The following sections are offered periodically by Biology.
Check MyMadison for more information.

Title: THE NECESSITY OF FOOD

Instructor:  Mark Brubaker [email]

Prerequisite: GSCI 101

Description:  Why is food essential to life.  This course will use laboratory procedures and experiments to take a look at the composition of what we eat and how food is the common dominator between plants and animals.

Title: THE STUDY OF ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

Instructor:  Ruth Chodrow [email]

Prerequisite: College-level Introductory Biology course or permission of instructor

Description:  This course investigates such questions as how behavior evolves, how one formulates scientific hypotheses when investigating behavioral questions, and the interplay of genetics and learning on behavior. Students also discuss how domestication influences behavior, and what parallels exist between human and animal behavior. The students do behavioral observations on a variety of species and learn simple techniques of analyzing data. 

Title: ECOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY

Instructor:  Dean Cocking [web page]

Prerequisite: GSCI 103

Description:  This activity involving both field and laboratory experiences, will focus on how an understanding of ecological relationships is arrived at through a variety of scientific techniques which range from the collection of data at the James Madison University Arboretum to the synthesis of information through the use of computer models. The course illustrates that both reductionist and holistic methods of coming to know about nature and utilized in ecology.

Title: GENETICS AND SOCIETY

Instructor:  Kerry Cresawn [web page]

Prerequisite:  None

Description:  In the past 10 years, the field of Genetics has become an important issue in our society.  The Human Genome Project has provided us with information on what makes us unique from one another and how these small differences in our DNA determine our risk for disease. Because of this, the future of our health-care will involve genetic testing for disease risk, drugs designed specifically for your genetic make-up, and gene therapy.  In this course, you will learn about these recent advances in Genetics and how they will impact you. You will learn the background and acquire the skills necessary to research a genetic disease with confidence, evaluate the validity of the research, and have informed discussions with others.  You will also learn first-hand how a genetic test is done in the laboratory portion of the course.

Title: MAN AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Instructor:  William Flint [web page]

Prerequisite: None

Description:  In this course we will investigate the impact humans have on the environment from prehistoric times through today and into the future.  Through a combination of lectures, discussions, literature and web searches, and student presentation, we will become more aware of how our activities impact the earth.  

Title: WATER PURIFICATION

Instructor:  Bill Latham [email]

Prerequisite: none

Description:  Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink?  Did you ever wonder about the water that comes out a faucet or that we purchase in a bottle.  It may have been the same water that was part of a hurricane, or the same water that irrigated our crops. We need water to live but not too much water.  This course is divided into three sections: Storm Water, Water Purification and Waste Water. This is a FIELD class, where we travel to the site. Once at the site there is an explanation of what we are looking at followed by a Q & A session. Sites will include a trip to a dairy farm on the Dry River, a mile hike to Switzer Dam along Skidmore Lake, the City's municipal water treatment plant as well as some other interesting stops.

Title: BIOLOGY IN THE NEWS

Instructor:  Grace Wyngaard [web page]

Prerequisite: GSCI 103

Description:  Have you ever questioned how some of the recent developments in biology which are described in the news will affect you? This course will critically analyze news items available to the public.  Through a combination of lectures, web assignments, writing assignments, and discussion, we will interpret news articles and evaluate their validity and relevance.  Topics will include human health, ecology, and other appropriate areas of interest to participating students.

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