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Course Descriptions

BIOL 110. General Biology Laboratory
This laboratory accompanies BIOL 130. Included in this class are exercises in quantitative methods, biochemical processes, organismal diversity, and vertebrate anatomy and physiology. One and one half laboratory hours per week.  Co- or prerequisite: BIOL 130 or equivalent. One laboratory hour per week. Credit, 1 hour. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 113. Introduction to Population Biology Laboratory
This lab accompanies BIOL 133. This lab introduces students to the methods used by population biologists to obtain and analyze information regarding population genetics, natural selection, animal behavior and population ecology. Co- or prerequisite: BIOL 133 or equivalent. Three laboratory hours per week. Offered spring and fall semesters.

BIOL 114. Introduction to Cellular Biology Laboratory
This is a hands-on laboratory course that provides an introduction to the methods by which cell biologists obtain and analyze information about the cell. Co- or prerequisite: BIOL 134 or equivalent. Three laboratory hours per week. Credit, 1 hour. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 116.  Introduction to Environmental Science Laboratory
This lab accompanies BIOL 231.  Laboratory work includes study of ecosystems, biodiversity, principles of sampling and environmental monitoring, and other topical environmental concepts.  Credit for this course may be used in partial fulfillment of the general education science requirement.  Co- or prerequisite: BIOL 231 or equivalent.  Three laboratory hours per week.  Credit, 1 hour.  Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 121 / BLOL 121. Medical Terminology
An introduction to the construction and definition of scientific and medically related terms. Emphasis is placed on Greek and Latin roots, suffixes, prefixes, and combining forms that comprise the vocabulary of a biological scientist. Special emphasis is placed on pronunciation and spelling. Two lecture hours per week. Credit, 2 hours. Offered spring semesters.

BIOL 130 / BLOL 130. General Biology
This course is intended for students who have a limited background in biology and related sciences and may not be used to satisfy hours for the biology major or minor. General biology is a survey of important concepts, principles, and processes of biological science. Course topics include the nature of scientific thought; biomolecules; cell structure and function; vertebrate anatomy and physiology; organismal diversity; evolution; and ecology. Students who did not have a chemistry or physical science class in high school are encouraged to complete a college level physical science class before taking General Biology. Three lecture hours per week. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 133. Introduction to Population Biology
Along with BIOL 113, this course provides a detailed introduction to evolutionary and ecological principles of biology.  Course topics include inheritance, population genetics, natural selection, life histories, behavior, and population ecology.  Three lecture hours per week. Offered spring and fall semesters.

BIOL 134. Introduction to Cellular Biology
Along with the laboratory, BIOL 114, this course provides a detailed introduction to biochemical and molecular aspects of biology. Course topics include macromolecules, properties of water, cellular structure and organelles, enzymes, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, DNA replication, transcription, translation, mitosis, meiosis, and the cell cycle. Three lecture hours per week. Pre- or corequisite: CHEM 132 strongly recommended. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 231. Introduction to Environmental Science
This course focuses on the ecological aspects of biology with special emphasis on the scientific principles that underlie current environmental issues. Topics will include the development of modern environmental ethics, fundamental concepts of ecology, the geophysical nature of the earth, and analysis of selected environmental problems. Special emphasis will be placed on climactic change, resource management, population growth, and preservation of biodiversity. This course may not be used to satisfy the requirement for the biology major or minor. Three lecture hours per week. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 244. Human Physiology
An introductory course in physiology. Topics of study include cell metabolism, cell division, protein synthesis, and an overview of the physiology of the body systems. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Credit, 4 hours. Credit does not apply to the major or minor in biology. Prerequisites: Consent of the instructor. Offered as needed.

BIOL 246. Biodiversity
This course provides a detailed introduction to the diversity of organisms. Course topics include taxonomy, natural history, structure, function, and ecological relationships of the major groups of organisms with particular emphasis on plants and animals. Prerequisites: BIOL 113 and 133 or BIOL 114 and 134. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 330.  Selected Topics in Biology
This course allows the student to pursue an in-depth study of some topic that is not covered in the existing biology curriculum.  This may include topics from biology history or current relevant topics in biology (e.g., medical and health issues, ethical issues, etc.).  Three lecture hours per week.  Credit, 3 hours.  Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 331. Vertebrate Embryology
Gamete formation; oogenesis and spermatogenesis; cleavage, blastulation, and gastrulation; organogeny and development of the nervous, digestive, excretory, circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, and reproductive systems; and formation of the extraembryonic membranes. Three lecture and two laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134. Recommended: BIOL 246. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semesters, even years.

BIOL 340. Genetics
History, definition, and aspects of genetics. Topics range from the molecular basis of heredity to the cellular, organismal, and population levels. Modern Mendelian genetics, cytogenetics, and molecular genetics are included. Laboratory experiences include both classical and modern techniques including DNA sequencing, PCR, and nucleic acid hybridization, Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133 or 134. CHEM 242 and 211 are strongly recommended. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 341. Plant Taxonomy
Types of flowers; structure and arrangement of flower parts; taxonomy and construction of keys; laws of nomenclature; classes, orders, and families of flowering plants. Three lecture and three laboratory-field hours per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134 and 246. Credit, 4 hours. Offered spring semesters, even years.

BIOL 342. Parasitology
The host-parasite relationship. Study of the major protozoan, arthropod, roundworm, flatworm, and annelid parasites of man and animals. Three lecture and two laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134 and 246. Credit, 4 hours. Offered spring semester, odd years.

BIOL 343. Human Anatomy
Topics of study include a review of cell structure and anatomical terminology, an overview of human tissues, and an organ system-based study of human anatomy. Joint and movement topics are included. Physiological functions of organs and systems are introduced but not treated in depth. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Credit, 4 hours. (Students may apply either BIOL 343 or BIOL 442 toward their elective hours in the major, but not both.) Prerequisites: BIOL 121 or sophomore status. Offered spring semesters.

BIOL 345. Microbiology
A study of the morphology, physiology and taxonomy of bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotic microorganisms. Use of the microscope and staining techniques are emphasized. Includes an introduction to humoral and cell mediated immunities, and a study of pathogens, mechanisms of disease, and control of microorganisms. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 114, 134, and CHEM 111 and 132. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall semesters.

BIOL 346. Biochemistry
This course focuses upon the chemistry of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids and their functions in the cell. Assembly, function, and regulation of these molecules will be emphasized. Laboratory exercises will involve the isolation, identification, and functional assessment of biological molecules. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week.  Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134, and CHEM 232 and 211. Credit: 4 hours. Offered fall semester every year.

BIOL 347. Invertebrate Zoology
A study of the anatomy, physiology, life history, ecology, classification, and phylogeny of invertebrate animals. The importance of invertebrates as competitors of humans, food sources, economic pests, links in important food chains, indicators of environmental quality, and as experimental subjects is stressed. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134 and 246. Credit, 4 hours. Offered spring semester, even years.

BIOL 349. Plant Biology
Topics include plant diversity, taxonomy, physiology, morphology, anatomy, growth, economic botany, horticulture, plant genetics, phytogeography and evolution. Laboratories will provide traditional in-class observation of slides, specimens and demonstrations as well as opportunities to engage in experimentation, hands-on experience in various phases of plant biology and exploration of the local plant environment. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134 and 246. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall semesters.

BIOL 401.  Natural History: Observing, Reading and Writing about Nature
This team-taught course, taught in tandem with ENGL 401, explores natural history through classic and contemporary essays on the natural world and on human involvement in it.  This traditional classroom activity is combined with field/laboratory experience involving observation of nature.  In response to reading the observations of others and to “reading”/observing nature directly, students will complete both informal and formal writing assignments, developing both their basic scientific understanding of the natural world and their written communication skills.  This Integrated Studies course can fulfill a requirement in Section IIIB of the General Education Curriculum.  Credit, 4 hours.

BIOL 410. Teaching Practicum in Biology
This course provides the future secondary school biology teacher with useful experiences and training. Topics of study include student learning styles, content organization, lesson plan preparation, student evaluation techniques, course and lesson assessment, laboratory safety, and ethics in the science classroom. Students also observe and evaluate freshman level biology laboratory experiences and are informed of public school core content expectations and the programs of studies for students in Kentucky. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134 and 246. Credit, 1 hour. Offered as needed.

BIOL 431. Conservation Biology
This course examines the historical patterns of natural resource use and the biological, ecological, and sociological consequences of that use. Current approaches used by conservation biologists to protect, restore, and sustain ecosystem health are discussed. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134 and 246. Recommended: BIOL 448. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semesters of even years.

BIOL 436. Medical Biochemistry
This course will concentrate on the metabolic processes involving carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids with an understanding of how these molecules are synthesized and broken down via cellular processes. Specific areas that will be emphasized include overall metabolism, enzymatic pathways, and coordination of cellular signaling. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134, and CHEM 232 and 211. Credit, 3 hours. Offered Spring semesters, odd years.

BIOL 441. Immunology
A study of the structure and biochemistry of antigens and antibodies, immunological techniques, humoral and cell-mediated immune systems and immunopathology. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 340. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL 345. Credit 4, hours. Offered fall semesters, even years.

BIOL 442. Comparative Anatomy
This course examines the anatomy of vertebrate animals with an emphasis on human structure and interesting anatomy concepts from the comparative study of vertebrate animals. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Students may apply either BIOL 343 or BIOL 442 toward elective hours in the major, but not both. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134 and 246. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall semesters.

BIOL 443. General Animal Physiology
In this course physiological actions of the body are examined. The physiology of metabolism, neural and hormonal control, and body organs and systems are studied. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134. CHEM 232 and 211 are strongly recommended. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 445. Molecular Biology
A study of biologically important molecules involved with DNA replication, RNA transcription, protein translation, and cell division. The techniques and procedures of modern molecular biology will be emphasized. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134, and CHEM 232 and 211. Strongly recommended: BIOL 340. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall semesters, odd years.

BIOL 446. Cell Biology in Health and Disease
Normal and abnormal cell function will be reviewed, using a variety of common cancers(cervical, breast, lung, colon) as model disease states. Topics to be covered include protein trafficking, cell cycle, cell migration and metastasis, oncogenes, growth factors and carcinogens. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134, and CHEM 211 and 232. Strongly recommended: BIOL 445. Credit, 4 hours. Offered spring semesters, even years.

BIOL 447. Histology
A study of tissue and organ structure of mammals. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133 and 134. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall semesters.

BIOL 448. General Ecology
Relationships of organisms to their environment. Topics will include the relationships of the physical environment, including climate, to animal and plant distribution; energy relationships; the niche concept; physiological ecology; community and population structure; succession; interactions of populations and maintenance of population size; and biogeography.  Prerequisites: BIOL 113, 114, 133, 134, 246, MATH 132 or higher. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall semester.

BIOL 460. Special Topics in Biology and Independent Research
This course allows students, under the direction of one or more faculty members, to pursue an in- depth investigation of some topic that is not part of the existing biology curriculum. The topic may be a continuation of one covered in another class or one that is not part of any course. Meeting times, activities, and credit will depend on the topic covered. Credit, variable. Prerequisites: permission of instructor.

BIOL 460-01 Dendrology.  Dendrology is the study of trees.  The course is designed for students with an interest in natural history and field studies.  About three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week.  Students will learn to identify many area trees from leaves, bark, and wood samples.  Students will also learn about tree habit, habitat, and uses.  Field trips are part of the course.  Prerequisites: Junior status, or consent of instructor.  Credit, 3 hours.  Offered spring semesters, odd years.

BIOL 460-02 Ecological Field Methods. This course is designed for students with an interest in natural history and environmental research. Participants will be allowed to explore ecological conditions and processes in local forests and streams through field projects, and receive experience and training in commonly used experimental techniques employed by field biologists. Students will also be introduced to experimental design concerns and data analysis processes involved in such studies. Two hours lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: Junior status, or consent of instructor. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester, odd years.

**Many of the BIOL 460 Special Topics courses have involved travel to locations including Belize, the Bahamas or the Appalachian Mountains.  Click here to see photos of the recent course BIOL 460:  Tropical Ecology and Conservation in Belize. 

BIOL 495. Senior Seminar
It is suggested that this seminar be completed during the second semester of the junior year or the first semester of the senior year. Senior Seminar consists of three parts: 1) a seminar which meets one a week to discuss current developments in the Biological Sciences, 2) preparation of a major review of the scientific literature relevant to a specific topic, and 3) an oral presentation of the results of the survey. Prerequisites: must be a junior or senior biology major and have the permission of the instructor. Credit, 1 hour. Offered fall and spring semesters.

BIOL 498. Senior Thesis
Under the supervision of a faculty member, the student will design and conduct an original research project, prepare a written report on the project, and present the findings of the project at a meeting open to the public. Credit, variable. Offered fall and spring semesters.

 

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