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CCOG for BI 101 Summer 2022

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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:

  • Use the scientific method to look for the answers to questions
  • Use scientific instruments safely and appropriately including microscopes
  • Study effectively
  • Communicate effectively (including using the metric system to communicate)
  • Read and interpret scientific information (including information in the metric system)
  • Synthesize to solve problems
  • Organize ideas to achieve a specific purpose
  • Apply theoretical and conceptual models and frameworks to real world situations.
  • Analyze problem solving/decision making situations.
  • Identify situations/concepts where science does and does not apply.
  • Recognize scientific information and its role in decision making

Themes, Issues, Concepts:
Science as a way of knowing:
Students who have successfully completed this topic can:

  • recognize science as an evolving model of how the world works and be able to differentiate between scientific and non-scientific models.
  • describe how scientific models are created, tested, and modified.
  • outline the steps of the scientific method.
  • develop a hypothesis.
  • design a simple experiment to test a hypothesis.
  • apply the scientific method to their everyday lives.
  • identify the role of science in potential careers/professions.
  • explain the criteria used to distinguish living organisms from nonliving matter.

Biological Chemistry
Students who have successfully completed this topic can:

  • describe the basic structure of an atom.
  • explain how the structure of an atom leads to its chemical properties.
  • identify the main types of atoms found in biological systems.
  • describe the 3 basic types of chemical bonds and their role in biological systems.
  • describe the 4 basic classes of macromolecules and their role in cells.
  • explain the basic mechanisms of reactions and how enzymes catalyze them.
  • describe the methods that cells use to control enzymatic reactions including pH.

Students who have successfully completed this topic can:

  • differentiate between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • describe the generalized structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • describe the function of the components of a generalized eukaryotic cell.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of osmosis and diffusion.
  • describe the role of the plasma membrane in cell transport.
  • explain the cell theory.
  • identify structures specific to cells of different kingdoms

Students who have successfully completed this topic can:

  • define a biome & relate this definition to ecosystems by giving examples of biomes in Oregon or elsewhere.
  • communicate their experience of a biome found in Oregon or elsewhere.
  • characterize an Oregon or other ecosystem and generalize this knowledge to world biomes.
  • compare and contrast biomes found in Oregon or elsewhere.
  • communicate an understanding of some of the tools scientists use to investigate biomes
  • identify the major roles organisms play in their ecosystem.
  • identify the common types of organisms, the role of each organism, and the kingdom to which each organism belongs.
  • explain how organisms relate to each other within a biome.
  • characterize the abiotic components associated with a particular biome.
  • characterize the biotic components associated with a biome.
  • explain how abiotic components structure biomes and the biotic components found there.
  • correlate biomes to the biosphere.
  • identify the role humans play in specific ecological issues
  • develop solutions for given ecological issues and understand the pros and cons of each solution

Nutrient Cycles / Interconnectedness/Energetics:
Students who have successfully completed this topic can:

  • identify and describe the nitrogen, carbon, water, and energy cycles.
  • describe these cycles within a specific Oregon ecosystem.
  • discuss the flow of energy in an ecosystem and in the biosphere.
  • describe a food web.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the relation of the laws of thermodynamics to energy cycling
  • define entropy.
  • communicate an understanding of the role of photosynthesis and cell respiration in energy cycling.
  • explain how all organisms in the biosphere are interconnected.

Population ecology:
Students who have successfully completed this topic can:

  • define species
  • describe how scientists characterize populations.
  • characterize a population in terms of size, density, distribution, age structure and sex ratio.
  • explain how populations change over time and what factors can lead to these changes.
  • explain how population size is limited.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the limits of scientific models of populations to describe real populations.

Community ecology:
Students who have successfully completed this topic can:

  • explain how scientists characterize communities.
  • explain how populations within communities can interact.
  • describe how population interactions can change population growth curves.
  • identify the ways that population interactions shape communities over time.
  • explain how interactions within a community effect the distribution of populations in an ecosystem.
  • give examples of the use of community ecology as a tool to manage biomes/ecosystems.

Behavior (optional):
Students who have successfully completed this topic can:

  • understand the adaptive nature of behavior
  • hypothesize about the adaptive value of a novel behavior
  • define behavior.
  • recognize and give examples of behavior associated with, communication, navigation, feeding, mating, defense.