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Course Descriptions

BIO 404/504  Cr.3

Plant Taxonomy

Collection, identification, classification, and evolution of the vascular plants with emphasis on local flora. Lect. 1, Lab. 4. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 204. Slash course BIO 404/504.   Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.

BIO 405/505  Cr.2

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants

Identification and collection of vascular plants of aquatic and marsh habitats with emphasis on adaptive morphology and ecology of local species. Field trips required. Lect. 1, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 204. Slash course BIO 405/505.   Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.

BIO 406/506  Cr.4


A survey of the major groups of animal parasites with regard to their taxonomy, morphology, life histories, host-parasite relationships, and economic importance.  Lect. 2, Lab 4. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 210 or 303. Slash course BIO 406/506.   Offered Fall.

BIO 408/508  Cr.4

Developmental Biology

An exploration of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie embryonic development in several model organisms. Topics include fertilization, regulation of gene expression, cell fate determination, stem cells, early pattern formation, morphogenesis of tissues/organs, and limb formation. The course primarily focuses on animal models with an emphasis on evolutionarily conserved processes, structures, and molecular pathways. Technological advances and relevance to human development and disease are highlighted throughout. Lect. 2, Lab. 4.  Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 210 or 303 and BIO 306 or MIC 416; BIO 315.  Slash course BIO 408/508.   Offered Spring.

BIO/PAS/PTS  511  Cr.6

Human Gross Anatomy

A comprehensive consideration of the human anatomy including both neuro-musculoskeletal components and internal organ systems. Systems included are musculoskeletal, neurological, urogenital, gastrointestinal, skeletal, and cardiopulmonary. The course includes the complete regional dissection of the human cadaver. Biomechanical function, topographic and radiographic correlations, and clinical applications are emphasized. Provides an in-depth understanding of the gross anatomy of the human body through lecture, audiovisual, computer and gross cadaver dissection. Lect.5, Lab. 8. Prerequisite: Admission to the Biology M.S. (Nurse Anesthesia Concentration) program or permission of the instructor. (Cross-listed with PAS 511 and PTS 511; may only earn credit in PAS or PTS or BIO.)   Offered Summer.

BIO 412/512  Cr.4


A survey of all the major groups of fungi of the fungal kingdom (and relatives) in terms of systematics, anatomy, morphology, ecology, physiology, genetics, evolutionary relationships, and human and plant pathology. Laboratory includes microscopic and macroscopic study of the fungi, as well as making a collection of cultures and of fungal reproductive structures (including mushrooms) from selected groups. Lect. 2, Lab. 4. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 204 or MIC 230. Both are strongly recommended. Slash course BIO 412/512.   Offered Fall.

BIO 413/513  Cr.3

Medical Mycology

A study of the increasing number of medically important fungi, including the yeasts, molds, other fungi, and actinomycetes that are pathogenic to humans and other animals. Emphasis is on laboratory techniques for isolation and identification of these pathogenic fungi. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: MIC 230 or BIO 412/512. Slash course BIO 413/513.   Offered Spring.

BIO 414/514  Cr.3

Freshwater Invertebrate Zoology

Introduces the ecology and taxonomy of the metazoan, non-parasitic freshwater invertebrates. An extensive course designed to provide a foundation for taxonomic knowledge, and basic understanding of the biology and ecology of freshwater invertebrates for advanced students in aquatic and environmental sciences. Lectures will focus on ecology; labs on taxonomy and quantitative skills. A student reference collection and weekend field trips will be required. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 210 or 341. Slash course BIO 414/514.   Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.

BIO 419/519  Cr.3

Quantitative Methods in Ecology

An introduction to field and laboratory procedures used by ecologists to describe and analyze the interactions between organisms and their environments. The course will emphasize quantitative techniques, including the use of computer technology, for collecting, recording and interpreting ecological data. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: BIO 307 or 341. Slash course BIO 419/519.   Offered Fall.

BIO 422/522  Cr.3


A study of the taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, and ecology of fish, with emphasis on the fresh water fishes. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 210 or 303. Slash course BIO 422/522.   Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.

BIO 424/524  Cr.3


A comprehensive study of the production, regulation, structure, molecular to whole body actions, metabolism, and excretion of biochemical signaling molecules. The classical and more recently recognized neurotransmitter and hormone pathways and clinical considerations of each will be explored using lecture, laboratory exercises, and case studies. Prerequisite: BIO 303 or 312 and 313. Slash course BIO 424/524.   Offered Fall.

BIO 428/528  Cr.3

Advanced Nutrition for the Health Professions

A comprehensive study of nutrition-related diseases and nutrition assessment, evaluation, and management in clinical settings that people working in healthcare may encounter. Prerequisite: BIO 313 or NUT 200. Slash course BIO 428/528.   Offered Spring.

BIO 429/529  Cr.3


Consideration of the principles and the record of organic evolution of plants and animals. Lect. 3. Prerequisite: BIO 306. Slash course BIO 429/529.   Offered Spring.

BIO 432/532  Cr.2

Biology of Cancer

A survey of the current knowledge of cancer biology. The course will include lectures, readings and discussions on a wide range of cancer topics, including: characteristics of cancer cells, carcinogenesis, cancer genes, tumor classification, invasion, metastasis, impact of cancer on body functions, epidemiology, inheritance, immunology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Prerequisite: BIO 303 or 313, and BIO 306 or MIC 416. Slash course BIO 432/532.   Offered Fall.

BIO 433/533  Cr.3

Radiation Biology

Applications and effects of nuclear radiation on biological systems. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: BIO 103 or 105, one additional course in biology, and CHM 103. Slash course BIO 433/533.   Offered Spring.

BIO 435/535  Cr.3

Molecular Biology

A study of molecular biology with an emphasis on eukaryotic systems. The course will focus on the molecular aspects controlling biological processes. The impact of recombinant DNA technology on biotechnology and medicine will also be examined. Lect. 3. Prerequisite: BIO 306 and 315, or MIC 416/516; three semesters of college chemistry including organic chemistry. Biochemistry strongly recommended. BIO 436/536 is an optional laboratory which can be taken concurrently. Slash course BIO 435/535.   Offered Fall.

BIO 436/536  Cr.1

Molecular Biology Laboratory

A study of molecular biology with an emphasis on eukaryotic systems. Laboratory emphasis is on recombinant DNA technology, current techniques used to express recombinant proteins in eukaryotic cells, computer based DNA analysis, macromolecular modeling using computers, and quantitative assay techniques. Lab. 3. This lab is optional for those enrolled in BIO 435/535. Prerequisite: To be taken concurrently with BIO 435/535. Slash course BIO 436/536.   Offered Fall.

BIO 437/537  Cr.3

Plant Growth and Development

Discussion of experiments and analysis of research data obtained from the living plant. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 204 or equivalent. Slash course BIO 437/537.   Offered Occasionally.

BIO 439/539  Cr.3

Plant Anatomy

A detailed examination of plant structure and development as revealed with the light and electron microscopes. Primarily seed plants will be examined. Structure and development will be studied as a means by which plants cope with their ecology, evolution and function. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 204 or an equivalent general botany course. Slash course BIO 439/539.   Offered Occasionally.

BIO/MIC 440/540  Cr.2


In this course, students will use computers to study and compare the sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA, or the amino acids in a protein. Computers also are used to examine the three dimensional structure of protein.  Being able to manipulate and study this information is the basis for the current revolution in biotechnology. Topics include evolution, taxonomy, genomics and understanding disease. This course provides students an opportunity to explore the relationships between biology, microbiology, chemistry, and computer science. Lect. 2, Lab 1. Prerequisite: BIO 306 or MIC 416; BIO 435 or MIC 416 recommended. Half-semester course. (Cross-listed with MIC 440/540; may only earn credit in BIO or MIC.) Slash course BIO/MIC 440/540.   Offered Spring, Winter.

BIO 441/541  Cr.3

Environmental Toxicology

The study of the lethal and sublethal effects of chemical contaminants on ecosystems and humans. Topics covered include environmental legislation, chemical distribution and fate in the environment, methods of toxicity testing, assessment of exposure and risk, effects of chemical contaminants on humans, and fish and wildlife populations, communities and ecosystems, and toxicity of specific chemical groups. Prerequisite: BIO 307 or 341; CHM 104. Slash course BIO 441/541.   Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.

BIO/MIC 442/542  Cr.3

Plant Microbe Interactions

This course will explore in-depth various ways that plants interact with microbes in the environment, at the macroscopic, cellular, and molecular levels. Case studies will include both parasitic and mutualistic (symbiotic) interactions. Microbes include fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and viruses. Includes plant pathology and studies of the beneficial relationships between plants and microbes. Inquiry-based labs are integrated into the lecture and discussion sessions. Lect. 2, Lab 2.  Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 204, MIC 230 and BIO 306 or MIC 416. (Cross-listed with MIC 442/542; may only earn credit in BIO or MIC.) Slash course BIO/MIC 442/542.   Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.

BIO 443/543  Cr.3

Molecular Mechanism of Disease and Drug Action

A survey of the leading non-infectious and non-cancerous diseases in the industrialized world. This course will explore the molecular mechanisms of disease, clinical symptomology, and pharmacological treatment. Students will be expected to conduct thorough research on a given disease and present their results in a poster session. Prerequisite: BIO 306, 313 and CHM 300 or 304. Slash course BIO 443/543.   Offered Spring.

BIO 447/547  Cr.3

Standard Methods/Quality Assurance Water Analyses

This course will instruct students on the use of standard methods for analyses of selected biological, chemical, and physical constituents commonly included in water quality analyses. Quality assurance procedures, including Good Laboratory Practice Standards (GLPS) will be integrated into all activities. Materials covered include: principles of methods used; evaluation of precision, bias, and contamination; proper reporting and interpretation of results; and environmental sources and significance of constituents analyzed. Lect. 1, Lab 4. Prerequisite: BIO 203 or 204 or 210 or 303, and 3 semesters of college chemistry. BIO 341 recommended. Slash course BIO 447/547.   Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.

BIO 448/548  Cr.4

Aquatic Toxicology

A study of the lethal and sub lethal effects of chemical contaminants in aquatic systems, specific chemical effects, chemical distribution and fate, and environmental legislation. Procedures for toxicity evaluation, experimental design and statistical analysis will be emphasized in the laboratory. Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: four semesters of college biology, BIO 341 recommended, and three semesters of college chemistry. Slash course BIO 448/548.   Offered Occasionally.

BIO 449/549  Cr.3

Advanced Microscopy and Biological Imaging

Principles and techniques used in modern microscopy and biological image analysis. Emphasis will be on student projects to become proficient at confocal, fluorescence, and scanning electron microscopy. Students will also learn specimen preparation, digital imaging, and image processing and analysis for biological applications. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: Junior standing and either BIO 315 or MIC 406. Slash course BIO 449/549.   Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.

BIO 456/556  Cr.4

Plant Ecology

Conservation biology, ecological restoration, and predicting the effects of climate change all require an understanding of plant ecology. This course is focused on the interactions among plants, other organisms, and the environment. We will work across the individual, population, and community levels, and emphasize an exploratory approach to plant ecology. Class activities will include lectures, the discussion of ecological journal articles, and carrying out student-designed experiments. Slash course BIO 456/556.   Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.

BIO 460/560  Cr.1 - 3

Symposium in Biology

Studies in biology of interest to specific groups. Varying topics will be offered at intervals with a specific title assigned to each. May be staffed by resident faculty or visiting lecturers. Other departments may be invited to participate. Prerequisite: four semesters of biology. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Variable offerings — check registration schedules. Slash course BIO 460/560.   Offered Occasionally.

BIO 463/563  Cr.3

Aquatic Animal Health

The study of pathogens of aquatic animals, including fish, shellfish, crustaceans, amphibians, waterfowl and mammals. Sections on nutrition and toxicology are included. Emphasis is on laboratory techniques for isolation and identification of pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites. Field trips required. Lect. 2, Lab. 3. Prerequisite: BIO 103 or 105, 203 or 210 or 303, and CHM 103; MIC 230 strongly recommended. Slash course BIO 463/563.   Offered Occasionally.

BIO 464/564  Cr.3

Stream and Watershed Ecology

Introduces key concepts and theory pertinent to understanding and managing fluvial ecosystems (rivers and streams) and their watersheds. The course will emphasize rivers as large-scale physical and biological systems. Course work includes a comparative case study of distinctive types of temperate, tropical, and polar rivers. Prerequisite: BIO 341 or BIO 307. Slash course BIO 464/564.   Offered Spring.

BIO 465/565  Cr.3


An examination of the nervous system beginning at the cellular level and working up to neuronal systems. Topics covered include the ionic basis of membrane potentials, synaptic communication, organization of functional circuits of neurons, and systems within the brain and/or spinal cord which control learning and memory, and vision and motor function. Exploration of these fundamental neurophysiology topics form the basis for understanding a variety of student-selected topics which will be covered later in the semester. Late-semester topics often include higher-order aspects of brain function or challenges to the nervous system – such as the repair of brain or spinal cord injury, degenerative disease states, dyslexia, or gender differences. BIO 467/567 is an optional laboratory course which can be taken concurrently. Prerequisite: BIO 312. Slash course BIO 465/565.   Offered Spring.

BIO 466/566  Cr.3

Human Molecular Genetics

A study of the basic principles of heredity in humans. Focus will be on modern molecular techniques used in isolating human disease genes and modes of inheritance of human traits and disorders. Ethical issues in human genetics will also be discussed. BIO 468/568 is an optional laboratory course which can be taken concurrently. Prerequisite: BIO 306. Slash course BIO 466/566.   Offered Fall.

BIO 467/567  Cr.2

Neurobiology Laboratory Techniques

An introduction to common laboratory techniques in neurobiology, including electrophysiology with invertebrate preparations, mammalian neuronal cell culture, and computational modeling. Students will receive training in techniques while performing classical experiments, then design their own novel experiments and carry them out. Lab. 4. Prerequisite: BIO 312; BIO 465/565 or concurrent enrollment. Slash course BIO 467/567.   Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.

BIO 468/568  Cr.1

Human Molecular Genetics Lab

A study of the techniques used in doing research in human molecular genetics with a focus on commonly used model organisms in the study of human genetic disorders. Laboratory emphasis is on phenotype analysis, library screening, DNA microarray analysis, gene mapping, and bioinformatics. This lab is optional for those enrolled in BIO 466/566. Lab. 3. Prerequisite: BIO 306. BIO 466/566 must be taken concurrently. Slash course BIO 468/568.   Offered Fall.

BIO 490/590  Cr.1 - 3

Current Topics in Biology Education

Biological researchers produce new discoveries almost daily. The purpose of this course is to train K-12 pre-service and in-service teachers in the current technologies and theories used in biology and to demonstrate the current approaches to teaching these materials. Repeatable for credit under different topics; not applicable to a major or minor in biology. Departmental option for Pass/Fail grading. Slash course BIO 490/590.  Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall.

BIO  701  Cr.4

Communication in the Biological Sciences

This course covers in detail the preparation and submission of scientific manuscripts for publication and the presentation of papers at scientific conferences. Topics covered include preparation of manuscript sections, figures, and tables; writing with clarity, precision, and word economy; dealing with journal editors and reviewers; reviewing and editing of manuscripts; preparation of proposals for funding; presentation of oral (platform) and poster papers at scientific conferences; preparation of visual aids; risk communication; serving on expert panels; serving as an expert witness; and communicating with the public, the press, lawyers, and politicians.   Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.

BIO  713  Cr.2

Physiology of Drug Action

A study of the general principles of pharmaco-dynamics and pharmacokinetics of drugs in human systems with emphasis on the physiological responses at the cellular and organ levels. Prerequisite: BIO 718 or concurrent enrollment.  Offered Occasionally.

BIO/MIC  714  Cr.3

Advanced Genetics

The application of molecular-genetic analysis to problems in modern biology. The course will cover the fundamentals of genetic analysis in both procaryotic and eucaryotic systems. Assigned readings from current literature will be discussed and evaluated. A variety of topic areas will be considered including ecology, biotechnology, bioremediation, food science, medicine and basic research. Prerequisite: a previous course in genetics, microbial genetics or molecular biology.   Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.

BIO  715  Cr.3

Pathophysiology I

A study of diseases of the human central nervous system, pulmonary, cardiovascular, and renal systems with an emphasis on pathophysiology, treatment, and interaction with other organ systems. Prerequisite: BIO 718, BIO 719. Enrollment is limited to students in the Biology M.S. — Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program.  Offered Fall.

BIO  716  Cr.3

Current Topics in Physiology

Consideration of selected topics in physiology such as advanced cellular physiology, membrane and endocrinological physiology, and systemic physiology. Assigned readings will be largely from current literature.   Offered Occasionally.

BIO  717  Cr.3

Pathophysiology II

A study of diseases of the human hepatic, gastrointestinal, immune, neuromuscular, and endocrine systems with an emphasis on pathophysiology, treatment, and interaction with other organ systems. Prerequisite: BIO 718, BIO 719. Enrollment is limited to students in the Biology M.S. — Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program.  Offered Spring.

BIO  718  Cr.4

Advanced Human Physiology I

An in-depth study of the physiology (including associated anatomic structures) of human organ systems. Covers the cell, and the nervous, muscular and respiratory systems. Prerequisite: B. S. degree in biology or allied health related field.   Offered Fall.

BIO  719  Cr.4

Advanced Human Physiology II

An in-depth study of the physiology (including associated anatomic structures) of human organ systems. Covers the circulation, endocrine, digestive and excretory systems, and temperature regulation. Prerequisite: BIO 718.  Offered Spring.

BIO  720  Cr.2

Research in Anesthesia

The student will conduct a critical review and analysis of the primary literature and/or patient records (after IRB approval) in the area of clinical anesthesia or applied physiology. The results and analysis will be summarized and presented in a poster format. Students will be required to present their poster at a professional meeting. Prerequisite: BIO 718, BIO 719; enrollment is limited to students in the Biology M.S. – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program.  Offered Summer.

BIO/MIC  721  Cr.1 - 2

Directed Studies

Directed readings or presentation of material not available in formal departmental courses. Repeatable for credit — maximum 4 between BIO and MIC.   Offered Fall, Spring.

BIO  725  Cr.1 - 3

Forum in Biology

An in-depth examination of selected topics in biology through critical analysis of the primary literature. Participants will be required to read and discuss the experimental design, methods, results and major conclusions of scientific research. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Variable offerings — check registration schedules.   Offered Fall, Spring.

BIO  726  Cr.1 - 3

Advanced Laboratory Techniques in Biology

Development of accessory research skills in specialized areas of biology. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Variable offerings — check registration schedules.   Offered Fall, Spring.

BIO  732  Cr.2

Effective Teaching Strategies for Grad Teaching Assts in the Science Lab

This course aims to improve proficiency of graduate teaching assistants in the science laboratory. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, students learning styles, lecture and question techniques, design of assessment tools, portfolio development, and grading techniques.   Offered Fall.

BIO/MIC  751  Cr.1

Graduate Seminar

Reading, oral reports, and discussion on selected topics in biology. Repeatable for credit — maximum 2.   Offered Fall, Spring.

BIO  761  Cr.2

Research and Seminar in Biology

Principles of research in biology. As part of the requirements for this course and for the degree, each student must complete an acceptable seminar paper unless pursuing Plan A and writing a master's thesis.   Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

BIO  779  Cr.1 - 2

Biology Laboratory Assistant

Allows graduate students to gain experience in assisting with preparation and teaching 300 and 400 level laboratory-based courses in conjunction with the regular instructor. Students will be expected to assist in preparation of course materials, demonstrate proper techniques, and evaluate students' performance. Lab. 2-6. Prerequisite: Instructor consent; Graduate standing; Not applicable to assisting in 100 or 200 level courses. Repeatable for credit - maximum 3.   Offered Fall, Spring.

BIO  799  Cr.1 - 9

Research: Master's Thesis

Independent research on a problem selected for a thesis under the direction of an assigned staff member. For students following Plan A. Repeatable for credit — maximum 15. Maximum of six credits applicable to the M.S. — biology degree.   Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.