West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Biology

Faculty
Department Faculty

Biology Course Descriptions

BIO 2 - Environmental Biology
3 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 0 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This survey course provides a foundation in environmental issues such as global warming, overfishing, endangered species, human population growth, habitat destruction, energy usage, air and water pollution, resource usage as well as over-consumption in an effort to build sustainable solutions towards solving these problems.


BIO 10 - Introduction to Biology
4 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This is an introductory course in general biology designed for non-science majors. Emphasis is on using critical thinking skills to understand and apply biological principles to the solution of everyday problems. Topics discussed include the scientific method, evolution, ecology, cell function and structure, cell energy, DNA and biotechnology, as well as how organisms interact with their internal and external environment. Laboratory work includes hands on application of concepts discussed in lectures, computer simulations and field work. A pass grade in both lecture and laboratory is required to receive credit for this course. Biology 10 is not open to students who have completed Biology 11 with a grade of C or better.


BIO 11 - Human Biology
4 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

Using human anatomy and physiology as its medium, this is an introductory course in biology designed for non-science majors. Emphasis is on using critical thinking skills to understand and apply biological principles to the solution of everyday problems. Topics discussed include the scientific method, evolution, ecology, cell structure and function, as well as how human systems interact with their internal and external environment. Laboratory work includes hands on application of concepts discussed in lectures through dissection, computer simulations and field work. A passing grade in both lecture and laboratory is required to receive credit for this course. Biology 11 is not open to students who have completed Biology 10 with a grade of C or better.


BIO 11H - Honors Human Biology
4 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 3 hours

Honors Human Biology uses the pedagogical methods common to all Honors courses: interdisciplinary, writing- intensive, collaborative, and experiential instruction. Course content makes connection through a common theme with other courses offered within the specified transdisciplinary unit. This is an introductory biology course that uses humans as the model for understanding and applying the principles and concepts of biology. Emphasis is placed on using critical thinking skill to ind solutions to everyday problems. Topics include the scientific method, cell structure and function, the physiology of human nutrition, circulation, excretion, reproduction, heredity, and how humans are related and adapted to their environment. Laboratory work includes hands-on application of concepts discussed in lectures. This course will be of particular interest to students considering careers in health. This course meets the same general education requirements as Bio 010. Biology 011 is not open to students who have completed Biology 010 with a grade of C or better.


BIO 12 - Introduction to Ecology & Wildlife
3 units
Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This non major course is an introduction to the general ecological principles that integrate all life on earth, with special focus on wildlife populations and their natural history. Energy and material lows will be covered, along with animal biology, behavior, population dynamics and human impact and management. Laboratory and field exercises emphasize investigational techniques used in scientific studies.


BIO 13 - Natural History of California
2 units
Lecture 2 hours; lab 2 hour
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course explores the plant and animal communities of California. The students have the opportunity to learn about the ecology of California in both the classroom and field settings. Preliminary class meetings are followed by a field trip(s). Students must successfully complete class preparatory requirements in order to participate in the field trip(s). Students are responsible for transportation and costs associated with travel, meals, camping equipment and related expenses.


BIO 14 - California Plants & Animals
3 units
Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University

This course is a general education course which introduces California plants and animals in an ecological context. An ecosystem approach is used to explain the geographic distribution of life forms and their community associations. In-class activities and out-of-class projects involve learning the natural history of California life forms, as well as recognizing and naming them. Anyone who is interested in teaching, recreation or park management will learn identification and display techniques that will be of use.


BIO 15 - Conservation of Our Natural Resources
3 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 0 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University

This is a course in the conservation of our natural resources with a view of conservation problems by considering the history of human populations in the relation to natural resources, their present predicament, and their future outlook. Students will look at conservation as it pertains to water, timber, wildlife, soil and air. This course is dual listed with PKMGT 014, Conservation of Our Natural Resources.


BIO 18 - Marine Biology
4 units
Lecture 3 hours 3 lab hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

A survey of the biological principles of marine science. Designed to acquaint the student with the natural history of the local coastline, the Monterey Bay and its adjoining areas. The use of oceanographic instruments and marine sampling devices, a descriptive survey of the lora and fauna as found in laboratory study and field trips, and the relationship of the ocean to man are also included.


BIO 22 - Genetics
4 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

A general education course primarily for the non-science major. This is an introduction to the basic principles and concepts of heredity and their application to plants and animals, with emphasis on the heredity process, pedigrees, mutation, medical genetics, recombinant DNA, biotechnology genetics, population genetics.


BIO 23 - Introduction to Infectious Diseases
3 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 0 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This introductory biology course explores infectious diseases, parasites, and human immunity. The course begins with a survey of infectious disease agents, including emerging pathogens, agents of bioterrorism, and newer complications seen in ancient diseases. The course continues by examining how the human immune system responds to these infections and helps students interpret epidemiological patterns of disease in human populations.


BIO 24 - Contemporary Biology
3 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 0 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course is designed for students of all disciplines to introduce a wide range of contemporary biological issues that will affect their lives: environmentally related issues, issues related to human physiology, and issues related to inheritance. Basic biological, chemical and physical principles are presented as appropriate for meaningful discussions of these issues and to understand articles, essays and lectures.


BIO 34 - Tropical Ecology
4 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University

This introductory level course is designed for students of all disciplines who are interested in learning about tropical ecology first-hand by studying at field stations in Costa Rica. Principles of ecology, biodiversity, and conservation will be examined and applied in both terrestrial and marine environments. This intensive field course will emphasize two main tropical ecosystems: the rainforest and the rocky intertidal region. Costa Rican culture, economy, and public policy and their relationship to resource conservation will also be examined. Students will participate in naturalist-led hikes and group research projects in the field. They will also design and carry out independent ecological studies. This class will be held at biological field stations in Costa Rica, with other required class meetings at West Valley College. Students will be responsible for their own trip costs and for the purchase of items required for the trip. Pass/No Pass Option


BIO 35 - Biology of Birds
3 units
Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours, lab 0 hours by arrangement
Acceptable for credit: California State University

This course introduces the natural history and biology of birds. The anatomy, ecology, diversity, behavior, and identification of birds are explored through lectures, laboratories, and field trips. The biology of California birds is emphasized. The course is directed towards biology students, science educators (K-12), natural history museum and environmental docents, environmental educators, as well as bird enthusiasts. Students are responsible for transportation and costs associated with travel.


BIO 36 - Animal Behavior
3 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 0 hours
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

Have you ever wondered why animals behave the way they do? This course will explore different aspects of animal behavior ranging from the hardships of growing up, capturing food, escaping, migrating, navigating, communicating, making homes, competing for mates, courting, sex, taking care of offspring to the complex social behavior found in many animals. Pass/No Pass Option


BIO 37 - Evolution - Life on Earth
3 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 0 hours

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University This course is an introduction to the history of life on earth by the exploration of past and current environments through the evolution of different types of species over time. The course emphasizes Darwin’s theory of evolution, the evidence supporting it, mechanisms of evolution as well as modern viewpoints having implications for society and culture.


BIO 38 - Biodiversity & Extinction: Hotspots, Crisis & Conservation
3 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 0 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University

The class surveys the biodiversity on Earth with a focus on plants and animals in selected hotspots across the world. It examines ecological and evolutionary principles necessary to understand the nature and importance of the worldwide environmental crisis.


BIO 41 - Principles of Animal Biology
5 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 6 hours
Prerequisites: Completion of a college biology course or high school biology course and MATH 106/106R, Intermediate Algebra, or equivalent
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course introduces the principles and concepts of animal biology. The main focus of the class is on the diversity, ecology, natural history, morphology, physiology, and development of animals with an evolutionary emphasis. This class is designed for biology majors.


BIO 42 - Principles of Plant Biology
5 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 6 hours
Prerequisites: Completion of a college biology course or high school biology course and MATH 106/106R, Intermediate Algebra, or equivalent
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course for biology majors surveys basic principles of the plant sciences by examining all levels of biological organization. It provides an overview of plant diversity, ecology, evolution, morphology, anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. In addition to plants, fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria are also examined. Laboratory activities include microscopic work, experimental physiology, and studies of biodiversity, natural history and ecology. Field trips to several ecosystems in the bay provide numerous opportunities to study local lora.


BIO 43 - Principles of Cell Biology
5 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 6 hours
Prerequisites: Completion of a college biology course, a college chemistry course and MATH 106/106R or equivalent
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course is a comprehensive study of unifying principles of cell biology, including the principles of cell chemistry and metabolism, structure and function of procaryotic and eucaryotic cells and viruses, bacterial and protistan taxonomy, meiosis, molecular genetics, genetic engineering, and hypotheses of the origin of life. Laboratory exercises demonstrate lecture concepts, and give students practical experience in performing standard laboratory methods used in cell biology. This course is designed to complete the preparation of the biology and pre-professional major for specialized upper division courses.


BIO 45 - Microbiology
5 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 6 hours
Prerequisite: Completion of a college biology course and any college chemistry course
Recommended preparation: MATH 103/103R
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course is designed for nursing and other majors in life science. An introduction to microorganisms and the laboratory techniques employed in their study. The characteristics, particularly of bacteria, but including viruses, rickettsiae, algae, fungi, yeasts and protozoa will be studied with emphasis on their relationship to human life. Laboratory work will include morphological, cultural, nutritional and biochemical characteristics of microorganisms. The student will gain experience with the basic laboratory skills of the microbiologist.


BIO 46 - Anatomy & Physiology
5 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 6 hours
Prerequisite: Completion of a college biology course or high school biology
Recommended preparation: MATH 902
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

A survey of human anatomy and physiology to understand the correlation of structure and function of the systems of the human body. Laboratory work will consist of animal dissection, cadaver material, microscopic work, experimentation and demonstration of materials to supplement the lectures. Designed for the liberal arts student, those planning careers in education, psychology, and the social sciences.


BIO 47 - Human Anatomy
5 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 6 hours
Prerequisite: completion of a college biology course or HS biology
Recommended preparation: MATH 902
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course for health professionals includes study of the gross and microscopic structure of the human body. Lab will consist of HUMAN CADAVER examination, CAT dissection, and microscopic examination of human tissues.


BIO 47A - Anatomy Coordinated Enrichment
0.5 units
Lecture 0 hours; lab 1.5 hours

Enrichment program coordinated with Human Anatomy - BIO 047. This course provides students with more advanced study of materials covered in the Human Anatomy course. Additional opportunities are available to examine anatomical structures and specimens, including microscopic slides, human bones, and human cadavers are available. Pass/No Pass Option


BIO 48 - Human Physiology
5 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 6 hours
Prerequisite: BIO 047 and any college chemistry course
Recommended preparation: MATH 103/103R
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

A study of the organ systems of the human body and the physiological principles involved in normal function. Emphasis is upon regulatory mechanisms and cellular function. The laboratory includes experiments stressing function of the body systems. Some experiments will be carried out on the students themselves.


BIO 49A, B, C, D - Biological Techniques
1 unit each
A - Lecture 0 hours; lab 3 hours
B - Lecture 0 hours; lab 3 hours
C - Lecture 0 hours; lab 3 hours
D - Lecture 0 hours; lab 3 hours
Prerequisite: Completion of a college biology science course; BIO 049A is prerequisite to 049B, BIO 049B is prereq. to 049C, 049C is prereq. to 049D Recommended preparation: MATH 902
Acceptable for credit: California State University

Designed for, but not restricted to, pre-teaching biology majors. The student works with individual instructors and the laboratory technician in the preparation of demonstration materials and laboratory setups. Provides practical experience in the use and care of laboratory apparatus.


BIO 50 - Human Cadaver Dissection
1 unit (Summer only)
Lecture 0 hours; lab 3 hours
Prerequisite: BIO 047
Acceptable for credit: California State University

This course is a whole dissection of a human cadaver. The course is designed for nursing, medical, physical therapy, physician assistant, chiropractic and other health related majors. The course will use a regional approach to cadaver dissection. Working in small groups, students will dissect cadavers while the instructor provides the necessary information for the dissection. (Summer Only) Pass/No Pass Option


BIO 55 - Biology of Sex
3 units
Lecture 3 hours; lab 0 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University

This course explores the natural history of sex and how it is fundamental to understanding the evolution and diversity of sexual reproductive strategies. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the biology behind the fantastic strategies organisms use to mix their genes. Topics covered include the evolution of sex, sex differences, mating strategies, costs of reproduction, sexual conflict, sperm competition, sexual selection, promiscuity, and female choice.


BIO 56 - Ecology of Sierra Nevada
3 units
Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University

This course explores the natural history and ecology of the Sierra Nevada. This general education course includes an overview of the climate, evolutionary history, biogeography, community structure, natural history, and ecology of the plants, mammals, birds and insects of the Sierra Nevada range. Students also have the opportunity to gain an understanding of basic field techniques. This class is held in the field with required preliminary class meetings at West Valley College. Students are responsible for transportation and costs associated with travel, camping equipment, and related expenses. Pass/No Pass Option


BIO 57 - Ecology of Alaska
3 units
Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours
Acceptable for credit: California State University

This course introduces students to the natural history and ecology of Alaska. This general education course includes an overview of the climate, evolutionary history, biogeography, community structure, natural history, and ecology of the plants, mammals, birds and insects of Alaska. Students also have the opportunity to learn basic field techniques. These topics are explored through lecture and field settings. Students must successfully complete class preparatory requirements in order to participate in the field trip. Students are responsible for transportation and costs associated with travel, meals, camping equipment and related expenses. Pass/No Pass Option


BIO 58 - Field Ecology
3 units
Lecture 2 hours; lab 3 hours

This course explores the ecology of plant and animal communities. The students have the opportunity to learn about field ecology in both the classroom and outdoor settings. Preliminary class meetings are followed by a field trip(s). Students must successfully complete class preparatory requirements in order to participate in the field trip(s). Students are responsible for transportation and costs associated with travel, meals, camping equipment and related expenses.


BIO 91, 92, 93 - Directed Studies
1-3 units (See department for schedule)
91 - Lecture 0 hours; lab 0 hours
92 - Lecture 0 hours; lab 0 hours
93 - Lecture 0 hours; lab 0 hours
Prerequisite: Interview with instructor to determine objectives and write a contract
Acceptable for credit: *University of California, California State University

*UC transfer credit for directed studies courses is granted after a review of the course outline and examples of students work (assignments, tests, papers, etc.) by the enrolling UC campus. Please see a counselor for more information Directed studies are investigations of special interest to the student which are related to, but not included in, regular courses offered by the college. Pass/No Pass Option

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