Biology majors select a sequence of courses that will acquaint them with the structure, function, development, genetics, and molecular biology of a variety of organisms: viruses, bacteria, fungi, protists, plants, and animals.

Scroll down to read descriptions of the biology courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

Concepts in Biology

BIO 1010 / 4 credits
A study of life phenomena with a focus on macromolecules, cells, inheritance, and the structure and function of bacteria and plants. Lecture and laboratory. This course does not count toward the biology major.
Prerequisite: None
Fall/Spring

Exploring Climate Change (LAB SCI)

BIO 1011 / 4 credits
This course explores the science of global climate change, focusing primarily on biology. Students will study the effects of climate change on organisms and ecosystems as well as the role living organisms play in maintaining the global climate. Implications of climate science for public policy will also be examined. Lecture and laboratory.
Offered in alternating Spring semesters

Exploring Evolution (LAB)

BIO 1012 / 4 credits
This course explores the contemporary applications and historical development of the scientific theory of evolution by natural selection, which underlies much of modern biology. In addition to exploring how scientific knowledge is developed through a rigorous process of experimentation, contemporary applications of the theory will be studied (applying evolutionary science to understand and combat infectious disease, improve agricultural yields to feed a growing population, etc.). The application of evolutionary concepts to other fields of study will also be explored. This course is intended for non-majors seeking to fulfill general education requirements.

Plants and People (LAB SCI)

BIO 1020 / 4 credits
Fundamentals of growth and development of plants with special reference to the history and social influence of cultivated plants. Designed for the nonscience major. This course does not count toward the biology major. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: None
Spring

Conservation for Educators (LAB SCI)

BIO 1030 / 4 credits
A survey of principles and problems in conservation, the historical and ecological backgrounds to these, and how they have impacted public and private stewardship of natural resources. This course does not count toward the biology major. Lecture, laboratory, and field trips.
Prerequisite: None
Spring

Human Anatomy and Physiology (LAB SCI)

BIO 1040 / 4 credits
A study of structure and function of organs and systems of the human body. This course is designed for students interested in Exercise and Sport Science or Dance, or those looking to fulfill the general education lab science requirement. This course does not count toward the biology major. Lecture and laboratory.
Fall/Spring

Phage Hunters II (LAB SCI)

BIO 1051 / 4 credits
The Phage Hunters II bioinformatics course is a lecture/lab combined course. Research will focus on annotation of a bacteriophage genome using up-to-date bioinformatics tools. Students will compare their bacteriophage genome to other sequenced genomes and look for relationships between their phage and other phages species. Culmination of the project will result in the presentation of their findings in a scientific manner.
Prerequisite: BIO 1110 with a C or higher or instructor permission

Molecules, Cells, and Organisms (LAB SCI)

BIO 1110 / 4 credits
This course is a lecture/lab combined course that provides first-year biology majors with hands-on original research experience. The research focus will reflect the expertise of the faculty member and contribute to ongoing authentic research. The course will cover biological content from molecules, cells, and whole organisms within an evolutionary framework; research skills appropriate to the research focus; the generation and analysis of data; and presentation of the results for the larger scientific community. The content includes topics such as molecular structures and characteristics, cellular components and functions, gene expression, energy capture and transformation, homeostasis, repair, reproduction, and processes of evolution at these scales.
Prerequisite: This course is intended for biology majors. Students can take BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 in any order, but cannot enroll concurrently

Organisms, Populations, and Systems (LAB SCI)

BIO 1120 / 4 credits
This course is a lecture/lab combined course that provides first-year biology majors with hands-on original research experience. The research focus will reflect the expertise of the faculty member and contribute to ongoing authentic research. The course will cover biological content from whole organisms, populations, and systems within an evolutionary framework; research skills appropriate to the research focus; the generation and analysis of data; and presentation of the results for the larger scientific community. The content includes topics such as the diversity of biological organisms, organismal structure and physiology, interactions among organisms and their environments, the integration of biological systems, and the processes of evolution at these scales.
Prerequisite: This course is intended for biology majors. Students can take BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 in any order, but cannot enroll concurrently.

Human Anatomy and Physiology for the Health Professional I (LAB SCI)

BIO 2010 / 4 credits
This course, the first in a two-part sequence, is designed to allow the learner to explore foundational concepts of human anatomy and physiology. The course emphasizes the integration of anatomical structure with physiologic functions and processes. This course does not count toward the biology major and is not designed for BIO, NEU, or CHM majors. This course is designed for students in Nursing, Athletic Training, and Pre-Health. This course includes a laboratory.
Prerequisite: None

Human Anatomy and Physiology for the Health Professional II (LAB SCI)

BIO 2020 / 4 credits
This course, the second in a two-part sequence, is designed to allow the learner to explore foundational concepts of human anatomy and physiology, focusing on the selected body systems. The course emphasizes the integration of anatomical structure with physiologic function and processes. This course does not count toward the biology major and is not designed for BIO, NEU, or CHM majors. This course includes a laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 2010 with a C- or higher

Reflections in Biology

BIO 2100 / 4 credits
This seminar will facilitate the development of a personal framework for shaping and reflecting on one’s experiences as a biology major, and for constructing a path of study relevant to one’s anticipated goals. Participants will meet with biology faculty members, learn about departmental resources and opportunities, join in discussions with invited speakers, explore the breadth of preparatory and career options, and reflect on the societal value of biological vocations. This course is intended for students within the BIO Major to be taken during their second year.
Prerequisite: Biology Major

Vertebrate Field Paleontology (LAB SCI)

BIO 2330 / 4 credits
This is a summer course designed to provide students with firsthand experience of vertebrate paleontology fieldwork in eastern Montana in July. Students will learn about sedimentation, fossils, taphonomy, erosional and depositional processes, quarrying, making field jackets, collecting stratigraphic and quarry data, microvertebrate site collection, screenwashing, how to use a GPS, and other practical tools of the trade.
Prerequisite: None
Summer

Genetics (LAB SCI)

BIO 2400 / 4 credits
A study of Mendel’s concepts of particulate inheritance, recent advances regarding the physical nature of the hereditary material, and genetic variation in populations. The genetic basis of biological individuality is explored, with emphasis on the molecular basis of genetic variation. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with at least a C- or higher
Fall/Spring

Medical Ethnobotany (NLAB)

BIO 2500 / 4 credits
A study of the way plant products has been used as drugs to treat disease and modify human physiology in various cultural and historical settings. This course does not count toward the biology major. Lecture.
Prerequisite: None

Photographing Nature: Investigating Biodiversity and Conservation (NLAB)

BIO 2650 / 4 credits
This course introduces the student to the use of digital photography to explore plant and animal species and their habitats. The course begins with instruction in digital photography and then moves outside where students will focus on organisms, learning to photograph them while exploring their biology. Photography will be used to engage students in making detailed observations and beginning the process of scientific discovery. After learning about species, their ecological interactions, and conservation, students will complete a final project that utilizes visual imagery to educate others about the value of biodiversity, ecology, and/or conservation issues. This course does not count toward the biology major.
Prerequisite: None

Geography and Biology of China (NLAB)

BIO 2810 / 4 credits
Throughout China’s history, the relationship between humans and the native plant and animal communities has fueled the growth of civilizations and created new ecological challenges. This course aims to present students with geographical and biological perspectives to help them understand how the Chinese people have been interacting with their environment through time and across a vast country. This course does not count toward the biology major.
Prerequisite: None

Plant Physiology (LAB SCI)

BIO 3050 / 4 credits
The scientific study of plants with a focus on how the structure and function of plants enable these organisms to respond dynamically to a wide variety of environments. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 2400 with at least a C- or higher.
Spring

General Ecology

BIO 3100 / 4 credits
An ecology course focused on exploring modern-day approaches to quantifying behavioral and species interactions, understanding evolutionary adaptations, and correlating biotic and abiotic factors that affect species distribution. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120, or ENV 1000 with a C- or higher

Aquatic Ecology (LAB SCI)

BIO 3200 / 4 credits
A study of the interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological components of lakes and streams with an emphasis on macroinvertebrates. Lecture, laboratory, and field trips.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with a C- or higher, or ENV 1000 with a C- or higher
Fall

Animal Behavior (LAB SCI)

BIO 3210 / 4 credits
An examination of the interactions of organisms with their environment, specifically responses to various environmental stimuli. The physiology, development, evolution, and adaptive nature of behaviors, including human behavior, will be addressed. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with a C- or higher, or ENV 1000 with a C- or higher

Advanced Human Anatomical Systems (LAB SCI)

BIO 3300 / 4 credits
This course is an advanced examination of structure as it relates to the organization of tissues, organs, and systems of the human body. This includes a study of human structure and its functional adaptation to changing environments. This course is designed for students who want to pursue a career in health care or graduate school who are Biology, Neuroscience, or pre-Pharmacy Chemistry majors. This course covers more material at greater depth than either BIO 2010 or BIO 2020.
Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with a C- or higher

Advanced Human Physiological Systems (LAB SCI)

BIO 3310 / 4 credits
A systemic approach to the study of human physiology. This includes the fundamental regulatory mechanisms associated with homeostatic functions of major body systems. This course is designed for students who want to pursue a career in health care or graduate school, who are Biology, Neuroscience, or pre-Pharmacy Chemistry majors. The course covers more material at greater depth than either BIO 2010 or BIO 2020. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with a C- or higher
Spring

Entomology (LAB SCI)

BIO 3320 / 4 credits
A study of the structure, function, life cycles, economic impact, and taxonomic classification and identification of arthropods, with an emphasis on insects. Lecture, laboratory, field trips, and insect collection.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with a C- or higher, or ENV 1000 with a C- or higher
Fall

Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates (LAB SCI)

BIO 3330 / 4 credits
A study of structural, functional, and phylogenetic relationships among the chordates, particularly the vertebrates. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with a C- or higher
Fall

Microbiology (LAB SCI)

BIO 3340 / 4 credits
An introduction to microorganisms and how microbes interact with their environment, with emphasis on microbial-human interactions. A variety of techniques used in research and clinical microbiology laboratories will be utilized. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 2400 with a C- or higher
Fall

Parasitology (LAB SCI)

BIO 3350 / 4 credits
A survey of symbiotic relationships in humankind and animals, with emphasis on animal parasites causing harm, and evaluation of humankind’s efforts throughout history at combating parasites. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 2400 with a C- or higher

Conservation Science

BIO 3400 / 4 credits
The multidisciplinary science of conservation focuses on the preservation of biological species and ecosystems. This course examines several aspects of conservation science, including the documentation and classification of the full breadth of biological diversity on earth; the assessment of the health of species populations; the impact of human activities on species, communities, and ecosystems; and strategies for preserving, protecting, and/or restoring species, habitats, communities, and ecosystem services. The course introduces students to research techniques, including both quantitative and qualitative assessments while exploring contemporary issues in conservation science. Students will also be exposed to a variety of career options for conservation professionals.
Prerequisite: BIO 1120 or ENV 1000

Bioinformatics: Phage Hunters II

BIO 3450 / 4 credits
The Phage Hunters II bioinformatics course is a lecture/lab combined course focused on utilizing bioinformatics techniques as part of an authentic research project. Research will involve annotation of a bacteriophage genome using up-to-date bioinformatics tools. Students will compare data about their bacteriophage genome to other sequenced genomes and will design and complete independent research projects related to the phages being studied. Culmination of the research will result in presentation of their findings in a scientific manner.
Prerequisite: BIO 1110 with a C or higher

Advanced Cell Biology

BIO 3500 / 4 credits
Cells are the fundamental units of all living organisms. Recent advances in cell and molecular biology have facilitated examination of the complex processes occurring within these dynamic structures and have led to an in-depth understanding of diseases such as cancer. Advanced Cell Biology is a lecture and laboratory course exploring the concepts and techniques in this exciting area in biology. The structure and function of molecules and cells is explored through interactive lectures, research experiments, and in-class activities such as case studies. Discussion of primary literature articles and data interpretation is emphasized. Techniques such as microscopy, image analysis, tissue culture, flow cytometry, and electrophoresis are used to understand the structure, characteristics, and function of molecules and cells.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with a C- or higher in both

Biostatistics and Experimental Design

BIO 4100 / 4 credits
An introduction to the techniques necessary to design and carry out original research in biology. Students will focus on the proper use of statistics in analyzing results and how to model an experimental system. Lecture.
Prerequisites: Junior standing and 16 credits in biology
Spring

Senior Seminar in Biology

BIO 4120 / 4 credits
Students will write and successfully present research results to a broad audience. The course culminates in a completed Senior Thesis. This course is intended to be taken by BIO Majors during their senior year. Lecture.
Fall

Field Botany and Mycology

BIO 4150 / 4 credits
A field study of the plants and fungi of Wisconsin, emphasizing methods of identification, characteristics of major lineages, and plant and fungal ecology and conservation. Labs will consist of field trips to local natural areas, and will introduce students to the plant and fungal species of the region, their habitats, and their relationship to other species. Occasional weekend field trips may be required.
Prerequisite: ENV 1000 or BIO 1120

Advanced Ecology (LAB SCI)

BIO 4200 / 4 credits
An examination of the relationships between organisms in their environments stressing quantitative methods of data collection and analysis and a more thorough examination of the theoretical basis of ecology. Lecture, laboratory, and field trips.
Prerequisites: BIO 1110 and BIO 1120 with a C- or higher, or ENV 1000 with a C- or higher

Immunology (LAB SCI)

BIO 4300 / 4 credits
An introduction to the immune system and mechanism of defense in the human body with emphasis on antigen-antibody reactions, roles of immunoglobulins, cellular immunity, allergic reactions, and autoimmune diseases. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 2400 with a C- or higher

Developmental Biology (LAB SCI)

BIO 4310 / 4 credits
The study of the development from egg and sperm to mature adult of representative organisms. Original scientific literature will be a focal point for the exploration of how a single cell develops into a complex multicellular organism. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 2400 with a C- or higher

Recombinant DNA Technology (LAB SCI)

BIO 4320 / 4 credits
An introduction to the principles and practices of cloning and analyzing genes with an emphasis on applications and hands-on experience. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIO 2300 or BIO 2400 or CHM 3010 with a C- or higher

Dinosaur Evolution and Extinction (LAB SCI)

BIO 4350 / 4 credits
The lectures in this course present an introduction to the evolution, anatomy, growth, and behavior of dinosaurs, and will promote discussion of the function and evolutionary importance of adaptive changes. The labs will train students in the anatomical description.
Prerequisite: BIO 3330

Molecular Biology of Cancer

BIO 4400 / 4 credits
Cancer is a disease that has been documented in ancient history. However, it is predominantly considered a disease of the modern era and its increased prevalence coincides with the development of improved preventative strategies and treatments for infectious diseases. Why has the frequency of cancer diagnoses increased as our life expectancy has increased? This course will explore the molecular biology of the hundreds of diseases classified as “cancer.” Particular focus will be placed on the three main causative agents of cancer: viruses, carcinogens, and genetic mutations. The molecular basis of conventional treatment strategies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation will also be discussed and compared to more contemporary treatments such as immunotherapy. Students in this course learn how to carefully read primary literature articles. Students in this course are expected to contribute to the discussion and presentation of several scientific research studies published in the field of cancer biology from over 100 years ago to modern day.
Prerequisite: BIO 2400 with a grade of C- or better

Independent Study in Biology

BIO 4500 / 2-4 credits
A student can conduct an independent study on a topic of interest in biology. It is understood that this course will not duplicate any other course regularly offered in the curriculum and that the student will work in this course as independently as the instructor believes possible.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Fall/Spring

Research in Biology

BIO 4900 / 1-4 credits
Work on a research project under the direction of a faculty member. Students may enroll for credit more than once, but may not count more than 4 credits toward the major.
Prerequisite: Selection of a research project and advisor must be approved by the department chair
Fall/Spring