Course Descriptions

BI: Courses in Biology

Department of Natural Science


BI 101 Life Science 4 Cr
An introduction to the fundamental principles common to all living organisms. Presents basic biological principles at the organismal level including structure and function, evolution, and ecology. A course for non-biology majors. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week. Offered at the discretion of the department.

BI 102 Human Biology 4 Cr
An introduction to the fundamental principles common to all living organisms. Presents basic biological principles using human systems as a study model including cell biology, genetics, and physiology. A course for non-biology majors. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week. BI 102 may be taken without BI 101. One-semester course, offered annually.
Fall semester.


BI 171 Biological Principles I 4 Cr
An introductory course focusing upon fundamental biological concepts and methods for students planning to major in biology or for students needing to satisfy a professional school requirement in biology. This course, the first in a two semester series, focuses on biomolecules, the molecular components of life, fundamental cell structures and an introduction to genetics. This course provides a foundation for more advanced courses in the biology major’s program and is a prerequisite for all other courses in the program. Particular emphasis in the course is placed upon the evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of information. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: High school biology and chemistry. Offered annually. Fall semester.


BI 172 Biological Principles II 4 Cr
An introductory course focusing upon fundamental biological concepts and methods for students planning to major in biology or for students needing to satisfy a professional school requirement in biology. This course, the second in a two semester series, focuses on the biological principles of evolution and speciation, a survey of biological diversity, the study of plant form and function and the study of animal form and function. This course provides a foundation for more advanced courses in the biology major’s program and is a prerequisite for all other courses in the program. Particular emphasis in the course is placed upon evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of information. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BI 171 with a minimum grade of “C”. Offered annually. Spring semester.

BI 201-202 Intro. to Human Anatomy & Physiology 8 Cr
A study of the morphology and physiology of the human body, both from a normal and pathological viewpoint. Three lectures and one two and one-half hour laboratory per week for 2 semesters. Prerequisite for BI 202 is BI 201 with a minimum grade of “C” or consent of the instructor. Offered annually. BI 201 Fall semester, BI 202 Spring semester.

BI 214 General Microbiology 4 Cr
An introductory study of microorganisms for allied health professionals (this course does not satisfy requirements of the biology major). Course includes history, taxonomy and nomenclature, morphology, physiology, nutrition, cultivation, ecology, genetics, immunity, and the roles of micro-organisms in disease and agriculture. Emphasis is on bacteria. Standard microbial methods and techniques are learned in the laboratory. Three 50-minute lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week.  Prerequisites: At least one year of college chemistry and one semester of college biology. Spring semester.

BI 255 Field Ornithology 3 Cr
This field oriented ornithology course is designed to introduce all students (biology majors, non-majors, and senior citizens) to the diversity, morphology and behavior of birds of west-central Montana. Classes are conducted during the morning hours when resident, breeding birds are most active. We travel to many ecotypic areas (mountain, riparian, prairie, and wetland, etc.) to observe and understand as many bird species as possible. Bird skins in the Carroll College study collection are also used to more closely identify and appreciate birds seen in the field. A final examination includes
questions about birds observed as well as those identified in the study collection. First session of summer.

BI 281 Genetics 4 Cr
A study of the principles of inheritance at the organismal and molecular levels. Topics include transmission mechanisms, linkage, DNA replication and gene expression. The laboratory will include an introduction to current molecular genetics techniques. Both lecture and lab will emphasize problem solving and experimental data analysis. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: BI 171-172 and CH 101-102 with a minimum grade of “C”. Offered annually. Fall semester.


BI 305 Microbiology 4 Cr
An introduction to the biology of the prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and the animal viruses. Course topics include bacterial cell structure, nutrition and metabolism, growth, genetics, traditional and molecular systematics, ecology of microorganisms, genetic engineering and biotechnology, antimicrobial agents, host parasite interactions, and major infectious diseases. Current methods in bacteriology are used in the identification of bacteria and the conducting of experiments. Prerequisite: BI 281 with a minimum grade of “C”. Fall semester.


BI 306 Plant Biology 4 Cr
An introductory course focusing on the evolutionary history of plants, plant anatomy, and physiology. The laboratory exercises are diverse and emphasize recognizing reproductive and anatomical differences among major plant taxa (from algae to flowering plants), learning how to identify seed plants (gymnosperms and angiosperms) to the family level, and physiological experiments. Prerequisite: BI 172 with a minimum grade of “C”. Three 50-minute lectures per week and one 3-hour laboratory per week. Fall semester odd-numbered years.


BI 307 Animal Physiology 4 Cr
A study of the vertebrate organ systems which are most intimately involved in maintaining homeostasis: Nervous,  Endocrine, Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Excretory. Regulation and integration of the systems will be emphasized. Individual study of assigned journal articles which complement the lecture material constitutes a major part of the learning experience. The laboratory offers the student experience using a variety of preparations and instrumentation. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: BI 172 with a minimum grade of “C”. Spring semester.


BI 311 Ecology 4 Cr
An introductory course focusing on the basic principles of the interactions and relationships among organisms and between organisms and their environment. The laboratory includes field observations, computer simulations, and statistical analysis of experimental data. Prerequisite: BI 172 with a minimum grade of “C”. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week. Fall semester. Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement. (Enrollment limited.)


BI 315 Physiological Ecology 4 Cr
An examination of how the structure and function of organisms allow them to exploit their specific environment and/or ecological niche. The course focuses on a variety of ecosystems, assesses the environmental stresses inherent in each, and looks at the physiological adaptations that selected organisms have evolved which allow them to be successful in that
environment. Syntheses of many biological disciplines, problem solving and experimental procedures/interpretations are involved. Three hours of lecture/discussion and one three hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BI 172 with a minimum grade of “C”. Fall semester, even-numbered years. Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement. (Enrollment limited.)


BI 323 Comparative Anatomy 4 Cr
A comparative study of the evolution of the anatomical structures of vertebrates. The course will emphasize the basic  structures of vertebrates, the functional role of anatomical structures, and the adaptive changes that have occurred in vertebrate evolution. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BI 172 with a minimum grade of “C”. Spring semester.

BI 329/330 Molecular Biology (WI) 4 Cr
This course covers the molecular basis of biological activity through in-depth study of DNA. RNA and protein biosynthesis, regulation, and functional interactions. Particular emphasis is placed on the processes of DNA replication and repair, RNA transcription and processing, protein synthesis and post-translational modifications, and the regulation of gene expression. Students will also be introduced to various cell and molecular laboratory techniques, including PCR, gel electrophoresis, cloning, and bacterial transformation, through hands-on experiments and independent study. Three 50-minute lectures and one 3-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: BI 281 and either CH 301 or CH 285, each with a minimum grade of “C”. Only BMB majors can enroll in BI 330 (WI). Spring semester.

BI 350 Developmental Biology 4 Cr
A course concerned with the mechanisms of early development in animals. The molecular and cellular processes affecting differentiation, growth, and morphogenesis are emphasized. The laboratory includes experimental work and the study of anatomical changes occurring in vertebrate embryos. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites:
BI 281 and either CH 302 or CH 285, each with a minimum grade of “C”. Spring semester.


BI 370 Evolutionary Analysis
This course explores the underlying principles of evolutionary change (natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and gene flow) from an analytical perspective. The relevance of evolutionary change to real world concerns is emphasized while traditional and modem methods of analysis are explored and evaluated. Three 50-minute lectures and one 3-hour lab per week. Prerequisite: BI 281 with a minimum grade of “C”. Spring semester. Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement. (Enrollment limited.)

BI 382 Cell Biology 4 Cr
This upper-division course focuses on the cell as the basic unit of structure and function in living things. Topics include cellular organization, the structures and functions of cellular organelles and the cytoskeleton, energy transformations, communication between cells, and the cell cycle. Methods used to study cells and their component parts will be introduced in the laboratory portion of the course. Laboratories will introduce advanced techniques in molecular/cellular biology. Lectures will integrate material from genetics, chemistry and introductory biology. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BI 281 and either CH 301 or CH 285, each with a minimum grade of “C”. Offered annually. Spring semester

 

BI 420 Topics in Biological Sciences 2 Cr

A course that explores selected advanced topics in biology, usually in a lecture-discussion format. Fundamental themes in biology (for example evolution, anatomical structure and function, molecular systems) will be explored from the perspective of specific sub-disciplines (ecology, microbiology, genetics, cell biology, plant biology, animal physiology). The focus
of each section will be determined by the individual instructor. Sections share the common requirements of critical reading of the primary literature, evaluation of information, discussion, and extensive writing. Two lectures/discussions per week. Prerequisite: BI 281 with a minimum grade of “C” or consent of the Instructor. Offered annually, both semesters (topics vary; see schedule). Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement.

BI/CH 477 Honors Thesis Writing 1 Cr
This course is intended to guide students through the process of writing an honors thesis based upon data the student have collected. The course consists of weekly meetings during which the parts of the thesis (Introduction and Literature Review, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion) will be discussed. Poster and Power Point presentations are covered. By the end of the semester, students will have completed a draft of their theses. One hour lecture/discussion per week.  Prerequisite: 3.25 GPA and completion of an honors research project. Required for all biology and chemistry majors. Fall semester. Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement.


BI 496 Senior Seminar 1 Cr
Readings and discussion of significant past and current literature. One hour each week. Prerequisite: Senior status. Offered both semesters.