Biology Courses

BIO 112 Insects, Humans, and the Environment

4 hours

A study of relationships among insects, humans, and the environment. Using insects as a model, biological concepts such as evolution, form and function, genetics, development, natural history, biodiversity, and conservation will be covered. Includes a presentation of why insects are so successful, giving attention to their behavior and ecological roles in nature, impacts on human society as causes of famines, plagues, and epidemics, and importance in human cultures. Laboratory includes field trips and an investigative approach to learning insect biology. No prerequisite. (NWL)

BIO 115 Human Anatomy

4 hours

A basic gross anatomy course including dissection of the cat with reference and comparison made to human organ systems. For nonbiology majors. Lectures and laboratory. No prerequisite. (NWL)

BIO 116 Introduction to Human Physiology

4 hours

A survey of physiological systems and principles with specific reference to the human body. This course is intended for nonbiology majors. Lectures and labs. Prerequisite: BIO 115 (may be taken concurrently with BIO 116) or BIO 152 or PE 261. (NWL)

BIO 139, 239, 339, 439 Special Topics

Credit arr.

BIO 140 Introduction to Ecology of the Southwest

4 hours

Field study of the ecology of the arid Southwest, with a focus on adaptations of organisms to arid conditions and understanding the challenges of setting environmental policy. Course activities include hiking in the deserts, mountains, and riparian areas of Arizona; daily readings and discussions; a paper exploring the ethical dimensions of environmental policy; and a research project that may be qualitative. Students who earn credit for BIO 140 may not earn credit for BIO 240. Fufills Paideia 450 when students with junior or senior standing enroll in POLS 258 in the following term. Offered alternate years during January Term. (NWL)

BIO 149 Introduction to Winter Biology

4 hours

A field study of the natural history of the southern boreal forest ecosystem in northern Minnesota, including the physiological and behavioral adaptations of organisms to extreme cold. Course activities include skiing and snowshoeing excursions in remote natural areas, assigned readings, observations of natural history, and research projects. Students who earn credit for BIO 149 may not earn credit for BIO 249. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or higher. (NWL)

BIO 151 Principles of Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity

4 hours

An exploration of the diversity of life, its origins, and interactions among organisms and their environment. We introduce key concepts in evolution and ecology, provide an overview of the features of major taxonomic groups and their evolutionary relationships, and explore some of the practical and ethical implications of biodiversity. Through laboratory and field investigations, students develop their ability to make observations, analyze data, read primary literature, and communicate results. Designed as an introduction to biology; required for the biology major and minor. No prerequisite. (NWL)

BIO 152 Principles of Biology: Molecules, Cells, and Genes

4 hours

Cells serve as the building blocks of all biological systems, so understanding cellular biology is critical to comprehension of life systems. This course examines the structural and chemical composition of cells; processes related to cellular metabolism and homeostatic control; and genetic concepts related to protein formation, genetic replication and patterns of inheritance. Laboratory methods reinforce concepts and increase students' ability to design experiments, analyze data, and communicate results in written form. Designed as an introduction to biology; required for the biology major and minor. No prerequisite. (NWL)

BIO 185 First-Year Seminar

4 hours

A variety of seminars for first-year students offered each January Term.

BIO 195 Biology of Race and Sex

4 hours

This course will introduce students to basic concepts of inheritance and expression of genotypes into phenotypes, using the inheritance of sex and race-associated traits as case studies. These complex traits are useful examples of the influence of individual genes, genomes, and the physical environment on phenotypes. Prerequisite: junior/senior standing, or consent of instructor. Not intended for biology majors. (Same as WGST 195) (NWNL)

BIO 231 Microscopy

2 hours

An introduction to the theoretical and technical aspects of light and electron microscopy and digital imaging as tools for scientific study. Demonstrations supplement lectures with no formal laboratory. This first-seven-week course offered each fall is designed to provide a broad overview of microscopy theory and technique while giving students an introduction to the available on-campus instrumentation. A full semester companion laboratory, BIO 232, is open to students enrolled in BIO 231. Prerequisite: BIO 151 or 152, or permission of instructor.

BIO 232 Microscopy Laboratory

2 hours

Students will develop a short-term project using at least one type of light or electron microscopy studied in Biology 231, including transmission and scanning electron microscopy as well as scanning laser confocal microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, and various forms of enhanced contrast techniques. This course will also focus on specimen preparation as well as microscope operation and project design. Projects will likely support current research by biology faculty and will require a poster or oral presentation. Laboratory only with supplemental specimen preparation lectures. Co-requisite: BIO 231.

BIO 240 Ecology of the Southwest

4 hours

Field study of the ecology of the arid Southwest, with a focus on adaptations of organisms to arid conditions and understanding the challenges of setting environmental policy. Course activities include hiking in the deserts, mountains, and riparian areas of Arizona; daily readings and discussions; a paper exploring the ethical dimensions of environmental policy; and a research project including statistical analysis of data. Students who earn credit for BIO 240 may not earn credit for BIO 140. Fufills Paideia 450 when students with junior or senior standing enroll in POLS 258 in the following term. Offered alternate years during January Term. Prerequisite: BIO 151. (NWL)

BIO 241 Radioisotopes in Science

2 hours

This seminar introduces the chemistry, physics, and biology of radioisotope use in research and in diagnostics. Laboratory safety, monitoring, and waste disposal will be included. This course does not fulfill the lab science requirement. Usually offered alternate years. Prerequisites: BIO 152, or CHEM 152 or CHEM 201, or PHYS 152.

BIO 242 Animal Behavior

4 hours

An examination of the proximate and ultimate causes of behavior in animals. Topics include the development, control mechanisms, evolution, and ecology of behavior. In addition to lectures, this course includes films and behavioral studies of animals. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152.

BIO 243 Microbiology

4 hours

A basic introduction to the study of microorganisms and the principles of immunology and virology. Laboratory includes the study of basic cell processes and the identification and culturing of typical forms. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 151, and 152 or BIO 115 and 116.

BIO 245 Ecology of Ecuador

4 hours

An introduction to the ecology, evolution, and natural history of the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest and Galapagos Islands, and the customs and culture of Ecuador. The class will spend time in Quito, the Amazon rainforest, and the Galapagos archipelago. Offered on an irregular basis. Prerequisite: BIO 151 and consent of instructor. (Intcl)

BIO 246 Ornithology

2 hours

An introduction to the biology and diversity of birds. Structure, function, classification, behavior, and ecology are covered. Laboratory emphasizes field identification of local species. Lectures and laboratory/field trips. Meets the second half of spring semester. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152.

BIO 247 Subtropical and Marine Biology

4 hours

An introduction to the ecology and taxonomy of coral reef, tide pool, tidal creek, high and low energy beach, hypersaline lake, mangrove, and upland organisms and ecosystems. In addition to field excursions, students develop and carry out independent research projects. Consent of instructor required. Usually offered every other year. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152.

BIO 248 Genetics

4 hours

A study of Mendelian genetics, gene structure, mechanisms of gene expression, mutagenesis, evolutionary genetics, and genomics. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152.

BIO 249 Winter Biology

4 hours

A field study of the natural history of the southern boreal forest ecosystem in northern Minnesota, including the physiological and behavioral adaptations of organisms to extreme cold. Course activities include skiing and snowshoeing excursions in remote natural areas, assigned readings, observations of natural history, and research projects. Students who earn credit for BIO 249 may not earn credit for BIO 149. Prerequisite: BIO 151 or 152.

BIO 251 Entomology

4 hours

An introduction to the biology and diversity of insects, particularly the life histories, form and function, ecology, and behavior of various insect groups found in various habitats. Students interested in developing field biology skills should take this course during their sophomore or junior year. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152. (W)

BIO 252 Botany

4 hours

A study of the anatomy, physiology, ecology, and evolution of the major groups of plants with an emphasis on field identification of seed plants. Lectures and laboratory. Students interested in developing field biology skills should take this course during their sophomore or junior year. Laboratory includes field trips requiring hiking. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152.

BIO 253 Invertebrate Zoology

4 hours

A study of the morphology, physiology, taxonomy, and ecology of the major phyla of invertebrate animals from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environments. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152. (W)

BIO 255 Human Physiology

4 hours

An in-depth exploration of physiological systems in the human body, beginning at the cellular level and proceeding to physiological systems and their role in homeostatic control. Students may not earn credit for both BIO 255 and BIO 262. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152.

BIO 256 Biostatistics

4 hours

This course considers the application of statistical inference to the life sciences; numerous examples will be taken from the health sciences and environmental sciences. Emphasis will be on hypothesis testing and the importance of experimental design. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 151. (Quant)

BIO 258 Vertebrate Natural History

4 hours

A study of the classification, natural history, and distribution of the vertebrates. Laboratory emphasizes identification and field study of species typical of this geographical area. Lectures stress principles of vertebrate biology. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152. (W)

BIO 261 Developmental Biology

4 hours

A study of gametogenesis, fertilization, organogenesis, and the formation of the body. Both organismal and molecular aspects of these processes will be discussed, ending with a discussion of organ formation, especially the limb, the eye, and gonadal development. Questions such as how sperm and egg interact to create a new organism and how a single cell gives rise to the diverse group of cells that make up the adult body are central to this course. Laboratory will include observation of and experimentation with invertebrate and vertebrate systems. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152.

BIO 262 Environmental Animal Physiology

4 hours

This course will examine the homeostatic control mechanisms of organ systems across species lines. Additionally, the course will focus on the molecular, cellular, and systems adaptations that allow animals to live in particular environments. Lectures and laboratory. Students may not earn credit for both BIO 262 and BIO 255. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152. (W)

BIO 285/295 Directed Study

2, 4 hours

An opportunity to pursue individualized or experiential learning with a faculty member, at the sophomore level or above, either within or outside the major. BIO 285 can be taken only during January Term, BIO 295 can be taken during the fall, spring, or summer terms.

BIO 301 Human Dissection and Anatomy

4 hours

An in-depth gross anatomy course that includes dissection of a human cadaver. Skeletal, muscular, nervous, digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, and urogenital systems will be covered. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, or BIO 243, and junior or senior standing.

BIO 303 Bioethics

2 hours

This course will explore various ethical issues embedded in biomedical and environmental topics. Students will be introduced to fundamental ethical principles from which ethical positions are derived. Graded credit/no credit. Prerequisites: 8 hours in biology at the 200-level or above, junior or senior standing, or permission of instructor.

BIO 354 Evolutionary Biology

4 hours

An exploration of current questions in evolutionary biology through lecture, lab, and discussion of the primary literature. Topics include the role of natural selection and drift in human evolution; inferring the origins of new diseases; the effects of genomic conflict on speciation; and the challenges that hybridization poses to understanding the tree of life. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, 248. (W)

BIO 356 Genomics

4 hours

This course will introduce students to the principles of genome science and the application of genomic data in ecology and evolution, medicine, and agriculture. We will explore topics such as high-throughput sequencing technologies, genome projects, genome structure and function, genome expression and the transcriptome, proteomics, and evolution and genomic change. We will also discuss the social impacts and ethical implications of the increased use of genomic data. Students will gain hands-on experience with some of the popular tools and databases available for bioinformatic analysis. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, 248.

BIO 357 Immunology

4 hours

This course examines how the cells and molecules of the human immune system develop and how they work together in providing defenses against invading microorganisms. A portion of the course will emphasize reading, evaluation, and presentation of primary and secondary immunological literature. A nonlab course. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and BIO 243 or 248 or 255.

BIO 358 Toxicology

4 hours

This course covers the principles of toxicology, the study of poisons. Topics include molecular and cellular sites of toxicant action, physiological effects of toxicants in mammalian systems and ecological systems, and the application of toxicology to public health and policy. Central toxicology concepts such as dose-response, mixtures, gene-environment interaction, and endocrine/reproductive toxicity will be explored in the laboratory culminating in student-designed research projects and scientific papers. Lectures and laboratory. It is recommended that students have completed CHEM 152 or CHEM 201 before enrolling in this course. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and BIO 255 or BIO 262 or CHEM 241. (W)

BIO 359 Virology

4 hours

Examination of both general and specific aspects of viruses, including structure, replication, infection strategies, host response and associated disease. Students will read primary literature in conjuction with research of a specific virus, and will present their findings both in formal papers and as oral presentations. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and BIO 243 or 248. (W)

BIO 362 Neuroscience

4 hours

The course explores the means by which neurons function and how they form circuitry related to sensory input, motor control, and higher cognitive functions. A second component of the course is devoted to the role of primary literature within the field of neuroscience, including how hypotheses are formulated, tested, and the results conveyed to the scientific community. A nonlab course. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, 255.

BIO 363 Molecular Biology

4 hours

This course examines molecular functions, gene expression, and regulation from an evolutionary perspective emphasizing structure-function relationships. Laboratory emphasis. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, 248. (W)

BIO 364 Cell Biology

4 hours

A study of the biochemical and structural basis of cell activity. Close attention is given to protein structure and function as well as organelle activity. The laboratory stresses the use of biochemical and cytological techniques to study living systems at the cellular and molecular levels of organization. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and at least one 200-level biology course. (W)

BIO 365 Ecology

4 hours

A study of the complex patterns and processes in the natural world. We examine questions about the distribution and abundance of species and communities, the transfer of matter and energy in ecosystems, and how these relate to biodiversity. Lectures and laboratory. Laboratory includes field trips requiring hiking and directed research projects. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and at least one 200-level biology course. (W)

BIO 367 Endocrinology

4 hours

This course will emphasize the role of hormones in maintaining homeostatis. We will examine the chemical messengers most relevant to human biology, and explore the structure, sites of synthesis and the mechanisms by which hormones exert their effects. Finally, through laboratory exercises, students will directly utilize current research methodologies to examine the role of hormones in physiologic control systems. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and BIO 255 or 262. (W)

BIO 375 Directed Readings

1–2 hours

Prerequisite: BIO 151, 152, 4 additional hours in biology, and consent of the instructor.

BIO 380 Internship

1–2 hours

Registration in the following internships only by permission of the biology department and the cooperating institution. At least 40 interning hours are required for one credit, in a minimum of one 3-hour block of time per week during the semester. To earn study away credit during J-term, the internship must be full time for a minimum of three weeks. Students keep a journal and submit reflective essays and an academic paper to earn credit. BIO 380 credits do NOT apply toward the major. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, 12 hours in biology, and/or consent of instructor.

A. Environmental biology internship. A work-study program in soils, conservation, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, or outdoor education. Field work to be completed in cooperation with conservation agencies, zoos, nature centers, and other environmental agencies.

B. Health career internship. A work-study program in the various health professions in cooperation with area health care delivery institutions.

C. Research internship. A work-study program at a major research institution or in an industrial setting. This would usually include participation in a specific research project.

BIO 389 Directed Research

1, 2, or 4 hours

Directed research involves students in research projects conducted under the supervision of department faculty. Encouraged for those students with expectations of graduate study. With the approval of the department, students may register for more than one semester (cumulative total may not exceed four credit hours). Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, 12 hours in biology, and consent of instructor.

BIO 395 Independent Study

1, 2, or 4 hours

Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, 12 hours in the department, and consent of instructor.

BIO 475 Year of Professional Study: Medical Technology

32 hours

Additional information concerning medical technology, including catalog descriptions of specific courses taken during the off-campus professional year of study, is available from M. Kaehler, coordinator for medical technology. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and consent of instructor.

BIO 476 Year of Professional Study: Cytotechnology

32 hours

Additional information concerning cytotechnology, including catalog descriptions of specific courses taken during the off-campus professional year of study, is available from M. Kaehler, coordinator for cytotechnology. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and consent of instructor.

BIO 477 Year of Professional Study: Nuclear Medicine Technology

34 hours

Additional information concerning nuclear medicine, including catalog descriptions of specific courses taken during the off-campus professional year of study, is available from M. Kaehler, coordinator for nuclear medicine technology. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and consent of instructor.

BIO 485 Seminar

Credit arr.

Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152.

BIO 490 Senior Project

1, 2, or 4 hours

Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and senior standing.

BIO 493 Senior Honors Project

2 or 4 hours

A yearlong independent research project. Applications are completed on the Honors Program form available at the registrar's office, requiring the signatures of a faculty supervisor, the department head, the honors program director, and the registrar. Interdisciplinary projects require the signatures of two faculty supervisors. The project must be completed by the due date for senior projects. The completed project is evaluated by a review committee consisting of the faculty supervisor, another faculty member from the major department, and a faculty member from outside the major department. All projects must be presented publicly. Only projects awarded an "A-" or "A" qualify for "department honors" designation. The honors project fulfills the all-college senior project requirement. Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152, and consent of instructor. (R)