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Why Biology at Albright?

The Biology Major

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COURSES

BIO 101/102
Concepts and Connections in Biology
This course is designed to enable non-science concentrators to develop an understanding and an appreciation for how science works from a biological perspective through study of select topics in natural sciences. We will examine current developments in topics such as genetics, human physiology, environmental biology and microbiology in a way that will allow students to construct a framework of key biological concepts and make connections to their lives through consideration of the applications of basic scientific principles. Students will become involved in the process of doing science, implementing lab exercises aimed at answering specific questions and developing their critical thinking skills. Evolution will be discussed as a unifying theme which helps to elevate biology from a bewildering collection of facts to a coherent study of changing life on a changing planet. General Studies Foundations Natural Science

BIO 102 is very similar in scope to BIO 101 except for an emphasis on field biology. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. General Studies Foundations Natural Science

BIO 103
Man and the Living World 
The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to important topics in the natural sciences and the relationship of humans to the natural world.  Students will become familiar with the major fields of scientific inquiry, the process of science, specific issues in science and the impact of human activity on the natural world.  General Studies Foundations Natural Science

BIO 151
General Biology I: Structure and Function
This course introduces students to cellular biology, metabolism, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology and development. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. General Studies Foundations Natural Science

BIO 152
General Biology II: Systematics, Ecology, and Evolution
An introduction to plant and animal systematics, plant physiology and ecology, this course includes a major laboratory project and report. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. General Studies Foundations Natural Science

BIO 200
Biometry
This course teaches biology students how to design an experiment in a format that leads to a statistical analysis which tests the desired hypothesis. Students learn how to recognize and apply statistical analyses most appropriate for a given data set, focusing on real examples from recent or on-going research. Emphasis is placed on some of the more commonly used statistical methods in biology in order to provide a framework for exploration of more advanced methods. This is an applied course with emphasis on using computer programs effectively. Three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week. Offered fall semester of odd years.

BIO 203
Introduction to Genetics
An introduction to classical genetics, molecular genetics and population genetics, this course includes a major writing project designed to explore specific topics in genetics and evolution. Three hours lecture per week. Offered fall semester.

BIO 211
Ecology
This course studies the relationships between animals and plants and their natural environments. Factors shaping the distribution and abundance of organisms, populations and communities are discussed. Specific emphasis is given to factors such as competition, predation, herbivory, mutualism, physiology, climate, energy flow, and biochemical cycles that influence species adaptations and, in turn, patterns of distribution and abundance. The laboratory is designed to provide experience in the field using several techniques for monitoring both plant and animal populations, as well as environmental parameters in a variety of habitats. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered fall semester.
Prerequisites: BIO 151, 152

BIO 214
Botany and Plant Taxonomy
Principles of identification and classification of land plants are discussed in this course. Plant keys and digital photography are used in the field and photomicroscopy in the lab complements field work. This course includes a survey of major vascular plant families and field study of local plants and vegetation types. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered even years in the fall.
Prerequisite: BIO 152 or permission of the instructor

BIO 220
Evolution
This is a lecture class focusing on the role of evolution in shaping biological organisms. Major topics include natural selection, adaptation, evolution of life histories, population genetics, and the processes of speciation and macroevolution. Occasional discussions will center on reading current and seminal papers examining the important advances in evolutionary theory. Three hours lecture per week. Offered spring semester of odd years.
Prerequisites: BIO 152 and BIO 203

BIO 234
Human Anatomy & Physiology I
This is a study of the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology, with emphasis placed on the organization of the body, cells and tissues, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system, and special senses. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Offered spring semester of even years.

This is the first semester of a two-semester course in anatomy and physiology. It will employ an integration of morphological and physiological aspects of the human body. This course is intended to provide a strong background in human anatomy and physiology for human biology students, science majors, and students with an interest in related allied health fields.  Some basic concepts of biology and chemistry will be integrated with this course, which serve as a basis for developing specific concepts in anatomy and physiology.

BIO 235
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
This is a study of the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology, with emphasis placed on the organization of the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Offered fall semester of even years.

This is the second semester of a two-semester course in anatomy and physiology. The second semester will again employ an integration of morphological and physiological aspects of the human body. This course is intended to provide a strong background in human anatomy and physiology for human biology students, science majors, and students with an interest in related allied health fields.  All students are required to prepare a research paper on a specific area of study. This investigation will allow an in-depth study of a small area of a very large discipline.                      
Prerequisite:  students must earn a quality grade in BIO 234 to enroll in this course

BIO/ESS 246
Conservation Biology
The study of preserving and restoring nature and ecosystem processes are covered. This course introduces students to the anthropogenic problems facing ecosystems and some of the possible solutions. Theory and application pertaining to biodiversity, species extinction, biological invasions, land management and other topics are discussed. Three hours lecture per week. Offered fall semester of even years.
Prerequisite: BIO 152, BIO 211 recommended. General Studies Connections-Global

BIO/ESS 312
Wetlands Ecology
This course covers the ecology of freshwater and saltwater wetlands systems. Linkages between the plants, animals, microbes, hydrology and chemistry of various wetland types are emphasized. Wetland delineation, functional assessment of wetlands, and wetland creation and restoration are among the topics discussed. Field trips and laboratory sessions focus on quantitative evaluations of the hydrology, soils, and plant and animal communities of various wetland types. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered fall semester of even years.
Prerequisite: BIO 152

BIO/ESS 315
Watershed Hydrology and Water Resources
Water is perhaps our most vital resource, yet its availability is often taken for granted. This class covers the principles of hydrologic processes that govern water distribution within a variety of landscapes. The influence of land use (e.g. rural, agricultural, urban) on water availability and quality are addressed, as well as watershed management issues and practices. In the laboratory portion of this course, field techniques are used to quantify hydrologic processes in surface waters, groundwater and wetland soils.

Water quality is also assessed within lake and river environments. Modern tools, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), are used to connect landscape properties to water availability and quality. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered fall semester of odd years.
Prerequisite: ESS 101 is recommended

BIO 318
Marine and Aquatic Science
Over 70 percent of the world is covered by water with about 97 percent of it in the oceans.  Despite this, much of these aquatic environments are not well explored or understood.  This is a problem since even though the underwater world may seem alien and distant, we are irrevocably interconnected with this ecosystem.

From fisheries to deep ocean carbon dioxide pumping humanity's future is tied with the aquatic world.  In this course you will be introduced to the general concepts of oceanography, limnology (the study of freshwater systems), and aquatic ecology. Through a series of fieldtrips and lab exercises, you will gain firsthand experience with the tools and techniques used to discover the secrets under the waves. This course includes a trip to a marine research lab during which you will run self-designed surveys and experiments to truly become aquatic scientists. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Offered spring semester of odd years.
Prerequisites: BIO 211 and CHE 106 

BIO 319
Vertebrate Natural History
This course is a survey of the natural history of the vertebrates. Students learn the ecology, evolution and the natural history of the major vertebrate classes including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Laboratory focuses on taxonomic identification of vertebrates native to Pennsylvania and on various field techniques used to study and survey vertebrates. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. At least one field trip will be over a weekend. Offered spring semester of even years.
Prerequisite: BIO 152

BIO 321
Microbiology
This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of microbiology. Physiology, genetics, immunology, medical bacteriology, virology and concepts of applied microbiology are discussed. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered fall semester.
Prerequisites: BIO 151; 203; co-requisite CHE 207

BIO 322
Cell Biology (W)
This is an investigation into the many aspects of cell structure and function, including the importance of proteins and other macromolecules encountered within cells, as well as specific cellular organelles. Intracellular sorting, protein targeting and signal transduction are examined, along with the mechanisms involved in cancer and programmed cell death. Laboratory exercises introduce students to sterile cell culture techniques and the skills involved in establishing and manipulating plant tissue and animal cell cultures. Fluorescence and Scanning Electron Microscopy, SDS PAGE and other techniques will be learned. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered spring semester.
Prerequisites: BIO 151, 203 and CHE 207

BIO 325
Molecular Genetics (W)
In this course, students gain an understanding of the genetic systems of viruses, bacteria, protists, plants and animals in molecular terms. Areas of discussion include immunogenetics, transposition, gene cloning, control of gene expression and the molecular biology of developmental processes. Lab work emphasizes basic methods used for isolation, analysis and cloning of DNA molecules. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered spring semester.
Prerequisites: BIO 151, BIO 203, CHE 207.

BIO 327
Histology and Microtechniques
A study of tissue histology and ultrastructure, including an introduction to a number of methods for preparing material for study using light and electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, photomicroscopy, macrophotography, digital imaging and image processing. The course introduces students to research techniques and clinical procedures. It involves three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week, plus additional lab time by arrangement. Offered spring semester.
Prerequisite: BIO 151

BIO 329
Virology
Viruses are intracellular parasites that require a living cell in order to replicate themselves and produce new virus particles. Within a historical context, the field of virology is a relatively new area of scientific research with many exciting discoveries occurring on a regular basis. There have been numerous types of viruses discovered to date. They have been shown to infect virtually every form of life on earth, including, insects, plants, mammals, and even bacteria. In terms of human health and disease, there are several reasons why the study of viruses is an important undertaking. For example, some viruses can cause considerable illness but they can also be used as delivery vehicles for vaccines or as cancer therapeutics. In this class, students will be exposed to studies published in the primary literature and be instructed via lecture, student-led presentations, and class discussion. Throughout the semester, students will have the opportunity to bolster both their written and oral communication skills. Finally, the laboratory portion of the course will give students hands-on exposure to many significant and fundamental principles of virology. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered in the spring semester of even years.
Prerequisites: BIO 203, CHE 207

BIO 331
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (W)
This course emphasizes understanding the functional and comparative anatomy of the vertebrates through exploration of vertebrate structure and function from an evolutionary perspective. Protochordates, lamprey eel, shark, mudpuppy, and cat are dissected to compare the basic architectural patterns of vertebrate systems and to discover ways in which existing structural patterns are modifications of ancestral patterns. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered spring semester of odd years.
Prerequisite: BIO 151

BIO 333
Developmental Biology
This course emphasizes topics relevant to vertebrate development. The lecture shows continuity between classical embryological work and modern experimental biology. The laboratory is divided between classical and experimental work. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week. Offered fall semester.
Prerequisites: BIO 151, 203

BIO 337
Comparative Animal Physiology and Ecophysiology
This course will explore the interplay between the physiological mechanisms of organisms and the ecological responses of populations to environmental stress. Topics covered will include basic physiological mechanisms, the effect of natural and human-induced environmental change on animal physiology, the special adaptations that allow organisms to survive in a variety of aquatic habitats, and the ecological implications of physiological responses to stress and environmental change. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week. Offered spring semester of even years.
Prerequisites: BIO 151 and 152, CHE 105

BIO 398
Animal & Human Nutrition
This course is an introduction to nutrional biochemistry and physiology. Students will explore the interaction between the bioenergetics of animals and the food they consume through a series of lecture and lab activities. The course material will cover nutritional requirements of domesticated animal species (fish to swine) and humans with a focus on the growth, health, and performance ramifications of differing diet composition. Prerequisites: BIO201/151 and CHE207 (corequisite)

BIO 490
Behavioral Endocrinology Seminar (W)
Students will investigate the interactions between hormones and behavior through the study of phenomena ranging from the molecular level to the social level. Behavioral endocrinology is studied from a comparative perspective by including examples from many different kinds of animals, to illuminate the various hormonal and behavioral mechanisms that have evolved in animals to deal with common problems of reproduction and survival. Three hours lecture per week. Offered as needed.
Prerequisites: BIO 151 and CHE 208

BIO 491
Seminar on Special Topics (W)
Discussions and written assignments provide an opportunity for exploration of specific topics in depth using a seminar format. Emphasis is placed on development of communication skills and ability to read and evaluate original scientific literature. Seminar topics include such areas as cell ultrastructure, immunobiology, neurobiology and environmental issues.

BIO 493
Neuroethology: The Neural Basis of Behavior (W)
This is a seminar course designed to integrate the results of behavioral field studies and neurobiological lab work. Problems of interest for written and oral assignments include signal detection, recognition, discrimination, localization, decision- making, coordination, orientation and the control of complex acts. Further areas of interest may include the neuronal and hormonal mechanisms underlying periodic changes in behavior, as well as the ontogeny and the evolution of behavior and its mechanisms. Three hours lecture per week. Offered as needed.
Prerequisites: BIO 151 and either BIO 235 or 337

BIO 494
Mammalian Evolution
A seminar concerning the evolution of mammals.  Lectures present an overview of mammalian evolution, interspersed with student presentations based on readings from current literature in the field. Students also design, develop, and provide a written proposal of a research project addressing some aspect of mammalian evolution. Three hours of lecture per week. Offered spring semester of odd years.
Prerequisite: BIO 220 or BIO 319

BIO 495
Molecular Biology Seminar
This course explores several different aspects of molecular biology, with an emphasis on plant molecular biology, and plant genetic engineering through the use of soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The genetic components of tumor-inducing plasmids of Agrobacterium and methods to engineer this plasmid to deliver genes of interest into a plant are described. Strategies to increase and control gene expression in genetically engineered plants are outlined, along with antibody production in transgenic plants, pathogen-derived resistance, virus resistance in plants, strategies for gene isolation and phytoremediation. An overview of immunology will be presented and human gene therapy is discussed along with issues of risk assessment, genetic containment and safety. Three hours lecture per week. Offered spring semester.
Prerequisite: BIO 203

BIO 498
Immunology Seminar (W)
This course is an analysis of the vertebrate immune system, including antibody structure and function, B and T-cell function, immune response mechanisms, serology, immunogenetics and immunopathology. Written and oral assignments emphasize critical analysis and discussion of current journal articles in immunobiology. Three hours lecture per week. Offered fall semester.
Prerequisite: BIO 151 and 203