2013-14 Catalog

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Offering Description

Molecule to Organism


Fall 2013, Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Lydia McKinstry organic chemistry , Clarissa Dirks biology
Fields of Study
biochemistry, biology and chemistry
Preparatory for studies or careers in
laboratory and field biology, chemistry, education, medicine and health science.
One year of college-level general biology with laboratory and one year of college-level general chemistry with laboratory.

This program develops and interrelates concepts in experimental (laboratory and field) biology, organic chemistry and biochemistry, thus providing a foundation for students who plan to continue studies in chemistry, laboratory and field biology and medicine. Students will carry out upper-division work in biochemistry, microbiology, cellular and molecular biology, field biology and organic chemistry in a yearlong sequence. This program will also give students many of the prerequisites needed for the following health careers: medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, naturopathy, optometry and pharmacy.

The program examines the subject matter through the central idea that structure defines function, integrating a scaled theme from the "cell" to the "molecule" and "ecosystem" levels. We will start with the cell and proceed to the whole organism and ecosystem with the examination of structure-function relationships at all levels. We will examine organic chemistry, the nature of organic compounds and reactions and carry this work into biochemistry and the fundamental chemical reactions of living systems. As the year progresses, the scaled theme will continue through studies of cellular and molecular processes in biological systems.

Each aspect of the program will contain a significant laboratory component, some of which may be based on field experiments, involving extensive hands-on learning. On a weekly basis, students will be writing papers and maintaining laboratory notebooks. All laboratory work, and approximately one half of the non-lecture time will be spent working in collaborative problem solving groups. Group work will also include reading and discussion of topics of current or historical significance in science. This is an intensive program; the subjects are complex, and the sophisticated understanding we expect to develop will require students to work for many hours each week, both in and out of class.

Academic Website
Schedule and Location
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$300 in spring for overnight field trips.
Internship Possibilities
Spring, with faculty approval.
Upper Division Science Credit
Upper division science credits in biochemistry, microbiology, cellular and molecular biology, field biology and organic chemistry will be awarded to students who successfully complete all program requirements. 
May be offered again in
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 26th, 2014 Spring fee has been reduced to $300.
July 29th, 2013 Ben Simon is no longer teaching in this program.
June 5th, 2013 Fall and winter fees have been removed.
June 3rd, 2013 Spring fee has increased (from $300 to $450).
April 12th, 2013 Faculty signature is required for admission into this program.