The amazing variety of life forms on our planet, often exhibiting unusual and even bizarre interactions with one another, tends to obscure basic underlying relationships among all life. This course attempts to elucidate principles of biological organization and function that tie together such seemingly unrelated forms. The tendency of species to change over time (i.e., evolution) will provide the basis of our approach to interpreting biological phenomena. Biological principles will be studied from the cellular level to the levels of tissues, organs and whole organisms. Attention will be paid to the relationships between structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) at all levels of organization. The course includes a study of vertebrate body structures and functions in order to provide some reasonable understanding of the human body. Several lab exercises emphasize biological processes using humans as models. Field exercises emphasize important ecological principles. Important ecological problems related to human impact on the environment are also discussed.
This is not a laboratory course in the traditional sense of the word. Few actual investigations will be conducted.
However, we will attempt to provide evidence and understanding of biological principles through a variety of
visual and multimedia approaches, allowing an interactive approach to the understanding of aspects of