Academics: Courses in Biology
- 111 Biological Science
- (4). F, S and SS. This course is a study of the biological concepts of ecology, genetics, and evolution and their contribution to an understanding of the nature of living systems within the framework of a biblical worldview. An emphasis is placed on the application of these concepts to some important contemporary issues, such as environmental stewardship and genetic engineering. Laboratory.
- 112 Life Science for Elementary School Teachers
- (4). F and S. This course is designed for students in the elementary education program. In this course students use life science concepts in an inquiry-based approach to build a biological knowledge base that is appropriate to the elementary school classroom. The course covers topics in life sciences that are recommended as teaching objectives in elementary education. These include activities studying cells, classification of living organisms, reproduction and heredity, evolution, and how life forms coexist interdependently within ecosystems. Throughout the course a perspective of respect for God’s creation and Christian stewardship of the creation is presented as the purpose for investigating and learning to understand life on earth. Laboratory.
- 115 Human Biology
- (4). F, S and SS. This is a study of the major theories of biology as applied to humans. The student is introduced to the concepts of cell, genetics, ecology, and evolution through the study of the anatomy, physiology, and development of the human body and health. Students apply these concepts to contemporary issues in human biology, society, and the environment. The laboratory utilizes methods of biological investigation, with an emphasis on human anatomy and physiology. Laboratory. Also listed as Health 115.
- The following interdisciplinary course may be included in concentrations in this department:IDIS 210 History of Science
- 123 The Living World: Concepts and Connections
- (4). F and S. Students construct comprehensive understandings of the living world, interconnecting foundational principles about genes, cells, physiology, ecology, and evolution to each other and to contemporary scientific, societal, ethical, and religious issues. Biology is taught in this course as it is practiced, as a process of creative and critical inquiry. Contemporary problems set the context for laboratory activities, studies, and discussions that facilitate investigating, thinking, and applying. Three two-hour sessions weekly. Corequisite or prerequisite: CHEM 103.
- 141 Cell Biology and Genetics
- (4). F and S. This course presents the structures, functions, and evolution of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells at the molecular, sub cellular, and cellular level. Fundamental concepts of genetics are studied including Mendelian genetics and molecular genetics. The course introduces basic historical, philosophical, and biblical frameworks for the study of biology. Applications of course concepts to contemporary issues in biology are considered. The laboratory consists of investigations in molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics. Lectures and laboratories.Corequisite or prerequisite: CHEM 103 or CHEM 115, or equivalent.
- 205 Human Anatomy
- (4). F, S, and SS. A study of the structure of human organ systems, including some developmental anatomy and histology. The laboratory will emphasize human anatomy and will include dissection of a cat as a representative mammal and some study of histology. Lectures and laboratories.
- 206 Human Physiology
- (4). F, S, and S. An introduction to the physiology of the human being. Functions of the major organ systems are studied, including the circulatory, respiratory, excretory, musculoskeletal, nervous, reproductive, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. The laboratory introduces basic physiological techniques in an investigative setting. Prerequisites: BIOL 141 (or BIOL 224) or BIOL 205, CHEM 104, CHEM 115, or equivalent.
- 207 Medical Microbiology
- (4). F and S. A study of microorganisms and their activities as they relate to human health and disease. Topics include significant events in the current and past history of microbial disease, as well as the classification, structure, metabolism and genetics/genomics of microbes. These topics will be discussed in the context of how they contribute to a beneficial symbiotic relationship between microbes and humans as well as how they are a factor in pathogenicity. Diseases due to bacteria and viruses are emphasized, however human fungal, protozoal and multicellular eukaryotic diseases are also discussed. Three hours of lecture and two two-hour laboratory sessions per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 141 (or BIOL 224) or BIOL 205, CHEM 104, CHEM 115, or equivalent.
- 224 Cellular and Genetic Systems
- (4). S. A presentation of the basic concepts in cellular and molecular biology and genetics. Topics Include: structure and function of cells and macromolecules; energy and metabolism; cell division and regulation; DNA replication, transcription and translation; genetics; control of gene expression; and cellular mechanisms of development.. Students develop critical thinking skills by applying these concepts to biological problems and practice basic scientific communication skills. Laboratories make use of state-of-the-art methodologies to address interesting questions about cellular and genetic functions, thereby giving students insights into the practice of contemporary cellular and molecular biology research. Lectures and laboratories. Prerequisites: BIOL 123, CHEM 103. MATH 143 must be taken concurrently with either BIOL 224 or BIOL 225
- 225 Ecological and Evolutionary Systems
- (4). F. The basic concepts in ecological and evolutionary biology, and their use to gain insights into adaptive physiological functions. Topics include: population genetics and ecology, evolutionary development and speciation, phylogenetics and genomics, adaptive biology, ecosystem dynamics, and biodiversity. Students develop critical thinking skills by applying those concepts to solve biological problems and practice basic scientific communication skills. Laboratories make use of state-of-the-art methodologies to address interesting questions about organisms as complex adaptive systems, thereby giving students insights into the practice of contemporary ecological, evolutionary, and organismal biology research. Lectures and laboratories.
Prerequisites: BIOL 123, CHEM 103. MATH 143 must be taken concurrently with either BIOL 224 or BIOL 225.
- 243 Plant Biology
- (4). F. An introduction to plant biology that includes a consideration of the structure, function, and development of plants as organisms, a consideration of the relationships of plants to each other and the other organisms in a study of selected communities within biomes, and consideration of basic ecosystem approaches, and topics in the diversity of algae, fungi, and plants. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 141.
- 250 Research Design and Methodology
- (4). F and S. A combination of field, greenhouse and laboratory studies designed to familiarize students with research at both the cellular and ecological levels of organization. Emphasis will be on framing research questions, experimental design and data interpretation with reference to the published literature, and on the presentation and communication of scientific data. Under faculty direction student teams will develop their own research projects and present the results of their work in written and oral reports. Social, ethical and religious implications of the results of research will be explored. Three two-hour sessions per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 and BIOL 225, MATH 143. Corequisite: Concurrent enrollment in BIOL 295 is required.
- 290 Directed Research
- (1-3). F, I, and S. The student enrolling in this course will be involved in laboratory or library research on a project currently being studied by one or more staff members. Application forms are available from the department office and admission will be determined by the chair and the faculty member directing the project.
- 295 Biology Seminar.
- F and S. No credit. Various topics in biology and related disciplines are presented by visiting speakers, faculty, and students. Biology and biotechnology majors must register for two semesters of BIOL 295 ideally during the junior and senior year. Freshman and sophomore students are also encouraged to attend. Majors intending to graduate with honors must register for three semesters of BIOL 295.
- 311-S Field Botany
- (4). SS. Taxonomy and ecology of vascular plants as components of natural communities. On site examination of plants in bogs, dunes, marshes, meadows, forests, and swamps. Assigned readings, field trips, and laboratory. Offered as a summer course at AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies located near Mancelona, Michigan. Prerequisite: BIOL 225, or an introductory botany course.
- 313 Paleontology
- (4). S, alternate years. A study of the organisms that once lived on the Earth. Includes an examination of the processes of fossilization and methods of discovering the structure, habitat, and relationship of those organisms, and a review of their distribution and life history. A broad spectrum of organisms is studied with emphasis on invertebrate animals. Laboratory, field trip. Also listed as GEOL 313. Prerequisite: GEOL 152 or BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141) and BIOL 225.
- 321 Genetics and Development
- (4). F. A study of modern concepts of the gene and the analysis of progressive acquisition of specialized structures and functions by organisms and their components. The laboratory includes study of genetic and developmental phenomena of selected organisms. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 and CHEM 115 and CHEM 253, (or CHEM 261 and CHEM 262).
- 323 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
- (4). S. A comparative study of vertebrate structure and of the functional significance of these structural variations. Lectures and laboratory. Credit cannot be applied toward a biology major for both BIOL 205 and BIOL 323. Prerequisite: BIOL 225.
- 324 Molecular Biology
- (4). S. A study of photosynthesis, biosynthesis of macromolecular precursors, the chemistry of the storage, transmission, and expression of genetic information, biochemical dimensions of selected physiological processes, and philosophical and ethical issues related to biochemistry and molecular biology. Lectures and laboratory (BIOL 383). Also listed as CHEM 324. Prerequisite: CHEM 323.
- 325 Biotechnology
- (4). S. A study of basic and advanced methodologies, current applications, and contemporary Issues In biotechnology. Theoretical and practical aspects of DNA cloning, recombination, transformation, blotting, genomics, and proteomics are taught within the context of medical, agricultural, environmental, legal, and Industrial applications. Reading assignments and discussions explore Christian and secular perspectives of biotechnology regulation, patenting, and other social concerns. Laboratory exercises facilitate development of basic lab skills (maintenance of notebooks, routine calculations, preparation of reagents and materials, and safety). Lectures and laboratories. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141), CHEM 253 or CHEM 261.
- 331 Comparative Animal Physiology
- (4). S. A study of animal physiology using a cellular and comparative approach. Topics include membrane transport, nerve function, sensory mechanisms, muscle contraction, hormone action, ion and osmotic regulation, temperature relations, metabolism and circulation. Lectures and laboratory. Credit cannot be applied toward a biology major for both BIOL 206 and BIOL 331. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141), or BIOL 205; CHEM 253 (or CHEM 261 and CHEM 262).
- 332 Plant Physiology
- (4). S, alternate years. A study of the structure and function of plants and their responses to environmental factors in a variety of ecological contexts. Course topics include water relations of plants, mineral nutrition and the soil environment, photosynthesis and respiration, nitrogen metabolism, as well as the growth and development process. Plant responses will be evaluated to environmental factors such as air temperature, water availability, light quantity and quality, carbon dioxide concentration, and to a variety of human interactions such as ecological restoration and agricultural food production. Laboratories will be largely investigative, using a variety of physiological instruments to evaluate plant productivity in greenhouse, growth chamber, and field environments. Lectures and laboratories. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141) and BIOL 225; CHEM 253 (or CHEM 261 and CHEM 262).
Not offered in 2009-2010.
- 333 Immunology and Hematology
- (4). S. A study of immunology including the components and functions of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Immunodysfunction, immunologic diseases, and abnormalities of the hematologic systems also are considered. Hematologic concepts and practices are addressed in laboratory sessions. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 206 or BIOL 225, and CHEM 253 (or CHEM 261 and CHEM 262).
- 334 Cell and Tissue Culture
- (4). F. A study of the biology, methodology, and applications of in vitro cultures of animal cells. This course explores the theoretical bases for the in vitro isolation, maintenance, propagation and identification of living cells as well as practical experience with common cell and tissue culture techniques. Topics include laboratory safety and equipment; primary and established cell lines; anchorage dependence; the biology of cultured cells; cell culture environments; contamination; cell harvesting and separation; cell transformation, differentiation, cloning, genetic engineering, and stem cells. Lectures and laboratories. Prerequisites: BIOL 224, CHEM 253 (or CHEM 261 and CHEM 262).
- 335 Cell Physiology
- (4). F, alternate years. A study of the function of animal cells with emphasis on events occurring outside the nucleus. Major emphases include the structure of the cell membrane, functions and interrelationships of membrane transporters and ion channels, synthesis of proteins and targeting of vesicles through the secretory pathway, structure and function of cell surface receptors and their interactions with intracellular signaling pathways, mechanisms of cell motility, and interactions of cells with the extracellular matrix. Concepts will be discussed in the context of historical development, examination of experimental evidence and relationship to the function of tissues and organs. Lectures, problem-based discussions of the primary literature, laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141) and BIOL 225; CHEM 253 (or CHEM 261 and CHEM 262).
- 336 General Microbiology
- (4). F. A study of the structure and function of microorganisms, including a consideration of their role in food production and spoilage, biogeochemical cycles and environmental quality, and as tools in genetic engineering. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141) and CHEM 253 (or CHEM 261 and CHEM 262).
- 338 Animal Behavior
- (4). S, alternate years. Why do birds sing and bees dance? Why do ravens yell and hyenas laugh? Why are prairie dogs promiscuous and macaws monogamous? This course explores the diverse – and sometimes bizarre – strategies and mechanisms that animals use to solve the same basic problems of life: getting food, avoiding predators, finding mates, raising offspring, and living in groups. Learning activities will focus on understanding animal behavior from ecological and evolutionary perspectives and will include lectures, class discussions of scientific papers, behavioral observations, and an independent research project. Prerequisites: BIOL 225.
Not offered in 2009-2010.
- 341 Entomology
- (4). F, alternate years. Why are insects the most abundant and diverse animals on earth? What’s the difference between a dragonfly and a horse fly? What can fleas, mosquitoes, and lice teach us about human health and disease? Why are insects our friends and our foes? This course explores the bizarre biology of insects and particularly their interaction with humans. Learning activities will focus on understanding entomology from an ecological and evolutionary perspective and will include lectures, class discussions of scientific papers, laboratories exercises on insect morphology and classification, and an independent research project. Prerequisite: BIOL 225.
- 344 Vertebrate Biology
- (4). S, alternate years. Study of the ecology and evolution of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141) and BIOL 225
- 345 Ecosystem Ecology and Management
- (4). F. The lives of human beings and countless other creatures are sustained by the goods and services resulting from the proper functioning of earth’s ecosystems. As the human population places increasing pressure on these systems, the need for their careful stewardship and management grows. This course provides a detailed study of ecosystem structure and function, with special emphasis on local ecosystems, and the scientific basis for managing and restoring ecosystems. Specific topics include energy flow and nutrient cycling, biodiversity and endangered species management, conservation genetics, population dynamics, landscape ecology, and human dimensions of ecosystem management. Lectures, laboratories, case studies, and field investigations. Lectures and laboratories. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141) and BIOL 225.
- 346 Plant Taxonomy
- (4). F, alternate years. Identification, nomenclature, and classification of vascular plants. Emphasis will be placed on the practical use of keys to identify plants in a variety of natural environments, including forests, meadows, and wetlands. Relationships among phyla, families, and species will be explored, particularly in relation to their roles within the ecosystem types where they typically are located. Lectures, laboratories, and field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 224 (or BIOL 141) and BIOL 225.
Not offered in 2009-2010.
- 364 Global Health, Environment, and Sustainability
- (3). F. Global health and food matters are best understood within their biological, ecological, and socio-economic contexts. This course explores how processes in these contexts contribute to health and disease, especially as they pertain to international and community development. Globalization presents opportunities and challenges for health and food security and for ecosystem integrity. Development models that enhance these by strengthening humanenvironment interconnectedness, using responsible technologies, and developing just policies are upheld as exemplars. Prerequisite: Living World core
- 383 Laboratory in Biochemistry
- (1). F and S. A laboratory course designed to teach students modern biochemical separation and analytical techniques. Included in this course are the following topics: Exclusion, ion-exchange, affinity, and high performance liquid chromatography, agarose gel and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, ultracentrifugation, ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, enzyme kinetics, and recombinant DNA techniques. Students will be required to carry out individual projects involving the purification and analysis of a biological macromolecule from cells or tissue. Also listed as CHEM 383. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 323.
- 354 Investigations
- 359 Seminar in Secondary Teaching of Biology
- (3). S. A course in perspectives on, principles of, and practices in the teaching of biology on the secondary level. This course should be taken concurrently with Education 346. The seminar provides a forum for the discussion of concerns that develop during directed teaching. This course is part of the professional education program and may not be included in the major or minor in biology.
- 385 Internship in Biology
- (0-4). F, I, S, and SS. This course is an off-campus internship that emphasizes professional application of the concepts and principles learned as part of a Biology program. A student has responsibilities in a private firm, office, laboratory, a not-for-profit organization, or a government agency. The intern works on a specific project under the direct supervision of an employer-supervisor and a faculty internship coordinator. The intern will meet with the faculty coordinator, will maintain a journal, and must present an oral or written report summarizing the internship experience. The off-campus employer-supervisor will complete an evaluation report on the work of the intern. With faculty approval, this course may satisfy the investigations requirement in the biology major or biotechnology minor. Only one course among BIOL 385, BIOL 390, or BIOL 399 may be used to satisfy the requirements for the biology major or biotechnology minor. Prerequisites: At least sophomore standing in Biology, a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, an average GPA of 2.0 or better in all credited science and mathematics courses, and approval by both the department and the offcampus employer.
- 390 Independent Study
- (1-4). F, I, S, and SS. This course provides the opportunity for a student to conduct library research, or under the direction of a faculty member, to study a subject not currently offered in the biology curriculum. Permission to enroll must be obtained from the department chair and the faculty member directing the project. Requirements will be determined by the supervising faculty member. Only one course among BIOL 390 or BIOL 399 may be used to satisfy the requirements of the biology major.
- 399 Undergraduate Research
- (3-4). F, I, S, and SS. Students enrolling in this course will conduct laboratory or field research under the supervision of a faculty member. The project may be part of an ongoing research program of the supervising faculty member. A written thesis on the project will be required, as well as presentation of a poster or seminar to the department. Permission to enroll must be obtained from the department chair and the faculty member directing the project, and with their permission, this course may fulfill the requirement for an Investigations course in the biology major. Only four credit hours of BIOL 390 or BIOL 399 course may be used to satisfy the requirements of the biology major. Prerequisites: BIOL 224 and BIOL 225.
- 394 Perspectives in Biotechnology
- (3). F or S. What do Christian perspectives contribute to the myriad of controversies pertaining to biotechnology? Using current literature and evaluating underlying assumptions as well as their social, ethical, and legal implications, we attempt to find appropriate answers to questions about transgenic organisms, stem cells, cloning, patenting. Environmental implications of biotechnology also are considered. Student mastery of biological communication is assessed through written and oral presentations. To aid the department's curricular assessments, completion of the Biology Major Field Test also is required. Prerequisites: senior status in a biologically-oriented program or permission of the instructor, Biblical Foundations I or Theological Foundations I, Developing a Christian Mind, and Philosophical Foundations.
Not offered in 2009-2010.
- 395 Perspectives in Biology
- (3). F. How do conceptual and technological innovations, worldviews, and the inherent limitations of the scientific enterprise affect the way that biology develops? By studying current literature, students examine how Christian and secular perspectives inform the big challenges of our time: environmental sustainability, evolutionary science, as well as biofuels and other uses of biotechnology. Student mastery of biological communication is assessed through written and oral presentations. To aid the department's curricular assessments, completion of the Biology Major Field Test also is required. Prerequisites: senior status in a biologically-oriented program or permission of the instructor, Biblical Foundations I or Theological Foundations I, Developing a Christian Mind, and Philosophical Foundations.
- 396 Perspectives in Medicine
- (3). S. How do historical and philosophical perspectives affect the science and practice of medicine, particularly the methodology, results, and implications of current medical research? By studying the medical literature students explore societal and ethical issues in medicine, from the status of embryos to end-of-life questions. Student mastery of biological communication is assessed through written and oral presentations. To aid the department's curricular assessments, completion of the Biology Major Field Test also is required. Prerequisites: senior status in a biologically-oriented program or permission of the instructor, Biblical Foundations I or Theological Foundations I, Developing a Christian Mind, and Philosophical Foundations.