Biology

Professors: S. Matzner, C. Spencer
Associate Professors: P. Egland, M. Larson
Assistant Professors: J. Gubbels, C. Hall, D. Howard, A. Lewis, C. Miles,
S. Vitiello, A. Vogelmann
Instructor/Lab Coordinators: L. Baye, L. King

Biology is a broad area of science that includes the study of every aspect of living systems, their interrelationships and interdependencies. One of its purposes is to help people to understand themselves and their role in the biosphere. Most courses are designed with the thought that students should be stimulated to carry out critical, independent work. Students majoring in Biology are prepared for a wide variety of professional, cultural, and vocational opportunities including graduate study, the medically allied professions, and teaching (see descriptions of specific programs). Expanded programs of research will also absorb greater numbers of well-trained biologists. Present day biology makes liberal use of chemistry, mathematics and physics as tools. A student planning a career in biological science must therefore acquire a sound background in these basic fields.

Biology Major:

48 credit hours
Required Courses: 36 credit hours
BIOL 120 — Biological Principles I (4 cr)
BIOL 121 — Biological Principles II (4 cr)
BIOL 233 — Genetics (4 cr)
BIOL 234 — Cell Biology (4 cr)
BIOL 490 — Biology Seminar (1 cr)

One course from the Field Ecology Group: (4 cr)
BIOL 309 — Tropical Ecology of Guatemala, Belize, and Spanish Immersion
BIOL 336 — Ornithology
BIOL 342 — Plant Function and Structure
BIOL 348 — Principles of Ecology
BIOL 350 — Aquatic Ecology
BIOL 352 — Terrestrial Plant Ecology
BIOL 368 — Animal Behavior

One course from the Experimental/Laboratory Group: (4 cr)
BIOL 334 — Vertebrate Embryology
BIOL 344 — General Microbiology
BIOL 346 — Developmental Biology
BIOL 354 — Biological Chemistry
BIOL 358 — Molecular Biology
BIOL 360 — Evolution
BIOL 364 — Pharmacology
BIOL 366 — Advanced Human Physiology

Three additional Biology electives at the 300-level (11-12 cr)
Not more than four hours of Independent Study may be used to satisfy the major.
BIOL 395 and 399 do not count toward the 300-level electives.

Required Supportive Courses: 12 credit hours
Two semesters of Chemistry numbers 116 or above. (8 cr)
MATH 150 — Pre-Calculus (4 cr)
–or– MATH 151 — Calculus I
–or– Statistics Course

The major in Biology requires the achievement of a grade of C- or higher in all required Biology courses and required supportive courses.

Additional courses in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics are strongly recommended for majors who intend to pursue further studies or employment in biology.

A Biology major wishing to teach at the secondary level is advised to obtain at least 12 credit hours in a second discipline (for example, in Chemistry or Physics) if he or she desires to be certified to teach in that content area.

Biology Minor:

20 credit hours
Recommended Courses:
BIOL 120 — Biological Principles I (4 cr)
BIOL 121 — Biological Principles II (4 cr)
BIOL 233 — Genetics(4 cr)
BIOL 234 — Cell Biology (4 cr)
BIOL Elective course at the 300-level (4 cr)

Emphasis Areas:

Biology majors may also elect one or more special emphasis areas by taking the following additional courses (Emphasis area elective course may count towards more than one emphasis):

Cell and Molecular Biology Emphasis

Complete a biology major incorporating the following:

Three required courses: 12 credit hours total
BIOL 344 — General Microbiology (4 cr)
BIOL 354 — Biological Chemistry (4 cr)
BIOL 358 — Molecular Biology (4 cr)

Two of the following electives
BIOL 331 — Introduction to Immunology (3 cr)
BIOL 346 — Developmental Biology (4 cr)
BIOL 364 — Pharmacology (4 cr)
BIOL 397 — Cell Signaling (3 cr)
BIOL 397 — Evolutionary Developmental Biology (3 cr)
BIOL 392 — Directed Research in Biology (by petition only) (1-4 cr)

Note:  Students completing the emphasis in Cell and Molecular Biology need to complete a course from the Field Ecology Group to fulfill the biology major. 

Ecology Emphasis

Complete a biology major incorporating six courses distributed as follows: 

One or two courses from the following foundational ecology classes
BIOL 348 — Principles of Ecology (4 cr)
BIOL 352 — Terrestrial Plant Ecology (4 cr)

Three or four additional elective courses from the following
BIOL 180* — Introduction to Environmental Science (4 cr)
BIOL 197* — Climate Change (3 cr)
BIOL 309 — Tropical Ecology of Guatemala, Belize, and Spanish Immersion (4 cr)
BIOL 336 — Ornithology (4 cr)
BIOL 350 — Aquatic Ecology (4 cr)
BIOL 368 — Animal Behavior (4 cr)
BIOL 397 — Insect Ecology (4 cr)
BIOL 397 — Exploration of Aotearoa: The Biogeog. & Culture of New Zealand (4 cr)
BIOL 392 — Directed Research in Biology (by petition only) (1-4 cr)

One or two elective courses from the following (some of these fulfill the experimental requirement for the biology major)
BIOL 344 — General Microbiology (4 cr)
BIOL 358 — Molecular Biology (4 cr)
BIOL 360 — Evolution (4 cr)
BIOL 397 — Evolutionary Developmental Biology (3 cr)

*Note: Biol 180 and Biol 197 do not satisfy the 300-level course requirement for the Biology major.  Students are required to complete a course from the experimental group to satisfy the Biology Major.  

Biology Courses:

BIOL 100PL — Principles of the Biomedical Sciences and Human Body Systems (Project Lead the Way course) (Area 3.2) (4 credits)
This course is a combination of two Project Lead The Way courses.  This course will satisfy the lab science general education requirement.
Principles of the Biomedical Sciences: Students explore biology concepts through the study of human diseases.  Students determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional person, and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life.  The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, medicine and research processes.
Human Body Systems: Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection and homeostasis.  Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action and respiration.

BIOL 101PL — Medical Interventions (Project Lead the Way course) (4 credits)
Students investigate a variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the life of a fictitious family.  Students explore how to prevent and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail.

BIOL 102PL — Introduction to Biological Innovation (Project Lead the Way course) (4 credits)
Students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century.  They work through progressively challenging open-ended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering and public health. They have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, research institution, or biomedical industry.

BIOL 110 Biology and Human Concerns (Area 3.2) (4 credits)
A study of biology with an emphasis on ecological, genetic, and evolutionary concepts. Topics such as disruption of ecosystems, human population growth, world food and energy shortages, human disease, and genetic engineering will be examined and discussed. Intended for non-science majors outside the Natural Science Division. The course includes 2 hours of laboratory work each week. Not Intended for Majors; Offered Every Semester, Including Most Interims.

BIOL 120 Biological Principles I (Area 3.2) (4 credits)
An introduction to the study of biology with an emphasis on genetic, ecological, and evolutionary concepts. The course includes 2 hours laboratory experience each week. Corequisite: CHEM 116 or CHEM 120; Offered Every Fall Semester.

BIOL 121 Biological Principles II (4 credits)
A study of the major taxonomic groupings of plants and animals using an evolutionary approach followed by an in-depth study of photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and the physiological processes responsible for control and integration in both plants and animals. The course includes 3 hours laboratory experience each week. Prerequisite: BIOL 110 OR 120; CHEM 116 or CHEM 120 (may be corequisite); Offered Every Spring Semester.

BIOL 150 Human Anatomy (4 credits)
A study of the structure of the human body at the tissue, organ, and system level. Laboratory work includes dissection and histological studies. Prerequisite: BIOL 110 or 120; Strongly Recommended: CHEM 116 or 120; Offered Every Semester.

BIOL 180 Introduction to Environmental Science (Area 3.2) (4 credits)
This introductory course will integrate concepts and material from several disciplines to analyze and evaluate current environmental problems, study specific pollutants, and evaluate consequences of their continued production. A modern and holistic approach is designed to meet both the needs of non-majors with a serious concern about environmental issues and the needs of students who intend to pursue career objectives in environmental science or ecology. The course includes 2 hours of laboratory work each week.  Offered Occasionally.

BIOL 225 Human Physiology (4 credits)
A study of the function, integration and coordination of the organ systems of the human body with an emphasis on homeostatic control mechanisms. This course includes an experimental laboratory in which basic human physiological responses are studied. This course is not intended for biology majors. Prerequisites: BIOL 110 or BIOL 120 and either BIOL 121 or 150; CHEM 116 or CHEM 120 and either CHEM 145 or 201; Offered Every Fall Semester.

BIOL 233 Genetics (4 credits)
This course covers classical Mendelian analysis, mitosis and meiosis, genetic mapping, non-Mendelian inheritance, chromosomal structure and mutations, the structure of DNA and RNA, transcription, translation, molecular gene cloning and analysis, human genetics and the Human Genome Project, and population and quantitative genetics. The course includes 3 hours of laboratory per week, focused on experience in genetic mapping, cytogenetics, and molecular genetics.  Prerequisite: BIOL 120; Offered Every Fall Semester.

BIOL 234 Cell Biology (4 credits)
The course begins with an introduction to the techniques used in studying cells and the elements of bioenergetics. Then the ultra structure and function of all major eucaryotic organelles are described in detail. This survey includes the principles of cell metabolism and its regulation, membrane transport, and the cell cycle. The course concludes with specialized topics such as the biology of cancer and the cellular mechanisms of hormone action. The laboratory acquaints students with techniques employed in cell biology.  Prerequisite: BIOL 233 and CHEM 145 or 201; or concurrent with CHEM 145; Offered Every Spring Semester.

BIOL 250 Introductory Microbiology (4 credits)
This course is intended to acquaint the student with the biology and importance of bacteria and viruses. Particular emphasis will be placed on disease mechanisms, the nature of the most important diseases afflicting humans, immunology, and selected aspects of applied microbiology with public health implications (e.g., drinking water and sewage treatment). The laboratory will introduce a wide variety of standard microbial techniques. This course is not intended for biology majors. Prerequisites: BIOL 225 or 234; CHEM 116 or CHEM 120 and either 145 or 201; Offered Every Spring Semester.

BIOL 303 — Biological Physics (3 credits)
This course will introduce a series of physical principles, based on statistical mechanics, which can be used to examine biological questions, specifically questions involving how cells function. Calculus will be used without apology. Prerequisites: PHYS 222 or 202, CHEM 120. Cross listed with PHYS 303; Offered Fall Semester; Even Years.

BIOL 309 Tropical Ecology of Guatemala, Belize, and Spanish Immersion (4 credits)
In Guatemala we will live humbly and simply with host families in a small village. Mornings are spent at a Spanish language school, studying one-on-one with native instructors. Afternoons include excursions to forest reserves and Mayan ruins including Tikal. In Belize, we will stay at a field station on a small island. We study a variety of marine habitats including coral reefs, mangroves, and coastal lagoons. Students will conduct scientific research projects involving data collection. The course will involve some fairly rigorous physical activity as well as some potentially challenging living conditions.  Offered Occasional Interims.

BIOL 331 -- Introduction to Immunology (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the innate and specific aspects of the immune system with emphasis on cell-mediated and humoral mechanisms of immune function.  Current methodologies in immunology research will be discussed.  Students will become familiar with how the immune system functions within the context of disease, including auto-immune disorders, AIDS, and cancer. Prerequisite: BIOL 234. Offered Every Other Spring Semester.

BIOL 334 Vertebrate Embryology (Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
A study of vertebrate morphogenetic processes. Emphasis is placed on study of a generalized vertebrate structure pattern and examination of some of the morphological specializations built upon this basic plan. Laboratory emphasizes chick development and anatomy of the Ammocoetes larva, the dogfish and the pig. Development - evolution interactions are explored throughout the course. Special lab activities support work in this area.  Prerequisite: BIOL 121; Offered Every Spring Semester.

BIOL 336 — Ornithology (4 credits)
This course includes the study of the classification, evolution, distribution, identification, life histories, and morphological, ecological, and behavioral adaptations of birds. The laboratory portion is designed to allow students to learn about the internal and external structure of birds and to learn to identify the various families and species of birds. Emphasis is placed on identification of the species of South Dakota and the Great Plains.  Prerequisite: BIOL 120 and 121.

BIOL 342 Plant Function and Structure (A 2.1B) (4 credits)
A study of the role and mechanism of the major processes of vascular plants from a functional and structural approach. The integration of plant growth, reproduction, and physiology are stressed. Agricultural and environmental implications are emphasized. Prerequisite: BIOL 121. Offered Spring Semester, Odd Years.

BIOL 344 General Microbiology (4 credits)
This course is designed to acquaint the student with the biology and importance of viruses and procaryotic and eucaryotic microorganisms including their structure, taxonomy, physiology, genetics, and ecology. Emphasis will also be given to the mechanisms of disease and resistance. The course is intended for junior and senior biology majors. The laboratory introduces a wide variety of microbiological techniques, and application of these techniques to student projects.  Prerequisite: BIOL 234; Offered Every Fall Semester.

BIOL 346 Developmental Biology (A 2.1B) (4 credits)
Analysis of developmental processes including gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, morphogenetic movements, growth, and developmental regulation. Major emphasis is placed upon the nature and control of cell differentiation. Laboratory work emphasizes experimental studies on living materials. Prerequisite: BIOL 234; Offered Every Fall Semester.

BIOL 348 Principles of Ecology (4 credits)
Ecology is the study of interrelations between plants, animals, and the abiotic environment. This field-oriented course will focus on the major ecosystems of South Dakota including the study of human impacts on these ecosystems. In addition to extensive field trips to area prairies and forests, the course includes a three-day trip to the Black Hills and the Badlands (required). The trip will involve camping and hiking in these spectacular ecosystems of western South Dakota.  Prerequisite: BIOL 121; Offered Every Fall Semester.

BIOL 350 Aquatic Ecology (A2.1B) (4 credits)
The ecology of lakes and rivers. We will focus on management issues facing area lakes and streams, together with the underlying biological, chemical, and physical factors that regulate freshwater ecosystems. The course includes extensive field work on lakes and streams, culminating in a weekend trip (required) to the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory on Lake Okoboji in NW Iowa. During this trip, students will conduct projects involving experimental design, data collection, and presentation of results.  Prerequisite: BIOL 121; Offered Every Spring Semester.

BIOL 352 Terrestrial Plant Ecology (Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
An analysis of the factors that determine plant distribution. Initially this course will focus on the observation and identification of local plants, plant types, and communities. Later we will expand our discussion to major vegetation types in North America. Through field trips, laboratory experiments and lectures this course will stress various aspects of community, population, and physiological ecology. Specific topics will include competition and succession, population demography, and productivity.  Prerequisite: BIOL 121; Offered Every Fall Semester.

BIOL 354 Biological Chemistry (Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
A study of the chemistry of cellular constituents, enzymes and catalysis, metabolism, and the control of metabolic processes with particular emphasis upon the dynamic aspects of cellular metabolism. The laboratory will consist of selected projects such as the purification and characterization of an enzyme. Counts towards the experimental requirement for major only when the laboratory portion is also taken. Prerequisites: BIOL 234 and CHEM 145 or 201; Offered Every Fall Semester.

BIOL 358 Molecular Biology (4 credits)
This course involves a detailed study of the molecular nature of genes, their regulation, expression and manipulation. Emphasis will be placed on experimental analysis in understanding the genetic systems. In addition, the role of molecular genetics in the area of biotechnology will be considered. The laboratory will emphasize modern molecular methods in recombinant DNA work and related areas.   Prerequisites: BIOL 233, BIOL 234 and CHEM 145 OR 201; Offered Every Spring Semester.

BIOL 360 Evolution (4 credits)
Evolution is the central, unifying theory of the biological sciences. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the core principles of modern evolutionary biology. Lecture and laboratory activities will together establish the logic that underlies evolutionary theory, and focus on key historical and modern research studies to explain and illustrate these theories while establishing links to other areas in the life sciences. We will examine major events in the history of life on Earth, and the mechanisms of evolutionary change: mutation, natural selection, migration, genetic drift, and stochastic events. Prerequisite: BIOL 233.

BIOL 364 Pharmacology (Area 2.1B) (4 credits)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the process that generates the drugs we take, from the laboratory bench to the medicine cabinet. This course will foster an understanding of drug development, methods of drug delivery and metabolism, mechanisms of drug action, and basic cellular physiology in order to identify how drugs elicit their medicinal properties. Students will also get a chance to examine the ethical and social dimensions of modern-day drug development and application.   Prerequisites: BIOL 233, BIOL 234 and CHEM 145 or 201; Offered Every Spring Semester.

BIOL 366 Advanced Human Physiology (4 credits)
This course is a study of the function, integration, and coordination of the organ systems of the human body.  The systems and topics covered include the nervous, endocrine, immune, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems; as well as muscle, renal physiology, digestion, and reproduction.  Emphasis will be given on integrating all systems in disease and diagnosis.  The laboratory component includes student designed projects and discussions about current topics in human physiology.  This course is intended for junior and senior biology majors. Offered Every Spring Semester.

BIOL 368Animal Behavior (4 credits)
Animal behavior is the study of how and why animals behave as they do in particular situations, and is often considered an evolved solution to fitness-related problems. In this course students will explore the science of animal behavior as understood using current evolutionary and ecological theory. The emphasis will be on ultimate explanations for behavior and on developing theory to predict behavioral strategies. This course includes substantial reading and integration of material from the textbook with papers from the primary literature, and includes a mandatory laboratory section (3 hrs per week) in which we will actively investigate animal behavior through a combination of laboratory experiments and field observations. Prerequisite: BIOL 234; Offered Fall Semester, Odd Years.

BIOL 395, 396 Internship in Biology (2-4 credits)
Internships permit students to obtain credit for practical experience in biology and related fields. The level and amount of credit for such experiences will be determined individually in consultation with the department chairperson. Cannot be applied toward the 36 hours required for the major.  Offered Every Semester.

BIOL 197, 297, 397 — Topics in Biology (2-4 credits)

BIOL 199, 299, 399 Independent Study (2-4 credits)
Intended to provide experience in research or special techniques in biology on an individual basis. This course designation may not be used to replace a 300-level elective. Prerequisite: Consent of the Instructor.

BIOL 490Biology Seminar (1 credit)
A one-semester seminar preparing students for graduate programs and careers. In addition to writing assignments and class participation, attendance at regularly scheduled Biology Department Seminars is required. This is a required course, and is typically taken during a biology major’s junior year. Grading System: S/U only. Offered Fall and Spring Semesters.