Habitats: Fresh Water Biology

Course Number: BI 143
Transcript Title: Habitats: Fresh Water Biology
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 6, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 60 or equivalent placement test scores

Prerequisite / Concurrent

Course Description

Covers environments of freshwater streams, lakes, and marshes, emphasizing their organisms, as well as the biological interactions, nutrient cycles, and effects of physical and chemical factors on those organisms. Explores ecological factors of freshwater environments and the effects of human activities on them. Prerequisites: MTH 60 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Use basic principles of ecosystems structure and function to characterize and evaluate freshwater habitats.
  2. Identify and express how humans interact with the freshwater ecosystems by applying basic principles of environmental management.
  3. Identify and understand the biology of the various freshwater phyla.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. Essay and multiple choice exams
  2. Maintain a detailed field and laboratory notebook
  3. Weekly applications of laboratory and field experiences
  4. Self-assessment of group dynamics

Course Activities and Design

  • Lecture
  • Group Discussion
  • Lab
  • Field Trips

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems
  2. Energy relationships and environmental systems
  3. Fundamentals of ecology
  4. Land and aquatic interactions, and atmospheric and aquatic interactions
  5. Structure and function in freshwater organisms
  6. Human Impacts
  7. Field sampling
  8. Measuring of environmental parameters
  9. Organism Identification

Department Notes

Columbia Gorge Community College Science Department stands by the following statement regarding science instruction:

Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. Theories (such as biological evolution and geologic time scale) are developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance. As such, scientific theories can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation. “Creation science," “Intelligent design” or similar beliefs are not considered legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).

The Science Department at Columbia Gorge Community College therefore stands with organizations such as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula except to reference and/or clarify its invalidity.