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List of Courses and Brief Descriptions

100W FIRST YEAR WRITING SEMINAR IN BIOLOGY -- Ms. Case
A writing intensive course designed to fulfill the college composition requirement.  Assignments allow students to develop specific writing skills as they learn about selected topics in biology.  These skills include the ability to write prose that defines, summarizes, serializes, compares, and analyzes biological information.  Open only to first- year students. (Spring)

103 SPECIAL TOPICS IN BIOLOGY I -- Ms. McNally, Mr. Paradise
Introduction to the science of biology designed to meet science requirements of non-science majors. Course content and emphasis will vary with instructor. No laboratory. A student may receive credit for both 103 and 104 if permission is obtained from department chair. (Fall and Spring)

  • Microbes and Human Disease -- Ms. McNally
    Introduction to the science of biology through an emphasis on microscopic organisms and how they influence human health. Course will focus on how microbial diseases are acquired, diagnosed, treated and prevented. Other topics include how the immune system defends against microbial invaders and the threat of antibiotic resistance and emerging diseases. Designed for non-science majors. No laboratory.
  • Issues in Environmental Biology -- Mr. Paradise
    An introduction to the basic principles of biology with an emphasis on the effects of environmental change on organisms. Environmental effects to be examined include chemical pollution, habitat destruction, introduction of non-native species, global warming, and overpopulation. The focus will be on effects at the organismal level and above (populations and communities), but will also include effects within organisms. Environmental change will also be discussed within the context of economic, political, and social factors. No laboratory. No prerequisite. Meets core requirement for a non-laboratory science course.

104 SPECIAL TOPICS IN BIOLOGY -- Ms. McNally, Mr. Kimmel, Ms. Hay
Introduction to the science of biology designed to meet science requirements of non-science majors. Course content and emphasis will vary with instructor. One laboratory meeting per week. A student may receive credit for both 103 and 104 if permission is obtained from department chair. (Fall and Spring)

  • Human Biology -- Ms. McNally
    Introduction to the science of biology through a focus on human physiology, health, and disease. Topics include basic human physiology, nutrition, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, cancer, human development, and genetics. Designed for non-science majors. One laboratory meeting per week.
111 Molecules, Genes, and Cells -- Ms. Bernd, Ms. Hales, Mr. Campbell, Ms. Lom, Mr. Wessner
Introduction to the unifying principles of biology at the levels of organization from molecules through cells. The main topics are biochemistry and bioenergetics, cell structure and physiology, and Mendelian and molecular genetics. A laboratory meets once each week, emphasizing planning, performing, and presenting experiments. (Fall and Spring)

112 Organisms, Evolution, and Ecosystems -- Mr. Dorcas, Mr. Paradise, Ms. Peroni, Mr. Stanback
Introduction to organismal and superorganismal biology. Topics include evolution, ecology, and animal physiology. Laboratory sessions meet once a week and are comprised of investigative exercises and some animal dissections. (Fall and Spring)

301 GENETICS -- Ms. Hales, Mr. Wessner
An integrated examination of classical and molecular genetics. Topics include the physical nature of genetic material, the transmission of genetic information, patterns of inheritance, linkage and gene mapping, recombinant DNA technology, gene regulation, and the history of genetics. Special attention is paid to current issues such as gene therapy, human cloning, genetically modified crops, and DNA fingerprinting. Laboratory focuses on a semester-long project to map and clone a gene from a model organism, using both molecular and classical techniques. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112. Chemistry 115, 160 or 201 recommended. One laboratory meeting per week. Not open to First Year Students. (Fall and Spring)

302 MICROBIOLOGY -- Mr. Wessner
An introduction to the diverse world of microorganisms. Topics include the structure, metabolism, identification, and genetics of prokaryotes and viruses. Special emphasis is placed on interactions between microbes and humans, both in terms of pathogenesis and biotechnology. Laboratory focuses on isolating, identifying, and characterizing bacteria and viruses, using a series of classical and molecular techniques. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112. One laboratory meeting per week. (Not offered in 2004-05)

303 BIOCHEMISTRY -- Ms. Hay
Introduction to the principles of biochemistry. Emphasis is placed upon the structure and function of biomolecules, as well as upon metabolism and bioenergetics. Laboratory emphasizes the purification and characterization of an enzyme. Prerequisites: Biology 111, 112 and Chem 201. One laboratory meeting per week. (Fall)

304 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY -- Mr. Campbell
Focuses on molecular (recombinant DNA) methods as applied to a variety of biological questions. The course emphasizes experimental methods and design, with particular attention paid to genomic organisms. It uses primary literature for most of the semester and students participate extensively in class discussions. Laboratory involves a semester-long research project where students conduct original research using a wide range of methods such as southern and western blots, PCR, and cloning. Prerequisites: Biology 111 and 112, and one of the following: Chemistry 201, Biology 301, 302, 306, 307, 308, 309. No laboratory. (Spring)

305 MICROANATOMY OF THE VERTEBRATES (HISTOLOGY) -- Mr. Putnam
Microanatomy of the cell with particular reference to those organelles which are altered in the process of development of the four major tissues of the body (epithelial, connective, muscular and nervous tissues). Prerequisite: Biology 111. One laboratory meeting per week. (Spring)

306 DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY -- Ms. Lom
Investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate animal development covering topics such as fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, axis specification, and organogenesis via analysis of classical and modern experiments. Laboratory emphasizes direct experimental manipulations of early embryos including student-designed research projects. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112. Biology 301 or 308 recommended. One laboratory meeting per week. (Spring)

307 IMMUNOLOGY -- Mr. Campbell
Introduction to the immune system with an emphasis on mammalian models. Course focuses on the cellular and molecular level of the immune system in health and disease. Topics include recognition of antigen, development of lymphocyte repertoires, and adaptive immune responses. No laboratory. Restricted to juniors and seniors. Prerequisites: Biology 111 and 112, and one of the following: Biology 301, 302, 304, 306, 308, 309. No laboratory. (not offered 2004-2005)

308 CELL BIOLOGY -- Ms. Bernd
Examination of the multitude of coordinated interactions that must occur between sub-cellular compartments in order for a cell to function and be able to respond to its local environment. Laboratory focuses on the yeast (S. ccrevisiae) mating reaction as a model system for studying inter- and intracellular signaling. One laboratory meeting per week. Prerequisites: Biology 111 and 112. (Fall)

309 GENOMICS, PROTEOMICS AND SYSTEMS BIOLOGY -- Mr. Campbell
Students will utilize print and online resources to understand how biological information (e.g., DNA sequences, microarrays, proteomics, and clinical studies) is obtained on a genomic scale. This information will be integrated into a systems biology perspective of molecular interactions. Students will use computers, cutting-edge databases, and bioinformatics tools to analyze data and post their analyses online. A companion laboratory course is offered spring semester. Prerequisites: Biology 111,112, and one of the following courses: 301, 302, 304, 306, 308 or 310. (Fall)

311 COMPARATIVE ANATOMY -- Mr. Putnam
Major organ systems of the vertebrate body in light of major evolutionary changes from primitive Pisces to the more advanced Amphibia, Reptilia and Mammalia. Laboratory involves dissection of the shark and the cat. Prerequisite: Biology 112. One laboratory meeting per week. (Fall)

312 ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY -- Mr. Dorcas
Introduction to the physical and chemical principles governing the lives of animals with an emphasis on understanding the physiological problems animals face, how those problems vary in relation to animals' environments, and the processes by which animals solve their problems. The laboratory focuses on independent investigation. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112. One laboratory meeting per week. (Fall)

314 INVERTEBRATE BIOLOGY - LOWER GROUPS -- Mr. Grant
Functional morphology, ecology, evolution and systematics of the metazoa from the Porifera through the Mollusca. Taught as an integral part of the off-campus Biology term at the Duke University Marine Laboratory and involving extensive field work. Prerequisite: Biology 112. (Not offered in 2004-05)

315 INVERTEBRATE BIOLOGY - HIGHER GROUPS -- Mr. Paradise
Functional morphology, ecology, evolution and systematics of the metazoa from the Annelida through the invertebrate Chordata. Major emphasis in the lab work involves field trips and the making of a collection of the local insects. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112 or permission of the instructor. One laboratory meeting per week. (Not offered in 2004-05)

316 BOTANY -- Ms. Hay
Introduction to the fundamentals of plant biology. Topics include: anatomy, physiology, taxonomy and the diversity of plants. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112. One laboratory meeting per week. (Spring)

317 ENTOMOLOGY -- Mr. Paradise
Examination of the biology of insects, structured around application and investigation of issues related to interactions with humans. Topics include: medical and forensic entomology, evolutionary history, biodiversity, and systematics, urban entomology, integrated pest management, conservation, and ecology. Major emphasis in the laboratory involves the making of a collection of local insects. Prerequisites: Biology 111 and 112 or permission of the instructor. One laboratory meeting per week.

321 ECOLOGY -- Mr. Paradise, Ms. Peroni
The study of interactions between organisms and their environment, at the level of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Course includes investigative field labs and some weekend field trips. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112. One laboratory meeting per week. (Fall)

322 VERTEBRATE FIELD ZOOLOGY -- Mr. Stanback
Natural history of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds) concentrating on phylogeny, adaptations, ecology, and behavior. One laboratory meeting (usually a field trip) per week. Students must also attend two of three Saturday field trips. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112. (Spring)

323 ANIMAL BEHAVIOR -- Ms. Case
(Cross-listed Psychology 323) Introduction to principles of animal behavioral from an evolutionary perspective concentrating on the adaptive nature of social systems. Laboratories include observations of animal behavior in the laboratory and in the field, experimental design, data analysis, and modeling of social organizations. Prerequisite: Biology 111 and 112 or Psychology 101. One laboratory meeting per week. (Spring)

331 BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE -- Mr. Ramirez
(Cross-listed Psychology 313) Permission of instructor required. (Fall)

341 BIOSTATISTICS AND EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN -- Ms. Peroni
Biological research including experimental design, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, scientific writing, and the use of library resources, computer spreadsheets, and statistical software. Prerequisites: Biology 111 and 112 or permission of the instructor. Recommended for prevet students and students who plan to enroll in Bio 323, 351, 352, 371, or 372. Lecture and laboratory. (Spring)

342 EVOLUTION -- Mr. Stanback
Discussion of major processes and mechanisms, as well as trends, in plant and animal evolution. Prerequisites:Biology 111 and 112. (Fall of Even Years)

343 LABORATORY METHODS IN GENOMICS -- Mr. Campbell
Students will design and print their own DNA microarrays and then conduct research using these arrays. In this laboratory-intensive course, students will analyze their data and present their findings in oral and written formats. Research will utilize collaboration and bioinformatics tools along with cutting edge technology in the rapidly growing field of genomics.


351, 352 GROUP INVESTIGATIONS -- Staff
Series of courses introducing students to methods and techniques of biological research. Courses serve as background to student decisions for optional senior research. Permission of instructor required. (Fall and Spring)

361, 362 SEMINARS -- Staff
Group study of selected topics of biological interest. Open to juniors and seniors. Permission of instructor required. (Fall and Spring). Seminars from the recent past and near future are listed below.

371, 372 RESEARCH -- Staff
Field and/ or laboratory investigative work under the direction and supervision of a faculty member who reviews and approves the independent research project. Research will be presented at the end of the semester in the form of a scientific paper, with an additional oral presentation in some cases, eg., requirement of honors thesis, requirement for funded research. The student is encouraged to plan the research project in advance of the semester in which it is to be completed. Permission of instructor required. (Fall and Spring)

381, 382, 383, 384 COURSES IN INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL FIELD STUDIES -- Mr. Dorcas
Twelve-week four-course semester program at one of five School for Field Studies research centers. Grading is Pass-Fail. Biology 381, 382 and 383 may be counted for major credit. Permission of instructor required. (Fall and Spring)

385 TECHNIQUES IN ENVIRONMENTAL FIELD RESEARCH -- Mr. Dorcas
One-month intensive field work course for junior or senior science majors during the summer in one of five School for Field Studies locations around the world. Grading is Pass-Fail, but may be counted for major credit. Permission of instructor required. (Summer)

401 SENIOR COLLOQUIUM -- Ms. Case
The capstone course for Biology majors. Readings, and discussions drawn from the entire discipline of biology. Special emphasis on the impact of biology on society. (Fall)

School for Field Studies : Davidson College is affiliated with the School for Field Studies, enabling students to participate in a semester-long or month-long program studying environmental issues. Students must apply for acceptance to the School for Field Studies. Permission of instructor required. (Mr. Dorcas)

The semesters and summer programs concentrate on international environmental issues at one of six SFS centers: Turks and Caicos Islands; Costa Rica; Australia; Palau; Baja California, Mexico; or Kenya. Semester program students receive major credit for Biology 381, 382, 383 and course credit for 384. Summer program students receive course credit for Biology 105 or 385.

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