BIO-150: Biology: Organisms, Genes, and Ecology

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Biological Science
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Biology: Organisms, Genes, and Ecology
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
92.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
92.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
ENG-131 eligible; BIO-131 or BIO-134 or BIO 135 or BIO-152, with a grade of C or better OR a Biology 131 waiver. Biology 131 waiver information can be accessed through a link in the “Additional Information” section of Biology 131 course listings in the Self-Service Schedule.
Catalog Course Description

A one-term course that, with BIOLOGY 152, collectively forms the majors-level introductory biology course unit designed to meet the needs of students interested in transferring to four-year institutions and majoring in biological sciences or related fields, as well as students interested in entering programs in pharmacy, medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and related areas. Course focuses on the nature of science, the diversity and the unity of life, evolution, inheritance, ecology, plant function and reproduction, animal physiology, and animal development. Through laboratory investigations, students develop cognitive and laboratory skills and gain experience with model organisms used in many areas of biological research. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

After completing Biology 150, students should:

  1. Be further acquainted with the amazing similarities among all forms of life on Earth.
  2. Be further acquainted with the intriguing differences among forms of life on Earth.
  3. Be experienced in using critical thinking and the scientific method.
  4. Have a lifelong appreciation of the importance of understanding how the science of biology, “the study of life”, truly does relate to all aspects of life and society.
  5. Be more familiar with the work of professional biologists.
  6. Be prepared to enroll in more advanced classes in the Biological Sciences.
  7. Have new ideas to explore in other classes and/or in daily life.
  8. Find greater appreciation of the complexity and beauty of life forms.
Core Course Topics
  1. Biology: the scientific study of life
  2. Ecosystem structure
  3. Population ecology
  4. Community ecology
  5. Energy flow and material cycling
  6. Conservation biology
  7. Plasma membranes
  8. DNA structure and function
  9. Cell cycle and mitosis
  10. Meiosis
  11. Chromosomes, genetic inheritance, chance and probability
  12. Evolution: the basis of the unity and the diversity of life
  13. Developmental evolutionary biology
  14. Population genetics
  15. Speciation and macroevolution
  16. Geologic time
  17. Diversity of life: Prokaryotic organisms
  18. Diversity of life: Protista
  19. Diversity of life: Plantae
  20. Diversity of life: Fungi
  21. Diversity of life: Animalia
  22. Diversity of life: animal evolution and developmental biology
  23. Plant structure & function
  24. Plant reproduction and development
  25. Animal cells and tissues
  26. Animal nutrition and digestion
  27. Animal circulation and gas exchange
  28. Animal homeostasis, osmoregulation, and excretion
  29. Mammalian reproduction
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Synthesize evidence acquired by scientists and apply evidence to daily lives and to current social and environmental issues.
  2. Cite evidence to support various statements based on scientific knowledge, thereby illustrating the nature of science.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of model organisms used in many areas of biological research.
  4. Demonstrate lab skills required in using model organisms used in many areas of biological research.
  5. Demonstrate broad ability to make and record accurate observations.
  6. Demonstrate designated levels of proficiency with laboratory skills used by biologists.
  7. Provide examples of the importance of searching for and recognizing patterns when studying the sciences or doing scientific research.
  8. Design and carry out a research project using the scientific method.
  9. Analyze and interpret scientific data using descriptive and inferential statistical methods.
  10. Write a formal paper on research completed during the semester using standard format, and orally and visually present the paper to the class.
  11. Describe the evolutionary bases of modern biology, including forces that result in evolution and recent knowledge acquired through evolutionary developmental biology.
  12. Use the Hardy Weinberg equation to illustrate principles of population genetics.
  13. Synthesize teleological, physiological, and evolutionary explanations for various biological processes.
  14. Explain how evolution accounts for both the unity and the diversity of life on Earth.
  15. Predict inheritance in living organisms based on given genotypes and/or phenotypes.
  16. Draw and interpret pedigrees based on given genotypes and/or phenotypes.
  17. Solve problems involving chance and probability.
  18. Explain how planta and animals are classified using traditional taxonomy and also cladistics.
  19. Illustrate the relationships among the various domains, kingdoms, phyla, and classes of living organisms.
  20. Illustrate the major eras of geologic time and the organisms that characterize each one.
  21. Analyze trophic structure of an ecosystem.
  22. Relate laws of thermodynamics to organisms in an ecosystem.
  23. Identify type of interrelationship between given organisms.
  24. Explain biogeochemical cycles of carbon, water, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
  25. Explain basics of population ecology and population growth.
  26. Explain selected life processes in detail.
  27. Demonstrate mastery of selected biological facts as listed in the unit objectives.
  28. Define roots, prefixes, and suffixes of words encountered in the sciences.
  29. Display professional behavior, courtesy, and attitude.
  30. Demonstrate safe laboratory behaviors and techniques.
General Information

We've added information regarding BIO 131 waivers to make the process more equitable for all students.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  • Specified lab skills including use of the compound microscope
  • Occasional laboratory reports
  • Formal research paper and presentation to the class
  • Lab practical exams or weekly quizzes
  • Occasional in class questions in lecture
  • Lecture exams including objective questions and short essays
  • Professional behavior, courtesy, and attitude

Text will be a book designed for use by biology majors, such as Biology by Campbell, Reece, and Mitchell or OER text (ex. OpenStax).


General Education Categories
  • Natural Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Scientific Reasoning
MTA Categories
  • Category 6: Natural Sciences (Lecture and Lab)
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Other Exam
Minimum Score on Other Exam
Other Exam Details

Score of 7 in the International Baccalaureate-Higher Level (IB-HL) biology exam.

Effective Term
Fall 2024