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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: BIOL 112
Course Title: Principles of Biology II
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: A continuation of BIOL 110. Topics to be covered include population genetics, evolution and natural selection, taxonomy, survey of plants and animals, and ecology and ecosystems. Prerequisite: BIOL 110. Students majoring in Biology must earn a grade of C or higher.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): BIOL 110.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Textbooks listed are not necessarily the textbook(s) used in this course.

Essential Biology
By Campbell, N. & Reese, J. (Benjamin Cummings)
Concepts in Biology
By Enger, E. & Ross, F. (McGraw-Hill)
The Living World
By Johnson, G. (McGraw-Hill)
Course Objectives
  • To describe the basic evidence for evolution.
  • To describe how population genetics and natural selection contribute to evolutionary theory.
  • To describe the characteristics of major groups of living organisms.
  • To apply the principles of ecology to ecosystem structure and function.
    Measurable Learning
  • Describe and illustrate the core principles of evolution.
  • List the principle lines of evidence consistent with the theory of evolution.
  • Define microevolution and distinguish between the evolutionary forces (agents) of microevolution.
  • Differentiate between the modes of natural selection.
  • Apply the biological species concept and give examples of how new species arise.
  • List the taxonomic hierarchy.
  • Describe the basic sequence and timing of life’s development on Earth.
  • Name the domains and kingdoms of life and list defining characteristics of each.
  • Define ecology.
  • List characteristics used to describe populations and describe population growth patterns.
  • Describe how species interact at the community level and list the effects of these interactions.
  • Provide examples of succession.
  • Outline the major biogeochemical cycles.
  • Illustrate energy movement in an ecosystem.
  • Compare characteristics of major biomes and aquatic ecosystems.
    Topical Outline:
  • Population genetics
  • Evolution and natural selection
  • Taxonomy
  • Survey of organisms
  • Ecology and ecosystems
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Julie Estabrooks Date: August 27, 2014
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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