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2003-2004 CLA Catalog


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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Biology

BIOL 110 (NW) Principles of Biology (1)

Introduces principles and concepts which apply to all living organisms with special emphasis on humans and their societies, including bioethical concerns and the applications and limits of scientific method. Topics considered are: physical-chemical background, scientific theories as to the origin of life, organization from cell to organism to populations, major groups of living organisms, biological energetics, principles and environmental problems. Historical acquisition of scientific knowledge and questioning of "scientific facts" are discussed. Non-majors course. Laboratory required.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding the Natural World

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

BIOL 112 (NW) Human Heredity: Principles and Issues (1)

This course deals with aspects of genetics having special relevance to human life and human society. Topics include mechanisms of genetic transmission and expression; genetic aspects of human development, behavior, and aging; genetic counseling; genetic screening; in vitro fertilization; gene therapy; genes in the market place; the human genome project; cloning; and genetic technology and the law. Included in the course will be discussions of the moral and ethical issues associated with many of these topics. Laboratory required. Note: Credit may not be earned for both this course and BIOL 333: Gene Structure and Function.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding the Natural World; Death Cluster

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Thorsett

BIOL 125 Ecology, Evolution and Diversity (1)

An introduction to biological diversity with emphasis on the origins of diversity, the phylogenetic relationships or organisms, and the ways in which these organisms interact and function in ecological communities. Topics to be covered include the origin of life, evolutionary change, phylogeny and classification, diversity in form and function, and the adaptations and interactions of organisms within communities and populations. Lecture, discussion, field, and laboratory experience.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Craig, Kephart, Rose

BIOL 130 Cell Biology and Genetics (1)

An integrated study of cellular biology including the role of biomolecules; enzyme action; energy transformations; cellular organelles with special emphasis on the nucleus and its role in the storage and expression of genetic information at the molecular level; Mendelian genetics; multiple alleles; gene interactions; gene mapping; extra-chromosomal inheritance; and population genetics. Laboratory.

Prerequisite: CHEM 115 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Stebbins-Boaz, Thorsett, Tallman

BIOL 210 (W; NW) Biodiversity: Discovering Life (1)

An inquiry-based course that investigates the fundamental properties of living organisms and their surroundings, but focuses on the overall theme of diversity. We will explore diversity at varied organizational levels ranging from genes, molecules and single cells to entire ecosystems. The course introduces concepts of functional ecological diversity and genetic diversity and the impact of humans in the natural world. We will employ case studies that emphasize tropical biology and the interactions between indigenous cultures and natural ecosystems in tropical and temperate regions. Lectures, discussions, labs and field trips. Part of the Environmental and Indigenous clusters. This is a paired course; students must enroll concurrently in the RHET 210: Media and the Environment course. Together these courses fulfill two course credits and two writing-centered credits.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding the Natural World; Environmental Cluster; Indigenous Peoples and Cultures Cluster

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Kephart

BIOL 221 (W; NW) Microbes and Infectious Diseases (1)

An integrative study of microorganisms that cause diseases. Students will learn about how infectious agents cause disease and how hosts respond to these diseases. In both laboratory and lecture sections students will learn how to identify infectious agents, how these agents are spread and what diseases they cause.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding the Natural World; Death Cluster

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Rose

BIOL 244 Physiological Dynamics in Animals and Plants (1)

This course explores the commonalities in animal and plant physiology ranging from the roles of hormones and solute transport to exchange of respiratory gases. Lecture and laboratory activities focus attention on the integration of functional qualities from the molecular to the organ-system levels of organization. Closed to freshmen.

Prerequisite: CHEM 115 and BIOL 125 or 130.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Hawke, Tallman

BIOL 246 Human Anatomy (1)

Introduction to the structural characteristics of the human body and the interrelationships among its systems. Clinical terminology and applications are stressed. Laboratory. Closed to first-semester freshmen.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Cagle, Harmer

BIOL 250 Microbiology (1)

A study of bacteria and viruses: their structure, physiology, taxonomy, growth and reproduction. The relationship of microbes to disease: modes of pathogenicity, host defense mechanisms and immunological responses. Ecological roles of bacteria. Industrial uses of microbes. One laboratory meeting each week which deals with bacterial isolation, culturing and identification techniques, selected immunological procedures and standard water analysis.

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 or 130

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Rose

BIOL 255 General Ecology (1)

Organisms in the natural environment; plant and animal populations; the community concept; and methods of description and analysis of ecological communities. Laboratory or field trip.

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

BIOL 256 Field Zoology (1)

Laboratory and field course: methods of seeking, collecting and identifying animals. Covers taxonomic and ecological principles with application to local forms.

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

BIOL 257 Plant Ecology and Conservation (1)

A natural history-based, investigative approach to plant ecology and conservation, emphasizing the dynamic interactions of plants in relation to biotic and abiotic environments. Explores the life histories and interrelationships of plant populations within ecological communities. Includes case studies of plant adaptations and interactions within grassland, savanna, and forest habitats. Covers ecological sampling techniques and tree identification. Lecture, discussion, field, and laboratory experiences.

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Kephart

BIOL 260 Human Physiology (1)

An introduction to the functional qualities of human body design. Course focuses on body processing, metabolic processes, transport mechanisms, control of body fluids and reproduction. Laboratory.

Prerequisite: BIOL 246 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Fall/Spring
  • Instructor: Stavrianeas

BIOL 261 Biology of Plants: Form, Function and Ecology  (1)

Explores the biology of plants with respect to their anatomy and physiology and the relationship of form and function to the environment. Course will emphasize vascular plant structure and function, but will cover mosses, ferns and related plants with respect to the colonization of terrestrial environments. Labs, lecture-discussions and field trips will also highlight important evolutionary patterns, links between plants, microbes and animals and the significance of plants to humans and to the biosphere.

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 or 130 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Fall or Spring, Annually
  • Instructor: Kephart, Tallman

BIOL 262 Form, Function and Ecology of the Vertebrates (1)

Laboratory and field course with an intensive focus on writing an original scientific paper based on data collected during the class. A variety of collecting, capturing, marking, identification and recording methods are taught with an emphasis on vertebrate animals. Taxonomic and ecological principles which apply to local forms. Laboratory or field trips weekly with an expectation of additional field time outside of classes.

Prerequisite: BIOL 125

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Craig

BIOL 333 Gene Structure and Function (1)

Study of the principles of heredity in microbes, plants and animals. An integrated course in classical and molecular genetics dealing with such topics as: Mendelian genetics, mapping, gene interaction, extrachromosomal inheritance, DNA, gene action, gene regulation, mutagenesis, recombinant DNA technology. Laboratory.

Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and CHEM 115

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Thorsett

BIOL 350 (W) Molecular Genetics (1)

A study of the structure and function of genetic material at the molecular level. Topics to be discussed include: DNA, RNA, proteins and their interrelationships through the "Central Dogma" of information transfer; genetic regulation; recombinant DNA and genetic engineering; genetic screening. Special emphasis will be on the primary literature and research methods employed in this sub-discipline of biology. Laboratory.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: BIOL 333 and CHEM 225

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Thorsett

BIOL 351 (W) Animal Physiology (1)

A course designed to examine the intimate relationship between form and function from the cellular to the organismal level of organization in animals. Topics reviewed focus on how the animal body engages physiological controls to regulate such processes as salt/water levels, temperature, muscle action, hormonal release and nerve communication. Special attention is devoted to the methodology of physiology with emphasis on the primary literature. Laboratory.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 and CHEM 115

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Hawke

BIOL 352 (W) Plant Systematics and Evolution (1)

Field and laboratory course emphasizing research techniques and primary literature in plant systematics and evolution. An investigative approach to the study of plant diversity including the classification, probable relations and genetic variability of vascular and nonvascular plants. Special emphasis is placed on the Oregon flora and the relationship of plant morphology and breeding systems to habitat and distribution. Laboratory.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 required; BIOL 130 recommended

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Kephart

BIOL 353 (W) Behavioral Ecology (1)

An introduction to the principles and investigative techniques of behavioral ecology. The ecological influence and evolutionary implications of animal behavior will be investigated through field studies, laboratory exercises and computer simulations. Lectures, discussions and readings in the primary literature and research projects will introduce the student to all stages of the investigative process. Topics to be examined include: social interactions, mating systems, foraging behavior, orientation/navigation, communication and reproductive success. Laboratory.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 required; BIOL 130 and 255 recommended

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

BIOL 354 (W) Microbial Ecology (1)

An introduction to the principles and investigative techniques of Microbial Ecology. Students will study microbial processes in soil, water and in hosts to better understand the distribution and biochemistry of microorganisms in respective habitats. Each student will become familiar with the primary literature, modern laboratory techniques and the instrumentation central to this field of biological inquiry. Laboratory.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 and 130 required, BIOL 250 recommended. 

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Rose

BIOL 356 (W) Plant Physiology (1)

An introduction to the physiology of plants from the cellular level to the level of the whole plant. In addition to describing fundamental principles of plant physiology, the course will include exposure to primary literature and experimental methods of the discipline. Topics to be discussed include plant architecture; energy flow through plants; transport of water, minerals and nutrients through plants; photosynthesis, respiration and plant gas exchange with the environment; plant nutrition; stress physiology; regulation of plant growth and development by light and plant hormones; and plant reproduction. Laboratory.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: BIOL 125, 130 and CHEM 225, or consent of instructor. 

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Tallman

BIOL 358 (W) Developmental Biology (1)

A survey of mechanisms that regulate animal development. Topics include genetic and biochemical control of cell division and differentiation, cell-cell communication and cell movement. Various animal model systems will be used to illustrate these mechanisms and to highlight their many evolutionarily conserved features. The course includes lectures, readings, and discussions of relevant primary literature, maintenance of a Developmental Biology Website and independent research. Laboratory.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: BIOL 130, BIOL 125 recommended

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Stebbins-Boaz

BIOL 360 Advanced Cell Biology (1)

A description of the relationship between the ultrastructure of cells, the molecular architecture of cellular organelles and the mechanisms by which cellular structures and organelles are used to produce the energy required for cellular growth, motility and reproduction. Cellular mechanisms underlying regulation of cytosolic pH, regulation of cell volume, sensory transduction processes, and motile and motor processes in plant and animal cells. Membrane transport processes, electrical properties of excitable membranes and mechanisms of signal transduction. Laboratory. Closed to freshmen.

Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and CHEM 225, or concurrent

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Tallman

BIOL 376 Evolutionary Biology (1)

Historical review of evolutionary theories, mechanisms of speciation, macroevolution, biogeographic evidences, examples of evolutionary trends of selected groups including a review of evidences currently known to elucidate the evolutionary development of humans.

Prerequisite: Three courses in Biology or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Odd-numbered springs
  • Instructor: Staff

BIOL 440 Electron Microscopy (1)

Theory and practice of transmission electron microscopy are introduced to understand the fine structural details of cells. Preparatory techniques and the use of the electron microscope to view biological materials are emphasized. Laboratory.

Prerequisite: BIOL 125 and CHEM 116 and consent of instructor

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Hawke

BIOL 446 Embryology (1)

An investigation of the basic morphological processes involved in the ontogenetic development of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, including a presentation of physiological, genetic and biochemical evidence for the mechanisms controlling development. Laboratories.

Prerequisite: BIOL 125

  • Offering: Odd-numbered Falls
  • Instructor: Hawke

BIOL 470 Special Topics in Biology (.5 or 1)

This course is designed to allow in-depth study of topics of interest to students in biology. The flexibility of the seminar format permits a timely focus on one of a variety of newly emerging and/or significant areas relevant to biology.

Prerequisite: Three courses in biology or consent of instructor

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

BIOL 490 Independent Study (.5 or 1)

Individual programs in which a student can pursue research or study a topic not normally available in the departmental curriculum. Each program of study must have the approval of the Biology faculty. For those who require the study of a topic not offered.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

BIOL 497 Research in Biology (1)

A year-long independent research course required of all majors in Biology during their senior year. Each student will develop and complete a research project, the results of which will be included in a paper and reported orally in an open-meeting format.

Prerequisite: Four courses in Biology or Senior standing.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

BIOL 498 Perspectives in Biology (.5)

A year-long seminar course to augment the senior research component of the biology senior experience. Each student is expected to participate in small group discussion sessions, attend public talks, read common text and primary literature and prepare oral and written reports on selected topics.

Prerequisite: Senior Biology majors

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff