This program is intended to help students fulfill General Biology requirements necessary for advanced work in environmental studies and the natural sciences. The program will use a hybrid model of instruction with online learning and weekly in-person laboratory and field sessions with appropriate training and safety precautions in place.
The content of the program will emphasize evolution as the framework that links the biological sciences across scales- from individual cells, to multi-cellular organisms, up to populations and communities of interacting organisms within ecosystems. We will explore the origins of life on Earth, and the evolution of various branches on the tree of life across geologic time scales. We will incorporate Pacific Northwest natural history to deepen our understanding of evolutionary relationships and focus on the process of science in biology. We will also gain a deeper understanding of cellular and molecular biology, genetics, genomics, gene regulation, biomolecules (lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids), energetics, metabolic processes, and cellular respiration. We will strengthen our understanding of evolution throughout the quarter by applying cellular and molecular biology concepts to the principles of ecology.
Depending on conditions, lecture work will be conducted remotely, using Canvas and Zoom. The faculty will offer alternative assignments if conditions or illness prevent students from accessing our synchronous meetings, which will allow students to earn comparable credit.
If conditions allow, the following activities will be in person: a select number of laboratory sessions covering basic microbiology techniques, microscopy, DNA restriction digestions, gel electrophoresis, plant dissections, as well as two field biology sessions on campus.