BIOL – Biology
BIOL 118 Environmental Problems and Midwest Ecosystems with Lab (4)
One of the most endangered ecosystems on earth is not in a distant place, but in Iowa. This course examines Midwestern ecosystems and environmental problems impacting them. Course goals are to increase knowledge and appreciation for nature in the Midwest and examine major environmental problems impacting Iowa, focusing on their causes and solutions. Students will spend a significant amount of time outdoors, and will design and conduct a research project. Includes one 3-hour lab. Does not count toward the Biology major. Students cannot receive credit for BIOL 118 and BIOL 123 or ENVS 120. (NS, GS)
BIOL 130 Diversity of Life with Lab (4)
An exploration of the major groups of organisms and of evolution as the source of biological diversity and the unifying principle of the biological sciences. The coverage of biological diversity includes basic structure and function, ecology and behavior. Laboratories allow students to experience the diversity of life firsthand with living examples of many groups. Includes one three-hour lab per week. (NS, EXP)
BIOL 131 Introduction to Cells with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: High school chemistry. An introduction to the cellular basis for life; includes the chemical building blocks of life, cell structure, membrane function, cellular energetics, cell reproduction and heredity and the elements of molecular genetics. Includes one three-hour lab per week. (NS)
BIOL 201 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (4)
This is a two-course sequence surveying the structure and function of the human body; designed for certain pre-health programs such as nursing and occupational therapy where students are not seeking a science major. This course will cover body organization, basic cell structure and function, tissues, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system and endocrine system. Includes one three-hour lab per week that involves significant laboratory experience including some dissection, examination of histological specimens, preserved organs and anatomical models. Does not count toward the Biology major or minor. (NS)
BIOL 202 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: Completion of BIOL 201 with a grade of C or higher. This is the second of a two-course sequence surveying the structure and function of the human body; designed for certain pre-health programs such as nursing and occupational therapy where students are not seeking a science major. This course will cover the cardiovascular system, lymphatic system, digestive system, respiratory system, urinary system, reproductive system and will conclude with growth and development. Includes one three-hour lab per week that involves significant laboratory experience including physiological experimentation, some dissection, examination of preserved organs and anatomical models. Does not count toward the Biology major or minor.
BIOL 205 Natural History of American Ecosystems (2)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130. Students will be immersed in a detailed study of ecosystems found in a region. The overall goal is to increase understanding of the biological and physical factors that interact to build ecosystems. We also will address conservation issues impacting the area and learn to recognize important species or groups of species. The course will meet once a week during the second half of the spring semester and will conclude with a nine day trip to visit that ecosystem during late spring / summer. Students must attend both the class and the trip to receive credit. An extra fee will be assessed and students must buy their own food. This course does not count toward the biology major or minor.
BIOL 210 Epidemiology (3)
Introduces the basic concepts and principles of epidemiology and biostatistics as applied to public health problems, including historical overview; descriptive methods and sources of data; diagnostic screening; study designs; analytical tools; measures of association; bias and confounding factors. Emphasis is placed on methods of epidemiologic investigation, appropriate summaries and displays of data, and the use of classical statistical approaches to describe the health of populations, as well as critical evaluation and interpretation of public health research, using examples from the literature. (NS, GS)
BIOL 221 Genetics and Evolution with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 131 and second-year standing. An introduction to genetic and evolutionary analysis. Coverage includes both classical and molecular genetics and evolution in the following areas: Mendelian analysis, linkage, mutation, changes in chromosome structure and number, the relationship between genetics and the central dogma, gene expression, sex determination, and their relationship to the evolution of populations and speciation. Laboratory will use both classical and molecular techniques to illustrate key concepts. One three-hour lab per week.
BIOL 229 Ecology and Evolution with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and BIOL 131. Analyzes the patterns present, and processes operating, in ecological populations, communities and ecosystems. Emphasis on ecology as a driver of evolution and the resulting adaptations in organisms. Laboratories introduce students to field methods and quantitative analyses, and allow students to conduct research, explore and interpret data, and present results. One three-hour lab per week. (GS)
BIOL 310 Tropical Ecology (1-4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 or instructor’s permission. Introduces students to marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the tropics. Meets once a week during the semester and during a 17 day trip to Belize and Costa Rica or other tropical regions during winter break to explore several different ecosystems including coral reefs, tropical dry forests, cloud forests and tropical lowland forests. Students are required to attend both the trip and the lectures to receive credit. Students enrolling in this course must pay an additional fee and pay for airline tickets and other expenses. (NS)
BIOL 320 Evolution with Discussion Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 221 and BIOL 229. An overview of evolution as the unifying principle of the biological sciences, with coverage of the origins of evolutionary thought, population genetics and phylogenetics. Includes workshop activities on topics such as population genetics, morphometrics and phylogeny reconstruction as well as review of the primary literature. One two-hour discussion lab per week. (WRT)
BIOL 321 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130. A comparative analysis of vertebrate structure, with morphology interpreted in a phylogenetic context. Emphasis on the major morphological changes that have occurred during the half-billion years of vertebrate evolution. Laboratories involve dissection of the dogfish shark and the mink, as well as examination of much additional vertebrate material. Includes one three-hour lab per week.
BIOL 324 Field Botany with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and 131. An examination of the ecology, evolution and systematics of plants. Emphasis on the evolutionary relationships and natural history of the flora of Iowa. Extensive laboratory and field work including a weekend field trip will introduce the students to methods of plant identification, taxonomy and botanical field studies. Includes one three-hour lab per week.
BIOL 341 Human Physiology with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 131 and CHEM 231. Description of the anatomical structure and analysis of the molecular mechanisms of action of each of the vertebrate organ systems, including their nervous and hormonal control. Emphasis given to human systems but contrasting mechanisms from other vertebrate classes are included where possible and appropriate. Laboratory may include some experimentation with living tissue. Includes one three-hour lab per week.
BIOL 342 Mammalogy with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 or instructor’s permission. Topics to be covered include anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, evolution, identification and conservation. Lab will include numerous field trips (some outside of regular class time) to capture bats and other mammals. Labs emphasize anatomy, field biology and identification of mammals, as well as census and capture techniques.
BIOL 343 Ornithology with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 or instructor’s permission. Provides an overview of the biology of birds including their anatomy, evolution, behavior, reproduction, ecology and conservation. Introduces students to techniques of identifying birds, focusing on species commonly found in the Midwest. The lab will be heavily field-oriented in the early mornings, so students must be prepared to be outside in all weather conditions, and willing to be quiet during observation or birds. Students are required to attend all field trips. The class may also include an optional weekend field trip.
BIOL 345 Limnology with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130. A comparative study of inland waters, including streams, ponds, lakes and wetlands. Examines the geology, biology, chemistry, physics and management of aquatic systems. Laboratory and field work, including a weekend field trip, will introduce students to the techniques of sampling and analysis. One three-hour lab per week. Additional lab fee applies.
BIOL 350 Conservation Biology and Ecology of Iowa (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130. Students will explore terrestrial ecosystems of Iowa, examining their ecology and the biology of the dominant organisms forming them. Furthermore, we will learn the basic principles of conservation biology and how these concepts are relevant to nature in the Midwest. Labs will be field-based, and students will explore, study, and manage ecosystems in our area. Participants must be prepared for field work in rugged landscapes and all kinds of weather. (GS)
BIOL 360 Human Anatomy with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 131. Provides students with knowledge of the structure of the human body and illustrates the connections between structure and function. Follows a systems approach with review of the fundamentals of cell biology, an introduction to tissues, developmental biology, and nomenclature and conventions used to study human anatomy. Systems covered include the integumentary, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, lymphatic and immune, nervous, endocrine, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive.
BIOL 361 Microbiology with Lab (4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 131 or instructor’s permission. A comprehensive overview of the biology of bacteria with discussions on archaea, eukaryotes, and viruses. Course topics include microbial structure/ function, physiology, genetics, host-microbe interactions, immunology, and ecology. The laboratory includes techniques in bacterial isolation, culture, quantitation, light microscopy, and physiological testing.
BIOL 364 Molecular Biology (3)
Prerequisite: BIOL 221 and CHEM 231. A comprehensive overview of the structure, metabolism, and regulation of DNA, RNA, and proteins.
BIOL 397 Internship in Biology (Arr)
Prerequisite: BIOL 130, 131 and instructor’s permission. Students work under supervision of professional biologists in practical application of biological principles. Students considering an internship should confer with the department chair after obtaining the consent of one of the department staff to serve as supervising professor. Offered on demand. Pass/No Credit basis.
BIOL 499 Independent Study in Biology (1-4)
Prerequisite: BIOL 386 and instructor’s permission. A research-oriented experience designed to focus on a well-defined problem identified in BIOL 386. Conduct of the research, analysis of the data and writing of the senior thesis are done in consultation with a supervising professor. No more than 4 credits may be taken pursuant to the major without approval of the department chair.