2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

The Diversity of Life: Explorations in Biology


Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 quarters

Martin Beagle biology , Trisha Towanda invertebrate physiology, marine science
Fields of Study
biology and ecology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
biology, ecology, and health-related fields.
Strong quantitative skills

Biodiversity. What is it and why does it matter? How is it measured? How is it threatened? Should we do anything about it? Around the world, people are working to develop strategies to protect Earth’s biodiversity at all levels: from the molecular codes within our cells to ecosystems that can span entire continents. Over the course of two quarters, we will undertake a systematic study of biology in order to understand and address these questions.

In fall quarter, students will investigate the foundations of biology: cellular and molecular biology, genetics, physiology, evolution, and their context through the study of different biomes. We will develop an understanding of the quantitative and scientific methods used in biology as well address current issues in biology via seminar and workshop. Laboratory sessions will focus on acquiring proficiency in the techniques and instrumentation commonly used in the study of biology. Field studies will offer opportunities to experience and quantify biodiversity in the Pacific Northwest.

Studies in winter quarter will continue studies of general biology and further integrate the fundamental principles of biodiversity through evolution, conservation biology, and ecology as we examine the diversity of life on our planet. We will study the flow of energy and the fluxes and pools of elements within ecosystems, while considering the diversity of organisms involved and their functional roles.

Students will achieve a broad and balanced understanding of general biology through a variety of activities: workshops, seminars, lectures, labs and fieldwork, as well as student presentations. Students will apply biological concepts to explore the importance of diversity at genetic, species and ecosystem levels. Successful completion of this program will prepare students for upper-division work in the natural sciences, biology, conservation biology, environmental studies, and teaching and health professions. Upper-division science credit will not be available in this program.

Upon successfully completing this program, students seeking the equivalent of Introduction to Natural Sciences can take the full-time General Chemistry program spring quarter to prepare for further study in natural sciences.

Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Required Fees
Fall $25 and Winter $325 for entrance fees and field trip.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
August 29th, 2012 New program added.