BIO 114 is an introduction to biological concepts and principles at and above the level of the organism. It is the 2nd half of a year-long introduction to biology. Broad topic areas in this course include evolution, information transmission, the cell as the fundamental unit of life, homeostasis, and emergent properties, and they will be explored from the molecular to ecological system levels.
Biology is a very exciting field and is in the news almost daily. However, the field of biology has become too massive to memorize factoids the way you may have been forced or encouraged to do in previous biology you might have taken. Biologists are motivated by a search for answers to fundamental questions – examples of some that we will delve into are: why are there so many species? What is the evolutionary history of life? How do organisms work? What do species do in ecosystems? The approach taken in BIO 114 is to teach introductory biology based on the first principles of learning: you learn best when you construct your own knowledge, when your learning builds upon previous knowledge, and when knowledge is relevant to your life. In addition, we will focus on the process of science.
LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of this course, it is expected that you should be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of the important biological principles and factors that operate at the levels of the individual organism, the population, the community, and the ecosystem (and describe these levels),
- describe fundamental concepts and big ideas in organismal biology, diversity, evolution, ecology, & physiology.
- evaluate how evolutionary processes inform the study of biology and operate in biological systems
- describe organisms’ interactions with their environment and other organisms,
- explain how biological systems change in both space and time and compare/contrast changes that occur in different biological systems under different conditions,
- evaluate, interpret, apply, and integrate data from the primary literature on individuals, populations, communities and ecological systems,
- demonstrate an ability to develop hypotheses, design and execute a well-designed comparative study or experiment in organismal biology,
- demonstrate an ability to analyze data and conduct and interpret appropriate statistical tests,
- effectively communicate background, hypotheses and predictions, results, and interpretations of a comparative study or experiment, and
- develop and apply core competencies of quantitative reasoning, experimental design, critical thinking, data analysis and communication that transcend course content.
REQUIRED TEXTS: Link to e-text Integrated Concepts in Biology by Campbell, Heyer, Paradise