General Biology: Cells, Populations, and Ecosystems
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Biology is the study of life on Earth. This program is intended to help students fulfill General Biology requirements necessary for advanced work in environmental studies and the natural sciences. Throughout the quarter, we will emphasize two overarching principles – evolution and the ability to recognize biological concepts around you. Evolution is the framework that links the biological sciences across scales: from individual cells, to multi-cellular organisms, up to populations and communities of interacting organisms within ecosystems. Work in the lab and field will cultivate students’ ability to recognize concepts from cell biology, genetics, functional morphology, and ecology in the world around them.
Students will learn about the diversity of life, how animals and plants work, and the evolutionary processes that have led to current patterns of species’ distributions, behavior, and physiology. These concepts will be reinforced as students engage in the field of ecology by learning how organisms interact with their physical environments, members of their own species, and members of other species, and how these interactions influence communities and ecosystems. We will gain a deeper understanding of cellular and molecular biology, genetics, biomolecules (lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids), and basic cellular and metabolic processes through a diverse set of lenses including anatomy and physiology, symbiotic relationships in organisms like coral and lichens, and wastewater treatment. Student learning will be supported through regular quizzes to assess knowledge acquisition; homework assignments, lab work, and seminars will reinforce concepts and ideas explored in lectures and readings; and two take-home exams will assess critical thinking skills in biology. This biology course is excellent preparation for students interested in taking more advanced life science programs in environmental and other natural sciences.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
biology, ecology, health sciences
Class Size: 50
Scheduled for: Day
Located in: Olympia