Course Descriptions

Biol 110 - Biological Inquiry (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Laboratory: 3 hours
A factual and conceptual exploration of the living world through presentation, student inquiry, and laboratory exercises. Topics include the bases of life; organization of living systems, from molecules to ecosystems, and their interactions; and genetics, evolution, and ecology.

Prerequisite(s): Students not in Biology major.
GE Category: Satisfies GE, Area B2 and the GE laboratory science requirement.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring

Biol 115 - Introduction to Biology (3)
Lecture: 3 hours
The unifying concepts of biology. Topics include the chemical and physical basis of life; cellular structure and function; molecular and Mendelian genetics; reproduction, development, structure, and function of representative plants and animals; and evolution and ecology.

Prerequisite(s): Students not in Biology major.
GE Category: Satisfies GE, Area B2.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring

Biol 130 - Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Laboratory: 3 hours
One of two courses in the lower-division series required of biology majors. Provides an introduction to structure, molecular processes and physiology of cells, as well as mechanisms of inheritance and evolution.

GE Category: Satisfies GE, category B2 and GE lab requirement.
Typically Offered: Fall

Biol 130S - Exploring Biology (1)
Exploring Biology (Biol 130S) is a freshmen seminar course designed to introduce you to a wide variety of ideas, concepts, and ways of thinking about biology. The course will explore diverse array of learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom offered at Sonoma State University, learn about a variety of careers in biology and engage in activities that will prepare students for success in college and beyond.

Co-requisite(s): BIOL 130
Typically Offered: Fall Only

Biol 131 - Biological Diversity and Ecology (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Laboratory: 3 hours
One of two courses in the lower-division series required for biology majors. Introduces the extraordinary diversity of life, evolutionary relationships between groups of organisms, and principles of ecology.

GE Category: Satisfies GE category B2 and GE lab requirement.
Typically Offered: Spring

Biol 218 - Biology of Aging (3)
Lecture: 3 hours
The course examines the changes associated with the aging process in each organ system of humans. Topics include: longevity, theories of aging, structure and function of organ systems, common changes, and diseases. Current research and preventive measures will be discussed.

GE Category: E - Life Long learning & Self Development
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring

Biol 220 - Human Anatomy (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Laboratory: 3 hours
Survey of the body systems. Designed for pursuing careers in the allied health professions.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 110 or BIOL 115, or BIOL 130 and BIOL 131
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring

Biol 224 - Human Physiology (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Laboratory: 3 hours
An integrated examination of the human body as an efficient system maintained by a complex of interacting, homeostatic mechanisms. Includes fundamental principles of function of major organ systems. Designed for those pursuing careers in the allied health professions.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 110 or BIOL 115, or BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 and CHEM 115A/B or CHEM 110 or CHEM 105 
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring

Biol 240 - Medical Microbiology (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Laboratory: 3 hours
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of microbiology with a focus on bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa that cause human disease, and the body’s response. Includes current topics in health and disease and emerging threats to public and global health. The laboratory provides basic diagnostic and clinical and microbiological skills.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 110 or BIOL 115, or BIOL 130 and BIOL 131, and CHEM 115A/B or CHEM 105 
Typically Offered: Spring Only

Biol 308 - Environmental Toxicology (3)
Lecture: 3 hours 
Information needed to formulate a philosophy of chemical use: the nature of the interaction of toxicants and living organisms; categories of toxicological activity; toxicological evaluation and environmental monitoring; and governmental regulations and procedures.
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 110 - Biological Inquiry, Completion of GE Golden Four (A1, A2, A3, B4) with a C- or better and completion of B1, B2 and at least 45 units. 
GE Category: Upper Division B 
Typically Offered: Fall Only

Biol 309 - Biology of Cancer (3)
Lecture: 3 hours
Biological, clinical, environmental, and psychosocial aspects of cancer explored through the perspectives of medical researchers, physicians, patients, and health educators. This lecture series is intended for students of all majors, for those in the health professions, and for the general public. It is designed so that everyone (regardless of scientific background) will benefit.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 110 or BIOL 115, or BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 
GE Category: Satisfies GE Area B3.
Typically Offered: Variable Intermittently

Biol 311 - Sexually Transmitted Diseases (3)
Lecture: 3 hours
Biological, environmental, societal, and psychosocial aspects of sexually transmitted diseases.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 110 or BIOL 115, or BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 
GE Category: Satisfies GE Area B3.
Typically Offered: Variable Intermittently

Biol 312 - Biological Oceanography (3)
Lecture: 3 hours
An introduction to the worlds oceans with emphasis on the way in which their physical properties support life.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 110 or BIOL 115, or BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 
GE Category: Satisfies GE category B3.
Typically Offered: Fall Only

Biol 314 - Field Biology (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Fieldwork: 3 hours
A course emphasizing plant and animal communities of Northern California.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 110 or BIOL 115, or BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 
Typically Offered: Variable Intermittently

Biol 320 - Ecology and Evolution - An Integrated Approach (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Discussion: 1 hour
An integrated overview of ecological and evolutionary processes focusing on the origins and functioning of biodiversity from genes to ecosystems. Discussions complement lectures with quantitative and written exercises to strengthen knowledge and understanding. One of a two-semester sequence satisfying the upper division core in the Biology major.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 
Typically Offered: Fall Only

Biol 321 - Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Physiology (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Discussion: 1 hour
An integrated overview of the key principles of molecular biology, cell biology and organismal physiology with an emphasis on regulatory mechanisms. Discussions complement lectures with quantitative and written exercises to strengthen knowledge and understanding. One of a two-semester sequence satisfying the upper division core in the Biology major.

Prerequisite(s): All majors except BIOCHEM: BIOL 130 and BIOL 131, MATH 161 or MATH 165, CHEM 115A. BIOCHEM majors: BIOL 130, MATH 161 or MATH 165, CHEM 115A. For both, completion of GE Golden Four (A1, A2, A3, B4) with a C- or better and completion of B1, B2 and at least 45 units. 
GE Category: Upper Division B
Typically Offered: Spring Only

Biol 322 - Invertebrate Biology (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Fieldwork: 3 hours
Exploration of the systematics, functional morphology, behavior, and ecology of invertebrates.
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 required.
Typically Offered: Fall Only

Biol 323 - Entomology (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Fieldwork: 3 hours
A comprehensive foundation in the biology of insects, with emphasis on ecology, behavior, evolution, and classification. Includes field experiences, service learning and development of an insect collection.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 131
Typically Offered: Spring Only

Biol 324 - Biology of Marine Mammals (3)
Lecture:
3 hours. Introduction to the biology of marine mammals, emphasizing evolutionary history, physiology, behavior, ecology, and conservation, with a focus on various factors that influence foraging and reproductive strategies, as well as on the evolution of social systems.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 
Typically Offered: Spring Even Years

Biol 325 - Molecular and Cellular Lab Techniques (1)
Laboratory: 3 hours
The course focuses on fundamental hands-on skills used in a molecular and cellular laboratory.  In addition emphasis is placed on quantitative aspects of laboratory work as well as data interpretation and scientific writing.

Prerequisite(s): Completion or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 321  or consent of instructor.
Typically Offered: Spring Only

Biol 326 - Dinosaurs and Mesozoic Vertebrates (3)
Lecture: 3 hours
The course will examine the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, arguably the most successful terrestrial vertebrates in the history of Earth. We will discuss their evolutionary history and place among the vertebrates, as well as look at the other animals and plants that they shared the Mesozoic world with.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 131 
Typically Offered: Fall Odd Years

Biol 327 - Vertebrate Biology (4)
Lecture: 3 hours Fieldwork: 3 hours
Exploration of the systematics, behavioral ecology, biogeography, evolution, and conservation biology of fish, amphibia, reptiles, birds, and mammals. At least one weekend field trip.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 131; requires consent of instructor.
Typically Offered: Spring Only

Biol 328 - Vertebrate Evolutionary Morphology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Trends in the evolution of structure and function in the vertebrates. This course focuses on morphological adaptations at the organ system level that have enabled vertebrates to diversify and succeed in a wide range of habitats and environments. Prerequisite: BIOL 320.

Biol 329 - Plant Biology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. An overview of plant biology, with focus on structure, function, reproduction, and evolution. Emphasis is on flowering plants, but a survey of all plant and plantlike organisms, both modern and extinct, is included. Prerequisites: BIOL 130 and 131.

Biol 330 - Plant Taxonomy (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory and field, 3 hours. An introduction to the principles and practices of plant taxonomy, including approaches to classification, data analysis, and a survey of vascular plant families in the California flora. A minimum of two Saturday field trips is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 130 and 131.

Biol 332 - Marine Biology (3)
Lecture, 3 hours. The biology of marine life is examined from an integrated and functional perspective. Near shore, open ocean, and deep sea environments will be covered. Topics include factors that affect marine ecosystems, the relationship between physical processes and biological communities, and the physiology and behavior of marine organisms. Prerequisites: BIOL 130 and 131.

Biol 333 - Ecology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory and field, 3 hours. A current overview of this field, with in-depth coverage of ecology at the population, community, and ecosystem level. Emphasis on diverse taxa and habitats, hypothesis testing, and data collection and analysis. Prerequisites: BIOL 320 and MATH 165.

Biol 335 - Marine Ecology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory and field, 3 hours. An overview of current topics in marine ecology and conservation with emphasis on ecology of coastal ecosystems. Extensive focus on field and laboratory research projects. Includes experimental design, data analysis, and presentation. At least three 5-hour field trips outside of scheduled class time. Prerequisites: BIOL 320 and MATH 165.

Biol 337 - Behavioral Ecology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory and field, 3 hours. Examines how the behavior of animals functions to optimize their fitness. Explores such topics as foraging, altruism, breeding systems, sexual selection, deceit, communication systems, and aggression with emphasis on techniques for formulating and testing hypotheses. Prerequisites: BIOL 320.

Biol 338 - Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Examines microbial ecology and diversity along with biotechnological applications of microbes in agriculture, wastewater treatment, bioremediation, and biofuel production. Satisfies the ENSP Hazardous Materials Management and Water Quality Technology core requirement. Prerequisites: BIOL 130 and 131 and CHEM 115AB, or consent of instructor.

Biol 340 - General Bacteriology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. An introduction to prokaryotes covering their cell structure, metabolic diversity, interactions with other organisms, and pivotal roles in biogeochemical cycling. Laboratory projects develop skills essential for studies of bacteria. Laboratory in two 1.5 hour sessions per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 321, 325 and CHEM 335A.

Biol 341 - Evolution (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory and field, 3 hours. A broad examination of the patterns and processes involved in the evolution of life on earth. Includes inquiry into the origin of life, microevolutionary processes, systematics, and large-scale evolutionary history. Prerequisite: BIOL 320.

Biol 342 - Molecular Genetics (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Gene structure and function at the level of DNA, RNA, and protein interactions. Emphasis on molecular analytical techniques used for genetic analysis in a diversity of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Prerequisites: BIOL 321, 325 and CHEM 335A.

Biol 344 - Cell Biology(4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. An introduction to structural and molecular organization of eukaryotic cells and tissues. Specific topics will represent the central core of cell biology and are concerned mainly with those properties that are common to most eukaryotic cells. Prerequisites: BIOL 321, 325 and CHEM 335A.

Biol 347 - Environmental Physiology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Course examines the adaptations and physiological responses that allow animals to live under widely different environmental conditions. Laboratory and field exercises will utilize modern techniques of physiological measurement to examine adaptive strategies among and between species in different environmental conditions. Prerequisites: BIOL 320 and 321.

Biol 348 - Plant Physiology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Concepts and principles of plant function. The following areas are investigated in detail: photosynthesis, water relations, mineral nutrition, and plant growth regulation. Prerequisites: BIOL 320, 321 and 325.

Biol 349 - Animal Physiology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Principles and concepts of animal function, with emphasis on cellular and biochemical/ molecular bases of physiological activities in tissues and organ systems, environmental adaptations, and comparative homeostatic mechanisms. Prerequisites: BIOL 320 and 321.

Biol 350 - Plant Physiological Ecology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Investigation of the physiological processes of plants that contribute to understanding their ecological distribution and evolutionary success. Examination of environmental effects on survival within the context of climate change, conservation biology, etc. Prerequisites: BIOL 130 and 131, and completion or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 321.

Biol 351 - Climate Change Biology (4) 
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory 3 hours. Exploration of nature’s response to climate change. Since the biology of climate change is becoming increasingly well understood, from present observations to models of future change, this course examines biological changes in response to climate and emerging conservation strategies. Topics include species' range shifts, phenology, ecosystem ecology, modeling, and management. Prerequisites: BIOL 130 and 131, and completion or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 320.

Biol 383 - Virology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. The study of viruses: their characteristics, classification, genetics, and host-parasite interactions. Emphasis will be placed on the molecular mechanisms viruses use to replicate and how this can affect the host. Prerequisites: BIOL 321, 325 and CHEM 335A.

Biol 385 - Contemporary Issues in Biology (3)
Lecture, 3 hours. Selected topics related to the quality of life and the search for perspectives on the future. Satisfies GE Area B3 (Specific Emphasis in Natural Sciences). Prerequisites: BIOL 110, 115, or 130 and 131.

Biol 390 - Biology Colloquium (1)
Lecture, 1 hour. Presentations by visiting scholars, departmental faculty, and master’s degree candidates on current research and contemporary issues in biology. May be repeated for credit. All majors and graduate students are encouraged to enroll each semester, although no more than 2 units are applicable to the Biology major. Cr/NC grading.

Biol 393 - Independent Study in Biology (1-3)
Opportunity for independent research or special projects under the supervision of a Biology faculty member, for developing competency in biological research methods. May be repeated for up to a total of 4 units. Prerequisite: approved petition to enroll.

Biol 398 - Non-Majors Teaching Practicum (1-3)
Application of prior knowledge towards supervised instructional experience in Biology courses. Intended for professional growth and lifelong learning for non-major undergraduates in biology. A total of 4 units may apply to the Biology minor. Prerequisites: prior completion of the course for which instructional assistance is to be provided, with a grade of B or better, consent of the instructor, and an approved petition to enroll.

Biol 463 - Herpetology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory and field, 3 hours. Classification, functional and evolutionary morphology, environmental physiology, and ecology of reptiles and amphibians. Includes at least one weekend field trip. Prerequisite: BIOL 327 or 328.

Biol 472 Developmental Biology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Patterns of animal development. This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive appreciation of the developmental process, presenting detailed descriptions of developmental mechanisms along with a conceptual framework for understanding how development occurs. Prerequisites: BIOL 321 and CHEM 335A.

Biol 480 - Immunology (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. The cellular and molecular basis of the immune response; topics include innate and adaptive immunity, hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, and cancer immunology. Prerequisites: BIOL 342, or BIOL 344, or BIOL 338, or BIOL 472, and CHEM 335A required.

Biol 485 - Biometry (4)
Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours. Introduces students to quantitative analysis of biological data. The nature of biological data, principles of experimental design, and essential statistical tools used by biologists to analyze their results. Examples used in the course will be drawn from physiology, ecology, evolution, and medicine. Laboratory sections will involve computer exercises, discussions, and student presentations. Prerequisites: BIOL 320 and MATH 165, or BIOL 130 and 131 and Math 165.

Biol 490 - Research Experience in Biology (3)
Lecture, 1 hour; laboratory/field, 6 hours. An intensive course designed to provide students training and experience in biological research on topics within faculty area of expertise. Throughout the semester, students will address research questions and generate new knowledge through scientific literature review, hypothesis development, experimental design, data generation and analysis, and presentation of results in scientific format. Prerequisites: Upper division standing in biology and consent of instructor.

Biol 494 - Independent Research (1-3)
Directed study, under the guidance of a Biology faculty member, to design and conduct a research project in biology, including readings in the primary literature and application of information from relevant upper-division course work. Results must be given in a written report or presented in a public forum. May be repeated for up to a total of 4 units. Prerequisites: senior-level standing in the major with a cumulative GPA of 2.5, and approved petition to enroll.

Biol 495 - Special Studies (1-4)
Investigations to meet an advanced specialized study need beyond the department curriculum. The project should be planned and described in written form with consent of the faculty sponsor. Prerequisites: majors or minors in Biology, upper-division standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and approved petition to enroll. May be repeated for credit.

Biol 496 - Senior Research (2)
Experimental or observational research for the B.S. Degree conducted under the guidance of one or more of the Biology faculty. A written report and an oral presentation of results in a public forum are required. Prerequisites: BIOL 494, senior-standing in the major.

Biol 496A - Honors Thesis I (1-2)
Experimental or observational research for the B.S. degree conducted under the supervision of one or more of the biology faculty members. Prerequisites: senior-standing in the major with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an approved application.

Biol 496B - Honors Thesis II (2-3)
Completion of research for the B.S. degree conducted under the supervision of one or more biology faculty members. A research paper summarizing the results is required. Prerequisites: senior-standing in the major and completion of BIOL 496A.

Biol 497 - Selected Topics (1-4)
Intensive study of biological topics, which will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit and may be applicable to the requirements for a major in Biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and 131.

Biol 498 - Biology Practicum (1-4)
Application of previously studied theory through supervised instructional work experience in biology. Intended for professional growth for undergraduates. Enrollees are required to write an evaluation of their course experience. May be repeated for up to a total of 4 units. Prerequisites: upper-division standing in Biology, consent of the instructor in whose course the student will be working, and an approved petition to enroll.

Biol 499 - Internship in Biology (1-4)
Work that provides training in the use of biological skills in the community. Requires written agreement by students, faculty sponsor, on-the-job supervisor, and field experience coordinators; please see department office for details. May be repeated for up to 7 units of credit; 3 hours per week for each unit. Cr/NC grading only.