Biology

Robert M. Bellin, Ph.D., Professor and Chair
 

The biology curriculum is designed to acquaint students with the broad scope of the biological sciences at several levels of functional organization. Its courses include molecular, cellular, organismal, ecological, and evolutionary aspects of biology. Departmental course offerings prepare biology majors for advanced study in graduate or professional schools and for other professional opportunities. The department believes that an informed understanding of biological principles is an important aspect of a liberal arts education, and it therefore offers diverse courses that introduce non-majors to basic biological concepts and explore the implications of modern biology for various social and ethical issues. Our curriculum also offers courses in geology to inform majors and non-majors about the history of the Earth, geologic materials, and the physical processes operating within the Earth and on its surface.

To be admitted to the biology major, students must have completed at least one introductory biology course and a lab course in chemistry, geology or physics, all at Holy Cross. The applicant must have earned at least a C average in biology and also in the other science courses (both averages are considered separately). Admission is competitive; it depends on classroom performance, an essay submitted with the admission process and on available space. Because the biology major, like all science majors, is structured, it is important that prospective majors begin their science courses as early as possible and certainly no later than their third semester.

All biology majors joining the major in Fall Semester 2016 or later must fulfill curricular requirements approved by the College Curriculum Committee in Spring Semester 2016. These students will complete the BIOL 161-162-163 introductory sequence plus five other biology courses, at least three of which must have accompanying labs, and six cognate courses from mathematics and other relevant course disciplines.

The full list of requirements for current biology major (approved Spring 2016) is as follows: the complete introductory biology series with labs; three additional upper division biology courses with lab; two additional upper division biology courses with or without lab; CHEM 181 plus either CHEM 221 or CHEM 231 (all with labs); MATH 135, or the equivalent; an approved Holy Cross course in statistics (BIOL 275 or MATH 220); and two additional cognate courses chosen from the approved list maintained by the department (see additional information in the following paragraph).  The upper division biology courses taken must include at least one from three of the four Course Distribution Areas (i.e., Cellular and Molecular Biology, Mechanistic Organismal Biology, Organismal Diversity, and Ecology and Evolution).  One semester of research for credit may be used towards the upper division biology course requirement with lab.  Students may substitute one Geoscience course above the 100 level for an upper division biology course. Of the minimum total of eight biology courses required by this curriculum, at least six must be taken at Holy Cross.

To complete their cognate requirements, students must take two additional courses from among the following offerings: CHEM 221, CHEM 222, CHEM 231, CSCI 131, CSCI 132, CSCI 135, GEOS 150, GEOS 210, GEOS 270, GEOS 310, MATH 136, MATH 241, PHYS 115, PHYS 116, PSYC 221.  A.P. or I.B. credits may not be used to fulfill this requirement.  Students may elect to substitute an upper division biology course (beyond the required five) for one of these cognates.

Biology majors who joined the major prior to Fall Semester 2016 may opt to follow the requirements listed above, or to complete the curriculum requirements that were in place when they joined the major.  Under those previously established requirements, students will complete the BIOL161-162-163 introductory sequence plus six other biology courses, at least three of which must have accompanying labs, and six cognate courses from mathematics and other natural sciences. They will also select an area of concentration (track) that will help to determine the specific courses taken after introductory biology. The tracks are Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB) and Ecological, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology (EEOB). Of the minimum total of nine biology courses, at least seven must be taken at Holy Cross.  

For the CMB track, two of the classes beyond introductory biology must come from a group of cellular and molecular biology courses and two more must represent two other biology distribution areas (diversity, organismal biology, and ecology/evolution). Alternatively, a student may choose one cellular and molecular course, Genetics or Genetic Analysis plus two courses from areas outside of the CMB distribution courses. For both paths, the remaining two biology courses can come from any area of the biology curriculum. All students in the CMB track must also complete two years of chemistry and either mathematics through integration or one calculus and one statistics course. A year of physics is recommended but not required. (Premedical students must complete a year of physics with lab.)

For the EEOB track, students will take one course from each of the four distribution areas (cell and molecular, diversity, organismal biology, ecology and evolution). The remaining two courses can come from any area of the biology curriculum. All students in the EEOB track must also complete one year of general chemistry plus either mathematics through integration or one calculus and one statistics course. In addition they must take two other science courses (Geology, Chemistry, Physics or Genetics) drawn from a list of courses approved for this purpose. (Premedical students must complete two years of chemistry with lab and a year of physics with lab.)

Regardless of the curriculum chosen, all biology majors must earn an average grade of C or better in introductory biology courses to continue in the major. Additional courses, up to a maximum of 14, may be taken at Holy Cross or, with the chair’s permission, in other programs, such as Study Abroad, Study Away, the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts or summer school.

In addition to formal courses, the Department offers qualified students an opportunity to conduct research (Biology 401) in association with faculty members in their research laboratories. Opportunities also exist for students to pursue individual interests in faculty-directed readings courses based on biological literature (Biology 405). Students conducting research for a thesis in the College Honors Program must elect Biology 407, 408. Students may receive up to one semester of lab credit towards the major by taking either Biology 401 or 407. Additional semesters of research count for credit towards graduation from the College but do not count as biology credits. Research credits are subject to the rule of no more than 14 courses in any department.

Advanced Placement Credit: Students with AP credit in Biology do not receive credit toward the minimum number of course required by the major or advanced standing in the Biology curriculum.

Biochemistry Concentration

The Departments of Biology and Chemistry jointly offer a concentration that focuses on the study of the chemistry underlying biological structure and function. Concentrators must be enrolled as either biology or chemistry majors. Participants take Biology 161, 301, and 302 with laboratories; Chemistry 181, 221, 222, 231, and 336 (or equivalent); and one additional biology course with an associated biochemistry-oriented laboratory, in addition to the usual courses required of their major. Concentrators must also complete a two-semester thesis project in their fourth year involving research on some aspect of biochemistry. Admission to the concentration is competitive and occurs in the second semester of the second year. Interested students should contact the Concentration Coordinator or the chair of either department.

Geosciences

The Geosciences curriculum offers students an insight into the physical, chemical, and biological processes of the Earth and its multitude of interacting global systems. As we face increasing scientific, social, and economic challenges related to our changing environment, the tools and topics covered in this curriculum can help us make sense of how we affect and are affected by this environment. The Geosciences curriculum at Holy Cross highlights the wide range of processes that occur at and near the Earth's surface, including how geologic forces create and modify landscapes; how water moves between the Earth, oceans, and atmosphere; and how life and climate have evolved and influence the Earth over its 4.5 to 4.6-billion-year history. Fieldwork outdoors is central to many of the courses, and many of the courses provide opportunities for hands-on exploration of the Earth, whether outdoors, in the lab, or through analyzing authentic data. Geosciences course offerings are listed below the Biology courses.

The Geosciences minor is a flexible six-course program for students of any major who want to explore this discipline beyond the introductory level. Students considering this minor are advised to complete GEOS 150 (Introduction to Geology) no later than fall semester sophomore year, and they are advised to declare the minor no later than the end of spring semester junior year. Note that GEOS 140 (Environmental Geology) does not count toward the minor.

The curriculum is as follows: Geosciences minors must successfully complete one required course, GEOS 150 (Introduction to Geology). Students must also complete five additional Geosciences electives (currently GEOS 210, 270, 299, 399, 401, 405; and BIOL 255). Because the Geosciences draw on tools and techniques from many disciplines, students may substitute one Geosciences elective with one of these complimentary courses: BIOL 233 (Freshwater Ecology), BIOL 275 (Biological Statistics), CHEM 300 (Instrumental Chemistry and Analytical Methods), CSCI 131 (Techniques of Programming), ENVS 247 (Introduction to Geographical Information Systems), MATH 220 (Statistics), MATH 303 (Mathematical Models), PHYS 221 (Methods of Physics). Students may count up to two pre-approved geosciences courses taken through the Colleges of Worcester Consortium or a Holy Cross Study Abroad program toward their electives. At least four of the five electives/complementary courses must be at the 200 or 300 level (or equivalent). Students ordinarily may not count more than two courses taken for their major toward the Geosciences minor. Students thinking about applying to graduate school in the Geosciences are further advised to complete at least two semesters each of Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus, as most programs currently require these courses for admission, regardless of major or minor.

Courses

Biology Courses

Biology
114
Biological Principles
Fall, spring

These courses introduce non-science majors to principles and modes of inquiry underlying the study of living things. Each course examines a subset of subject matter, which may range from biological molecules and cells to the structure and function of organisms to interactions of organisms with their environments. All courses in this series share the common goal of providing a rigorous introduction both to the methods of scientific inquiry and to the content of the discipline. Recently taught subjects include evolution, microbiology, cancer, environmental biology, the molecular biology of the HIV pandemic, toxicants and radiation, biology of the brain, biology of aging, human anatomy and physiology, the unseen world, and conservation biology. One unit.

Biology
117
Environmental Science
Annually

The goal of this course is to provide an understanding of major environmental problems by studying their biological bases.  Applied and basic material will be integrated in most sections.  Basic topics include ecosystem structure, energy flow, biogeochemical cycles, population growth and regulation and environmental policy.  Applied topics include human population growth, agriculture and food production, pest control, conservation of forests and wildlife, preservation of biological diversity, energy use, water and air pollution and atmospheric climate change.  One unit.

Biology
161
Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
Fall, spring

Fundamental principles of biology studied at the molecular and cellular levels of organization. Intended for all potential biology majors and health professions students regardless of major. Includes laboratory. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
162
Introduction to Mechanisms of Multicellular Life
Fall, spring

Fundamental principles of mechanistic biology at the organ and system levels. Emphasis on vertebrates with some material on higher plants. Intended for all potential biology majors and health professions students regardless of major. Includes laboratory. Prerequisite: Biology 161. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
163
Introduction to Biological Diversity and Ecology
Spring

An introduction to evolution, ecology and the diversity of life: plants, animals, fungi, protists and prokaryotes. Intended for all biology and environmental studies majors. An appropriate first course in biology for students with ecological organismal or evolutionary interests. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
171
Anatomy and Physiology 1
Fall

This course studies the functional systems of the human body. It focuses heavily on their integrative nature and maintenance of homeostasis. Topics covered include cell and tissue structure, the nervous, skeletomuscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, endocrine and reproductive systems. Prerequisites: Students should have completed or be currently enrolled in Biology 161 or 162. Permission for enrollment is controlled by the Health Professions Advisor and that office may waive the introductory biology requirement in some cases. This course is reserved for students planning to attend physician’s assistant, nursing, physical therapy or other allied health programs after graduation. It may not be used as credit toward the biology major. One and one quarter-units.

Biology
172
Anatomy and Physiology 2
Spring

This course is a continuation of Anatomy and Physiology 1. Prerequisite: Biology 171. It may not be used as credit toward the biology major. One and one quarter units.

Biology
199
Introductory Problems in Biology
Annually

A first-time course offering in various sub-disciplinary topics of biology.

Biology
210
Microbiology for Allied Health
Annually, spring

A comprehensive introduction to microbiology. This course provides an overview of microorganisms, including their structure and function, growth, ecology, genetics, taxonomy, and evolution. Emphasis is placed on prokaryotes and viruses of medical significance. The laboratory emphasizes pure culture methods, diagnostic microbiology, and physiology.  Includes laboratory.  Prerequisites:  Biology 161;  Chemistry 181. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
213
Comparative Vertebrate Morphology
Fall

The structure, function, development and evolution of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, digestive and urogenital systems of the chordates, with special emphasis on vertebrates. Includes laboratory. Mechanistic organismal biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 162. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
220
Entomology
Fall

An introduction to insects covering diversity, morphology, physiology, ecology and behavior, as well as considerations of the economic and medical importance of insects. Includes laboratory. Organismal Diversity. Prerequisite: Biology 161 or 163. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
223
Microbiology
Fall

A comprehensive introduction to microbiology.This course provides an overview of microorganisms,including their structure and function, growth, physiology, ecology, genetics, taxonomy, and evolution. Emphasis is placed on prokaryotes (Bacteria and Archaea) and viruses. The laboratory emphasizes enrichment and pure culture methods, diagnostic microbiology, and physiology. Molecular and cellular biology. Prerequisites: Biology 161; Prerequisite or Corequisite: Chemistry 222. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
230
Developmental Biology
Spring

This course provides a comparative exploration of development from fertilization to adulthood using both organismal and molecular/cellular approaches. We will discuss and compare basic aspects of patterning and morphogenesis using the major model systems of nematodes, fruit flies, frogs, chicks and mice. Throughout the course, we will also examine how developmental processes affect aging, cancer, and regeneration/repair after disease. This course includes a laboratory component, during which we will explore developmental processes using nematodes, fruit flies, chicks and flat worms. Mechanistic organismal biology. Prerequisite: Biology 161. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
232
Developmental Biology Lecture
Fall

This course provides a comparative exploration of development from fertilization to adulthood using both organismal and molecular/cellular approaches. We will discuss and compare basic aspects of patterning and morphogenesis using the major model systems of nematodes, fruit flies, frogs, chicks and mice. Throughout the course, we will also examine how developmental processes affect aging, cancer, and regeneration/repair after disease. Mechanistic organismal biology. Prerequisite: Biology 161. Students who have taken Biology 230 may not enroll in Biology 232. One unit.

Biology
233
Freshwater Ecology
Fall

A comprehensive introduction to the hydrology, chemistry, and ecology of freshwater ecosystems. The laboratory component includes field work in several ecosystems (lake, stream, reservoir, river and wetland) and laboratory work characterizing the chemistry and biology of these diverse ecosystems. Includes laboratory and field work. Ecological and evolutionary biology. Prerequisite: Biology 163. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
235
Marine Biology
Fall

This course presents a survey of the organisms that live in the sea and their adaptations to the marine environment. The course covers the major divisions of marine life and their diversity of form, as well as common ecological patterns, physiological processes and evolutionary strategies. The function and role of coastal, open-ocean, and deep sea ecosystems are also considered, as is the relevance of marine biology to current scientific, social, health, and economic affairs. Includes laboratory. Ecological and evolutionary biology. Prerequisite: Biology 163. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
241
Virology
Fall

This course is a general introduction to virology. Its primary focus is on human viruses that contribute to disease. We will explore different strategies viruses have adopted to replicate in the host cell, the battles viruses wage to outmaneuver the host immune system and the disease states that result from a viral infection. Molecular and cellular biology. Prerequisite: Biology 161. One unit.

Biology
250
Field Botany
Alternate years, fall

An introduction to the local vascular flora, emphasizing identification of ferns, woody plants and plants flowering in the fall. The course will include training in use of field guides and technical keys and preparation of herbarium specimens. Includes field and laboratory work. Organismal Diversity. Prerequisite: Biology 163 or permission. One unit.

Biology
255
Vertebrate History
Spring

A survey of vertebrate history, with emphasis on the anatomical and physiological transformations that occurred at the evolutionary originations of the major vertebrate groups. Structure and function of both extant and extinct taxa are explored, as documented by modern fauna and the fossil record. Includes laboratory. Organismal Diversity. Prerequisite: Biology 162. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
261
Genetics
Fall

An introduction to genetics that explores the molecular and cellular basis of heredity and physical traits.  Topics include the central dogma, cell division, Mendelian inheritance, genetic analysis, chromosome structure and replication, gene expression, molecular biology techniques, genetic linkage, disease gene identification, and population genetics.  Genomic approaches are interwoven throughout.  The accompanying lab emphasizes model organism and human genetics and involves both genetic screens and molecular techniques.  Molecular and cellular biology.  Prerequisites: Biology 161 and 162, or Biology 161 and permission of the instructor.  One and one-quarter units.

 

.

Biology
262
Genetic Analysis
Spring

An introduction to genetics that explores the molecular and cellular basis of heredity and physical traits. Topics include the central dogma, cell division, Mendelian inheritance, genetic analysis, chromosome structure and replication, gene expression, molecular biology techniques, genetic linkage and mapping, disease gene identification, and population genetics. Genomic approaches are interwoven throughout. This course is the non-lab equivalent of Bio 261, but common lab techniques will be incorporated through discussion of primary literature articles. Molecular and cellular biology. Prerequisites: Biology 161 and 162, or Biology 161 and permission of the instructor. One unit.

Biology
266
Cell Biology
Spring

The course explores the structure and function of eukaryotic cells and considers how cellular structure allows for biological activity. A range of topics will be discussed including membrane structure and function, homeostasis and metabolism, intracellular compartments and protein trafficking, signal transduction, the cytoskeleton, and the cell cycle. The cell biology of human disease will be considered throughout the course. The laboratory (Biology 268) is optional but recommended. Molecular and cellular biology. Prerequisites: Biology 161; Recommended: Chemistry 221. One unit.

Biology
267
Neurobiology
Spring

A study of the nervous system at multiple levels, from molecular to the systems level. Major topics include: structure of the nervous system and neurons, generation of electric signals, function of synapses, structure and function of sensory and motor circuits, and a discussion of higher order processing. Includes laboratory. Molecular and cellular biology. Prerequisite: Biology 161.  Biology 266 is recommended. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
268
Cell Biology Laboratory
Spring

This laboratory accompanies Biology 266. Students will learn the tools for solving problems in cell and molecular biology, as well as the appropriate approaches, controls, and analysis for experiments. The lab uses three model systems (the yeast S. cerevisiae, nematode C. elegans, and mammalian cell culture) to introduce students to a range of techniques including microscopy and staining, gel electrophoresis, genome databases and in silico analysis. Students will also design and carry out independent experiments. This laboratory is taken as a fifth course; while figured into the GPA, it does not count as one of the 32 courses required for graduation. Biology 266 prerequisite or corequisite for the laboratory. One-half unit.

Biology
275
Biological Statistics
Annually

An introduction to the handling, analysis, and interpretation of biological data. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability distributions, goodness of fit tests, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, regression, and correlation. Prerequisite: Biology 161 or 162 or 163.  Students who have taken ECON 249, MATH 220, PSYC 200, or SOCL 226 may not enroll in the class. One unit.

Biology
280
General Ecology
Fall

A broad introduction to the study of relationships between organisms and their environments, with coverage of individual organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems, as well as natural history of New England. Includes laboratory and field work. Ecological and evolutionary biology. Prerequisite: Biology 163. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
283
Evolution
Annually

An inquiry-based approach to the study of evolutionary processes, including those that are adaptive and neutral with respect to natural selection.  Evolution will be examined at a variety of scales, from molecular to ecological, and from changes in populations over a few generations to patterns over millennia. Most attention will be devoted to empirical work that addresses conceptual issues in evolutionary biology, including natural selection and fitness, speciation, population genetics, phylogenetics, and molecular evolution. Ecological and evolutionary biology. Prerequisites: Biology 161 and 163. Biology 261 or 262 is recommended. One unit.

Biology
287
Ethology and Behavioral Ecology
Alternate years

A comparative look at animal behavior and the evolutionary forces that shape it. Topics include the history and approaches to studying animal behavior, behavioral genetics and heritability, development of behavior, communication, foraging, competition and cooperation, mating and parenting systems, and social behavior. The importance of good experimental design and the proper role of modeling in behavioral studies are emphasized. Field projects are included. Ecological and evolutionary biology. Prerequisite Biology 163 or permission. One unit.

Biology
299
Intermediate Problems in Biology
Annually

A first-time course offering in various sub-disciplinary topics of biology.

Biology
301
Biochemistry 1
Fall, spring

A detailed study of the chemistry of biological molecules. Topics include the structural chemistry of the major classes of biological compounds, enzyme catalysis, bioenergetics, metabolic regulation, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, beta-oxidation of fatty acids, tricarboxylic acid cycle, electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation. Molecular and cellular biology. Equivalent to Chemistry 301. Prerequisite: Chemistry 222. One unit.

Biology
302
Biochemistry 2
Spring

A continuation of Biology 301. Topics include the chemistry, enzymology and regulation of lipid, protein and carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthesis, DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Molecular and cellular biology. Prerequisite: Biology 301 or Chemistry 301. One unit.

Biology
303
Biochemistry 1 Laboratory
Fall

This laboratory accompanies Biology 301 and introduces students to experimental methods used for the purification and characterization of biological molecules through a multi-week, full-semester procedure. While conducting the steps of this overall procedure, students gain experience with a wide range of biochemistry lab techniques including column chromatography, gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, and enzyme activity assays. This laboratory is taken as a fifth course; while figured into the GPA, it does not count as one of the 32 courses required for graduation. Prerequisite or corequisite: Biology 301. One-half unit.

Biology
304
Biochemistry 2 Laboratory
Spring

This laboratory accompanies Biology 302 and introduces students to the principles and methods of molecular biology as they relate to the modern practice of laboratory biochemistry. Through a multi-week, full-semester procedure, students are exposed to a wide-range of techniques including genomic DNA isolation, PCR, plasmid DNA construction, sequence analysis and recombinant protein expression. This laboratory is taken as a fifth course; while figured into the GPA, it does not count as one of the 32 courses required for graduation. Prerequisite or corequisite: Biology 302. One-half unit.

Biology
331
Ecosystem Ecology
Alternate years, spring

The course covers the history of ecosystem ecology, biogeochemical cycles and budgets, ecosystem energetics and trophic structure, and the response of ecosystems to disturbance and human-accelerated environmental change. The latter part of the course emphasizes discussion of recent primary literature that contributes to the conceptual framework underlying the management and conservation of diverse ecosystems. Ecological and evolutionary biology. Prerequisite: Biology 163. One unit.

Biology
361
Toxicology
Spring

The study of adverse effects of chemicals on biological systems. Topics include measurements of toxicity; dose-response relationships; the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of toxicants; targets of toxicity; genetic toxicology; carcinogenesis; developmental toxicity; clinical toxicology; environmental toxicology; and regulatory toxicology. Mechanistic organismal biology. Prerequisites: Biology 161 and 162, and Chemistry 221. One unit.

Biology
381
Conservation Biology
Alternate years, spring

A study of the effects of human activity on biological diversity at the population and system levels. Topics include the underlying philosophical approaches to conservation, techniques for measuring biological diversity, for assessing and predicting changes, the principles of management and restoration and the use of mathematical models in management. Classes will be a mix of lecture on general principles plus student-led discussion of case studies and of the recent conservation literature. Ecological and evolutionary biology. Prerequisite: Biology 261 or 262 or 233 or 280 or 331. One unit.

Biology
383
Applied Evolution
Alternate years

This seminar will explore in depth some examples of socially relevant evolutionary biology. Through text and primary literature readings we will examine how a strong understanding of evolutionary biology impacts medicine, human health and disease, conservation of biodiversity, agriculture, and biotechnology. Students will be able to describe and explain basic evolutionary principles and apply those principles to problems in our society. Students will interpret real-world data and results, construct experiments to test evolutionary hypotheses, and evaluate primary literature. Ecological and evolutionary biology. Prerequisites: Biology 283 or 261 or 262. One unit.

Biology
390
Physiology
Fall

The functioning of cells, organs, and organisms with emphasis on mammals. Major themes are homeostasis, control mechanisms, and system integration. Topics include: excitable and contractile cell physiology, energy metabolism and temperature regulation, respiration and circulation, digestion, water balance, and coordination and control of these systems by neuroendocrine mechanisms. Includes laboratory. Mechanistic organismal biology. Prerequisites: Chemistry 231 and Biology 162. Physics 111 or 115 suggested. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
392
Molecular Immunology
Annually

The course emphasizes the molecular aspects of the human immune system. It spans the incredible breadth of the immune defenses ranging from the power of innate immunity, to the sophistication of the development and function of adaptive immunity.  Integrative topics such as autoimmunity, immunodeficiency and transplantation are also covered. Molecular and cellular biology. Prerequisites: Biology 161 and 162 . Biology 241 or 266 is strongly recommended. One unit.

Biology
393
Molecular Immunology Laboratory
Annually

This laboratory sequence focuses on exploring the molecular techniques employed to investigate an immunological question. The semester-long project is designed as two mini projects that explores a well characterized antiviral human protein.  Students construct expression plasmids, ectopically express proteins in both bacteria and tissue culture cells and perform functional assays. We will also discuss the primary literature as it relates to the project and explore how the work fits into the broader context of the field. These projects are built as discovery projects where students may actively participate in the direction of the work. This laboratory is taken as a fifth course; while figured into the GPA, it does not count as one of the 32 courses required for graduation. Prerequisite or corequisite: Biology 392. One-half unit.

Biology
399
Advanced Problems in Biology
Annually

A first-time course offering in various sub-disciplinary topics of biology.

Biology
401
Undergraduate Research
Annually

Individual experimental investigation and associated study of the scientific literature under the direct supervision of a member of the faculty. The number of positions is limited; students contemplating research should make inquiries early in the year preceding the term in which research is to be initiated. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. One semester may be counted toward the biology major; additional semesters may be taken for college credit. One and one-quarter units.

Biology
405
Directed Reading
Annually

An in-depth literature study of a topic of interest to the student under the tutorial supervision of a member of the faculty. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. One unit.

Biology
407, 408
Honors Research
Annually

Open only to students in the College Honors Program. Individual experimental investigation and associated study of the scientific literature under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Students contemplating research should make inquiries early in the year preceding the term in which research is to be initiated. One semester may be counted towards the biology major; additional semesters may be taken for college credit. Two and one-half units credit, granted at end of second semester. One and one-quarter units each semester.

Geology Courses

Geosciences
140
Environmental Geology
Every third year

An introduction to the relationship between humans and the materials and processes of the Earth. This course focuses on three general topics: geological hazards, climate change, and natural resources. Students may not take both Biology 140 and Biology 150 (Introduction to Geology). One unit.

Geosciences
150
Introduction to Geology
Fall

This course covers the physical processes and history of the Earth. Topics typically include the formation of the Earth, physical properties and identification of minerals and rocks, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, geologic time, surface processes, the geology of energy resources, and global climate change. Field trips to local geologic sites provide hands-on experience using classic and modern approaches to investigating the Earth and its history. Students who have completed Geosciences 140 (Environmental Geology) may not enroll in this course. Includes laboratory. One and one-quarter units.

Geosciences
210
Geomorphology
Alternate years, spring

Geomorphology is an introduction to landforms and the geological processes that modify Earth’s surface. Topics include tectonic, wind, soil, hillslope, glacial, and river processes; modern quantitative methods of investigating landscapes, including numerical modeling and GIS; and the influences of humans, climate, and biologic activity on surface processes and the physical environment. Includes computer and field work in the weekly laboratory. One and one-quarter units.

Geosciences
270
Watershed Hydrology
Alternate years, spring

Watershed Hydrology is an introduction to the movement and storage of atmospheric, surface, and ground water within a watershed. This class examines hydrologic processes and the geologic and topographic characteristics that control them, as well as how hydrologic data are collected and analyzed. Topics include the hydrologic cycle, water budgets, precipitation, evaporation, snow hydrology, infiltration, groundwater hydrology and contamination, runoff, stream flow, hydrographs, and flooding. Hydrology is a highly quantitative discipline and math at the pre-calculus level will be used extensively in this course. Prior college math or geoscience coursework is recommended but not required. Includes laboratory. One and one-quarter units.

Geosciences
299
Intermediate Problems in Geoscience
Every third year

A first-time intermediate course offering in various sub-disciplines of geoscience.

Geosciences
310
Paleoclimatology
Alternate years

This advanced-level lecture and discussion course examines the changes in Earth’s climate throughout geologic history from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene. Topics include an overview of Earth’s climate system, paleoclimate proxies and archives, distinctive intervals in Earth’s climate history, and how modern climate change is interpreted in a geological context. Paleoclimatology is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on methods and principles of geology, chemistry, physics, and biology. Students should have prior natural science coursework and be prepared to read and discuss primary scientific literature. Prerequisites: CHEM 181 (Atoms and Molecules) or equivalent and GEOS 150 (Introduction to Geology), or instructor permission. One unit.

Geosciences
399
Advanced Problems in Geoscience
Every third year

A first-time advanced course offering in various sub-disciplines of geoscience.

Geosciences
401
Undergraduate Research
Annually

Individual investigation and associated study of the scientific literature under the direct supervision of a member of the faculty. The number of positions is limited; students contemplating research should make inquiries early in the year preceding the term in which research is to be initiated. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. One and one-quarter units.

Geosciences
405
Directed Reading
Annually

An in-depth literature study of a topic of interest to the student under the tutorial supervision of a member of the faculty.  Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. One unit.

Geosciences
407,408
Honors Research
Annually

Open only to students in the College Honors Program. Individual investigation and associated study of the scientific literature under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Students contemplating research should make inquiries early in the year preceding the term in which research is to be initiated. Honors thesis credit can be counted toward the Environmental Studies major or minor, and toward the Geosciences minor. Two and one-half units credit, granted at end of second semester. One and one-quarter unit each semester.