Course Descriptions

 

100 (Scie) Introduction to Environmental Science

101 Biology in Practice

112 Ecology and the Environment

150 Topics in Biology Seminar

200 Genetics

202, 203 Concepts in Biology

206, 207 Human Anatomy and Physiology

210 Microbiology of Disease

211 Women and Science

223 Horticulture (P)

240 Island Biogeography (D)

241 Natural History of Costa Rica (D)

250, 350, 450 Topics in Biology

300 Animal Development

301 Plant Development (P)

302 Plant Physiology (P)

303 Ecology

304 Medical Physiology

305 Plant Biology (P, D)

306 Microbiology (D)

307 Vertebrate Zoology (D)

308 Aquatic Ecology

309 Medicinal Plants (P)

311 Invertebrate Zoology (D)

312 Molecular Biology of the Cell

313 Genetic Analysis

314 Immunology

316 Endocrinology

317 Exercise Physiology

318 Evolution (D)

321 Electron Microscopy

392 Research Methods in Biology

401 Neurobiology

403 Biodiversity and Conservation (D)

415 Microbial Ecology

420 Developmental Genetics

428 Comparative Physiology

435 Behavioral Ecology

490 Senior Project

100 (Scie) Introduction to Environmental Science (3 credits; 3 one-hour lectures weekly) The purpose of this course is to learn about ecosystems and the effects that human activities have on them. Emphasis will be on exploration of ways to find lasting solutions to basic ecological imbalances that have accompanied the expansion and technological development of human populations throughout the world. This course satisfies one of the requirements in the Environmental Science and Policy Program. The course includes lectures, class discussions, research projects, and field trips (Scie)

101 Biology in Practice (Topic) (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures and 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) The Biology in Practice series of introductory Biology courses is designed to teach students to find, understand, and communicate scientific information, construct and test hypotheses, and make connections between science and society, in the context of a particular scientific topic. Laboratories will stress hands-on participation in topic-related experimental design and procedures. Successful completion of one of these courses will fulfill a Biology Laboratory credit. (LAB)

112 Ecology and the Environment (4 credits; 2 one-and-one-half hour lectures and 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Study of the basic principles of ecology including energy flow, nutrient cycling, population dynamics, and succession. Four major topics of concentration are ecosystems, communities, populations, and comparative ecosystems. Environmental issues are also presented within the course context. The laboratory component is either a field or laboratory investigation. Nearly all aspects of the course are taught at Pine Lake. This course satisfies one of the requirements in the Environmental Science and Policy Program. (LAB)

150 Topics in Biology Seminar discussions for non-majors in areas of biology of specific interest to the individual instructor. Taught by the staff. A student may take only one 150 topics course except as otherwise authorized by the instructor. Those courses that have a laboratory will fulfill the general College laboratory requirement.

200 Genetics (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Introduction to the science of heredity: what genes are, how they are transmitted from generation to generation, how they are expressed, and how this expression is regulated. Specific topics include the mechanics of inheritance, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, molecular cloning, genetic engineering, and population genetics. The laboratory portion is designed to introduce experimental methods used in the study of modern genetics. Prerequisites: Biol 104, 105 or Permission of the instructor. (LAB)

202, 203 Concepts in Biology: Energy; and Concepts in Biology: Information (4 credits; 4 one-hour meetings weekly) The conceptual foundations for advanced study in biology emphasizing characteristics unifying all living organisms. The central theme of evolution will be used to study organismal anatomy and physiology, development, cell structure and function, genetics, communities, and ecology. Biol 101 is a prerequisite for this course, and Biol 202 and 203 may be taken in any order. Biol 202, 203 are prerequisites for core area courses for the biology major. Alternative ways of meeting this requirement are possible with approval of the biology faculty. At least one of these courses may be replaced by a Biology Advanced Placement test score of 4 or 5, together with a grade of A in Biol 101.

206, 207 Human Anatomy and Physiology (4 credits each; 3 one-hour lectures and 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) An introductory lecture/laboratory course emphasizing the important concepts, terminology, and interrelationships of human structure and function. Introductory concepts as well as the skin and musculoskeletal and nervous systems are covered in Biol 206; Biol 207 emphasizes study of all other body systems including endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive. Biol 206 is a prerequisite for Biol 207. (LAB)

210 Microbiology of Disease (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) This course will introduce the field of microbiology and its role in human disease. Mechanisms by which microorganisms cause disease and how humans prevent and treat such diseases will be discussed. The course will focus on six core objectives: 1) classification of microorganisms into different groups, 2) growth and reproduction, 3) processes of infection, 4) host defenses, 5) identification of disease-causing microorganisms, and 6) control of microbial growth. Prerequisites: CHEM 105 or permission of the instructor. (LAB)

211 Women and Science (3 credits) In her 1992 article "Building Two Way Streets: The Case of Feminism and Science" developmental biologist and science studies scholar Anne Fausto-Sterling makes the case that scientists and scholars of women's studies can enrich their teaching and research by understanding and using each other's knowledge and methodologies. The purpose of this course is to start building two-way streets by studying both the process of science and women's roles in science. We will discuss: perspectives on the meanings of science and feminism, opportunities in and experiences of science for women, and the ways in which socially embedded understandings of gender can shape scientific theories and the practice of science. Topics will include the work of women scientists; the biological basis of sexual differentiation; social constructions in reproductive physiology; and scientific process: experimental design and interpretation of statistical analyses.

223 Horticulture (P) (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures and 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) A study of cultivated plants including studies on plant growth and development and techniques of horticulture. Laboratories will include work in the greenhouse to learn various techniques of horticulture and to conduct physiological experiments relevant to the propagation and care of plants. (LAB)

240 Island Biogeography (D) (4 credits, off-campus J-term) Biogeography is the scientific study of the patterns and causes of the distribution of organisms using a combination of ecological and evolutionary theory, geology, and geography: what species are where, and why? Islands have been the subject of important biogeographic work and have contributed substantially to existing biogeographic theory. The course covers the important elements of biogeographic theory within the context of islands using the marine and terrestrial flora and fauna of San Salvador Island. Students spend 3 weeks in residence at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador Island. (LAB)

241 Natural History of Costa Rica (D) (4 credits, off-campus J-term) The goal of this course is to introduce students to tropical biodiversity and its conservation in Central America. We will live and study at Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) biology field research stations in tropical rain forests, cloud forests, and dry forests, on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides and up in the mountains of Costa Rica, as well as at a Marine Biological Field Station at Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica's first and only absolute reserve. Most of our activity will be centered on observing and analyzing communities of organisms-population densities, feeding, movement, reproductive and other interactions-in their natural environment. The emphasis will be on vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. We will also examine invertebrates (including a vast array of beetles, butterflies, spiders, and other arthropods),including intertidal marine invertebrates, and a huge variety of plants. In addition, we will explore volcanoes, museums, national parks, and historical sites. (LAB)

250, 350, 450 Topics in Biology Lectures, seminar discussions for non-majors and majors in areas of biology of specific interest to the individual instructor. Taught by staff. An individual may take only one topics course during the year except as otherwise authorized by the instructor. Recent Topics include Thailand; Madagascar; Insects, Arachnids and Man; and Evolution for Everyone.

300 Animal Development (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures and three-hour laboratory weekly) Study of the patterns and processes of animal growth and development, from fertilization to aging and death. The topics include embryology and morphogenesis, regeneration, cell differentiation, gene expression, growth factors and morphogens, pattern formation, and the evolution of development. The laboratory portion is designed to enable students to obtain experience with living embryos, tissues and cells, and develop such skills as microsurgery, tissue culture, cytogenetics, histology, immunocytochemistry and microscopy. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

301 Plant Development (P) (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Structure of the principle plant tissues and their origins. Topics covered include the molecular genetics, embryology and development of vegetative and reproductive organs, as well as their control by hormones, light and environment. The laboratories include plant tissue culture and other procedures that emphasize the lecture material. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

302 Plant Physiology (P) (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Basic concepts of plant growth, metabolism and transport. Topics covered include the movement of water and food in plants, mineral nutrition, photosynthesis, plant hormones, photomorphogenesis, and flowering. Laboratories consist of experiments designed to emphasize lecture material. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

303 Ecology (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Study of abiotic and biotic factors controlling the distribution and abundance of organisms in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Major topics covered include physiological population, and community ecology. Laboratories are conducted in the laboratory and at Pine Lake using natural populations of animals and plants. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203 for biology majors or permission of instructor. (LAB)

304 Medical Physiology (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Study of the major physiological processes of mammalian tissues, organs and systems in animals, including the nervous system, circulation, movement, digestion, respiration, excretion, hormonal regulation and reproduction. Topics with medical applications will be discussed. Laboratory will emphasize use of a computer-interfaced physiological workstation for data collection, experimental design, data analysis and scientific report writing. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

305 Plant Biology (P, D) (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures and 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) A survey of major classical groups of the Plant Kingdom with a focus on their reproductive biology. Groups include cyanobacteria, fungi, algae, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms, and flowering plants. The structures and characteristics of flowering plants will be examined in detail, emphasizing the characteristics of the major families. Laboratories will involve microscopic and macroscopic analysis of members of the groups discussed in lecture. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

306 Microbiology (D) (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) The impact of microorganisms on our lives is broad and involves many fields, for example environmental sciences, industry, ecology, agriculture and human health. This course will introduce basic concepts of microbiology and explore how microorganisms impact our planet, inform us about basic scientific principles and cause disease. Prerequisites: BIOL 202, 203. (LAB)

307 Vertebrate Zoology (D) (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Study of evolution of adaptive diversity in form and function among living and extinct species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles (including dinosaurs), birds and mammals. Includes a survey of the local vertebrate fauna and associated ecosystems. The laboratory portion includes comparative anatomy, morphometric and functional analyses of vertebrate body designs, as well as field expeditions to Pine Lake and other nearby areas, and visits to museum collections. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203 or permission of instructor. (LAB)

308 Aquatic Ecology (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Study of the ecology of communities and ecosystems using examples drawn from the study of aquatic (freshwater and marine) habitats. Topics include community structure and diversity, species interactions, ecosystem function, and human impacts on communities and ecosystems. Laboratories are conducted mainly at the Pine Lake campus and surrounding aquatic communities. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203 for biology majors or permission of instructor. (LAB)

309 Medicinal Plants (P) (3 credits) A study of the physiology of disease states and the Native American and imported European medicinal plants used to treat the disease. Discussions include how the plant works to alleviate symptoms or the disease. Course includes three field trips for identifying medicinal plants in New York State. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203.

311 Invertebrate Zoology (D) (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures and 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Comparative study of the major groups of invertebrate animals. The course is organized around three fundamental themes: (1) functional body architecture as it relates to ecology (Bauplan or "adaptive zone"), (2) developmental patterns and life history strategies and (3) evolution and phylogenetic relationships. These three themes are used as a common thread to tie the animal phyla together in a logical and interesting way. The laboratory portion includes field trips to fresh-water ecosystems. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

312 Molecular Biology of the Cell (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) This course examines the structure/function relationships of cellular components by integrating molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology of the cell. Topics include intracellular transport, receptor function and signaling systems, cytoskeleton and extra cellular matrix, energy utilization, membrane structure, and intercellular communication. The laboratory emphasizes the current techniques used in cellular studies, including cell culture, PCR, and immunochemical techniques. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

313 Genetic Analysis (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) Advanced study of the science of heredity: what genes are, how they are transmitted from generation to generation, how they are expressed, and how this expression is regulated. Specific topics include the mechanics of inheritance, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, molecular cloning, genetic engineering, and population genetics. The laboratory portion is designed to introduce experimental methods used in the study of modern genetics. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

314 Immunology (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three hour laboratory weekly) A study of the basic processes involved in the immune response. Topics covered will include the structure and function of the immune system, cellular basis of the immune response, immunopathology, autoimmunity and the molecular genetics of the immune system. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

316 Endocrinology (3 credits; 3 one-hour lectures weekly) A study of the basic principles of endocrinology emphasizes the physiology and regulation of endocrine secretions. Neuroendocrine, reproductive, growth and metabolic aspects of endocrinology secretions are included. Examples are drawn from a wide range of animal species, including humans. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203.

317 Exercise Physiology (4 credits: 3 one-hour lectures, 1 three hour laboratory weekly) The purpose of this course is to introduce the principles of physiology that explain exercise performance and to consider how exercise demonstrates that physiological systems are dynamic and interdependent. The course considers the responses of cells, tissues, organ systems, and people to both short-term and long-term exercise and makes connections, where they are possible, between performance strategies and the biological mechanisms upon which they are based. Topics include muscle function and biomechanics, nutrition, the biochemistry of aerobic and nonaerobic metabolism, respiratory, cardiovascular and endocrine responses to exercise and training, thermoregulation and hydration for exercise, exercise in extreme environments and the role of exercise in medical therapy. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

318 Evolution (D) (3 credits; 3 one-hour lectures weekly) Study of the patterns and processes of organismal evolution. Topics include the historical development of the current theory of evolution, population genetics, molecular evolution, adaptation by natural selection, speciation and biodiversity, phylogenetic reconstruction, and the evolution of development. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203 or permission of instructor.

321 Electron Microscopy (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures and 1 four-hour laboratory weekly) The theory and practice of the preparation and examination of biological specimens by light microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, x-ray microanalysis and image analysis. Lecture will emphasize the theory behind specimen preparation, instrumentation, and interpretation of subcellular ultrastructure. In the laboratory, students will prepare specimens that they will examine and photograph with the electron microscopes. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203 or permission of the instructor. (LAB)

392 Research Methods in Biology (2 credits) Research methods preparing students for the Senior Project. Meets twice a week. Must be taken before Biol 490.

401 Neurobiology (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures and 1 three-hour laboratory weekly) An introduction to cellular and integrative neurobiology, this course offers a comprehensive overview of the anatomy, chemistry, physiology, and biophysics of the nervous system. The course begins with the study of neurons and associated cells and progresses to the examination of the ways these cells are organized into functional circuits that process information and mediate behavior. Topics include neuroanatomy, electrical properties of nerve cells, neurochemistry and synaptic mechanisms, neural systems, motor and sensory systems, learning, memory, behavior, and developmental neurobiology. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203. (LAB)

403 Biodiversity and Conservation (D) (3 credits; 3 one-hour lectures weekly) In this course, we will explore research, theory, and issues related to conservation biology, the multidisciplinary science of preserving biological diversity. We will investigate topics such as distribution patterns of biodiversity, causes of extinction, value of biodiversity, problems of small populations, habitat fragmentation, and ex situ conservation by reading the primary literature (about 40 articles in the semester). The primary objectives for this course are to gain a basic understanding of the principles of conservation biology, learn to read, evaluate, and discuss primary literature, appreciate the value of biodiversity, and become familiar with some of the research 'tools' used in this multidisciplinary science. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203 and one of the following 300- level courses: Biol 303, Biol 308, Biol 313, or Biol 318 or permission of the instructor.

415 Microbial Ecology (3 credits; 3 one-hour lectures weekly) The biotic and abiotic factors that determine the distribution and abundance of microorganisms in natural systems will be discussed in this course. Topics will include physiological limitations of growth, interspecific interactions amongst microorganisms and interactions of microorganisms with animals and plants as well as microbial contributions to biogeochemical cycles and usage of microorganisms for environmental and biotechnology purposes.  Prerequisites: Biol 303 or Biol 306 or permission of the instructor.

420 Developmental Genetics (4 credits; 3 one-hour lectures weekly; seminar format) Advanced study of current research on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control growth, development and regeneration in organisms. Topics include the control of gene expression, cell-cell interactions, the cell cycle and growth control, oncogenesis, homeobox genes and homeotic mutations, pattern formation and the role of development in evolution. Prerequisites: Biol 300 or 301, or permission of the instructor. (LAB)

428 Comparative Physiology (3 credits; 3 one-hour lectures weekly) Advanced study emphasizing a comparative physiology of animals taken from all phylogenetic levels, with an emphasis in the area of environmental adaptations. Topics covered include temperature regulation, mechanisms of salt and water exchange, circulation, mechanisms of gas exchange, metabolic and physiological responses to oxygen deficiency, regeneration, and metamorphosis. Prerequisites: Biol 202, 203.

435 Behavioral Ecology (3 credits; 3 one-hour lectures weekly) An advanced examination of animal behavior that is set in an ecological/evolutionary context. The underlying theme of the course is that behavior cannot be understood without placing an organism in its past and present environment. The subjects covered include the inheritance of behavior, feeding behavior, dispersal and migration, territoriality, the evolution of mating systems, and the evolution of complex animal societies. Prerequisites: Biol 303 or Biol 318, or permission of instructor.

490 Senior Project (Arranged individually; 4 credits: may be taken as 2 credits fall, 2 credits spring) Independent field, laboratory or library studies on selected topics in biology. Students will participate in a symposium, where study results will be presented. Before beginning the  study, departmental approval must be obtained. Prerequisite: Biol 392.