18034

BIO 111

 Microbes in the Environment

Brooke Jude

            LAB:

M  W  1:30 pm-2:50 pm

T         9:00 am-11:30 am

RKC 115

RKC 111 / 112

LS

SCI

Related interest: Environmental & Urban Studies Bacteria, viruses, and other microbial species are present and persist in all environments on Earth, ranging from aquatic, soil, skin or gut, and are in all climates, temperate to extreme. Some microbes can be pathogenic and cause disease while others are essential for maintaining individual’s/ecosystem’s health. In this class, with an associated laboratory, students will learn about what makes a microbe able to survive in their environments, as well as learn how microbes contribute to the community they live in. Students will learn about microbial biology in the class and lab, as well as examine case studies of microbes that part of the daily news cycle [Ebola, influenza, Bacillus anthracis, Vibrio cholerae], considering what strategies are necessary for management, containing, treating and preventing infections. Prerequisite: passing score on part 1 of Mathematics Diagnostic. This course must be taken for a letter grade. Class size: 18

 

18035

BIO 117

 Botany for Herbivores

Emily Pollina

            LAB:

 T  Th 8:30 am-9:50 am

    F     1:30 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 115

RKC 114

LS

SCI

Related interest: Environmental & Urban Studies   Wild relatives of many important crop species, including potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli, contain potent defenses against animals that might eat them.  How did these plants become safe for us to eat?  How do we deter other organisms from eating them? In this course, designed for non-majors, we will explore the ways in which humans have modified, and continue to modify, the plants we use as food and the challenges of ecosystems dominated by crop plants.  Through critical examinations of papers about agricultural science and laboratory explorations on plant physiology, growth, and defense, this course will equip you to evaluate evidence for the safety and efficacy of crop development and food production strategies. Class size: 18

 

18684

BIO 121

 OBESITY

Michael Tibbetts

            LAB:

T  Th  10:10am-11:30am

 Th  11:30 am–12:50pm

RKC 115

RKC 114

LS

SCI

Cross-listed: Global Public Health   According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of U.S. adults, and 17% of children and adolescents, are obese.  The estimated annual cost of obesity was $147 billion in 2008.  This course will explore the potential factors contributing to the obesity epidemic, by examining epidemiological and experimental evidence.  These factors include: behavior, evolution, genetics/physiology, and microbiome.  In the laboratory we will explore the influence of genetics on obesity as well as the efficacy of interventions, using an emerging model system for the study of metabolism and obesity, zebrafish. Prerequisite: passing score on Part I of the Mathematics Diagnostic, and experience in high school biology and chemistry.  Class size: 20

 

18038

BIO 153

 Global Change Biology

Bruce Robertson

            LAB:

 T  Th 3:10 pm-4:30 pm

 M        8:30 am-11:30 am

RKC 115

RKC 114 / 115

LS

SCI

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Global Public Health  Global change biology is a new field of biology which explores the consequences of global environmental change for ecosystems and humans.  This introductory level course focuses on climate change as a key driver of environmental change.  We will explore the effects of climate change on the ecology of animals, plants, and microbes, including  biodiversity and ecosystem function, but will also include discussion on how these biologically oriented questions relate to the interconnected issues of human society, politics, and the economy. In addition, we will focus on relevant physical topics including the astronomical basis for natural variation in climate (years to eons), basics of global weather (e.g. gyres and Hadley cells), glacial cycles and marine circulation. In the laboratory portion of the course students will analyze ice core data, and use a bevy of tools to predict changes in the timing of migration in birds and butterflies, and predict how climate change will affect the distribution and range of plant and animal species. This course is appropriate for students interested in continuing their studies in biology, and also for motivated students whose primary interest is in other disciplines.  Class size: 18

 

18037

BIO 162

 Introduction to Neurobiology

Arseny Khakhalin

  W F 10:10 am-11:30 am

 M        1:30 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 102

 RKC 111 / 112

LS

SCI

Cross-listed: Mind, Brain, Behavior  Many neuroscience textbooks begin with the description of the brain's nuts-and-bolts (neurons, synapses, ion channels), while all the fun topics (behavior, cognition, memory) get clumped at the end. This happens because most textbooks pretend to be discussing human brains, even though the majority of what we know about the brain we learned from model organisms, such as rats, flies, and sea slugs. In this course, we will gradually climb up the ladder of complexity: from single neurons in invertebrates, through small circuits in fishes and birds, and up to large-scale networks in primates, to see how simple elements can combine and interact to produce meaningful behaviors. The course provides an introduction to neuroscience, and is recommended for students with interests in biology, psychology or computation.  Class size: 18

 

18039

BIO 166

 Methods in Field Ecology

Cathy Collins

 T        1:30 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 114

NA

NA

This 2-credit course is designed to provide an introduction to the general methods of conducting ecological research in an outdoor setting. Students will gain essential skills for future coursework or research in ecology. We will cover the scientific method generally, and more specifically how it is applied to the process of ecological research. Students will gain skills in” developing ecological questions; formulating testable hypotheses; designing experiments; collecting and analyzing data; and presenting results in both oral and written formats. These skills will be learned through a hands-on process in which students conduct a series of individual and collaborative field studies that test core hypotheses in the science of ecology, with special focus on the tropical forest ecosystem.  We will study a broad spectrum of species (e.g. microbes, plants, insects, vertebrates), comparing the methods used to study them. Field techniques may include biomass and diversity estimates of rainforest trees, culturing endophytic fungi, sampling macroinvertebrates in fresh-water streams, mist-netting bats, line-transects and acoustic sampling of frogs, sweep-netting and pitfall trapping of insects, mark and recapture to estimate population size of butterflies, estimating biomass removed by leafcutters, and mapping the spatial distribution leaf-cutter ant mounds. This course concludes with a mandatory field trip to Costa Rica over spring break. Entry into the course determined by application. Financial support available. Contact Cathy Collins, ccollins@bard.edu, for more information.  Class size: 12

 

18042

BIO 201

 Genetics and Evolution

Brooke Jude

M  W  8:30 am-11:30 am

RKC 111 / 112

LS

SCI

Cross-listed: Global Public Health; Mind, Brain, Behavior Related interest: Environmental & Urban Studies     This course is an introduction to the mechanisms of inheritance and the generation of diversity in eukaryotic organisms.  This course takes a modern approach to the study of genetics in which classical ideas about genotype, phenotype and inheritance are integrated into the modern molecular and genomic understanding of the processes involved in the generation of diversity.  In addition to discussions of the molecular mechanisms involved in DNA replication,  recombination, the generation and repair of mutations, and the relationship between genotype and phenotype, special consideration is given to our understanding of the processes involved in generating population-level variation in complex traits and how this understanding can help us identify the myriad genetic and non-genetic factors influencing these traits.  The laboratory consists of a semester long project involving the genetic manipulation of a model organism’s genome to address one or more topics in the course.  Prerequisite: One biology course at the 140 level or higher.  Class size: 18

 

18041

BIO 202

 Ecology and Evolution

Cathy Collins

  W  F  8:30 am-11:30 am

RKC 114 / 115

LS

SCI

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies  This core course for biology majors is an introduction to the general principles of ecology and evolution that, with genetics, form the core of biological understanding. In addition to studying foundational ideas in both ecology and evolution, we will explore modern topics at the boundary between these two areas. We will consider, for example, how genetic variation among individual organisms can influence ecological interactions, and how these interactions can influence fitness. We will focus on a mechanistic understanding of processes, using model-building to inform that understanding.  Prerequisite: Successful completion of a course in biology numbered 140 or above.  Class size: 18

 

18043

BIO 208

 Biology Seminar

Felicia Keesing

   Th    12:00 pm-1:00 pm

RKC 103

 

 

1 credit  This course will provide students with broad exposure to biology through the biology visiting speaker seminar series. Students will hear about the wide-ranging research interests of invited biologists and have opportunities to interact informally with them. The course is graded Pass/Fail and students are responsible for short follow-up assignments for at least 80% of the talks. Recommended for all biology majors and other interested students. 

Class size: 55

 

18040

BIO 244

 Biostatistics

Arseny Khakhalin

  W  F  1:30 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 111

MC

MATC

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Global Public Health; Mathematics  This course introduces students to the statistical methods biologists use to describe and compare data. Students will learn methods that are appropriate for different types of data. Topics covered include elementary probability and statistics, characteristics of frequency distributions, hypothesis testing, contingency tests, correlation and regression analysis, different ways to compare means, nonparametric tests, and an introduction to multivariate tests. This course is intended for sophomore and junior biology majors, although it is open to students of all years.  One objective of the course is to provide biology majors the statistical background they need to analyze data for their own senior research; biology students should take this course before their senior year, if possible. Notice, though, that the topics in this course are applicable to many advanced courses. Prerequisite: passing score on part I of the Mathematics Diagnostic and at least one introductory biology course.

Class size: 16

 

18044

BIO 302

Molecular Biology

Michael Tibbetts

 T        1:30 pm-2:50 pm

  Th     1:30 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 111

RKC 111 / 112

LS

SCI

This course explores molecular aspects of gene expression in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Topics include DNA structure, replication, and repair; DNA transcription; RNA structure and processing; and polypeptide synthesis. The course also covers various mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression. Emphasis is placed on a review of the current literature and the experimental approaches used in modern molecular biological research. The laboratory provides practical experience in such current techniques used in molecular biology as molecular cloning, restriction enzyme mapping, DNA sequencing, and nucleic acid hybridization. Prerequisites: Biology 201, Chemistry 201‑202.  Class size: 16

 

18045

BIO 311

 Field Ornithology

Bruce Robertson

 T  Th 1:30 pm-2:50 pm

      F   8:30 am-11:30 am

RKC 115

RKC 112

LS

SCI

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies  This course will present birds both as a unique group and as representative of vertebrates.  It will emphasize adaptation, ecology, and behavior of birds, the physical basis of flight, and introduce students to laboratory and field methods used in modern ornithology. We also will consider current views of the systematic relationships among living birds, and the evolutionary history of birds, including the debate regarding their origin in relation to dinosaurs and the origin of flight. Finally, we will examine case studies in bird conservation to understand the interaction of human and biological causes of, and solutions to, those problems. The laboratory portion of the class will include instruction in identification of all regional bird species by sight and sound. This will include field trips to local habitats / biological reserves and the study of museum specimens. Students will design and conduct small-scale behavioral research experiments (e.g. bioacoustics) with on-campus bird populations and will exploit publicly available and continental-scale databases to ask questions about bird ecology, evolution or conservation which will be submitted as both an oral report and scientific research paper.   Class size: 16

 

18046

BIO 428

 Global Change & Health

Emily Pollina

  W      9:30 am-11:30 am

RKC 200

 

 

Related interest: Environmental & Urban Studies  2 credits   Rapid environmental changes, including temperature, atmospheric gas, moisture and land use changes, has had serious impacts on human, animal, and plant health.  In this upper-level seminar, we will use primary scientific literature to explore the impacts of current changes on health of animals (including humans!) and plants, including direct effects on physiology and effects on transmission of disease.   Students in this seminar will lead discussions of recent primary literature articles, participate in group work, and write both literature analyses and proposals.  Class size: 12

 

18585

BIO 430

 PERSONALIZED MEDICINE

Caryn Hale

Kirsty Sawicka

M        1:30 pm-3:30 pm

OLIN 100

2 credits  The Human Genome Project, a 13-year long project with the objective of determining the DNA sequence of the entire human genome, was completed in 2003. It is regarded as one of the major landmarks in modern biological research and remains the world's largest collaborative biological project. In this course, through critical reading of primary research papers, we will explore how modern sequencing technology has transformed our understanding of human disease and revolutionized our approach to medical research. Over the last decade, the cost of genome sequencing has plummeted to the point where using an individual’s genetic profile to guide medical decisions about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease is becoming increasingly widespread. As we enter the era of “personalized medicine”, we will review specific examples of successful targeted therapies but also discuss the limitations and difficulties associated with such interventions. The course will be broken into three modules: overview/introduction (3-4 weeks), application of human genomic information to human diseases (6-9 weeks), emerging therapies (3-4 weeks). Students will be graded on in class presentations of primary literature, class participation, and various formal writing assignments. Prerequisites: Moderated student or permission of the instructor. Class size: 12

 

 

 

Cross-listed courses:

 

18048

EUS 222

 AIR

Elias Dueker

            LAB:

 T  Th 1:30 pm-2:50 pm

    F     1:30 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 101

RKC 112

LS

SCI

Related interest: Biology  This course offers a detailed exploration of the earth’s atmosphere and its interactions with the biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. Topics will include origins of the atmosphere, origins of life, anthropogenic influences on the atmosphere, and connections and exchanges with the hydrologic cycle. We will further explore pressing global environmental issues associated with the atmosphere: climate change (extreme weather events, shifting precipitation patterns), air pollution, acid rain, and depletion of the ozone layer. Lab work will be guided by scientific questions related to these issues, and will focus on detection of anthropogenic influence on air quality.  Specifically, students will conduct field sampling and utilize microbiological and chemical assays in the lab to better understand sources for and tracking of contaminants in air. Prerequisites:  EUS 102, Bio 202, or permission of instructor. Class size: 16

 

18049

EUS 316

 Waste

Elias Dueker

            LAB:

 T  Th 3:10 pm-4:30 pm

 W       1:30 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 101

RKC 112

LS

SCI

Cross-listed: Biology  This course takes a close look at the long-term implications of our standard approaches to handling human waste. Innovations in waste treatment are required as we rapidly reach saturation, resulting in increased air and water pollution and decreasing space for land fills. Students in this class will learn the science behind current waste treatment technology (water, air, and land-based) and be exposed to cutting-edge alternative approaches (water reclamation, living machines, etc.).  Lab work will be microbiological and field-based, and will allow students to become familiar with the bacteria and biogeochemical processes we rely on for most current and cutting-edge waste-treatment approaches.  Prerequisites: Either  EUS 221, EUS 222, BIO 202, or permission of instructor.   Class size: 16

 

18507

HR 223

 Epidemiology from a Human Rights Perspective

Helen Epstein

 T  Th 3:10 pm-4:30 pm

RKC 103

SA

D+J

SSCI

Cross-listed: Anthropology; Biology; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Global & International Studies; Psychology