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WWC Graduate Bulletin
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BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

  • Course Descriptions

    Scott Ligman, Chair and Director of Graduate Program: Susan Dixon, Joe Galusha, David Lindsey, Jim Nestler, Joan Redd

    In addition to fulfilling the mission of Walla Walla College, the objectives of the Department of Biological Sciences are:

    1. To prepare students for careers in research and teaching positions in institutions of higher education by giving them a firm foundation for work toward a doctoral degree.

    2. To provide an educational background for careers in industry.

    3. To increase the competence of secondary school teachers.

    The Department of Biological Sciences offers a Masters of Science degree in biology with two options. The Thesis Option is for students who wish to prepare for careers in research and teaching or continue their education through a Ph.D., subsequently entering careers in research or college and university teaching. The Non-thesis Option is designed especially for secondary science teachers.

    The program of course work and research developed for each graduate student takes into account the academic background, present interests, and future goals of the student.

    ADMISSION
    Applicants must meet the general admission requirements as outlined earlier in the Graduate Bulletin. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), both subject and general, are required. Applicants must also submit a statement of objectives and goals.

    REQUIREMENTS
    Students must complete all requirements as listed in this bulletin and in the "General Procedures for the Completion of the M.S. Degree in Biology" (available from the department). Because of the variety of biological and interdisciplinary opportunities available at the Walla Walla College Marine Station, all graduate students are encouraged to attend one summer term.

    THESIS OPTION

    Prerequisite background:
    Undergraduate background should include a B.S. or B.A. in Biology from an accredited institution. Students with degrees in other science areas should contact the department before applying. Specific cognate courses required include: General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Physics, and Precalculus.

    Curriculum requirements:
    The primary requirement of the Thesis Option is the completion of a thesis based upon original research. Program requirements consist of a minimum of 45 quarter credits, 24 of which must be courses numbered 500 or above. Not more than five credits below a B- grade will be accepted on the graduate program.

    Courses (45 credits)

        Graduate Seminar (BIOL 510) 5
       Thesis Proposal (BIOL 544) 2
       Thesis Research (BIOL 545) 4
       Thesis (BIOL 546) 2
       Additional 500-level BIOL courses 11
       Colloquium (BIOL 495) six quarters 0
       Additional electives 21

    NON-THESIS OPTION

    Prerequisite background:
    Preparation should include a bachelor's degree in science or math and a minimum of 28 credit hours in biology, 8 of which must be upper-division.

    Curriculum requirements:
    The objective of the Non-thesis Option is to prepare students for secondary teaching in two content areas: 1) biology and 2) either chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer science. Requirements to meet this objective include a minimum of 45 quarter credits (30 of which must be in courses numbered 400 and above, and at least one 500-level biology content course). A maximum of 8 credits of elective content courses numbered below 350 may be included when approved by the Department of Biological Sciences and Graduate Council. Not more than five credits below a B- grade will be accepted on the graduate program.

    Basic Courses (12 credits)

       Introduction to Research I ( BIOL 211) 2
       Seminar: Teaching of Biology (BIOL 506) 1
       Graduate Seminar (BIOL 510) 2
       Biology Project (BIOL 543) 4
       One course selected from Education and Psychology 3
           ( EDUC 506, 522, 525, 567, PSYC 521)
       Colloquium (BIOL 495) three quarters 0
       
       

    Specialization (8-10 credits)

       At least one course in botany
          ( BIOL 360, 413, 426, 463) 3-5
       At least one course in zoology
          ( BIOL 374, 384, 389, 403, 462, 475) 3-5
       
    Content Electives (24 credits--chosen to ensure preparation in two content areas)
       biology 8-16
       chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer science 8-16

    Teacher Certification:
    Generally, the process of certification will commence during the undergraduate program (junior/senior year). It is recommended that certification requirements be completed by the time the graduate degree is awarded.


    GRADUATE COURSES - BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

    BIOL 501 RESEARCH IN BIOLOGY 2-4; 8
    Individual work in a topic of original research carried out under the direction of one of the instructors. Two to four hours per quarter; maximum, eight.
    BIOL 506 SEMINAR: TEACHING OF BIOLOGY 1
    Presentation and discussion of special challenges or current trends in biological education. Topics are selected by the student in counsel with the teacher responsible for the seminar. May be substituted for 1 credit of BIOL 510 for thesis option.
    BIOL 510 GRADUATE SEMINAR 1; 6
    Involves presentation of topics and discussion of current research in specific areas of biology. Spring quarter normally involves a research plan and progress report for first-year students. One credit each quarter. Maximum of six credits for either option.
    BIOL 518 PRINCIPLES OF NEUROBIOLOGY 4
    Study of the structure and function of invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems. Topics will concentrate on the cellular level and will include neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, neurodevelopment, and neuroendocrinology. Prerequisites: BIOL 392 or CHEM 432; and permission of the instructor. Offered odd years only.
    BIOL 520 ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY 4
    Study of physiological and biochemical adaptations of animals living in harsh environmental conditions. Topics will include adjustments at the macromolecular, cellular, and organ system levels to aspects of hypoxia, diving, hibernation, temperature fluctuations, and life in the deep sea. Prerequisites: CHEM 323, 326, BIOL 392, and permission of instructor. Offered even years only.
    BIOL 530 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TECHNIQUES 4 or 5
    Introduction to the theory and practice of modern molecular techniques. The laboratory will include techniques such as the purification and analysis of DNA, RNA, and protein, recombination DNA procedures, mutagenesis, hybridization methods, PCR, and DNA sequencing technology. Two laboratories per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 393, CHEM 323, 326. (College Place campus - 4 quarter hours; Marine Station - 5 quarter hours.)
    BIOL 540 READINGS IN BIOLOGY 2; 6
    Analysis of classical and current literature in specific areas of biology. Areas of concentration may include disciplines such as biostatistics, development, ecology, ethology, genetics, natural history, philosophy of biology, or physiology. Requires reports and conferences with a staff member. A maximum of four credits in any one area.
    BIOL 543 BIOLOGY PROJECT 4
    A research project in biological education is selected by the student in counsel with a research adviser in biology. A written proposal is developed by the student and approved by the adviser prior to beginning the research.
    BIOL 544 THESIS PROPOSAL 2
    Preparation and approval of the master's thesis proposal. A research topic is selected and a formal research proposal is written in consultation with the student's major professor and graduate committee. A final grade is given after proposal revisions have been completed and proposal cover sheet is signed by the student's committee members.
    BIOL 545 THESIS RESEARCH 1-4; 4
    Collection and analysis of data for master's thesis. A grade of IP is given until completion of all four credits, at which time the same grade is given for all four credits. Prerequisite: BIOL 544 or permission of the instructor.
    BIOL 546 THESIS 2
    Writing, presentation, defense, and revision of the master's thesis based upon original biological research. A final grade is given after revisions have been completed, thesis cover sheet signed by committee members, and final thesis copies submitted to the department. Prerequisite: BIOL 545 or permission of the instructor.

    MARINE STATION
    BIOL 516 BEHAVIOR OF MARINE ORGANISMS 5
    A study of inter- and intraspecific behaviors of marine animals and their behavioral responses to the physical environment. The course involves laboratory experiences, field observations and a research project. Prerequisites: BIOL 374 or BIOL 384 or PSYC 130 and background in organismal biology and permission of the instructor. Offered every three to five years.


    SUPPORTING COURSES - BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
    BIOL 101, 102, 103 or equivalent is prerequisite for all courses listed below.

    BIOL 403 ORNITHOLOGY 4 or 5
    Study of native birds of North America, with emphasis on physiology, identification, migration, and life histories. Two laboratories per week. One weekend field trip required. (College Place campus, 4 quarter hours; Marine Station, 5 quarter hours.) Offered every 3-5 years at the Marine Station; offered even years only on the College Place campus.
    BIOL 413 PLANT TISSUE CULTURE 3
    A study of various techniques to establish and to maintain plant tissue cultures. One laboratory per week.
    BIOL 426 SYSTEMATIC BOTANY 4 or 5
    Study of the principles of plant classification, together with a systematic survey of vascular plants, with emphasis on natural history and ecology. Two laboratories per week. (College Place campus, 4 quarter hours; Marine Station, 5 quarter hours.) Offered every 3-4 years at Marine Station.
    BIOL 430 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TECHNIQUES 4 or 5
    Introduction to the theory and practice of modern molecular techniques. The laboratory will include techniques such as the purification and analysis of DNA, RNA, and protein, recombination DNA procedures, mutagenesis, hybridization methods, PCR, and DNA sequencing technology. Two laboratories per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 393, CHEM 323, 326. (College Place campus - 4 quarter hours; Marine Station - 5 quarter hours.)
    BIOL 446 GENERAL ECOLOGY 4
    Study of the relationship of plants and animals, both as individuals and assemblages, to their physical and biological environment. Laboratory work includes field studies designed to examine ecological principles. One laboratory per week. Biostatistics, genetics, and a minimum of one field natural history course recommended.
    BIOL 449 VERTEBRATE HISTOLOGY 4
    Study of the microscopic anatomy of vertebrate cells, tissues, and organs, including reference to their functions. Two laboratories per week.
    BIOL 464 ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY 4
    Study of animal physiology with emphasis on integration of vertebrate organ systems. One laboratory per week. Prerequisite: BIOL 392. PHYS 213, 216 strongly recommended.
    BIOL 466 IMMUNOLOGY 4
    Study of the molecular and cellular bases of the immune response including clinical applications. One laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 392, 393.
    BIOL 483 PHILOSOPHY OF ORIGINS AND SPECIATION 3
    Comparison of the various theories on the origin and history of living organisms in light of present scientific knowledge in biochemistry, paleontology, morphology, geology, genetics and other related areas.
    BIOL 495 COLLOQUIUM 0
    Lecture series designed to expose students to modern scientific research and researchers. Each lecture is normally given by a visiting scientist. Graded S or NC.

    MARINE STATION
    BIOL 101, 102, 103 or equivalent is prerequisite for all courses listed below. Marine Station courses of 5 credits include an additional credit for the requirement of a research project. Normally a maximum of two of the following courses are taught during a summer. Please see annual Marine Station bulletin.
    BIOL 458 MARINE BIOLOGY 5
    An integrated approach to understanding the marine environment primarily from an ecological perspective. Included are principles of basic oceanography, plankton biology, deep-sea biology, and shallow-water marine communities. Research project and field trips required.
    BIOL 460 MARINE ECOLOGY 5
    Study of interspecific, intraspecific, and community relationships demonstrated by marine organisms.
    BIOL 462 ICHTHYOLOGY 5
    Systematic study of the fishes found in Puget Sound, with a survey of the fishes of other waters.
    BIOL 463 MARINE PHYCOLOGY 5
    A systematic survey of marine algae, covering the principles of their classification, natural history, ecology, physiology, and practical use.
    BIOL 468 COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY 5
    Comparative study of the physiology and life processes of animals with emphasis on invertebrates. Prerequisite: BIOL 392.
    BIOL 475 MARINE INVERTEBRATES 5
    A study of the biology of selected groups of marine invertebrates.