Biological and Environmental Sciences   

BIO 500 Graduate Seminar 3 SH

This course will include a combination of guest speakers, student presentations and roundtable discussions on current topics and papers in the biological sciences. In addition, lectures and assignments will deal with techniques of scientific literature research, scientific writing and paper presentations. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of the instructor.

BIO 504 Limnology 
3 SH

This is a study of the fundamental properties and dynamics of lakes through the interrelated aspects of physical, geological, chemical and biological processes. Studies of the evolution and eutrophication of lakes under natural and altered conditions of modern environments. Prerequisite: bachelor’s degree in biology, or permission of instructor.

BIO 516 Current Techniques in Cell and Molecular Biology 3 SH

Current techniques in cell and tissue culture, molecular genetics, immunology and biochemistry are covered in this course. Through laboratory work, assigned readings, lectures and discussions, students will become familiar with both the techniques and the theoretical framework on which these techniques are based.

Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of instructor.

BIO 530 Population Genetics 3 SH

This course will consider the theoretical, experimental and empirical foundations of population genetics. Topics covered will include models of natural selection and genetic drift; the neutral theory of molecular evolution; migration and population subdivision; speciation; and applications to medicine, pest control, and conservation biology. Prerequisite: Genetics or equivalent; Calculus I recommended.

BIO 531 Molecular Evolution 3 SH

This course will consider the theoretical and empirical aspects of the evolution of DNA and protein molecules.  Methods of inferring evolutionary processes and relationships among populations and among species based on DNA and protein sequences will be examined, along with methods of drawing and evaluating phylogenetic trees based on molecular data. The course will consist of a combination of lectures, computer exercises, laboratory experiments and student presentations. Prerequisite: BIO 312 and BIO 325 or permission of instructor.  Some background in probability is recommended.

BIO 535 Advanced Molecular Biology 4 SH

This is an advanced course which examines the current status of gene cloning and mapping, genome analysis, and human genetic diseases. The laboratory will introduce students to techniques used in genome manipulation and analysis. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of the instructor. A background in cell biology or genetics is recommended.

BIO 536 Molecular Oncology 3 SH

This advanced course examines the molecular mechanisms of cellular growth control, carcinogenesis, cancer genetics and immunology, and current treatment technologies. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of the instructor. A background in cell biology or genetics is recommended.

BIO 537 Molecular Endocrinology 3 SH

This advanced course examines molecular mechanisms of hormone synthesis and structure, hormonal control of gene expression and cellular pathways, and aberrant hormone effects. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of the instructor. A background in cell biology, genetics, or human physiology is recommended.

BIO 538 Molecular Mechanisms of Animal Development 3 SH

This advanced course examines the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying cell adhesion, cell-cell communication and signaling pathways, apoptosis, patterns and body axis formation, limb morphogenesis and sex determination in animals. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of the instructor. A background in cell biology, genetics, or developmental biology is recommended.

BIO 539 Molecular Biology of Procaryotes 3 SH

This advanced lecture course examines the molecular mechanisms underlying procaryotic biology. Emphasis will be on pathogenic bacteria. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of instructor. A background in microbiology, genetics or molecular biology is recommended.

BIO 540 Aquatic Vascular Plants 4 SH

The course will introduce students to the aquatic and wetland plant flora (ferns, fern allies, flowering plants) of the northeast. The lecture will focus on conceptual issues of the biology, ecology and evolution of aquatic plants. The laboratory will be devoted largely to field collection and identification of aquatic and wetland plants. Prerequisite: An introductory course in plant taxonomy or equivalent background.

BIO 543 Stream Ecology 4 SH

This course will cover the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of streams and rivers including an integrated study of the environmental factors affecting the composition and distribution of biota. The role of streams and their biota in ecosystem processes will be emphasized. The laboratory will provide experience in field and lab techniques used in the study of streams. Prerequisite: A course in ecology or permission of the instructor.

BIO 545 Advanced Systematic Biology 3 SH

The course will focus on conceptual aspects of systematic biology. Emphasis will include phylogenetic reconstruction, species concepts, speciation, the dynamic nature of species and evolutionary factors such as hybridization, gene flow and species extinction. Students will apply conceptual issues to particular groups of interest. Prerequisite: An introductory course in taxonomy/systematic biology or equivalent.

BIO 551 Soil Ecology 3 SH

This course examines the dynamics of microbes and the fauna that feed upon them, within the physical and chemical environment of the soil. The role of soils and their biota in ecosystem processes will be emphasized. Prerequisite: A course in ecology or permission of the instructor.

BIO 552 Microbial Ecology 3 SH

This course will study the relationship between microorganisms and their environment and their interactions with each other and with other species. We will examine microbial species diversity and metabolic versatility with an evolutionary perspective.  The approach will include experimental design and data analysis, and ecosystem modeling as applied to microbial ecology. Prerequisite: BIO 215 or BIO 216 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

BIO 555 Environmental Physiology 3 SH

This course involves discussions of principles and current research on animal regulatory mechanisms and physiological adaptations for survival in changing environmental conditions. The effects of pollution and other chemical, physical and biotic environmental stressors on animal functions are explored. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of instructor.

BIO 556 Herpetology 4 SH

The course will emphasize the biological diversity, ecology, behavior and conservation of amphibians and reptiles and address the role these organisms play as indicators of change in ecology and human health. The course will address conservation laws for amphibians and reptiles, how these laws are being implemented and their impact on the developing world during times of both economic prosperity and hardship. Saturday field trips are required. Prerequisite: A bachelor’s degree in biology or permission of instructor.

BIO 560 Behavioral Ecology 3 SH

This course offers an examination of the manner in which animals interact with their environment. Both theoretical principles and environmental problems will be studied. Topics include optimality theory, inclusive fitness, social behavior, selfishness and cooperation, mating, reproduction and species interactions. The course will be a combination of lectures and seminar presentations by students. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of the instructor.

BIO 565 Topics in Animal Behavior 3 SH

This course will introduce graduate students without previous background in the discipline to the critical concepts and topics involved in the study of the biological basis of animal behavior. Ecological and evolutionary approaches will be stressed. Student presentations will supplement lectures by the instructor. Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences program or permission of the instructor.

BIO 592 Independent Thesis Research 1-6 SH

This course is designed for students fulfilling the thesis requirements for the degree of M.A. in Biological and Environmental Sciences. Individual conferences with the adviser are scheduled as needed. May be repeated for up to six semester hours of total credit. Credit will be awarded upon submission of an approved thesis and thesis abstract. Prerequisite: Submission of an approved thesis proposal and permission of the graduate coordinator.

BIO 598 Faculty Developed Study

This experimental course is offered by the biological and environmental sciences department as a means of determining its value to the total department program or in response to a particular request from a group of students.

BIO 599 Student Developed Study

This vehicle is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to develop his/her own learning experience. A student will design a project and secure a faculty sponsor. May be utilized more than once. Prerequisite: Written permission of faculty sponsor and department. Registration through the Division of Graduate Studies is required.

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