aspects of Climate Change. An examination of the causes and biological consequences of global climate change. Consideration will be given to underlying physiological processes involved in responding to environmental challenges resulting from both elevated CO2 concentrations and from predicted shifts in temperature and precipitation in diverse ecosystems. Offered every other year. Not offered 2006-07.

Cambrian Zoology. Origin and relationships of the animal phyla as illuminated by the structure and development of extinct and extant species. Not offered 2006-07.

Cellular Regulation. A rigorous treatment of eukaryotic cells as complex systems and of basic cellular regulatory mechanisms. Areas of emphasis include cell–cell interactions, cell cycle regulation, and signal transduction.

Chromosome Structure and Function. Investigation of elements needed for chromosome stability, in particular telomeres, using contemporary studies of telomere metabolism, regulation of telomere length, and the role telomeres play in cellular senescence and cancer.

Conservation Biology. Topics include history of biological conservation, population viability analysis, minimum viable populations, island biogeography, and the concepts of rarity and diversity. The course will also evaluate the role that a biologist can play in the conservation movement. Offered every other year. Not offered 2006-07.

Development and Evolution. An examination of the role of morphogenetic processes and mechanisms in generating new phenotypes. Topics include changes in early and late pattern formation, larval development, heterochrony, and developmental constraint. Not offered 2006-07.

Field Biology and Natural History of Amphibians. Evening field trips every other week will be taken to a variety of habitats to study the diversity and natural history of a fascinating group of animals. On alternate weeks students will lead discussions on the evolution of life history strategies in amphibians. Offered every other year.

Forest Canopy Biology. An examination of biological processes in the tops of tall trees, especially in the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. The emphasis is on the physiology and ecology of higher plants and their symbiotic relationships. Offered every other year.

Membrane–Membrane Interactions. Consideration of contemporary research on the secretory pathway and exocytosis. How do proteins destined for the cell surface get there?

Molecular Genetic Analysis of Plant Evolution. An exploration of issues of current controversy and active research in plant evolution, highlighting places where molecular techniques and data are providing new insights for classical problems in plant evolution.

Molecular Virology. Discussion of RNA viruses, focusing on genome organization, gene expression, replication, and viral–host interactions. Prerequisite: Biology 361 or 356. Not offered 2006-07.

Osteology of the Reptiles. An examination of the evolution of the reptiles as illuminated by the fossil record.

Plant Evolutionary Biology. An emphasis on such topics as empirical and theoretical issues of plant mating systems, pollination ecology, plant–herbivore interactions, agroecology, or plant-biotechnology. Not offered 2006-07.

Biology 462 - Advanced Molecular Genetics

One-half course for one semester. Focuses on current research on the molecular properties of genes and gene expression in eukaryotes. Topics include genomic and bioinformatics approaches to elucidating genome organization and gene function, epigenetic mechanisms of gene expression regulation, RNA processing mechanisms, translational recoding, nonsense-mediated decay and non-stop decay of mRNAs, and RNA interference and silencing. Prerequisites: Biology 101/102 and one of Biology 361 or 356. Lecture-discussion. Not offered 2006-07.

Biology 470 - Thesis

One-half or full course for one year.

Biology 481 - Special Topics

One-half course for one semester. Independent laboratory or library research on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. A final written report is required. Prerequisites: standing as a junior or senior biology major, and approval of instructor, department, and division.




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