Principles of Biology

Course Number: BI 213
Transcript Title: Principles of Biology
Created: September 1, 2013
Updated: January 22, 2016
Total Credits: 5
Lecture Hours: 40
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


BI 212 and its prerequisite requirements

Course Description

Includes plant and animal anatomy and physiology, and individual, population, community and ecosystem ecology. The third course of a three-course sequence for students majoring in biology and the sciences, including pre-medical, pre-dental, chiropractic, pharmacy, and related fields. Prerequisite: BI 212 and its prerequisite requirements. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion students will be able to:

  1. Apply biological theories and concepts to novel problems in plant/animal anatomy and physiology and ecology.
  2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of scientific studies in plant/animal anatomy and physiology and ecology and critically examine the influence of scientific and technical knowledge of plant/animal anatomy and physiology and ecology on human society and the environment.
  3. Apply concepts from plant/animal anatomy and physiology and ecology to their lives and community (personal, work, and career).
  4. Develop informed positions and opinions on contemporary issues in plant/animal anatomy and physiology and ecology, while considering ethical, scientific, community, and cultural implications.
  5. Communicate concepts in plant/animal anatomy and physiology and ecology using appropriate terminology in both written and verbal forms.
  6. Competently enter and complete further work in the sciences upper-level courses in plant/animal anatomy and physiology and ecology.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

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

  • Open-ended essay questions and multiple-choice exams.
  • Scientific papers that follow standard scientific format presenting independent investigations and may include peer-review(s).
  • Oral presentations of biological information, informed positions on contemporary issues, and/or laboratory results.
  • Classroom assessments, such as, quizzes, one minute summaries, pre-test/post-tests, etc.
  • Major independent projects, such as, experiential learning plus journals, botany collections with ecosystem reports, library research term papers, and field journals.
  • Scientific article critiques.
  • Laboratory practical exams.
  • Small projects and homework assignments.

Course Activities and Design

This course will be taught in a traditional lecture and laboratory format. Lecture will be presented utilizing a variety of multimedia and interactive presentations. Laboratory experiences will be largely hands-on and team-based, utilizing a variety of resources including (but not limited to): multimedia, prepared microscope slides, plant, human and animal specimens.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes and Concepts include:

  1. Plant anatomy and morphology
  2. Transport in plants
  3. Plant nutrition
  4. Plant reproduction and development
  5. Plant growth, development, and responses to environmental stimuli
  6. Animal tissues and body plans
  7. Animal nutrition
  8. Animal circulation and gas exchange
  9. Animal immune systems (optional)
  10. Homeostasis in animals
  11. Chemical signals in animals
  12. Animal reproduction (optional)
  13. Animal development (optional)
  14. Animal nervous systems
  15. Animal sensory and motor systems
  16. The distribution and adaptations of organisms
  17. Population ecology
  18. Community ecology
  19. Ecosystem ecology


Biology 213 is relevant to many contemporary issues that may be discussed and explored during the course, such as, effects of pollution in aquatic systems, dwindling biodiversity, global warming, acid rain, overpopulation, habitat destruction and fragmentation, effects of invasive non-native plants, etc.

Competencies and Skills:

  • Read scientific literature
  • Apply the scientific method
  • Use laboratory techniques and equipment
  • Locate and access biological information
  • Think critically
  • Collaborate with peers -- work effectively in groups
  • Articulate scientific processes in written and oral format
  • Present data in papers using the scientific format
  • Present conclusions logically

Department Notes

Columbia Gorge Community College Science Department stands by the following statement about 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.