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Course Descriptions

BIO 1000: First Year Seminar
The first year seminar is a reading seminar that is offered each fall. Texts and topics change each year. All freshmen interested in the biology major should enroll in this course.
1 class hour
1 credit


BIO 1034: From Fins to Fingers: Vertebrate Natural History and Evolution
This course is an introduction to evolutionary theory, the nature of science, and natural history of the region as studied through the case of the vertebrates. In this course students will learn the history and natural history of the regional vertebrate fauna, the theory and methodology of evolutionary biology using vertebrates as an example, and explore the nature of science through the example of evolution. This course serves as an introduction to evolution and the nature of science. This is a fall semester introductory biology course.
3 class hours 2 laboratory hours weekly
4 credits

BIO 1035: Disease and Disorder: History, Humans, and Hope
This course travels through history, from the discovery of cells to the current age of genomics and proteomics, highlighting major discoveries while learning about diseases and disorders that have ravaged mankind. Pressure to search for the molecular basis of disease has taught us much of what we know about how normal cells work. We explore prevailing diseases and genetic disorders, as well as look at emerging health issues as they relate to environmental toxins and the industrialized fast-food diet. Topics include biochemistry, cell structure, cell interactions, physiology, genetics, anatomy, morphology, reproduction, and development. Students conduct original research in lab. This is a spring-semester introductory biology course.
3 class hours 2 laboratory hours
4 credits

BIO 1036: Solar Powered Life: The Biology of Plants
Plants convert sun, water, and rock into food, habitat, and life itself. To a great extent, plants create our sense of place, from enchanted northern forest to southern live oak hammock. To see how plants work, this course examines structure and function from molecular to organismal levels of organization. Topics include biochemistry, cell structure, cell interactions, physiology, genetics, anatomy, morphology, reproduction, and development. Students conduct original research in lab. This is a spring-semester introductory biology course.
3 class hours 2 laboratory hours
4 credits

BIO 1037: The Four Seasons: Plant and Animal Adaptations to a Changing Environment
Have you ever wondered why maple trees lose their leaves in the fall? Or why a cold-blooded animal like a frog doesn’t freeze solid in the winter? Or how rodents that live in deserts can withstand such extremes in temperature? Plants and animals have developed an astonishing range of adaptations to the variable conditions they experience throughout the year. In this course we will study the mechanisms underlying these adaptations by examining a variety of biological topics, including biochemistry, cell structure, cell interactions, physiology, genetics, anatomy, morphology, reproduction, and development. Students conduct original research in lab. This is a spring-semester introductory biology course.
3 class hours 2 laboratory hours
4 credits

BIO 2005: Sophomore Seminar
The sophomore seminar is an annual reading seminar. Students are responsible for discussion facilitation and critical reading assessments. Prerequisite: BIO 1000 First Year Seminar or permission of instructor.
1 class hour
1 credit

BIO 2013/PSY 2014: Genetics of Human Behavior
Explore the fascinating genetics behind human behavior. What is the role of our genetic make-up in how we behave and interact with others? Studies in twins separated at birth and many animal models described in the primary literature will be evaluated to answer these questions. Nature and nurture will be examined since both genetic and environmental influences must be considered in behavioral analyses. Functional neuro-anatomy and topics in human neuro-psychology will be introduced throughout the course as we explore the genes involved in human behavior. This course may also be taken as PSY 2014.
3 credits

BIO 2015: Cell Biology
The principal goals of the class are to provide a historical context for present day understanding of cellular systems, while using classical experimentation to explore experimental design and data analysis. Content will include how energy is stored and used by cells, the three dimensional structure of proteins, the relationship between structure and function in proteins, and universal cell functions, specifically DNA replication, transcription and translation. In the laboratory, students will learn basic techniques commonly used in scientific laboratories including: proper use of micropipettes, microcentrifuges, preparation of stock and working solutions/buffers, generation and use of standard curves, PCR and SDS-PAGE analysis. Student projects will include creation of a 3D protein model. Prerequisite: BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers and either BIO 1035 Disease and Disorder or BIO 1036 Solar Powered Life or BIO 1037 The Four Seasons, and CHE 1021 General Chemistry I.
3 class hours 3 laboratory hours
4 credits

BIO 2021: Field Biology
This course provides an opportunity to collect biological data in a variety of ecosystems in the northeast and apply field research methods. Emphasis will be on observation, species identification, field notes, sampling methods observational and experimental study design, mapping, data analysis, and scientific writing. Weekend field trips and overnight camping are required.
2 class hours 4 laboratory hours
3 credits

BIO 2023: Human Anatomy
Human Anatomy is the study of anatomical features that make us uniquely human, as well as those connecting us to all other animal species. This course will employ the regional approach utilized in a traditional medical school environment; we will explore the interrelation of systems from the cellular to organism level through understanding the morphology. Laboratory work will involve dissection of the cat in addition to study of histological and skeletal specimens. Prerequisites: Any 1000-level biology course with lab.
4 credits

BIO 2025: Ecology
The course is the study of the interactions of organisms with their environment through application of biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Referring to current and classical research, lectures introduce the sub-disciplines of ecology, including physiological, behavioral, population, community, ecosystem, and landscape ecology. Labs and field trips emphasize observation, scientific method, sampling methods, problem solving, data analysis, and report writing. Prerequisite: Any laboratory course and Level 3 or higher math proficiency.
3 class hours 2 laboratory hours alternate weeks
4 credits

BIO 3005: Junior Seminar
In this course, students will actively reflect upon their own educational experience, identify gaps in personal knowledge and skill areas, create plans for addressing these gaps prior to graduation, and explore career options. The latter will include building a resume, investigating the type of careers available to biology majors, choosing graduate schools they wish to apply for and understanding what they will need to do for successful applications. Students are required to compile their own professional electronic portfolios. Student self-assessments will be used by the biology faculty when conducting the Junior Year Review. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
1 class hour
1 credit

BIO 3011: Special Topics
Selected topics in biology presented on a one-time or occasional basis. Credit varies depending upon topic and instructor. Topics in Organismal Biology BIO 3012 This course is an in-depth exploration of organismal biology from taxonomic, evolutionary, and ecological perspectives. The credits are repeatable under different topics, which include Ichthyology, Ornithology, Entomology, and Mammalogy. Each of these is offered on approximately a 3-year rotation subject to demand. The general course structure will include a study of the classification, systematics, evolutionary history, life histories, behavior, and ecology of the taxon in question with particular emphasis on species of the northeast. Laboratory includes in-residence work and extended field trips that focus on field identification and sampling/study techniques. Prerequisite: BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers.
4 credits

BIO 3012: Topics in Organismal Biology
This course is an in-depth exploration of organismal biology from taxonomic, evolutionary, and ecological perspectives. The credits are repeatable under different topics, which include Ichthyology, Ornithology, Entomology, and Mammalogy. Each of these is offered on approximately a 3-year rotation subject to demand. The general course structure will include a study of the classification, systematics, evolutionary history, life histories, behavior, and ecology of the taxon in question with particular emphasis on species of the northeast. Laboratory includes in-residence work and extended field trips that focus on field identification and sampling/study techniques. Prerequisite: BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers.
4 credits

BIO 3013: Botany
An introduction to plant biology, including taxonomy, the role of plants in ecosystems, and the cultivation and use of plants by people. In the field, students collect and identify local flora. Lab and garden exercises emphasize plant morphology and evolution, plant ecology, plant collections, and horticultural methods. Prerequisite: BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers or permission of instructor.
3 class hours, 2 laboratory hours
4 credits

BIO 3019: Genetics
This upper division course explores the transmission of genes from one generation to the next, the nature of mutations, gene function and regulation, and the genetics of populations. There will be a strong emphasis on models of human disease. Students will be required to present a final seminar on a genetic disorder and review the primary literature in a chosen area of interest. The laboratory will stress sterile technique and introduce students to standard technologies, such as DNA isolation and PCR. Prerequisites: BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers or BIO 1035 Disease and Disorder required. BIO 2015 Cell Biology highly recommended.
3 class hours
3 credits

BIO 3021: Conservation Biology
Explores how ecological knowledge can be brought to bear to protect diverse ecosystems, maintain viable populations of native species, and perpetuate ecological and evolutionary processes. Students will investigate scientific uncertainty and research priorities. Case studies will be used to investigate how to predict the effects of habitat fragmentation, resource depletion and pollution, habitat loss, and other human effects. Biology will be applied to ecosystem management, landscape design, and regional conservation planning. Prerequisites: BIO 2025 Ecology or permission of instructor.
3 class hours
3 credits

BIO 3023: Vertebrate Population Monitoring
Course Description: Covers methods to obtain reliable estimates of population size and survival, with an emphasis on the relationship between scientific hypothesis testing and management of wildlife populations. This course consists of a mix of lecture, computer labs, and biodiversity surveys on the GMC campus. Students will come away from this course with an overview of both field methods and standard data analysis tools and software for estimating these important parameters. Prerequisite: BIO 2025 Ecology and MAT 1015 Introduction to Statistics, or permission of instructor.
3 class hours, 2 laboratory hours
4 credits

BIO 3025: Advanced Topics in Ecology
This course provides an in-depth investigation of subdisciplines within ecology. The topics vary; examples include Marine Ecology, Plant Ecology and Aquatic Ecology. Students will investigate the interaction of organisms and their environment at multiple spatial scales including organismal, population, community, ecosystem and landscape ecology. The emphasis will be on both theoretical concepts and applied issues, including management, conservation and restoration. Reading will come from the primary and secondary literature. Prerequisites: BIO 2025 Ecology and a statistics course. CHE 1021 is highly recommended, especially for aquatic and marine ecology.
3 class hours
3 credits

BIO 3027: Forest Ecology and Management
An ecological approach to understanding forest structure and function and the effects of management activities on forest ecosystems. The course examines how forests are observed and measured, and how forest data can be used by the scientist or forester or independent land manager to make land use sustainable. Emphasis will be on both theoretical concepts and their applications in management situations. Prerequisite: BIO 2025 Ecology.
3 class hours
3 credits

BIO 3053: Research in Biology
This course gives all research students a formal time and a place to organize the work that must be done in a given semester, as well as support for learning what they need to learn in order to do their research. The course is carried out at multiple levels, as there will be a combination of new students just beginning research and students who are carrying out their own independent projects. Thus, there are three tracks possible within this course. Students may carry out a developed project, develop a proposal and protocols for research to be done in a future semester, or develop field and lab skills and explore possible future research areas. Typically students carrying out a developed project will also be signed up for 2 credits of independent research with their faculty advisor. Students who are new to biology or to research may spend time in lab or field settings developing their skills and exploring potential projects. This usually is best done by connecting to an up and running project (either with a faculty member or another student who needs help), reading primary literature around that project, and developing the lab or field skills with an eye toward developing a research proposal in a following semester. Students will each be expected to identify the track they want to pursue and develop a work plan for the semester.
1 credit

BIO 3072: Biology Field Trip
A study of the ecology of a region during an extended period of time in the field, focusing on comparisons of natural history, plant and animal adaptations, ecology, and conservation biology in a variety of ecosystems. Methods emphasize field observation, rapid assessment of ecosystems, and individual observational research by each student. Destinations, duration, and credit will vary. Prerequisite: BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers or permission of instructor.
4-day field trip with 5 class hours 1 credit
9-day field trip with 14 class hours 3 credits
3-week field trip with 14 class hours 6 credits

BIO 3073: Animal Behavior
An ethological approach to the study of animals, this course includes an examination of the physiological, developmental, and evolutionary bases of behavior. Topics include sensation, motivation, learning, instinct, communication, social behavior in an evolutionary context. Prerequisite: One of the following: BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers, or BIO 2025 Ecology.
3 credits

BIO 4001: Senior Seminar
In this seminar course students will be expected to apply the theory and knowledge from other courses in the sciences to an area of interest within biology. The course will be structured like a graduate seminar course and consist of an exploration or primary literature within one area of biology. When possible, speakers will be brought to campus and students may travel to hear scientists present their research. Prerequisite: BIO 2005 Sophomore Seminar or BIO 3005 Junior Seminar.
1 class hour
1 credit

BIO 4003: Evolution
This course brings together prevailing knowledge, ideas, and controversies about and within the field of evolutionary biology. It is an in-depth examination of topics to which many biology students will have been introduced, but have not explored. These include historical and philosophical issues, origin and early development of life, general features in evolution of major life forms, use of systematics and the influence of molecular tools, the range of mechanisms thought to underlie evolutionary change, and current findings in human evolution. The laboratory will be focused around a population genetic problem for which the class will gather and analyze molecular data, with the goal of producing a publishable scientific study. Prerequisites: either BIO 1034 From Fins to Fingers or BIO 1035 Disease and Disorder or BIO 1036 Solar Powered Life and CHE 1021 General Chemistry I or permission of the instructor.
4 credits

BIO/CHE 4015: Biochemistry
This upper division course will greatly enhance detailed understanding of important biological pathways and concepts introduced in general biology and chemistry. Topics will include signal transduction, enzyme structure and function, metabolism and bioenergetics, electron protein structure and function. Students will become proficient with techniques routinely employed in biological research laboratories. Students also enroll in BIO 4016 Microarray, which will constitute a portion of the laboratory component of this course. Prerequisites: either BIO 1035 Disease and Disorder or BIO 1036 Solar Powered Life, CHE 1022 General Chemistry II, C or better in BIO 2015 Cell Biology.
3 class hours
3 credits

BIO/CHE 4016: Microarray
This laboratory accompanies BIO 4015 and should be taken concomitantly with Biochemistry. In this course, students will use yeast as a model system to explore how gene expression is changed after exposure to a common environmental contaminant. Students will learn a variety of standard as well as advanced laboratory techniques. Weekly lectures will complement the hands-on laboratory portion to effectively couple theory with practice. Students will be taken through basic microarray data analysis procedures to generate lists of genes, which are up or down regulated in response to the environmental contaminant. GMC student-derived data will be added to the statewide database compiling these findings. Prerequisite: BIO 2015 Cell Biology or permission of instructor.
4 hour laboratories meet 7 times
1 credit

BIO 4017: Bioinformatics BIO
The ability to manipulate organisms genetically has been revolutionized in the last ten years. Biological information produced by this revolution is represented in many forms: sequence data, structural data, and functional data. These data can often be accessed and interpreted only with the help of computers. Data Mining is now an established tool for predicting structure and understanding function in genomics and proteomics. It is becoming impossible for molecular biologists and biochemists to do research without the aid of computer based tools. The advent of computational biology also offers new course is an introduction to the concepts, and the principal data bases of bioinformatics and structural biology/chemistry. This course should enable students to access and analyze sequence and structure data, create and edit images of molecules, and present results in several formats. Prerequisite: BIO 2015 Cell Biology.
1 credit

BIO 4019: Proteomics
The goal of the Proteomics course is to expose undergraduates to proteomics technology using hands-on laboratory experiences. Students will learn about this cutting edge technology and gain new skills that we believe will help them with their future scientific careers. In this course, students will learn how protein expression in yeast is changed after exposure to oxidative stress or an environmental toxin. Total protein is then harvested and prepared for 2D gel analysis. Proteins with differential expression will be isolated from the 2D gel and prepared for Mass Spectrometry at the UVM Proteomics Core Facility. The data is processed and students will examine their results and use bioinformatics tools to further understand the biological implications of the results. Prerequisite: BIO 2015 Cell Biology.
1 credit

BIO/EDU 4035: Content for Secondary Science Teachers
This course is an opportunity for students to participate in environmental education fieldwork. Students will be required to complete a 120-hour work experience under the direction of a qualified environmental education professional. Written work related to this experience will be required. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
4 credits

BIO 4053 Research in Biology BIO 4053
This course allows advanced students to carry out independent research under the guidance of a biology faculty member. Prerequisite: Completion of core classes and junior standing.
1-3 credits

BIO 4099: Honors Thesis in Biology
This course involves individualized research under the guidance of a member of the Biology faculty, the honors advisor. The student with his/her honors advisor will decide upon the particular goal of the research. To be eligible, a student must have been invited into departmental honors and produced a research proposal that is accepted by the department in the semester prior to beginning the thesis research. The student will produce an honors thesis that will be defended in a public presentation. Prerequisite: A successful petition for honors in biology.
3 credits

BIO 4093: Teaching Practicum in Biology
The teaching practicum is intended to give the student experience in the array of skills required to teach a course. The student attends and participates in a course, does supervised course instruction, holds review sessions and develops a formal teaching portfolio. Together with the course instructor the student learns and practices teaching skills. Prerequisite: Junior standing, GPA of 3.5 in Biology, 3.0 overall.
3 credits

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