General Biology II: Organismal and Population Biology
The number and diversity of living organisms on Earth is staggering—and so common that we often take their very existence for granted. Yet the nature of these organisms, their mechanisms of survival, and their modes of interaction with each other and with the environment form the basis of endless and fascinating study. This course serves as a fundamental introduction to the science of life—the broad field of biology. As such, we cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from the microscopic to the macroscopic and from the laboratory to the field. The course will be divided into three parts. The first portion of the course will focus on the biology of cells and the chromosomal basis of inheritance. We will then turn our attention to the mechanisms of evolution and biological diversity. Finally, we will conclude by examining organismal functions and ecology. In addition to the science involved, we will discuss the individuals responsible for major discoveries and the process of hypothesis formation, experimental design, and interpretation of results. Classes will be supplemented with weekly laboratory work.