Invertebrate Biology (BIOL 205) - Spring and Fall 2014
This is a survey course for students majoring in biology. The primary goal is to provide students with a broad overview of the major groups of animals (excluding Vertebrata) through a comparative approach of their organismal biology. Because invertebrates make up the majority of animal diversity on the planet (>97 %) it will not be possible to cover all phyla (~35) in depth. Instead, we will use a phylogenetic approach to study the functional morphology, life history, and evolution of approximately 15 major invertebrate groups across terrestrial, aquatic and marine habitats, with more thorough examination of exemplars that typify certain groups. Evolution is the overarching theme for biology, and we will emphasize this throughout the course using a broad overview of evolutionary theory and examples from invertebrates that highlight the powerful insights that the theory has provided regarding biodiversity and the development of life on the planet.
Senior Seminar: Evolution for Everyone (BIOL 493) Fall 2014
The primary goal of this course is to help students develop an appreciation and understanding of the basic principles of one of the most powerful explanatory and predictive tools available for the study of the living world – Theory of Evolution by natural selection. Emphasis will be placed on a broad understanding of critical evolutionary thinking as it can be applied across disciplines to understand all species, including humans. With a solid foundation in evolutionary theory and scientific thinking, students will be able to explain the principles of evolution and demonstrate the application of these principles in dealing with a diversity of issues encompassing the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities. The course will provide biology majors with the opportunity to explore, analyze and discuss recently published articles from the field of evolution as they relate to a variety of disciplines. We will use the examples and ideas presented in select chapters of the primary text Evolution for everyone (Wilson 2007) as a framework for exploring principles of evolutionary theory as it is applied in an integrative and interdisciplinary fashion to examine topics ranging from the history of life on earth to all aspects of humanity
Aquatic Ecology - Planned Future Course
Description coming soon
Molecular Ecology - Planned Future Course
Description coming soon
Insect Biology (BIOL 402) - Planned Future Course
Entomology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects, class (Insecta) of the phylum Arthropoda. Insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet. With over a million species described, and possibly another 30 million more left to be discovered, they easily outnumber all other animal and plant groups combined. This course is designed to introduce you to the basic biology of insects with an emphasis on taxonomy, evolution and their role in ecosystems.