Course Content and Outcome Guide for BI 141 Effective Winter 2016

Course Number:
BI 141
Course Title:
Habitats: Life of the Forest
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines structure and function of Oregon forest ecosystems. Covers distribution and interactions of plants, animals, microorganisms, climate and basic geology. Laboratory emphasizes identification and environmental testing. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Biology Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.

  1. Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
  2. The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation "science" is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation "science" is not considered a 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).

Biology instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.

Intended Outcomes for the course

A student will collaboratively and independently:

  1. Use basic principles of ecosystems structure and function to characterize a specific forest.
  2. Identify and express how humans interact with the forest environment by applying basic principles of forest management.
  3. Work with a team to initialize and complete a study of the biology, chemistry and physical characteristics of a forest.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. Essay and multiple choice exams
  2. Maintain a detailed field and laboratory notebook
  3. Weekly applications of laboratory and field experiences
  4. Self-assessment of group dynamics

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts and Themes:

  1. Biodiversity of forest ecosystems
  2. Energy relationships and environmental systems
  3. Fundamentals of ecology
  4. Forest Land, Soil, Watershed and Atmospheric system
  5. Stream Forest Interactions
  6. Human Impacts
  7. Field sampling
  8. Measuring of environmental parameters --Lab skills

Process Skills (Competency skills):

  1. Read
  2. Write
  3. Apply scientific method
  4. Field and lab techniques and equipment
    1. Soils
    2. Use of taxonomic keys
    3. Equipment to analyze forest microclimates and systems
  5. Locating and accessing information
    1. Think critically
    2. Collaborate with peers -- Work effectively within groups
    3. Present conclusions logically