CCOG for BI 101 Summer 2024

Course Number:
BI 101
Course Title:
Biology I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces the properties of life, morphology and physiology of cells, cell chemistry, energy transformation, and the basic principles of ecology. Designed as a laboratory science course for non-biology majors. 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.

  • Science is a fundamentally non-dogmatic 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.
  • 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

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Solve interdisciplinary problems using knowledge of biological organization, structures, and their functions.

  • Differentiate factual information from opinion and pseudoscience by practicing critical thinking methods used by scientists.

  • Assess new emerging scientific ideas using an understanding of the self-correcting nature of science.

  •  Interpret patterns in the living world using quantitative reasoning.

  • Communicate informed positions on biological issues using appropriate vocabulary.

Quantitative Reasoning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to analyze questions or problems that impact the community and/or environment using quantitative information.

General education philosophy statement

Biology 101 is a laboratory science class that particularly addresses the quantitative and qualitative reasoning outcome of PCC’s general education philosophy statement. Students will analyze questions or problems that impact the community and/or environment using quantitative information. Biology 101 is a laboratory science that develops laboratory and data collection skills while learning about living things and environmental issues that affect living things, such as climate change. As students learn about living things from the atoms and molecules that make up cells to the ecosystems and biomes in which they are found, they will practice generating hypotheses and collecting data to test those hypotheses in controlled experiments. As students study cells, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and ecology, we practice measuring variables that affect each system and the implications of these data.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Outcome assessment strategies:

  • tests
  • oral presentations
  • papers
  • journals
  • group projects
  • practical exams
  • case studies
  • "team based"

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Students who have successfully completed biology 101 will be able to:
  1. Use the scientific method to look for the answers to questions

  2. Use scientific instruments safely and appropriately, including microscopes

  3. Communicate effectively (including using the metric system to communicate)

  4. Identify and read scientific information and evaluate the credibility of the information.

  5. Integrate ideas to understand or solve biological problems 

  6. Apply theoretical and conceptual models and frameworks to real world situations.

  7. Identify situations/concepts where science does and does not apply.

  8. Recognize scientific information and its role in decision making

Themes, Issues, Concepts
  1. Science as a way of knowing
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of science as an iterative process.

    2. Describe how scientific models are created, tested, and modified.

    3. Outline the steps of the scientific method.

    4. Develop a hypothesis.

    5. Design a simple experiment to test a hypothesis.

    6. Apply the scientific method to their everyday lives.

    7. Explain the criteria used to distinguish living organisms from nonliving matter.

    8. Describe the process of evolution.

    9. Describe biological levels of organization and how they interrelate. 

    10. Identify examples of biological structures that are adaptive and support their functions.  

  2. Biological Chemistry
    1. Describe the basic structure of an atom.

    2. Explain how the structure of an atom leads to its chemical properties.

    3. Identify the main types of atoms found in biological systems.

    4. Describe the 3 basic types of chemical bonds and their role in biological systems.

    5. Describe the 4 basic classes of macromolecules and their role in cells.

    6. Explain the basic mechanisms of reactions.

    7. Explain the unique life giving qualities of water.

  3. Cells
    1. Differentiate between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

    2. Describe the generalized structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

    3. Describe the organelles of a generalized eukaryotic cell and their functions..

    4. Predict the movement of solutes and water (diffusion and osmosis) in cells of varying osmolarity and tonicity.

    5. Describe the role of the components of the plasma membrane and their function.

    6. Explain the cell theory.

    7. Contrast structures specific to cells of different kingdoms

  4. Energy transformations at the cellular level
    1. Give examples of the types of energy. 

    2. Explain how ATP and electron carriers transport energy within cells

    3. Differentiate between endergonic and exergonic reactions

    4. Describe the role and function of enzymes in promoting biochemical reactions

    5. Explain how enzymes are either helped or inhibited by other molecules, and how this in turn helps our bodies to control reactions

  5. Photosynthesis
    1. Explain why photosynthesis is important for all life on earth, including its role in helping control climate change

    2. Diagram the structure of leaves and chloroplasts, and explain how these structures function in photosynthesis

    3. Write out and explain the basic chemical equation for photosynthesis

    4. Explain why we call photosynthesis endergonic

  6.  Cellular respiration
    1. Explain how photosynthesis and glucose breakdown are related to one another, using their overall chemical equations

    2. Explain the location and stages of cellular respiration as it occurs in eukaryotic cells 

    3. Summarize glucose breakdown in the presence and absence of oxygen

    4. Explain the function of fermentation and the conditions under which it occurs

    5. List some examples of human uses of both lactic acid fermentation and alcoholic fermentation

  7. Population ecology
    1. Characterize a population in terms of size, density, distribution, age structure and sex ratio.

    2. Explain how populations change over time and what factors can lead to these changes.

    3. Explain how population size is limited.

    4. Demonstrate an understanding of the limits of scientific models of populations to describe real populations

    5. Describe the human population size by utilizing a graph of time and population and ascertain why this population increased so quickly.

  8. Community ecology
    1. Explain how scientists characterize communities.

    2. Give examples of the types of community interactions. 

    3. Describe how population interactions can change population growth curves.

    4. Identify the ways that population interactions shape communities over time.

    5. Explain how interactions within a community affect the distribution of populations in an ecosystem.

    6. Discuss the impacts of humans on communities and ecosystems on our planet.

  9. Nutrient Cycles and energy flow in ecosystems
    1. Name the trophic levels in a community and give examples of organisms found in each trophic level

    2. Describe how energy flows through an ecosystem

    3. Explain the importance of detritivores and decomposers to ecosystem functioning

    4. Explain how the inefficiency of energy transfer between trophic levels determines the relative abundance of organisms in different trophic levels

    5. Describe the hydrologic cycle

    6. Describe the nitrogen cycle by identifying reservoirs of nitrogen in an ecosystem, and processes that move this element from one reservoir to another

    7. Describe the carbon cycle by identifying reservoirs of carbon in an ecosystem, and processes that move this element from one reservoir to another

    8. Identify the human activities that alter the nitrogen and carbon cycles and the consequences of these alterations

    9. Recommend actions for sustainable management of carbon and nitrogen

  10. Biomes/Ecosystems
    1. Define a biome & relate this definition to ecosystems by giving examples of biomes in Oregon or elsewhere.

    2. (optional) Communicate their experience of a biome found in Oregon or elsewhere.

    3. Compare and contrast biomes found in Oregon or elsewhere.

    4. Identify the major roles organisms play in their ecosystem.

    5. Apply their knowledge of biomes to include the impacts of humans and invasive species introductions. 

    6. Distinguish between abiotic and biotic components in a biome.

    7. Explain how abiotic components structure biomes and the biotic components found there, correlate biomes to the biosphere.

    8. Investigate and understand the role humans play in modifying the biomes of the Earth.  Be able to communicate the main factors that cause these modifications.

    9. Identify the stakeholders and the problems surrounding current ecological issues and crises. 

  11. Conservation
    1. Define conservation biology

    2. Understand the value of preserving genetic, species and ecosystem biodiversity 

    3. Describe the major threats to biodiversity 

    4. Explain why habitat protection is necessary for preserving biodiversity

For Faculty: Social Justice Considerations and Competencies for Faculty when teaching this course Access
  1. Using the appropriate formatting, make all documents and files accessible to all students.

  2. Ensure videos used are closed-captioned and any sound recording should be accompanied by a corresponding accessible transcript.

  1. Make the information about course deadlines accessible.

  2. Consider clearly defined make-up and extension procedures, and make every effort to be flexible.

  3. Make clear the Grading Scheme and Rubrics.

  1. Learn, Pronounce and use correctly the names and identity of students.

  2. Provide opportunities for students to construct meaning for themselves.