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Biology Courses

The Department of Biology at Orange County Community College offers students an excellent foundation for advanced study in all natural science disciplines and professional preparation for specialized training in a wide variety of career fields.

Students who find the study of biological sciences interesting will discover that a broad assortment of career opportunities abound in business, industry, government, teaching, publishing and applied research.  Traditionally, students study the biological sciences because they wish to pursue careers as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, and independent researchers.  An academic background in the biological sciences can be the key to entering careers and jobs in related areas such as: health professions, teaching, biotechnology, environmental science, marketing, promotion and sales of biological products, services or equipment.

The following is a list of biological courses offered:

BIO-101 General Biology I

Course Description: BIO-101

3 lect., 3 lab., 4 cr.
Topics include a study of the nature and scope of science in general and biological science in particular: the chemical and physical basis of life; the structures and functions of the cell with an emphasis on photosynthesis, respiration, functions of DNA, and the processes of mitosis and meiosis. The course concludes with the genetic and evolutionary consequences of meiosis and reproduction.

BIO-102 General Biology II

Course Description: BIO-102

3 lect., 3 lab., 4 cr.
A study of the plant and animal organism with an emphasis on the vertebrate animal and the flowering plant. Comparative systems are studied. The relationships between organisms and the environment are also covered.
Prerequisite: BIO-101.

BIO-111 Anatomy & Physiology I

Course Description: BIO-111

3 lect., 3 labs., 4 cr.
An introduction to the structure and function of human systems. Study begins with the organization of the body from the molecular to the organ/organ system level of function and continues through the Integumentary, Skeletal, Muscle, Nervous and Endocrine systems. Laboratory work includes cellular structure and function, histology, and gross anatomical analysis of the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. The laboratory experience includes use of human bones and dissection of the cat, sheep eye and brain as well as use of human anatomical models of organs and structures related to the above systems.
Prerequisite: AP Biology, or BIO-110, or BIO-101 & BIO-102

BIO-112 Anatomy & Physiology II

Course Description: BIO-112

3 lect., 3 lab., 4 cr.
Continues the study of the structure and function of human systems begun in 31105 (Anatomy and Physiology I). Included are the Circulatory, Lymphatic, Immune, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary and Reproductive systems. Acid-base, fluid and electrolyte balance are also discussed, and functional inter-relationships and homeostasis are stressed throughout. Laboratory work includes analysis of the structure and function of the above systems at the histological, gross anatomical and organ system levels. The laboratory experience includes dissection of the cat and beef and sheep hearts as well as prepared histological specimens, human anatomical models and computer/video presentations related to the above systems. Laboratory experiments also expose students to related clinical techniques/topics such as blood typing, ECG, blood pressures, pulse determination, heart and lung sounds, spirometry, and urinalysis.
Prerequisite: BIO-111

BIO-120 Biology for Today

 Course Description: BIO-120

3 lect., 0 lab., 3 cr.
The biological aspects of contemporary problems and issues will be explored. Selected topics will be chosen from the areas of Medicine and the Environment. Students will participate in discussions and class activities that will assess decision-making criteria relative to the issues being presented.

BIO-125 Nutrition

 Course Description: BIO-125

3 cr.
Students study carbohydrate, fat, protein, mineral and vitamin requirements; an overview of the chemical and biological body functions, nutrient metabolism and deficiencies, food safety legislation, functions of the Food and Drug Administration and the USDA. Students conduct a caloric self-study.

BIO-148 Environmental Conservation

 Course Description: BIO-148

2 lect., 3 lab., 3 cr.
This course will explore local, regional, national, and global issues of water quality and usage, such as types and sources of pollutants and their effects on humans and wildlife, surface and ground water overuse, and conservation of water resources. The expanding human population and its creation of resource conflicts and their resolutions are presented and discussed. Lab experiences will focus on monitoring the quality of nearby waterbodies, with the collection of real data that will be used by Orange County in their formulation of a watershed management plan. Students are responsible for their own transportation to offcampus sites.

BIO-143 Field Biology

 Course Description: BIO-143

2 lect., 3 lab., 3 cr.
This course will acquaint students with the plants and animals of the Orange County area, with emphasis on ecological relationships between them and their environment. Weekly field trips within the area will identify organisms found and conduct outdoor studies to better understand interactions among them. Real data will be collected and analyzed to answer scientific questions concerning the natural history of the county's biodiversity. Students are responsible for their own transportation.

BIO-110 Introduction to Biology

 Course Description: BIO-110

2 Lecture, 3 Lab, 3 Credits

An introductory course covering the scientific method, basic chemistry, cell biology, structure and function of the vertebrate body, biochemical pathways, cellular division, genetics, diversity and biological systems.
Prerequisite: This course is designed for students with little or no academic background in biological sciences.

BIO-141 Diversity of Life

 Course Description: BIO-141

2 lect., 3 lab., 3 cr.
This course offers the non-science major an opportunity to study representatives of the major groups of bacteria, protistans, plants, fungi, and animals in both lecture and lab. Emphasis will be placed on the major characteristics of each group. The interrelationships among these organisms will be studied both through discussion and through field trips to local sites. The global loss of biodiversity and its significance will be discussed. Students are responsible for their own transportation on field trips.

Instructional Materials:

  • Photo: Diversity of Life textbookText: Diversity of Life: Biology The Unity and Diversity of Life, 11th edition, Cecie Starr & Ralph Taggart , Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2006

BIO-123 Prehistoric Life

 Course Description: BIO-123

3 cr.
A survey of the diversity of prehistoric life including the dinosaurs, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates and plants of the past. An overview of other relevant topics such as fossilization, evolution, extinction, vertebrate anatomy and ecosystem structure will be presented. The course will include a trip to the Museum of Natural History. Students are responsible for their own transportation. The course does not include a laboratory component.

Instructional Materials:

  • In-House Preparation of Materials (purchase of textbook not required).

BIO-201 Genetics

 Course Description: BIO-201

3 lect., 3 lab., 4 cr.

This is a survey course which introduces students to the various fields of modern genetics. Topics include the diverse forms of inheritance, the structure of chromosomes, the nature of function of genes, the regulation of gene activity, mutation, biotechnology, and evolution. Special reference is made to human genetic disorders and cancer. Lab work includes observing the inheritance traits in fruit flies and plants, mapping genes to regions of chromosomes, transformation, conjugation, plasmid DNA isolation, DNA gel electrophoresis, and protein gel electrophoresis. Students will learn techniques for the handling of bacteria and bacteriophage.
Prerequisite: one year of biological science including BIO-101.

Instructional Materials:

  • Photo: Genetics textbookText: Genetics: From Genes to Genomes, 1st edition, by Hartwell et al, McGraw-Hill, 2000
  • *In House Prepared Lab Ma

BIO-202 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

 Course Description: BIO-120

3 lect., 0 lab., 3 cr.
The biological aspects of contemporary problems and issues will be explored. Selected topics will be chosen from the areas of Medicine and the Environment. Students will participate in discussions and class activities that will assess decision-making criteria relative to the issues being presented.

BIO-204 General Botany

 Catalog Description: BIO-204

3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory hours, 4 credits.  
This is a general botany course that will study plant morphology and physiology of herbaceous and woody plant divisions within the plant kingdom as well as other related plant-like organisms.  Topics covered include plant structure and function, plant growth, transpiration, photosynthesis, evolution, and reproductive cycles.  The course concludes with the diversity of flowers and plant life.  Laboratory work includes microscopic examination of cells and tissues of typical plants.  The course will also require an investigative plant project by each student.

Instructional Materials:

  • Photo: Botany text (Mauseth)Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology, 3rd Ed. (James D. Mauseth)
  • A Photographic Atlas for the Botany Laboratory, 4th Ed. (Van DeGraff, Rushforth, & Crawley)

BIO-113 Neurobiology

 Course Description: BIO-113

2 lect., 2 lab, 3 cr.
This course is designed for students of Physical Therapy Assistants, Occupational Therapy Assistants, and other Health Sciences. It will provide the student with a foundation for understanding neurological dysfunction. Integration, rather than segregation, between structure and function are emphasized. This course will enable the student to be conversant in the structure and function of the nervous system, with emphasis on sensorimotor integration and neuromuscular physiology. The organizing theme is the regulation of body function, how the nervous system is influenced during development, learning, and by disease, or trauma. This is illustrated in a multidisciplinary fashion: morphology, physiology, biochemistry and clinical manifestations. Examples of pathological, occupational and environmental causes of neurological disease are highlighted through lectures and student presentations. The different approaches used in diagnosis and understanding physical impairment are stressed as essential components of devising effective therapy.
Prerequisite: BIO-112

Instructional Materials:

  • Photo: Neurobiology textbookText: The Human Brain: An Introduction to Its Functional Anatomy, 5th edition, John Nolte, Mosby, 2002

BIO-115 Human Biology

 Course Description: BIO-115

3 lect., 3 lab., 4 cr. (Fall)

Human anatomy, physiology and pathology are discussed in lectures. Laboratory work includes microscopic study of tissues and a dissection of the cat. The anatomy of the cat is correlated with human anatomy.

Prerequisite: BIO-110 or BIO-101.

Instructional Materials:

  • Photo: Human Biology TextbookPhoto: Human Biology Lab manualText: Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology, 8th ed, Elaine N. Marieb, Benjamin Cummings, 2005
  • Laboratory Manual: Human Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory Manual (cat version); 8th ed, Elaine N. Marieb, Benjamin Cummings, 2005

BIO 146 - Avian Biology


BIO 205 - General Ecology