The material on this page is from the 1997-98 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.
Professors Minkoff and Thomas (on leave, fall semester and Short Term); Associate Professors Pelliccia (on leave, 1997
1998), Kinsman, Chair, Malloy, Abrahamsen, and Baker (on leave, winter semester and Short Term); Assistant Professors
Required for the major:
2. At least nine courses in biology, six of which must be advanced courses (200-level and above, or the equivalent). The nine courses must include:
a) The three biology core courses: Biology 101s, Biology 270 (formerly Biology 170), and Biology s42.
b) Six additional electives to complete the nine required. The advanced courses may include no more than two research or thesis credits from among the following biology courses: 360, 457, 458, 470 through 479, and s50, and no more than one Short Term unit (s30-level and above) in addition to s42. Short Term internships (s26, s46) do not count toward the major. At least one elective must be a laboratory course that focuses on form and function of plants or animals. Courses that satisfy the form and function requirement include: 121 (Plant Diversity), 124 (Plants and Human Affairs), 168 (Entomology), 176 (Physiology of Locomotion), 211 (Marine Invertebrates), 311 (Comparative Anatomy of Chordates), 337 (Animal Physiology), 380 (Plant Physiology), s40 (Mammalian Histology).
One of Chemistry 321 or 322, Psychology 355 or 363, may be substituted for an advanced course in satisfying the requirements of the major. FYS 215 (Neuroscience: Past, Present, and Future) may be used as an elective.
3. Additional non-course requirements for the major include completion of the comprehensive examination and extracurricular seminar program (see below).
Planning for the Major. Prospective majors are urged to discuss course selection and scheduling with a member of the Department in the first year, particularly if use of AP credits, or participation in a junior study-away program, is anticipated. A pamphlet describing curricular options and Department policies and programs is available from the Department. We strongly encourage students to complete the required core courses before the end of their sophomore year to allow scheduling flexibility later. We also strongly advise that electives be chosen in close consultation with faculty to ensure breadth of knowledge within biology (from molecules and cells to organisms and ecosystems). We encourage students to consider biology as part of an interdisciplinary program (see interdisciplinary major guidelines). Additional allied major programs offered include biological chemistry, environmental studies, and neuroscience (see titled sections in catalog). Students may apply to include a biological internship at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.
General Education. A set in biology consists of any two courses and/or designated units or First-Year Seminars in biology, provided that at least one has a full laboratory component. Courses and units with full laboratory components currently include Biology 101s, 121, 124, 168, 176, 211, 270 (or 170), 308, 311, 313, 315, 336, 337, 341, 351, 370, 380, s32, s34, s38, s40, s42. Prerequisites must be fulfilled before enrolling at an advanced level. Any biology course, designated unit, or designated First-Year Seminar may be used to fulfill the third course for the natural-science requirement. Designated units include s32, s34, s40, s42, s45 Designated First-Year Seminars include FYS 215. The quantitative requirement can be satisfied by completing Biology 101s, 155 (or 255), 158, 270 (or 170), or s45. AP credit may not be used for general education requirements.
Comprehensive Examination. The comprehensive examination requirement must be fulfilled by achieving a score corresponding to the twenty-sixth percentile on the Graduate Record Exam Subject Test in Biology. This requirement must be fulfilled by the December test date of the senior year; students are encouraged to take the test early. Students who have taken the GRE twice by the December test date without achieving a passing score may request to fulfill this requirement by passing a Departmental comprehensive exam given once during winter semester or Short Term of their senior year.
Extracurricular Seminar Program. Majors are required to attend eight of the departmental seminars (approximately
twelve are scheduled each year), as well as the associated discussions, by the end of February of the senior year.
Discussions focus on a research paper describing the seminar speaker's work. No formal course credit is given for the
seminar. Majors will be sent a description and periodic announcements each semester.
110. Oceanography. An integrated, interdisciplinary overview of the chemistry, physics, geology, and biology of the world's oceans. Topics include chemical and physical properties of sea water, ocean circulation, evolution of ocean basins, coastal geomorphology, the distribution and abundance of organisms in the major marine communities, the status of the world's most important fisheries, and the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 210. W. Ambrose.
121. Plant Diversity. A survey of marine and freshwater algae, the fungi, mosses, ferns, fern allies, and seed plants. Lecture and laboratory studies emphasize comparative structures, functions, habitats, and evolutionary relationships. Open to first-year students. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 221. R. Thomas.
124. Plants and Human Affairs. A survey of economically and historically important plants, with emphasis on aspects of agronomy, forestry, plant biochemistry, and ethnobotany. Plant products studied include perfumes, spices, medicinals, fermentation products, oils, rubber, textiles, wood, sugar, cereals, and legumes. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 224, or for Biology 471 during winter 1994. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. R. Thomas.
130. Life, Sex, and Cells. One of the great mysteries of the natural world is the prevalence of sexual reproduction. What, really, is sex? How did it begin? Why is it more common in species with complex cells and specialized bodies? Is sex required for reproduction in all of the millions of species, from bacterial to diatoms to mammals? What do "male" and "female" mean for asexual, hermaphroditic, and sex-changing species? This course takes a wide perspective to investigate the patterns of sex and gender among the species, assessing the traditional explanations and their critiques of the evolution and consequences of sex and gender. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 105. S. Kinsman.
131. Genetics. A course in classical and molecular genetics that extends a Mendelian analysis of genetics to topics that include biochemical, developmental, behavioral, and human genetics. The role of genetics in evolutionary processes is emphasized. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 231. K. Rasmussen.
155. Mathematical Models in Biology. Mathematical models are increasingly important throughout the life sciences. This course provides an introduction to deterministic and stochastic models in biology, and to methods of fitting and testing them against data. Examples are chosen from a variety of biological and medical fields, such as ecology, molecular evolution, and infectious disease. Computers are used extensively for modeling and for analyzing data. This course is the same as Mathematics 155. Recommended background: one college biology course. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 255. J. Rhodes.
158. Evolutionary Biology. Evolution is the great unifying theory in biology. It is the context into which all other biological subjects fit. The course examines various aspects of evolution, including the origin of life, the major events in the evolution of life on earth, the nature of the fossil record, the history of evolutionary theories, and creationist objections to these theories. Computer exercises are included as an important part of the course. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 100. E. Minkoff.
162. Animal Behavior. This course examines the ecological and evolutionary aspects of animal behavior. Topics covered
include behavioral genetics, development, habitat selection, foraging behavior, antipredator tactics, reproductive behavior,
sociality, and Evolutionary Stable Strategies (ESS). The focus of this course is predominantly on vertebrates; however
invertebrate social behavior is also addressed. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Not open to students
who have received credit for Biology 262.
168. Entomology. A study of insects, the largest group of animals. Lectures and laboratories introduce insect morphology, classification, evolution, physiology, behavior, ecology, and field study. Selected topics for discussion may include courtship, parental care, control of pests, mutualists, social behavior, chemical ecology. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 268. S. Kinsman.
176. Physiology of Locomotion. An introduction to physiology using human locomotion as a model. Lectures examine both the short-term and long-term responses to exercise that take place at cellular, tissue, organ, and organismal levels. Topics may include glycolytic and oxidative metabolism; muscle function and adaptation; cardiovascular, respiratory, hormonal, and renal responses to exercise; musculoskeletal mechanics; and exercise in unusual environments. Students choose topics of special interest for discussion sections and class projects. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 276. L. Malloy.
181. Introduction to Paleontology. Evolutionary principles above the species level are illustrated by studying the evolution of the vertebrates and selected invertebrate groups. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 281. E. Minkoff.
185. Primates and Human Origins. A course in primatology and physical anthropology for students of biology, psychology, anthropology, and other fields. Topics include primate evolution, paleoanthropology, human genetics, living races, primate behavior, and the physical prerequisites for culture. Conflicting views on phylogeny, race, intelligence, and behavior are also discussed. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 285. E. Minkoff.
200. The Social Context of Science. This course treats science as a distinctly human activity that takes place in the social context of a larger society. Among the issues examined are the influence of religion and political affiliation on science, the problems of science in totalitarian countries, the recruitment and training of scientists, and the influence of personal characteristics (race, gender, ethnicity, social class, and individual personality) on scientists and their careers. Lengthy readings include biographies of many scientists as well as works of a more general nature. Prerequisite(s): one course in any science. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. E. Minkoff.
210. Oceanography. This course is the same as Biology 110. Written permission of the Department Chair is required.
211. Marine Invertebrates. A survey of the varieties, morphology, development, evolution, and behavior of invertebrates with an emphasis on marine animals. Laboratory work includes the study, through dissection and experiment, of representative organisms. Field trips to local marine habitats. Prerequisite(s): Biology 101s. Enrollment limited to 14 per section. W. Ambrose.
212. Physiological Ecology. This course examines physiological diversity in relationship to the environments in which animals live. Topics covered include thermoregulation, energy metabolism, allometry, locomotion, respiratory adaptations, and water balance. Emphasis is given to the central role of the organism in biology, and how animals are designed with reference to their natural environments and evolutionary histories. Prerequisite(s): Biology 101s. R. Gerwien.
224. Plants and Human Affairs. This course is the same as Biology 124. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 471 during winter 1994. Enrollment limited to 40. Written permission of the Department Chair is required.
231. Genetics. This course is the same as Biology 131. Written permission of the Department Chair is required.
240. Epidemiology. Epidemiology is the study of patterns of disease and injury occurrence within populations. Biological, environmental, physical, and socioeconomic factors are examined in relation to disease occurrence and spread. Discussion focuses on measurements and studies of infectious, communicable, chronic, and emerging diseases. Readings and discussions emphasize current topics such as the recent rabies, Ebola, and hemorrhagic E. coli outbreaks. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42 or 170 or 270. K. Palin.
244. Biostatistics. A course in the use of both descriptive and inferential statistics in the biological sciences, including such topics as types of data, population structure, probability distributions, common types of statistical inference (t-, F-, and chi-square tests), correlation and regression, analysis of variance, and an introduction to nonparametric statistics. Prerequisite(s): one college biology course. Enrollment limited to 50. E. Minkoff.
262. Animal Behavior. This course is the same as Biology 162. Written permission of the Department Chair is required.
268. Entomology. This course is the same as Biology 168. Written permission of the Department Chair is required.
270. Ecology. An introduction to ecological and evolutionary patterns, principles, and processes. Topics include life history and adaptation, speciation, population dynamics and interactions, community structure, and ecosystem processes. Laboratories include experimental investigations of several levels of biological organization using cooperative lab groups. Prerequisite(s): Biology 101s. Open to first-year students. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 170. S. Kinsman, W. Ambrose.
276. Physiology of Locomotion. This course is the same as Biology 176. Written permission of the Department Chair is required.
308. Neurobiology. The course is an introduction to the molecular and cellular principles of neurobiology, and the organization of neurons and associated cells into sensory, motor, and central systems. Also included are the topics of developmental and synaptic plasticity, and the role invertebrate systems have played in our understanding of these processes. Laboratories include electrical recordings of nerve cells, computer simulation and modeling, and the use of molecular techniques in neurobiology. This course is the same as Neuroscience 308. Recommended background: Neuroscience 200. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. Enrollment limited to 24. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 278. N. Kleckner.
311. Comparative Anatomy of the Chordates. An introduction to the comparative anatomy of the vertebrates and their kin, with laboratory study of both sharks and mammals. Prerequisite(s): Biology 101s. Enrollment limited to 25. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 251. E. Minkoff.
313. Marine Ecology. An examination of the complex ecological interactions that structure marine systems. Habitats studied include intertidal, estuary, coral reef, deep sea, salt marsh, and pelagic. Laboratories include work in local marine communities and require occasional weekend trips. Prerequisite(s): Biology 170 or 270. Enrollment limited to 20. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 213. W. Ambrose.
314. Virology. A lecture and seminar examination of the molecular biology of viruses, including viroids and bacteriophages. Topics include viral infection and replication cycles, morphology, oncogenesis, and virus-host interactions. Viruses of epidemiologic and biotechnologic importance are emphasized. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. L. Abrahamsen.
315. Bacteriology. A survey of the structure and physiology of bacteria, emphasizing adaptations of these organisms to specific environmental niches. Particular attention is given to organisms of medical, ecological, or industrial interest. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. Enrollment limited to 25. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 215. L. Abrahamsen.
316. Molecular Aspects of Development. The course investigates how genes and specific molecules mediate developmental phenomena. Topics covered in lectures and readings include control of gene expression in eukaryotes, differentiation, determination, pattern formation, and developmental gradients. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 216. Staff.
331. Molecular Biology. An introduction to the molecular biology of genes and chromosomes. The course emphasizes current research about gene structure and function, experimental techniques, and viral and prokaryotic genetics. The laboratories demonstrate recombinant DNA technology. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. K. Rasmussen.
336. Field Ecology. A course in methods of investigating patterns and interactions in natural populations and communities. Students conduct several outdoor field investigations, gaining practical experience in problem identification, experimental design, data collection, and analysis and communication of results. Research methods and their conservation applications are examined through primary literature and visits to active research sites. Some weekend field trips. Prerequisite(s): Biology 170 or 270. Enrollment limited to 14 per section. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology 236. S. Kinsman.
337. Animal Physiology. The major physiological processes of animals, including digestion, circulation, respiration, excretion, locomotion, and both neural and hormonal regulation. Examples will be drawn from several species and include a consideration of the cellular basis of organ-system function. Recommended background: Biology 176 or 276. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. Enrollment limited to 24. L. Malloy.
338. Drug Actions on the Nervous System. This course focuses on the biochemistry and physiology of neural tissues. An emphasis is placed on neurotransmitter systems, and on drugs thought to act on these systems. The relationships between the actions of drugs at molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels are also discussed. Current literature is reviewed related to topics of special interest. Recommended background: Neuroscience 200, Biology 308, or Psychology 363. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. N. Kleckner.
341. Electron Microscopy. An introduction to the principles of electron optics, with emphasis on biological applications. Topics covered in lecture or laboratory include preparation of specimens for transmission and scanning electron microscopy, use of the scanning electron microscope, use of associated photographic, X-ray dispersive, cytochemical, immunological, and autoradiographic techniques, and interpretation of data. Special interest topics are chosen by students for independent research projects. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. Enrollment limited to 6. R. Thomas.
351. Immunology. The immune system is studied as an example of the body's chemical communication networks and as one mechanism for memory. Topics include production of an immune response, immune surveillance in the maintenance of health, the effects of psychological and environmental factors on the immune system and on health, and the effects of immune dysfunctions (auto-immune diseases and immune deficiencies including AIDS). The course will emphasize the human immune system but briefly covers comparative immunology. Includes a laboratory. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. P. Baker.
352. Membrane and Receptor Biology. A detailed examination of the structure and function of biological membranes. Lectures and readings focus on those aspects of cell and organelle membranes which account for their biofunctional properties. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42 or Chemistry 321. P. Baker.
360. Independent Study. Independent study and/or research by an individual student under the direction of a staff member. A detailed summary report is required at the end of each semester of work. Submission of a proposal approved by both the faculty sponsor and the Department is required prior to registration. Students are limited to one independent study per semester. Staff.
365. Special Topics. Offered at irregular intervals by a faculty member in an area of contemporary interest. Staff.
380. Plant Physiology. A study of organismal and cellular functions important in the life of green plants. Topics include mineral nutrition, water relations, metabolism, and regulatory processes. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. R. Thomas.
457, 458. Senior Thesis. Permission of the Department and the thesis advisor are required. Students register for Biology 457 in the fall semester and for Biology 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Biology 457 and 458. Staff.
470. Seminar and Research in Experimental Ecology. Laboratory, field, or library study of a current research topic in experimental ecology. A topic is selected with reference to the research interests of the instructor. Prerequisite(s): Biology 170 or 270. Enrollment limited to 6. Written permission of the instructor is required. S. Kinsman.
471. Seminar and Research in Experimental Botany. Laboratory, field, or library study of a current research topic in experimental botany. A topic is selected with reference to the research interests of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 6. Written permission of the instructor is required. R. Thomas.
472. Seminar and Research in Animal Physiology. Laboratory or library study of a current research topic in animal physiology. Students may select a topic with reference to the research interests of the instructor. Recommended background: Biology 176/276 or 337. Enrollment limited to 6. Written permission of the instructor is required. L. Malloy.
473. Seminar and Research in Cell Biology. Laboratory and library study of a current research topic in the experimental study of biology at the cellular level. A topic is selected with reference to the research interests of the instructor. Recommended background: Biology s42. Enrollment limited to 6. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.
474. Seminar and Research in Marine Biology. Laboratory, field, and library study of advanced topics in marine biology. Topics are selected in relation to research interests of the instructor and students. Recommended background: Biology 211. Prerequisite(s): Biology 170 or 270. Enrollment limited to 6. Written permission of the instructor is required. W. Ambrose.
476. Seminar and Research in Neurobiology. Laboratory or library study of a current research topic in molecular or cellular neurobiology. A topic is selected in reference to the research interests of the instructor. Recommended background: Biology 278 or 308 or 338. Enrollment limited to 6. Written permission of the instructor is required. N. Kleckner.
Short Term Units
s26. Work-Study Internship in the Natural Sciences. Participation by qualified students in the work of some local or distant institution or agency concerned with the application of scientific knowledge. Such institutions may include hospitals, aquacultural farms, and medical or veterinary offices, among others. By specific arrangement and with Departmental approval only. Each intern is supervised by a staff member. Not open to students who have received credit for Biology s36. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.
s29. Nature Photography. A study of photographic techniques used by biologists in the field and laboratory, with emphasis on close-up photography of plants and animals. Additional areas covered include landscape and aerial photography, photomicrography, and preparation of photographs for lectures or publication. Required: access to a 35mm single lens reflex camera. Recommended background: one course in biology at the 100 level. Enrollment limited to 15. Written permission of the instructor is required. R. Thomas.
s32. Experimental Marine Ecology. A study of marine plants and animals, and their relationships with each other and with their environment. Students carry out individual research projects. The unit involves extensive fieldwork and, sometimes, full-time/off-campus residence. Recommended background: Biology 170 or 270 or 211. Enrollment limited to 12. Written permission of the instructor is required. W. Ambrose.
s34. Tropical Field Biology. Tropical ecosystems harbor the majority of species. This advanced unit introduces the biology of the tropics, with an emphasis on ecology. Readings and written assignments serve as preparation for fieldwork and travel in a Latin American country. Trips to a variety of ecosystems (for example: mangrove swamps, plantations, rainforests, Alpine sites) introduce tropical community diversity. Activities include lectures, reading, field experiments, field trips, and research projects. Recommended background: one or more of Biology 121, 124/224, 170, or 270. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 7. Written permission of the instructor is required. S. Kinsman.
s40. Mammalian Histology. The study of mammalian tissue types, with emphasis on tissue structure and function in class and tissue structure and identification in the laboratory. Prerequisite(s): Biology 176/276 or 181 or 281 or 311 or 337. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. E. Minkoff.
s42. Cellular and Molecular Biology. A view of life at the cellular and molecular levels. Topics include cellular energetics, membrane phenomena, and molecular biology. Laboratory techniques include enzymology, cell fractionation, microbial genetics, and electrophoresis. Prerequisite(s): Biology 101s and Chemistry 108. Open to first-year students. K. Rasmussen, N. Kleckner, L. Abrahamsen.
s45. Computer Applications in Biology and Medicine. Through individual projects, students are introduced to some of the techniques of computer programming, as well as some of the biological problems that lend themselves to investigation with the aid of computers. No previous experience in computer programming is assumed. Prerequisite(s): Biology 158 or 170 or 270. Enrollment limited to 15. E. Minkoff.
s46. Internship in the Natural Sciences. Off-campus participation by qualified students as team members in an experimental program in a research program. By specific arrangement and with Departmental approval only. Enrollment limited to 15. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.
s50. Individual Research. Registration in this unit is granted by the Department only after the student has submitted a written proposal for a full-time research project to be completed during the Short Term and has secured the sponsorship of a member of the Department to direct the study and evaluate results. Students are limited to one individual research unit. Staff.