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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENVS 300
Course Title: *Evolution
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Examination of the basic mechanisms of evolution and the importance of evolution to our understanding of life on earth. Genetics, natural selection, adaptation and the history of life are considered. Cross listed as ENVS 300. Prerequisites: C or better in BIOL 112.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

C or better in BIOL 112.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Odd Fall.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Evolutionary Analysis
By Freeman, S. & J. C. Herron (Prentice Hall)
By Ridley, M. (Blackwell Publishing)
Course Objectives
  • To describe the basic evidence for evolution.
  • To explain how Darwinian natural selection and Mendelian genetics contribute to evolutionary theory.
  • To describe the mechanisms of evolution.
  • To apply the concept of adaptation to life history characteristics.
  • To demonstrate mechanisms and results of speciation.
Measurable Learning
  • Define evolution.
  • Outline the history of evolutionary theory and the modern synthesis.
  • Apply molecular and Mendelian genetics to evolutionary theory.
  • Describe the major lines of evidence for evolution.
  • Explain how natural selection and variation explain evolution and adaptation.
  • Apply population genetics to evolution.
  • Explain the importance of the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.
  • Explain how random events affect evolution.
  • Defend the argument that natural selection is required for adaptation.
  • Describe the various levels at which selection occurs.
  • Detail the various ways speciation may occur.
  • Distinguish between macroevolution and microevolution.
  • Explain the effects of co-evolution, extinction and radiation.
Topical Outline:
  • Evidence for evolution
    • Historical context
    • Darwin
  • Mechanisms of change
    • Mutation and variation
    • Population genetics
  • Adaptation
    • Sexual selection
    • Kin selection
    • Life history characteristics
  • History of life
    • Speciation
    • Origin of life
    • Human evolution

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Julie Estabrooks Date: March 4, 2013
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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