Seminar in Biology
Presentations of current topics in biology by students, faculty, and visiting scientists. Emphasis is on effective oral communication and critical examination of scientific information and ideas.
Biology and the Environment
The basic principles common to living organisms, with emphasis on environmental biology. Designed for non-science majors. Topics include: ecology, evolution, biodiversity, and environmental issues, plus a synopsis of cellular biology, genetics, and physiology.
Foundations of Biology
Introduction to the unifying concepts of biology. Topics include: cell structure and function, metabolism, genetics, evolution, and the diversity of life. Laboratories emphasize an investigative approach. Designed for science majors.
Introduction to the study of inheritance. Topics include: transmission of genes in cellular and organismal reproduction, structure and arrangement of genetic material in the cell, control and function of genes, and population genetics. Equal emphasis given to inheritance patterns and molecular genetics. Laboratories include testing the genetics of Drosophila and other organisms, and basic molecular techniques.
Research and Analysis
Introduction to purposes and methods of scientific inquiry. Topics include: philosophy of science, research design, use of biological literature sources, fundamental laboratory techniques, statistical analysis, and survey of careers in biology. Laboratory includes designing, performing, and reporting on research projects.
Field-based survey of the major groups of insects. Lecture will focus on the evolutionary history, ecology, and taxonomy of insects. The primary component will be collection, identification, and preservation of insect specimens, contributing to the all taxa biological surveys" on campus and at the Furman Forest."
The interactions between organisms and their environments, and the consequences of these interactions for population dynamics, community structure, and the flow of energy and matter through ecosystems. Also, consideration of environmental issues and conservation. Laboratories include local field work, experiments, and possibly one or two overnight/weekend field trips.
Fld Stds in Tropical Ecology
Students visit a variety of habitats including tropical rain forests, tropical dry forests, and cloud forests in Costa Rica. Intensive study of natural history will be combined with original ecological investigations and preparation of research papers.
Popultn Genetics & Evolution
Evolutionary mechanisms that change the genetic structure of populations. Patterns of evolutionary change documented by the fossil record, biogeography, comparative anatomy and genetic similarity. Labs include experiments in Drosophila evolution, computer simulations, and at least one field trip (fossils).
To Walk the Land
Through weekly hikes, the goal of this seminar is that you would come to know and enjoy the land, your local upstate environment, in a deeper way; to appreciate its natural and cultural history; to better understand our connection to and dependence on the land; and to communicate this new understanding effectively. This seminar is physically demanding and time consuming because of one six-hour afternoon hike and one two-hour discussion meeting per week.
Competition in Nature & Cltr
The Super Bowl. Democrats vs. Republicans. Ford vs. Chevy. Competition permeates our culture, but is competition fundamental to how humans and all organisms interact? Examining the nature and importance of competitive and cooperative interactions in nature and society.
Through field trips, readings, videos, and writing assignments, students will learn about the breath and importance of life's diversity and will meet some of the unique and 'alien' species that share our world. Students will maintain a writer's journal, complete three papers (with revisions), and have an exam on lecture material. This seminar focuses on broader patterns, ecological relationships, and specific 'biographies' of interesting species.