Biology

The biology program studies the breadth of life, from cellular mechanisms to ecosystem processes. Students are encouraged to view biological concepts from historical, political, and ethical perspectives as they integrate new ideas and concepts with older ones. The faculty stress the process of science and the ability to analyze the surrounding world by generating hypotheses, testing hypotheses, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. Students develop oral and written communication skills through active participation in lecture/discussions and collaborative projects both in the classroom and in laboratory/field settings.

Biology students at Rocky Mountain College get a broad exposure to the three main areas of biology: cell and molecular biology, anatomy and physiology, and evolution and ecology. Our goal is that graduates, no matter what career path they may choose, will have a solid understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of life, the design and function of individual organisms, and the ecological interactions between organisms. Furthermore, we emphasize research skills, experimental design, and data analysis throughout all courses. The program provides biology majors with a broad foundation, which prepares them for professional schools, the workplace, or graduate school.

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a major in biology will be able to:

  1. Describe interactions between genes, alleles, and the environment;
  2. Develop a biological hypothesis and design a corresponding experiment;
  3. Analyze biological data, draw appropriate conclusions, and communicate results.

Major in Biology

A minimum of 29 semester hours of biology courses is required, including:
Biology core:
BIO 120: Principles of Biology
BIO 203: Genetics
BIO 306: Evolution

One course from each of the following three categories:
Cell and Molecular Biology:
BIO 312: Cell Biology
BIO 344/345: Molecular Genetics
BIO 350: Microbiology
BIO/CHM 452: Biochemistry I
BIO/CHM 460: Biochemistry II

Ecology and Behavior:
BIO 311: Botany
BIO 347: Animal Behavior
BIO 410: Conservation Biology
BIO 415: Ecology

Structure and Function:
BIO 252: Animal Physiology
BIO 305: Vertebrate Anatomy
BIO 317: Ornithology
BIO 321: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO 322: Human Anatomy and Physiology II
BIO 324: Developmental Biology

Students must have a capstone course and may choose from the following:
BIO 415: Ecology
BIO/CHM 452: Biochemistry
(This capstone choice may be included as one of the categories above.)

In addition:
CHM 101: General Chemistry I
CHM 102: General Chemistry II

Choose:
CHM 220: Fundamental Organic Chemistry
or
CHM 251/252: Organic Chemistry I / II

Choose:
PHS101/102: Fundamental Physics I / II
or
PHS201/202: General Physics I / II

Only three credits of the following electives count toward the 29 semester hours required in the major:
BIO 143: Introduction to Research I
BIO 243: Introduction to Research II
BIO 343: Introduction to Research III
BIO 443: Advanced Biology Research

Internship: BIO 450 credits do not count toward the 29 semester hour minimum.

Major in Biology Education

Students must complete the above biology major and the required secondary education courses along with BIO 420.

Major in Science Broadfield Education Biology

This major serves those who desire to teach the several sciences necessary in American schools. In addition to the science courses listed below, students must complete the professional education program for secondary teaching as described in the “Education” section of the catalog. The following courses are required:

Biology: A total of 19 semester hours in biology, including:
BIO 120: Principles of Biology
BIO 203: Genetics
BIO 306: Evolution

Choose any two of the following:
BIO 321: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO 350: Microbiology
BIO 415: Ecology

Mathematics:
MAT 175: Calculus I
MAT 210: Probability and Statistics

Chemistry:
CHM 101: General Chemistry I
CHM 102: General Chemistry II

Choose any one of the following:
CHM 220: Fundamental Organic Chemistry
CHM 251: Organic Chemistry I

Physics:
PHS 101: Fundamental Physics I
PHS 102: Fundamental Physics II
PHS 225: Modern Physics

Geology:
GEO 101: Fundamentals of Geology
GEO 104: Fundamentals of Geology Laboratory

Environmental Science:
ESC 105: Environmental Science: Sustainable Communities

Also required:
IDS 422: Methods and Materials: Teaching Natural Science in the Secondary School

Minor in Biology

A minimum of 20 semester hours in biology (six credits of upper-division courses), plus one course in chemistry with a laboratory component is required.

Minor in Biology Education

For students pursuing a biology education minor, the following courses must be taken in addition to coursework required in the secondary education program.

A minimum of 23 semester hours is required, including:
BIO 120: Principles of Biology
BIO 203: Genetics
BIO 306: Evolution
BIO 415: Ecology

Choose one of the following:
BIO 311: Botany
BIO 317: Ornithology
BIO 350: Microbiology

Choose one of the following:
BIO 252: Animal Physiology
BIO 321: Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Additionally, one chemistry course with a laboratory component is required.

Note: The following courses are eligible for biology credit:
ESC 307: Montana Wildflowers
ESC 314: Range Ecology
ESC 325: Wetlands and Riparian Ecology

EQS 300 will be accepted as a biology elective for students who have successfully completed BIO 120, CHM 101, and CHM 102. Note: EQS 300 and EQS 400 are highly recommended for students pursuing veterinary school or graduate programs in animal science.

BIO 102 - Introduction to Biology
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 4
This course is a broad survey of biology approaching different levels of biological organization from the perspective of the organism in the environment. Specific topics include genetics, evolution, ecology, metabolism, and the cell. The laboratory emphasizes the process of scientific investigation, including the design, conduct, analysis, and presentation of biological experiments. This course is appropriate for non-biology majors and does not count toward a major or minor in biology.
BIO 105 - Current Biology
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
This course for non-majors will explore concepts that are both rooted in biology and important in our everyday lives. One such example is the stem cell: what exactly are stem cells, and why are they important tools for biology and medicine? In this course we will examine a broad range of topics including stem cells, genetically modified organisms, evolution, cancer, and the practice of science itself. These subjects will be addressed in a traditional classroom setting, but assignments will demand that students apply the course material to current happenings in our society. Points will be earned by completing quizzes, response papers, and projects. This course has no laboratory component and does not count toward a major or minor in biology.
BIO 111 - General Biology I
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 4
An introductory survey emphasizes the cell, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, genetics, and molecular biology. The weekly laboratories teach basic laboratory skills, safety, experimental design, and the application of statistics. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
BIO 112 - General Biology II
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 4
An introductory course that emphasizes organization within the individual, population, and community levels of biology. Topics include basic genetics, population genetics, evolution, diversity of organisms, and ecology. The laboratory emphasizes the process of scientific investigation, including the design, analysis, and presentation of biological experiments. Field trips outside of regular class time may be required. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
BIO 120 - Principles of Biology
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 4
An introductory survey course that covers cell structure and metabolism, patterns of inheritance, molecular genetics, evolutionary mechanisms, and diversity. The weekly laboratory sessions teach basic laboratory skills, experimental design, application of statistics, and communication of results via laboratory reports. This course is appropriate for both major and non-majors. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory period per week.
BIO 143 - Introduction to Research I
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 1
Introduction to Research I is a laboratory-based course that teaches students the fundamentals of biological research. The course is limited to ten freshmen students who must submit an application and be accepted into the course. Those students gain exposure to several of the model organisms that are commonly used in research. They learn techniques for growing, handling, and characterizing those organisms, along with routine procedures that are universally applicable for molecular biology. Students who complete Introduction to Research I are eligible to enroll in Introduction to Research II. Students must apply for acceptance to the course.
BIO 203 - Genetics
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4
The course provides a detailed overview of the mechanisms of heredity. Topics include Mendelian, quantitative, and molecular genetics. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 120 and CHM 101
BIO 240 - Biology of HIV/AIDS
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
This course explores HIV from its mechanism of action to its contribution to the opportunistic infections of AIDS and includes the scientific/biological basis for therapies. Guest speakers play a vital role in linking the biological aspects to the human condition.
Prerequisite: BIO 120 and CHM 101/102
BIO 243 - Introduction to Research II
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 2
Introduction to Research II is a laboratory- and lecture-based course that meets for three hours once a week. As a continuation of Introduction to Research I, sophomore students learn advanced biological research protocols in a laboratory setting. Protocols include DNA cloning and various forms of DNA and RNA hybridization. Students also participate in a weekly discussion format where they learn to read, analyze, and present scientific journal articles. Students who have completed Introduction to Research I are eligible to enroll in Introduction to Research II. Students completing Introduction to Research II are eligible to enroll in Introduction to Research III.
Prerequisite: BIO 143
BIO 252 - Animal Physiology
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
This course is designed for students pursuing studies in ecology, biodiversity, and environmental science. This class introduces students to the basic concepts of animal regulation. Feedback and homeostasis are foundational concepts in biology. An introductory biology and introductory chemistry class are highly recommended.
BIO 299 - Independent Study
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
BIO 305 - General Vertebrate Zoology
Semester: Fall; Odd years
Semester hours: 4
This course provides a detailed overview of the species diversity, natural history, and evolution of vertebrates. These concepts are highlighted through comparisons within and between vertebrate groups. Special emphasis is placed on evolutionary relationships to track key innovations in morphology, physiology, and ecology that have contributed to vertebrate diversification. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 306
BIO 306 - Evolution
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
A broad but detailed discussion of the genetic, ontogenetic, and morphologic changes inherent in populations. Topics include population genetics, molecular evolution, natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow, speciation, phylogenetics, and coevolution. Three hours of lecture per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 120
BIO 307 - Bacteria and Antibiotic Resistance
Semester: Spring; Even years
Semester hours: 3
This course will focus on antimicrobial drugs and their use in fighting bacterial infections.Topics will include the history of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance of bacteria, including resistance mechanisms and transfer of resistance, development of new antibiotics and the drug development pipeline, how antibiotics work, antibiotic stewardship, and use of antibiotics in the animal industry. Bacteria of particular public health concern, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, will be featured.
Prerequisite: BIO 203 and CHM 102, both passed with a grade of C- or higher
BIO 311 - Botany
Semester: Spring; Odd years
Semester hours: 4
This course provides a detailed exploration of plant anatomy and physiology. Microscope study allows for detailed observation of roots, stems, and leaves and their component tissues. Examination of flowers, fruits, and seeds provides the details of pollination, fertilization, dispersal, and germination. During the laboratory, students explore topics such as plant physiological responses to hormones and nutrients, characteristics and mechanisms of genetic inheritance, and ecological aspects of plant competition. The course emphasizes the relationship between plant form and function.
Prerequisite: BIO 120 and CHM 101
BIO 312 - Cell Biology
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
Cells are the basic units of life, and understanding cells is important for many disciplines within biology. This course examines fundamental cell biology, with emphasis on the mechanisms of molecular biology, cellular trafficking, and cell-to-cell signaling. The semester will culminate with the discussion of complex cellular behaviors such as regulation of the cell cycle, renewal of stem cells, and the progression of cancer. Each of these concepts will be discussed in the context of experimentation and hypothesis-driven research. Three hours of lecture per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 203
BIO 317 - Ornithology
Semester: Fall; Even years
Semester hours: 3
This lecture course details the anatomy, physiology, and evolution of birds. Topics include evolutionary origins of birds and flight, development, and an overview of avian anatomy, physiology, and ecology. Three hours of lecture per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 306
BIO 319 - Ornithology Lab
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1
This combined field and laboratory course covers the anatomy, physiology, ecology, evolution, and identification of birds. Topics include evolutionary origins of birds and flight, development, avian anatomy, and bird identification in the field. One two-hour laboratory session per week.
Corequesite: BIO 317
BIO 321 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4
A course requiring students to incorporate concepts from physics, chemistry, and biology to understand the interface between human structure and function and the regulatory mechanisms in play. Topics include tissue types, skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, and reproductive anatomy and physiology. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week. Human cadavers are used in the laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 111 and BIO 112 or BIO 120 and CHM 101 and CHM 102. CHM 251 and CHM 252 and PHS 102 or PHS 202 are highly recommended.
BIO 322 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4
In this continuation of BIO 321, topics include digestive, cardiovascular, renal, urinary acid-base balance, endocrine, and immune system anatomy and physiology. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week. Human cadavers are used in the laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 321
BIO 324 - Developmental Biology
Semester: Spring; Odd years
Semester hours: 3
How do many animals develop from a fertilized egg into complex animals, some with trillions of cells? This course examines the development of complex animals from embryo to adult. In this course, students will explore the mechanisms behind how an embryo establishes a body plan, grows new structures, and determines its sex. The course concludes by considering environmental effects on this process, as well as its implications for medicine and evolutionary biology. Each of these concepts will be discussed in the context of experimentation and hypothesis-driven research.
Prerequisite: BIO 203
BIO 343 - Introduction to Research III
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 2
Introduction to Research III is a laboratory- and lecture-based course that prepares students for independent upper-division research. By working with individual faculty members, each student will develop an independent research project. Using techniques learned in Introduction to Research I and II, students will perform preliminary research associated with their projects, and they will learn to write and present formal research proposals for those projects. Students enrolled in Introduction to Research III will also act as mentors to students enrolled in Introduction to Research I. Students must complete Introduction to Research I and II to be eligible to enroll in Introduction to Research III.
Prerequisite: BIO 243
BIO 344 - Molecular Genetics
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
Students will study the molecular mechanisms that compose the central dogma of molecular biology. Special attention will be given to genomic structure, DNA replication, transcription, RNA processing, translation, and post-translational modification. Basic techniques in molecular biology will be discussed, and these techniques will be practiced during BIO 345, which is a co-requisite course. Three hours of lecture per week. (Note: Students who have completed BIO 143 and who are enrolled in BIO 243 are exempt from the BIO 345 laboratory course.)
Prerequisite: BIO 120
Corequesite: BIO 345
BIO 345 - Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 1
This course includes a hands-on, laboratory-based introduction to basic molecular biology techniques, with special emphasis on cloning and manipulation of DNA. Techniques include electrophoresis, restriction digestion, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), logation, transformation, DNA extraction, and Southern blotting. Students who have completed BIO 143 and who are enrolled in BIO 243 are exempt from this course. Two hours of laboratory per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 120
Corequesite: BIO 344
BIO 347 - Animal Behavior
Semester: Spring; Even years
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a broad overview of the development, expression, and control of behavior. This course provides a foundation for understanding animal ecology, revealing evolutionary relationships, and managing fish and wildlife populations. Topics include communication, predation, foraging, mating, parental care, and sociality.
Prerequisite: BIO 306
BIO 349 - Animal Behavior Lab
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1
This course provides a broad overview of the development, expression, and control of behavior. This course provides a foundation for understanding animal ecology, revealing evolutionary
relationships, and managing fish and wildlife populations. Topics include communication, predation, foraging, mating, parental care, and sociality. One two-hour laboratory session per week.
Corequesite: BIO 347
BIO 350 - Microbiology
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4
This course is an investigation of the structure, metabolism, and reproduction of microorganisms. The course will emphasize understanding microbiology as it pertains to human health, including normal flora, disease mechanisms, immunology and immunity, and a sampling of major microbial diseases. In the laboratory, students will detect, isolate, and identify both harmless and pathogenic microbes.
Prerequisite: BIO 203 and CHM 102, both passed with a grade of C- or higher
BIO 410 - Conservation Biology
Semester: Spring; Odd years
Semester hours: 2-3
Students experience a multi-disciplinary approach to conservation encompassing genetics to ethics. Discussions emphasize biological diversity, extinction probability theory, reserve design, management, and reintroduction strategies. Written and oral presentations are required.
Prerequisite: BIO 306
BIO 415 - Ecology
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 5
Students are provided with an overview of the interactions among biotic and abiotic environments. Topics include climate and vegetation, resource acquisition and allocation, demography, population growth and regulation, sociality, competition, niche theory, predation, and community and ecosystem ecology. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 306
BIO 420 - Methods and Materials of Teaching Secondary Science
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 2
This course requires focused study with a science teacher in an accredited secondary school or other acceptable professional. Hours will be arranged in consultation with the content area professor, the secondary education professor, the student, and the professional mentor. The course provides competence for the delivery and evaluation of planned learning activities. Areas of concentration include active hands-on experiences, reviewing texts for content appropriate to various grade levels, and the use of technology in the classroom.
Prerequisite: acceptance into the teacher education program; senior standing required
BIO 443 - Advanced Biology Research
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 1-3
In this course, students work with a research advisor on an independent research project. Enrollment is based upon instructor consent and requires each participant to have arranged a working agreement with a research advisor. Included in the course is a weekly forum for students to present and discuss their research projects. All enrolled students are required to give presentations highlighting their research. Through those presentations, participants in the class will be exposed to the diverse research initiatives at Rocky Mountain College. This course is offered every semester and can be taken up to four times.
Prerequisite: BIO 343 or consent of instructor
BIO 450 - Internship
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-12
An internship is arranged between a member of the discipline’s faculty and the student. The internship will not count as part of the minimum number of required credits to the major or minor. A contract is required. If an internship is two or more credits, the student will typically be required to write a paper. The contract will specify the minimum length of the paper and the required scholarly sources. Pass/no pass grading.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing
BIO 452 - Biochemistry I
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 5
Biochemistry focuses on the study of the molecules and chemical reactions of life, bringing together principles learned in biology and chemistry. After an introduction to the chemistry and structure of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, discussions of enzyme structure and kinetics set the stage for a detailed exploration of metabolism and its regulation. The laboratory component of this course involves a semester-long integrated project that requires independent student work. This project incorporates many different types of instrumentation, including low pressure chromatography, electrophoresis, UV-visible spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and ultrafiltration. Three lecture hours plus one laboratory lecture hour per week. Significant time working independently in the laboratory is required.
Prerequisite: CHM 220 or CHM 252 with a grade of C- or higher; BIO 120 is strongly recommended. Junior or senior standing is required.
BIO 460 - Biochemistry II
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
An introduction to the chemistry and structure of nucleotides and nucleic acids is followed by a detailed study of DNA replication and repair, RNA transcription and processing, protein synthesis, and the regulation of these processes. Bioethics, an important and interesting topic, is covered as an extension to the scientific content. This course covers topics in more depth and with a different emphasis than genetics.
Prerequisite: CHM 220 or CHM 252 and BIO/CHM 452 or BIO 203
BIO 483 - Dissection
Semester: Summer
Semester hours: 2-3
Students begin to learn how to dissect a human cadaver. Each student chooses or is assigned to a region. By permission of the instructor only.
Prerequisite: BIO 322
BIO 490 - Seminar
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 1
Selected topics in biology are explored.
BIO 499 - Independent Study
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing
CHM 101 - General Chemistry I
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4
This course introduces students to the science of chemistry. The concepts of atoms, molecules, bonding, and energy successfully explain the properties of matter and how reactions happen. Goals of this course include introducing students to representative materials and reactions, to important models and theories of the science, and to the symbols and language of chemists. The laboratory will involve observations of elements, compounds and their reactions (including synthesis), and quantitative measurements of properties or amounts of matter. Three hours of lecture, one two-hour laboratory session, and one hour of recitation per week.
Corequesite: MAT 100 or higher mathematics course or placement into MAT 110 or higher mathematics course
CHM 102 - General Chemistry II
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4
This course will further develop the principles presented in CHM 101 with emphasis on the following core concepts: chemical kinetics, chemical equilibria, solution and acidbase chemistry, thermodynamics of reactions, and electrochemistry. Examples used in this course will point to the various branches of chemical studies (organic, physical, biological, inorganic, analytical, geological, materials, and nuclear). The knowledge and skills gained over the two semesters will be applied to the analysis of a contemporary topic or issue in chemistry. The laboratory experiments are designed to explore chemical principles and to expose students to more advanced chemical instrumentation in the department. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 101 with a grade of C- or higher
CHM 220 - Fundamental Organic Chemistry
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4
This course is a one-semester introduction to carbon-containing compounds, including their structure, bonding, properties, and reactivity. The different functional groups are introduced, including the key reactions and mechanisms of these groups. This course is designed to serve as a prerequisite for biochemistry. Four lecture hours per week. This course will not count as an elective for the chemistry major or minor.
Prerequisite: CHM 102 with a grade of C- or higher
CHM 251 - Organic Chemistry I
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4
An introduction to the chemistry of carbon-containing compounds, concentrating on the structures, properties, and reactions of some of the important families of organic compounds. Considerable emphasis is placed on reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry. The laboratory experiments introduce techniques for the isolation and preparation of compounds. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 102 with a grade of C- or higher
CHM 252 - Organic Chemistry II
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4
This course, a continuation of Organic Chemistry I, concentrates on the chemistry of additional important families of organic compounds, emphasizing reaction mechanisms, synthesis, stereochemistry, and spectroscopy. The laboratory experiments include the synthesis and analysis of compounds with biological and industrial importance and qualitative analysis.
Prerequisite: CHM 251 with a grade of C- or higher. CHM 220 will not be accepted as a prerequisite for this course.
EQS 300 - Reproduction and Growth
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course covers the anatomy and physiology of reproduction in the horse, endocrinology, principles of artificial insemination, embryo transfer, genetics, breeding systems, application of the scientific method, and care and management of breeding stock. This course will be accepted as a biology elective, provided students have completed BIO 120, CHM 101, and CHM 102. This course is highly recommended for students pursuing veterinary school or graduate studies in animal science.
Prerequisite: EQS 201
EQS 400 - Advanced Reproduction
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
The student focuses on common breeding problems such as organizing and operating a routine teasing program, natural breeding, artificial insemination, and improving conception rates. Students engage in practical application in this course. Class is limited to six students. This course is highly recommended for students pursuing veterinary school or graduate studies in animal science.
Prerequisite: EQS 300
ESC 105 - Environmental Science: Sustainable Communities
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 4
An introductory course designed for students entering the environmental sciences and studies program and for other students who would like to take an ecology lab course. Topics address the central concepts of ecology, including the physical environment in which life exists. Students will explore the properties and processes of populations and communities, ecosystem dynamics, biogeography and biodiversity, as well as issues in conservation and restoration ecology. In the laboratory, students will apply these concepts to ecological studies in the natural environment and learn how to present their results in a scientific report. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
ESC 307 - Montana Wildflowers
Semester: Summer
Semester hours: 4
Students receive an intensive introduction to the evolutionary relationships of vascular plants and their classification. The course emphasizes plant identification based on use of taxonomic keys and focuses on angiosperm species in the Yellowstone River watershed, particularly the prairie habitats, the Pryor Mountains, the riparian habitats of the Yellowstone, and the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. Field trips are required. Students in the 300-level course will collect, identify, and prepare a greater number of plants for the herbarium. This course may be taken at the lower-division level or at the upper-division level, but not both.
Prerequisite: BIO 120 or ESC 105
ESC 314 - Range Ecology
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4
Range ecology is the study of mixed grass prairies of the West and an introduction to ecological concepts applicable to that area. Topics include historical and current land use, ecosystem responses to change, methods for maintaining natural prairie habitats, the use of prairies as rangelands, and determinations of ecological conditions and trends on rangelands. The laboratory focuses on identification of common prairie plant species and their importance for both wildlife and domestic animals. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 120, CHM 101, and CHM 102
ESC 325 - Wetlands and Riparian Ecology
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4
The biology and chemistry of wetlands is studied in this course. Topics include the investigation of wetland structure, wetland functions, and the ecological value of wetlands. The laboratory introduces protocols for analyzing wetland plant communities and includes a field study of a wetland in the Billings community. Students learn legally acceptable methods for determining wetland boundaries. The course examines the ecology of rivers and compares differences in hydrological processes of rivers and wetlands. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: BIO 120, CHM 101, and CHM 102
GEO 101 - Fundamentals of Geology
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course provides an introduction to the science of earth materials, earth systems, and earth history, including the study of minerals, rocks, volcanoes, earthquakes, rock deformation and metamorphism, weathering, and erosion within the modern paradigm of plate tectonics. Special emphasis is placed on interpreting the geologic landscape and history of the Rocky Mountains through an understanding of Earth processes. Three hours of lecture and one recommended two-hour laboratory per week, plus field trips. This course fulfills a natural lab science core curriculum requirement if taken concurrently with GEO 104.
GEO 104 - Fundamentals of Geology Laboratory
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 1
Focus on description of the earth materials and earth systems within the framework of plate tectonic theory. Introduction to identification of minerals, rocks, geologic maps, and structures.
Corequesite: GEO 101
IDS 243 - Scientific Writing and Analysis
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 2
Students will write clear and concise scientific papers and reports. Writing assignments will focus on grammatical requirements for formal scientific writing; abstracts; outlines and organization including paper, paragraph, and sentence structure; paraphrasing and citation usage; and methods of data presentation. A portion of the course will be devoted to data analysis, drafting of tables, and preparation of graphs. IDS 243 is required for biology and chemistry majors and minors.
Prerequisite: ENG 120 and declared major or minor in a natural science or permission of instructor
IDS 422 - Methods And Materials: Teaching Natural Science In The Secondary School
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 2
This course emphasizes the teaching of biology or chemistry at the secondary 5-12 level. Methods of teaching these subjects, including incorporation of active hands-on experiences, reviewing texts for content appropriate to various grade levels, and the use of technology in the classroom constitute major parts of the course. Particular attention will be paid to thinking, reading, listening, writing, and speaking instruction. Teaching diverse and at-risk student populations will also be discussed. This course is the capstone course for the biology or chemistry education major.
Corequesite: EDC 420
MAT 175 - Calculus I
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 5
This course is a study of the functions of one real variable and includes a brief review of circular functions. The ideas of limit, continuity, and differentiation are explained and applied to physical problems. Topics include the use of approximations and problem solving. The use of graphing calculators is required.
Prerequisite: satisfactory score on a placement exam or MAT 110
MAT 210 - Probability and Statistics
Semester: Fall, Spring, and Summer
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a non-calculus-based study of discrete probability theory and its statistical applications. Distribution theory and its applications in hypothesis testing and setting confidence intervals are discussed.
Prerequisite: MAT 100 or satisfactory score on a placement exam
PHS 101 - Fundamental Physics I
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4
Students examine a survey of the laws and phenomena of classical physics, including motion, force, energy, momentum, waves, and thermodynamics. This course is suitable for non-science majors who have a strong background in high school algebra and who wish to have a more rigorous understanding of physics than provided in most courses for non-science majors. The course will satisfy the requirements of geology and biology majors. Students considering graduate work in these areas should take PHS 201 and PHS 202 instead. Three lecture periods and one two-hour laboratory per week.
PHS 102 - Fundamental Physics II
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4
Students examine a survey of the laws and phenomena of classical and modern physics, including light, electricity, magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. This course is suitable for non-science majors who have a strong background in high school algebra and who wish to have a more rigorous understanding of physics than provided in most courses for non-science majors. This course will satisfy the requirements of geology and biology majors. Students considering graduate work in these areas should take PHS 201 and PHS 202 instead. Three lecture periods and one two-hour laboratory per week.
Prerequisite: PHS 101
PHS 201 - General Physics I
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4
This course is a calculus-based introduction to the laws and phenomena of classical physics, including force and motion, energy and momentum, their conservation laws, and their oscillations. This sequence is required for chemistry majors and engineering students and is recommended for mathematics, biology, and geology students. Three lecture periods and one two-hour laboratory per week.
Corequesite: MAT 175
PHS 202 - General Physics II
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4
This course is a calculus-based introduction to the laws and phenomena of classical physics, including mechanics, waves, light, electricity, and magnetism. This sequence is required for chemistry majors and engineering students and is recommended for mathematics, biology, and geology students. Three lecture periods and one two-hour laboratory per week.
Prerequisite: PHS 201
Corequesite: MAT 176
PHS 225 - Modern Physics
Semester: Fall; Odd years
Semester hours: 3
This course covers selected concepts from early 20th century physics. Topics covered include special relativity, photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, and the wave nature of particles.
Prerequisite: PHS 202 or permission from the instructor
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