Ecology for a Crowded Planet

Human activities are fundamentally altering our landscapes and our atmosphere. The science of ecology is central to our ability to sustain populations of organisms, regional and global biodiversity, and the provision of critical ecosystem services. Course emphasizes critical analysis of ecological data and the design and interpretation of ecological experiments and models. Students will become well equipped to evaluate environmental science as it is reported in the popular press. One course.

Marine Megafauna

Ecology, systematics, and behavior of large marine animals including giant squid, bony fishes, sharks, sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. Relations between ocean dynamics, large marine animals, and their role in ocean food webs. Impact of human activities and technological advancement on populations. Economic, social, and policy considerations in the protection of threatened species. Prerequisite: AP Biology, Introductory Biology, or consent of the instructor. One course.

Gateway to Biology: Genetics and Evolution

Introduction to principles transmission genetics and evolution. Includes Mendelian and non-Mendelian inheritance, quantitative genetics, genetic mapping, evidence for evolution, natural selection, genetic drift, kin selection, speciation, molecular evolution, phylogenetic analysis. Relevance to human family and social structure, evolution of infectious disease, human hereditary disorders, social implications of genetic knowledge. One course.

Gateway to Biology: Molecular Biology

Introduces major concepts in biology through the lens of molecular biology. Molecular mechanisms that comprise the Central Dogma and variants. DNA structure and function, replication, transcription, and translation. Protein synthesis, folding, structure and function. Supporting topics related to the structure of cells, metabolism and energetics. Integration of physical and quantitative principles to molecular biology. Relevance to human diseases and the biotechnology industry. Laboratory includes an intro- duction to recombinant DNA technology.

Global Diseases

Biological, social, and cultural factors impacting global disease spread and/or reduction; current challenges in vaccination and disease control programs. Open only to students in the Focus Program. One course.

Marine Biology

Physical and chemical aspects of estuarine and marine ecosystems and environments. Functional adaptations of marine organisms and the role of man and society on the ecosystems. Includes field trips to local environments with an emphasis on impacted environments and their relation to societal activity and policy. For students not majoring in natural sciences. (Given at Beaufort.) One course.

Evolution of Life

The history of life on earth and mechanisms underlying evolution. Topics include the history of thought about evolution, Darwin and "Darwinism", applications of evolutionary ideas in agriculture and medicine, mis-applications such as in eugenics and racism, and the relationship between evolutionary biology and religion. Intended for non-majors. One course.