This course introduces the organizing principles of biology through a study of selected cellular, organismal, and ecological systems. Relevant topics are used to illustrate fundamental concepts. The course takes a thematic approach in which the chosen examples relate to a particular topic. The use of a theme topic highlights the interconnection of the various fields of biology and illustrates the complexity of relevant problems. Laboratory is required.
This course introduces students to important biological concepts and approaches of study, and applies them to questions about sexual reproduction. Topics include: scientific inquiry, evolution, the central dogma of molecular biology, basic genetics and inheritance, development, behavioral ecology, and population growth. The course takes a decidedly comparative approach, utilizing information from many different species, including humans. Laboratory is required.
A contemporary approach to the major themes of modern biology. Subcellular, cellular, genetic, and physiological aspects of biological systems are explored in the context of the scientific process. Laboratory is required.
This course explores the mechanisms of evolution and the vast diversity of life to which it gave rise. The characteristics that define different groups of organisms, and the evolutionary relationships among these groups are explored. Structure and function relationships are emphasized throughout the course. Laboratory is required. Some labs involve the dissection of plants, animals, and fungi. Some labs may involve the collection and sacrificing of zooplankton and insects as well as the handling of plant and animal parts obtained from a supermarket.
This course introduces Biology majors to the professional activities of departmental faculty and staff. It includes a series of presentations by Biology faculty relating their interests in both teaching and research, with a description of current research projects. It also includes orientation to the research support facilities provided by the Biology Department.
This course is designed to provide a general overview of natural history museum practices that support the main functions of these institutions: research and education. Natural history museums are invaluable archives of Earth's biodiversity and were the primary locus for biological research in the 18th and 19th centuries. The vast collections of specimens in natural history museums provide a temporal and geographic record of life unmatched by written or illustrated accounts. They document variation - the foundation of evolution - in time and space and allow biologists to make comparisons that are difficult or impossible to observe in the field. Students learn about the resources housed in the Puget Sound Museum of Natural History and be trained as Docents, learning and developing stories, providing tours, staffing open hours and Nights at the Museum and teaching museum curricula in K-12 schools.
An introduction to the interactions of individuals in a population, populations in a community, and communities in ecosystems. Laboratories are designed to illustrate ecological principles and give experience in approaches and techniques of ecology. Experimental design, quantitative data analysis, and statistics are emphasized throughout the course.
The structure, metabolism, and specialized activities of eukaryotic cells are the major lecture topics. Complementary laboratories focus on microscopy and biochemical techniques. Data analysis is highly emphasized throughout the course.
This course introduces students to the principles of classical and modern genetics. The laboratory illustrates major concepts in genetics through directed inquiry experiments.
This course is an introduction to wet lab methods and approaches commonly used in molecular and cell biology. General methodological areas taught include, but are not limited to: calculations and preparation of solutions, UV-visible light spectrophotometry, PCR, preparation and analysis of proteins and nucleic acids by gel electrophoresis and blotting. This lab-based course is centered around a faculty member's area of scholarly interest and expertise, and students learn and practice methods by a project-oriented approach. Experimental results and interpretations stemming from experiments completed by students are communicated through both written lab reports and oral presentations. By engaging with this lab experience, concepts relating to gene function and cellular processes are reinforced, and these molecular-level concepts may also be connected with biological systems at the organism, population, and ecological levels. Students read papers from the primary research literature relating to methods and overall experimental strategies covered throughout the semester. Completing this course increases student preparation for upper division biology courses, in particular those emphasizing lab skill sets in molecular and cell biology.
This course introduces MCB majors who did not take BIOL 211 (General Ecology) to important statistical concepts, experimental design, and data analysis tools that are covered in BIOL 211. Topics of study include: Introduction to the software R and RStudio, and introduction to basic statistical tests and data analysis and graphing using R and Excel.
This course provides a laboratory/field research experience for sophomores under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students may initiate a project or join a research project in the mentor's lab. Student and mentor fill out a departmental contract. A written research paper and a reflective summary of the research experience must be submitted for a final grade. Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOL 201 before choosing a research project. May be repeated up to 1 unit.
In this course, students will gain experience and reasoning skills in the biological sciences by focusing on a specific topic, theme, or sub-area of the discipline. Through classroom discussion, written work, and other forms of assessment, students will evaluate information and learn how the scientific process is applied in the context of the theme covered. Students will also make connections between the biological topic of study and society.
A study of growth, nutrition, and metabolism of the higher plants at the organismal, cellular, and molecular levels. Laboratory demonstrates data collection methodology, data analysis, and experimental design in plant physiology.
A study of function at the systems and cellular levels in a variety of animal forms with emphasis on fundamental physiological principles. Physiological adaptation to different habitats is also discussed. Laboratory involves application of various experimental techniques. Lab is required. Some labs require the dissection of earthworms, the use of crab blood, and may require the use of live tissue preparations.
This course examines the production, transmission and reception of animal communication signals in different sensory modalities, including acoustic, visual, chemical, and short-range sensory modes. In addition, the course explores the evolution and function of such signals as mechanisms to transfer information and bias decision making. Throughout the semester, students draw upon theory from ecology, physiology and evolution, as well as the physical sciences and economics.
Microbiology is the biology of two of the three Domains of life (the bacteria, the archaea, and the viruses of both) as opposed to eukaryotic organisms. This course explores three aspects of microbiology - diversity, ecology, and interactions with other organisms (including pathogen/host relationships in medical microbiology and more mutualistic associations such as symbioses). A term paper exploring the natural history of a particular microbe or related topic is required for this course. The laboratory includes basic microbiological techniques, classic experiments, and introduces current paradigm shifts in microbiology, including sociomicrobiology, microbial genomics, quorum sensing, and biofilms. Student teams carry out and write a report on an independent lab project of their own design. Students also read and discuss "cutting edge" journal articles showcasing recent advances in microbiology, and present those papers to their peers.
This course offers a study of the evolutionary history and functions of hormones across the tree of life with particular focus on animals and a secondary focus on plants. Hormones as mediators of growth, development, phenotype, behavior, reproduction, and epigenetic effects are covered and connected to relevant current events. The required laboratory introduces and applies a variety of relevant research techniques in a directed context to produce an original research result at the end of the course (which may lead to a published paper on which students are coauthors). The laboratory involves handling of insects.
Evolution is fundamental to understanding the big why and how questions in biology. Beginning with the fundamentals of population genetics, this course explores a diverse array of topics such as speciation, mass extinctions, adaptive radiation, molecular evolution, systematics, disease, and conservation biology.
This course deals with the structure and function of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and nucleic acids at the cellular and molecular levels. The course emphasizes both the interrelationships among major metabolic pathways, and how modern techniques are applied to study biomolecular structure and function. The course is suitable for students interested in health-related fields as well as those interested in broader applications. There is no laboratory associated with this course.
This course offers students an introduction to the field of nanobiology. Nanotechnology is becoming a new frontier in biological explorations and manipulation. Engineering tools and techniques have been used to expand biological research, enrich the medical field, as well as alter food and materials. Fast expanding, nanobiology is becoming a part of the cultural lexicon, with ramifications in both ethical and cultural aspects of everyday life. This course explores these themes, with overviews of methodologies and future technology.
This course explores the principles of physics applied to living systems. Topics include diffusion, hydrodynamics and the low Reynolds-number world, importance of entropy and free energy, entropic forces, molecular machines, membranes, and nerve impulses. Written and oral scientific communication is emphasized. This course is appropriate for junior or senior undergraduates in the sciences, particularly physics and biology. No specialized knowledge of biology or physics is expected, but a facility with algebraic manipulations and a working knowledge of calculus is needed.
Marine Invertebrate Zoology takes advantage of the rich marine biota of the Salish Sea to introduce students to the principles of animal organization and biodiversity. Emphasis is placed on homology and convergence, diversity and complexity, and is presented in a phylogenetic and ecological context through the study of form and function of living and preserved specimens. In addition to the basics of invertebrate anatomy, development, ecology and evolution, this course includes analysis of evolutionary changes and discussion of the fossil record. The course includes a laboratory component offering hands-on experience working with marine invertebrates from the DNA to the whole organism level.
This course introduces students to the principles and practical applications of bioinformatics in the analysis of genomic data. Students learn how to use bioinformatics software to evaluate and analyze genomic data to answer questions in molecular and evolutionary genetics.
This course focuses on biological concepts and techniques fundamental to the science of conservation biology. To understand mechanisms that drive the loss of biological diversity and approaches to address those threats, the course explores a variety of topics including extinction processes, population dynamics, population genetics, habitat fragmentation, invasive species, protected area design, and restoration ecology. The laboratory component involves field work, including a full weekend field trip, and quantitative computer simulations.
Mammals are composed of a number of highly integrated physiological systems, the tissues and organs, each with characteristic structure and function. This course combines aspects of histology, cell biology, and physiology to analyze the cells and tissues of mammals. The principal goal of this course is to learn the structure and function of normal mammalian tissues. Key experiments that have produced our understanding of cell structures and function are analyzed.
Contemporary theories on differentiation and descriptive patterns of development with emphasis on animals. The laboratory deals with a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates including some experiments with living materials. Alternative exercises are provided for students who prefer not to work with living animals.
This course is designed for juniors and seniors interested in learning more about the diversity, depth, and breadth of associations between organisms. Such associations and their study range from mutualism to parasitism, from viruses to cetaceans, from biochemical to ecological approaches. The first part of the course explores the history and paradigms in the study of symbioses, using specific case studies and journal articles. The second part of the course involves critical analysis of current peer reviewed journal articles by experts in the field, who will "tele-visit" the classroom to discuss their work with students. Finally, there are individual and group projects exploring a student-chosen specific association of particular interest. There is no laboratory associated with this course.
This course is designed to introduce you to identifying plants, help you become familiar with the local plants, understand their systematic relationships, and understand their natural history as part of communities. As such, it is intended to be a hybrid between a plant systematics course, a plant identification course, and a plant natural history/ecology course. The lecture will cover concepts and theory; the lab will be devoted to hands-on identification and species recognition. Field trips will allow you to practice family and species recognition as well as to see some of the natural history discussed in lecture.
A survey of the major groups of vertebrates with emphasis on evolution, adaptation, morphology, ecology, and behavior. Vertebrates of the varied habitats of the Pacific Northwest are studied in the lab and in the field. Laboratories may involve dissection of vertebrate animals.
This course examines the origin, speciation, diversity, ecology, behavior, and conservation of birds. The laboratory component will include field trips as well as draw from the Puget Sound Museum of Natural History's extensive bird collection for studies of avian taxonomy, identification, anatomy and physiology.
This course provides a laboratory/field research experience for juniors under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students may initiate a project or join a research project in the mentor's lab. Student and mentor fill out a departmental contract. A written research paper, a reflective summary of the research experience, and an oral or poster presentation must be submitted for a final grade. Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOL 201 before choosing a research project.
The main audience for this course are students interested in a) preparing a research proposal that they want to submit for funding to the University of Puget Sound Summer Research Program, and b) doing full-time research over the summer following the course with a Puget Sound faculty member in the sciences. During the course students will match up with a research advisor, learn techniques on how to write an effective proposal, and become familiar with general research procedures, and aspects of research ethics. Open to second and third year students.
This course is designed to provide a general overview of natural history museum uses and practices. Natural history museums were the primary locus for biological research in the 18th and 19th centuries. They represent invaluable archives of Earth's biodiversity; their vast collections of specimens provide a temporal and geographic record of life unmatched by written or illustrated accounts. They document variation -- the foundation of evolution -- in time and space and allow biologists to make comparisons that are difficult or impossible to observe in the field. Natural history museums are an incredible resource for researchers with interests in evolution, ecology, zoology, botany and environmental change. They are phenomenal venues for teaching and engaging students ranging from young children to senior citizens. And they are sources of inspiration for scientists and artists. In this course students learn the history of natural history collections, engage in the practices of natural history museums, learn the myriad ways that natural specimens have been used in research, and do an independent project.
This course promotes active and regular attendance at science and mathematics seminars. Students attend a minimum of 12 full-length science or mathematics seminars each semester and write up a summary of each presentation attended. Students are free to meet the minimum seminar requirement according to their interests and class schedule, but are strongly encouraged to attend the Thompson Hall Science and Mathematics Seminar Series to at least partially fulfill the 12 seminar requirement.
Molecular Biology focuses on the structure, organization, and regulation of genetic material at the molecular level. This course emphasizes modern analyses of genomes and transcriptomes while also introducing students to contemporary techniques used to manipulate gene expression or edit the genome.
This course provides an in-depth examination of major ecological fields, including ecophysiology, island biogeography, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology. Current ecological research is used to introduce major concepts and methods, foster critical thinking and discussion, and to introduce issues of experimental design and analysis and different approaches to ecology. This course enhances skills that are critical for ecologists including written and oral communication skills, quantitative and programming skills.
An examination of the biology of nerve cells and nervous systems through lectures and discussion of recent research. Topics include cell biology of the neuron, synaptic interactions and the neural bases of learning and memory, the neural circuitry underlying behavior, and developmental neurobiology. Emphasis is placed on students' oral and written evaluations of scientific literature.
This course examines genetic alterations that contribute to cancer and how they disrupt normal regulation of cell growth. Several specific mechanisms that promote cancer progression are examined in detail, providing a platform for thoughtful consideration of current therapeutic approaches.
This course explores how modern chemical and biochemical strategies are used to interrogate and manipulate biological systems. The course will focus on selected, recent developments in the field as described in review articles and the primary literature. Themes include modifying and expanding the genetic code, screening and selection of chemical and biological libraries, directed evolution and rational design in the production of new protein activities, molecular imaging and probes for spatial and temporal localization of biological activity, modification of biological systems to produce new products or new activities, and design and use of novel molecular effectors of biological systems. In addition to examining the science of chemical biology, the course will also explore the commercialization of chemical biology and the background and influence of key individuals involved in developing this hybrid discipline. The course will emphasize process, with students directly engaging with primary sources, collaboratively analyzing and discussing information obtained from those sources, selecting and investigating topics in chemical biology that interest them, presenting the results of their investigations to their peers, and reflecting upon the scientific, commercial, and social impacts of modern chemical biology. Cross-listed as BIOL/CHEM 465
This course provides a survey of key concepts, theories and models in the field of Animal Behavior, integrating behavioral analyses into an explicitly evolutionary framework. Students discuss behaviors important to reproduction, such as selecting mates, and those important to survival, such as finding food and avoiding predators. For each of these contexts, students ask both 'proximate' and 'ultimate' questions. Proximate questions concern the mechanistic causes of behavior, including the genetic, hormonal, neural and environmental influences on the development and expression of behavior. Ultimate questions of behavior concern how behavior is shaped and constrained by ecology and evolutionary history. Students actively discuss modern theory, engage in observational and experimental study, and develop an innovative research proposal.
The marine environment encompasses 99% of the Earth's biosphere and contains an incredible diversity of microbial, algal, and animal life forms. This course examines the biology of these organisms and the abiotic (e.g., salinity, nutrients, water currents and tides) and biotic factors (e.g., competition, predation, symbiosis) that influence their distribution and abundance. Specific topics include primary and secondary production, rocky intertidal biodiversity, estuaries, subtidal communities, coral reefs, pelagic and deep sea communities, impacts of humans on the ocean, and conservation. Lecture periods include discussions of primary literature and student presentations. Laboratory sessions involve field work, laboratory analyses, report writing, and multimedia presentation of project results.
This course provides a laboratory/field research experience for seniors under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students may initiate a project or join a research project in the mentor's lab. Student and mentor fill out a departmental contract. A written research paper, a reflective summary of the research experience, and an oral or poster presentation must be submitted for a final grade. Students are strongly encouraged to take BIOL 201 before choosing a research project.
Students must write a research proposal, carry out the research, write a thesis, and present a public seminar on their research. The projects are done under the supervision of a faculty research advisor. Details and application forms can be obtained from faculty research advisor or department chair.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
This scheduled weekly interdisciplinary seminar provides the context to reflect on concrete experiences at an off-campus internship site and to link these experiences to academic study relating to the political, psychological, social, economic and intellectual forces that shape our views on work and its meaning. The aim is to integrate study in the liberal arts with issues and themes surrounding the pursuit of a creative, productive, and satisfying professional life. Students receive 1.0 unit of academic credit for the academic work that augments their concurrent internship fieldwork. This course is not applicable to the Upper-Division Graduation Requirement. Only 1.0 unit may be assigned to an individual internship and no more than 2.0 units of internship credit, or internship credit in combination with co-operative education credit, may be applied to an undergraduate degree.