bio 171 - 1 BIO 171: INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY: ECOLOGY &...

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BIO 171: I NTRODUCTORY B IOLOGY : E COLOGY VOLUTION Dr. Barry M. OConnor Fall 2010 S YLLABUS CHEDULE C OURSE O VERVIEW : Biology is a fascinating and diverse field. This course is intended for students who plan to major in one of the many biology concentrations available or who plan to go into the health professions or teaching. It is open to anyone seeking a rigorous overview of the major themes and ideas in genetics, evolution, and ecology. The material is presented so that the chemistry background knowledge is minimal. C OURSE G OALS : Upon completion of the course, students will be able to do the following: & Develop a robust understanding of how science works and improve their scientific reasoning skills and ability to read and interpret scientific literature; & Explain key concepts in ecology, genetics and evolutionary biology and understand how the interactions of ecological, evolutionary and genetic processes influence current, historical and future patterns of biodiversity; & Explain the relevance of biological phenomena to their lives and apply biological principles to make informed decisions. C OURSE P HILOSOPHY : Biology is fascinating and extremely relevant to your daily life – and if you don’t agree with this statement, we hope to change your views. We have designed this course in part to share with you the intriguing research that biologists have produced, and partly in response to dissatisfaction with the way introductory biology courses have traditionally been taught. Biology should not be taught as if it were only a compendium of facts with little left to discover. An introductory biology course should expose you to the ways that biologists explore questions about the natural world, drawing on the latest research, and let you experience that sense of personal discovery for yourself. In this course, you will not be graded on your ability to memorize isolated facts, but you will be coerced into thinking deeply about important biological concepts. Through readings, class discussions, web explorations, and writing assignments, you will learn the major ideas and approaches of biology. We believe that each individual learns by constructing his or her own understanding, and we feel that this process is enhanced when you discuss new ideas with your peers, the graduate student instructors (GSIs) nd the instructor. Sharing your ideas and responding to the ideas of others improves a your thinking and deepens understanding. We want this class to be interesting and challenging for each of you. We hope that it stimulates your curiosity about the living world around you and fosters confidence in your abilities to find, apply, synthesize, and evaluate scientific information throughout your life. I
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bio 171 - 1 BIO 171: INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY: ECOLOGY &...

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