Warren Wilson College Catalog 07-08

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Courses in Biology (BIO)

BIO 102 Field Natural History 4cr

This course covers methods and concepts facilitating the study and appreciation of natural history. Most lab sessions are in the field to investigate various ecosystems and their inhabitants. Course topics may include forest succession, edible wild plants, field ecology methods, ponds and streams, and the use of identification keys, topographic maps, and collecting equipment. Each student conducts a detailed natural history project on a topic of interest. Designed for non-science majors and does not count toward the BIO or ENS major..
Triad: Natural Science

BIO 109 Human Biology 4cr

This course considers humans as a biological species. Topics may include the place of humans in the animal kingdom, hominid evolution, human genetics, the role of natural selection in the past and present, human ecology, anatomy and physiology, and reproduction and development. Designed for non-science majors and does not count toward the BIO or ENS majors..
Triad: Natural Science

BIO 110 Genetics and Society 4cr

Recent advances in genetics are changing industry, agriculture, medicine, and our daily lives in a variety of ways. This course will cover enough basic genetics to allow students to understand how the genetic engineering of animals and plants, gene therapy in humans, and the cloning of animals (perhaps humans as well) is changing society. Some of the ethical, political, and economic issues involved with these changes will be covered as well. Designed for non-science majors and does not count towards the BIO or ENS major. Triad: Natural Science

BIO 113 Field Ornithology 2cr

Students will learn to identify (by sight and sound) most of the birds found in the Carolinas. They will use a computer tutorial program to first learn bird species, then spend most of their time in the field where they will advance their skills. They will also learn practical use and care of binoculars.

BIO 116 General Biology 4cr

This course introduces students to the fundamental properties of living things on our planet. This includes the concepts of genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, plant and animal physiology, and evolution. A survey of the diversity of life is included. The process of scientific investigation is stressed throughout the course and practiced in weekly laboratory exercises. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level biology courses and not intended for students whose major interests lie outside the sciences.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: Enrollment in CHM 105 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry or placement in or above CHM 116 General Chemistry I.

BIO 178 Introduction to Animal Science 4cr

This course focuses on the biology, husbandry, and human uses of domestic animals and will be of special interest to pre-veterinary students and to those interested in small scale animal agriculture. Topics include domestication, reproduction, basic genetics, artificial selection and breeding, animal health and disease, the husbandry (management) of major domesticated animal species, and animal welfare. Laboratory exercises and field trips will be incorporated into the schedule.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology

BIO 199 Independent Study 1-4cr

BIO 202 Ecology 4cr

Ecology is the study of interactions of organisms with one another and with the physical world. It represents one of the most synoptic disciplines because it integrates biological, chemical, physical, and mathematical concepts. In this course, the characteristics of individual species, population, communities, ecosystems, and landscapes will be examined.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisites: BIO 116 General Biology and CHM 116 General Chemistry I. CHM 116 General Chemistry I may be taken as a corequisite.

BIO 208 Cell Biology 4cr

This course provides a general overview of the cell as the fundamental unit of life. Beginning with the role of cells in determining the properties and behaviors of tissues, the course moves on to describe how the cytoskeleton, membranes, and organelles interact to generate the universal properties of life. Special emphasis is given to cell communication and protein function. Half the class time is devoted to lecture and discussion and half to laboratory exercises involving the fundamental techniques of cell study.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology

BIO 219 Plant Morphology and Anatomy 4cr

A survey of the internal and external forms of plants, fungi, and algae, with emphasis on flowering plants. Evolutionary relationships among adaptive strategies and the structures that pertain to these strategies will be emphasized. Laboratory work will familiarize students with anatomical and morphological features and provide skills useful in identification. A research paper and field trip are included.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology.

BIO 235 Vertebrate Zoology 4cr

This course provides a taxonomic and evolutionary survey of all the vertebrate groups (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) on a local and worldwide basis. Special considerations will be given to salamanders and the conservation status of each vertebrate group. Students will learn laboratory techniques and skills in field collection and identification, and participate in a biodiversity survey for vertebrates on campus.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology.

BIO 241 Invertebrate Zoology 4cr

Animals without backbones make up 98 percent of all animals of earth and include the insects and most of the salt-water phyla. Because insects make up most of the group, they will be given special consideration. Invertebrate zoology examines the identification, taxonomy, evolution, morphology, ecology, and behavior of this diverse group.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology.

BIO 290-298 Special Topics in Biology 2-4cr

In-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of Biology. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

BIO 299 Independent Study 1-4cr

BIO 318 General Ornithology 4cr

This includes lecture and laboratory/field components. Topics include bird evolution, taxonomy, flight, geography, physiology, morphology, ecology, behavior, and conservation. Students will learn to identify (by sight and sound) most of the birds found in the Carolinas. They will use a computer tutorial program to first learn bird species, then spend time in the field where they will advance their skills. They will also learn practical use and care of binoculars.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisites: BIO 116 General Biology and CHM 117 General Chemistry II

BIO 322 Genetics 4cr

This course provides a basic understanding of the nature of genes, the ways they are regulated and their patterns of inheritance. It focuses primarily on the molecular understanding of genetics, but will also introduce the ways in which genes determine an organism's form and function, as well as their role in evolution and speciation. Current molecular methods for analyzing genes are studied through their application to problems in clinical science and conservation biology. Class time is split evenly between laboratory exercises and lecture/discussion.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology and CHM 117 Chemistry II.

BIO 341 Plant Taxonomy 4cr

This course will acquaint students with aspects of modern plant taxonomy, focusing on famililes of flowering plants. Students will become familiar with characteristics of various plant taxa, and techniques and terminology needed to distinguish among them. Vegetative and reproductive morphology, floral dissections, and the use of keys will be emphasized, but current approaches, such as molecular taxonomy and phylogenetics, will be included. The history and rationale of various taxonomic approaches will be discussed, emphasizing the evolutionary relationships among taxa. A plant collection is required.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology.

BIO 345 Developmental Biology 4cr

Advanced organisms must develop organs and internal systems of immense complexity from the beginnings of a single cell. Development will be covered from gametogenesis through fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, organogenesis, germination, hatching (or birth), growth, and maturation. The special functions of mammalian fetal organ systems will also be described. The lab will include microscopy and computer simulations.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisites: BIO 116 General Biology and CHM 117 General Chemistry II; BIO 322 Genetics is strongly recommended.

BIO 347 Microbiology 4cr

This course covers the diversity of the microbial world and explores some of the ways it is studied. Organisms covered include the viruses, bacteria, protists, algae and fungi. A recurring theme is how an understanding of the microbial world challenges our metazoan biases about systematics, cell biology, biochemistry, evolution and genetics. Infectious diseases are studied as problems in evolution and ecology. Class time is split evenly between laboratory exercises and lecture/discussion.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisites: BIO 116 General Biology and CHM 117 General Chemistry II.

BIO 348 Animal Behavior 4cr

Natural selection has created diversity in a variety of animal traits that aid in survival and reproduction. The behavioral patterns and strategies used by animals are major components of these adaptations. The theoretical foundations for the evolution of behavior are presented, including such topics as foraging, defense, aggression, dominance, cooperation, altruism, courtship, parental care, and communication. Techniques used in the study of animal behavior will be presented in the lab, and the student will conduct a small scale study on a locally available animal species.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology.

BIO 351 Mammalian Physiology 4cr

Physiology is the study of essential life processes. This course will examine the function of body systems (such as the circulatory, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems), on the levels of cellular function, organ function, and whole system function. The course will use mammalian physiology as a focus, but will also draw comparisons with other vertebrates. Laboratory exercises will be used to reinforce important concepts, but no labs will cause harm to any live animals.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisites: BIO 116 General Biology and CHM 117 General Chemistry II.

BIO 377 Evolutionary Biology 4cr

Evolution is the underlying principle of biology; nothing in biology makes sense without it. A rigorous, comprehensive introduction to this vast and crucial field, this course covers the history of Darwinism, natural selection, evolutionary genetics, paleontology, processes of macroevolution, the origin of life, and human evolution.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology.

BIO 399 Independent Study 1-4cr

BIO 407 Biochemistry 4cr

The molecular logic of living things and the background necessary for understanding, at the molecular level, the life processes encountered in veterinary science, medicine, biotechnology, ecology, animal behavior, botany, etc., are explored. A detailed understanding of the structure, chemistry, function and metabolism of the major classes of biological macromolecules (proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates) are presented. An extensive study is made of enzymes and enzyme systems in bioenergetics and intermediary metabolism. Photosynthesis, nutrition, and medical applications are also reviewed. A laboratory is included.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisites: BIO 116 General Biology and CHM 225 Organic Chemistry I.

BIO 435 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 5cr

In this course we will study the functional morphology, development, and adaptations of vertebrates through a comparative approach. For each major body system, we will consider the relationship between form and function, developmental origins, and evolutionary history. In the laboratory we will examine the anatomy of selected protochordates, and conduct an in-depth dissection of the domestic cat.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology.

BIO 441 Plant Developmental Genetics 5cr

This course will provide a general overview of how information from classical and molecular plant genetics is being used to enhance our understanding of plant development and physiology. Selected developmental and physiological processes, such as signal perception and transduction, phytohormones, photomorphogenesis, cellular respiration, and assimilation of carbon and nitrogen will be studied in detail during lectures and student presentations.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: BIO 332 Genetics or permission of the instructor.

BIO 490-498 Special Topics in Biology 2-4cr

In-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of Biology. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

BIO 499 Independent Study 1-4cr