Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BI 143
Course Title:
Habitats: Fresh Water Biology
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
30
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
30
Special Fee:
$12.00

Course Description

Covers environments of freshwater streams, lakes, and marshes. Includes effects of physical and chemical factors on organisms, along with the organisms, their biological interactions and nutrient cycles. Explores ecological factors of freshwater environments and the effects of human activities on them. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

1. Fieldwork Statement

Fieldwork is a professional competence in many areas of Biology. Standard field practices include measurements of abiotic and biotic components. Fieldwork includes use of all the senses to make observations in natural and built environments. Field training may include developing skills in site characterization, measurement and data collection, application of key terms and concepts, species identification, and observation. Certain protocols may require use of equipment, chemicals, and expensive gear. Field training is experiential often leading to unique sets of observations/data in particular locations. Fieldwork may include inherent risks (uneven terrain, off-trail work with map & compass, variable weather, insects, environmental irritants, travel, stress, etc.). Fieldwork can be physically challenging and may require overland travel on foot or unusual means to field points, carrying field equipment (as well as food, water, and safety equipment), taking measurements under duress (learning new protocols, requiring remaining in an unusual posture or position for a length of time, timing pressures for certain procedures, holding organisms, variable weather, etc.), survival skills, orienteering, and so on.

2. Evolution Statement

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 freshwater habitats.
  2. Identify and express how humans interact with the freshwater ecosystems by applying basic principles of environmental management.
  3. Identify and understand the biology of the various freshwater phyla.

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 freshwater ecosystems
  2. Energy relationships and environmental systems
  3. Fundamentals of ecology
  4. Land and aquatic interactions, and atmospheric and aquatic interactions
  5. Structure and function in freshwater organisms
  6. Human Impacts

Process Skills (Competency skills):

  1. Read
  2. Write
  3. Apply scientific method
  4. Lab and field techniques and equipment
    1. Dissection
    2. Use of taxonomic keys
    3. Structure and function within and between taxa
    4. Measurement of parameters within aquatic ecosystems
  5. Locating and accessing information
  6. Think critically
  7. Collaborate with peers -- Work effectively within groups
  8. Present conclusions logically