2022-2023 Catalog 
    Nov 29, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog
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BIOL 121 - College Biology I

4 Credit: (3 lecture, 2 lab, 0 clinical) 5 Contact Hours: [Reading Level 3  and Writing Level 3  and Math Level 3 ]

This course (in conjunction with BIOL 122 ) provides students with an in-depth introduction to fundamental areas of biology. It is intended as the first part of a two-semester sequence designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university with a major in the natural sciences. Students are not required to take BIOL 122  before enrolling in this course. This course emphasizes the scientific method, basic chemistry concepts, cellular structure, function, and metabolism, cellular reproduction and genetics, the diversity of microorganisms, and body systems. Laboratories introduce basic biological techniques and reinforce principles learned in lecture.
OFFERED: fall semesters

Course Goals/ Objectives/ Competencies:
Goal 1:  Demonstrate proper use of laboratory tools, materials, and procedures.


  1. Identify common lab equipment.
  2. Identify microscope parts and functions.
  3. Correctly use a microscope.
  4. Prepare a wet mount.
  5. Calculate total magnification.
  6. Use standard lab equipment to measure metric volumes and weight.
  7. Use a dichotomous key to identify organisms.
  8. Explain the basic classification system from Domain to Species.
  9. Perform common biotechnology laboratory techniques.
  10. Document laboratory exercises in a scientific manner.

Goal 2:  Apply the scientific method to a laboratory or field experiment.


  1. Conduct an experiment using the scientific method.
  2. Properly format figures and tables.
  3. Identify variables and controls in an experiment.
  4. Analyze data and develop conclusions.
  5. Conduct a search for primary scientific literature.
  6. Review primary scientific literature.
  7. Write a clear and concise lab report.

Goal 3:  Explain life at the atomic and molecular levels.


  1. Identify the basic parts of the atom.
  2. Distinguish between ionic, covalent, and polar covalent bonds.
  3. Define ion, isotope, organic, inorganic, and electrolyte.
  4. Define pH and use various methods (in lab) to determine pH of a given solution.
  5. Describe the major macromolecules and how they are synthesized, used and stored in cells.
  6. Recognize the molecular structure of the basic building blocks of cells (glucose, amino acids and phospholipids).

Goal 4:  Explain life in terms of cellular structure, function, and metabolism.


  1. Relate the surface-to-volume ratio in cells to their overall size.
  2. Describe the physical and chemical make-up of the cell membrane.
  3. Describe or demonstrate (in lab) the methods of transport across a cell membrane.
  4. Describe the structure and function of all cellular organelles.
  5. Describe how cells gain and use energy (metabolism).
  6. Explain enzyme function and regulation.
  7. Describe, in some detail, the steps of cellular respiration.

Goal 5:  Explain different types of inheritance in terms of cell division and genetics.


  1. Recognize and describe the steps of mitosis and meiosis.
  2. Describe the structure and replication of DNA.
  3. Describe the parts and steps of transcription and translation.
  4. Define genetic terminology and apply this to various genetic problems.
  5. Explain the basic patterns of inheritance.
  6. Apply genetic information to describe techniques used in genetic engineering.
  7. Apply molecular genetic knowledge in the laboratory (electrophoresis, restriction enzyme digests, genetic problems, etc.).
  8. Compare cell replication in selected organisms (virus, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, etc).

Goal 6:  Compare how different animals and humans maintain homeostasis at the organ system level.


  1. Describe the organization and interaction of systems from cell to tissue to organs.
  2. Identify major organs and relate their structures to function and location.
  3. Describe material exchange in respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive and urinary systems.
  4. Compare how the nervous and endocrine systems work and maintain homeostasis.
  5. Compare skeletons and musculature as they relate to movement.
  6. Apply homeostasis principles to normal and selected diseased states of humans.
  7. Describe reproduction and development if time permits

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