Biology Department



disectionThe Biology Department offers a variety of courses including General Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Zoology, Microbiology and Genetics.  There are courses set up specifically for programs such as the Mayo Health-Related Programs as well as courses to satisfy the lab requirement for non-science programs.  All Biology courses include both lecture and lab experience for the best hands-on training.  A list of courses with catalog descriptions follows.

The instructors in the Biology Department are enthusiastic and ready to teach the students principles and procedures using state-of-the-art equipment and technology.  They have a wide range of credentials and are able to share how the students’ education will be necessary in their future careers.

Through completion of their academic path in Biology, students will develop the ability to:

  • Explain the scientific method and demonstrate the ability to apply all aspects of it during scientific investigation.
  • Demonstrate an ability to understand and apply biological concepts and processes.
  • Show proper use of instruments and techniques in the laboratory.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Exhibit responsible behavior and engagement as a student in biology.

Biology Course Offerings

BIOL 1100 Environmental Biology

This is a one-semester course that introduces students to applied aspects of environmental science. It provides students with a broad overview of the concepts of ecology, systems and interrelationships among organisms and their physical environment, and current issues in environmental science. Students will examine humans’ role in the natural world and the impact of the growth of the human population and the increase in humans’ technological ability to make changes in the world. Students will be encouraged to explore societal, political, economic and personal value systems will regard to environmental issues.

microscopeBIOL 1101 Elements of Biology
A one-semester course for non-science majors that blends traditional and contemporary biological concepts for understanding life in today’s world. Science and the scientific method, the nature of life, cell structure and function, cell reproduction, genetic inheritance, human genetic analysis, biotechnology, and evolution are covered. Students will evaluate ethical issues of some biological, genetic, and biotechnology applications. This course will serve as an introduction to cellular biology to prepare for further study in biology-related or health-related fields. Lab attendance is mandatory.

BIOL 1102 Plant Biology
This course covers the fundamentals of plant biology, focusing on the various types of plants and the basic anatomy and physiology of plants. The course is also designed to promote an awareness of the significance of plants in the natural processes of our biosphere and specifically for humans. Students will be challenged to think about the importance of plants in decision-making, from individual, ethical choices to social, economic and policymaking choices.

BIOL 1107 Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology
This one-semester course provides a comprehensive overview of introductory human anatomy and physiology of the major body systems. The course introduces students to biological molecules, cells, tissues, and organ systems of the human body and incorporates medical terminology. The laboratory curriculum does not include physical dissection of organisms.

BIOL 1110 Human Biology
This course is a one semester study of the biology of the human body. Each of the component systems will be studied in order to develop an understanding of how each part contributes to the whole. This knowledge will be applied to the analysis of current health and social issues. Laboratory sessions are designed to correlate with lecture topics. Dissection of appropriate animal specimens is included.

BIOL 1127     Principles of Anatomy & Physiology I
This course is part one of the two-semester anatomy and physiology sequence covers cell structure and function, tissues, chemistry as it relates to biological sciences, the integumentary, musculoskeletal and nervous systems.  The focus of this course is primarily the structure of the organs and body systems.  This course also includes a special emphasis on understanding medical terminology. Appropriate combining forms, prefixes, and suffixes will be learned for each of the body systems.

BIOL 1128 Principles of Anatomy & Physiology II
This course is part 2 of the 2-semester anatomy and physiology sequence covers the autonomic nervous system, special senses, endocrine system, digestive system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, lymphatic system, urinary system and reproductive system.  This course meets the requirements for the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum in CT (Critical Thinking) and NS (Natural Sciences).

BIOL 1211 Principles of Nutrition
This course covers the science of foods and their structures and functions within the human body, to provide knowledge and awareness of human nutritional requirements and processes. Specific focus will target biological requirements needed in the human body to provide energy and structural materials and to regulate growth, maintenance, and repair of the body’s tissues throughout the stages of the human life style. The course will enable students to develop foundational knowledge to establish and make informed nutritional choices and understand the role of nutrition in personal, societal, and global issues.

BIOL 1215 Anatomy and Physiology of the Cardiovasular and Lymphatic Systems
This course covers the anatomy and physiology of cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. College-level reading and writing skills and working knowledge of elementary algebra.

BIOL 1216 Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous & Respriatory Systems
This course will cover in detail the anatomy and physiology of the nervous & respiratory systems.

BIOL 1217 Anatomy & Physiology I
This course is part one of the two-semester Anatomy and Physiology sequence. This course focuses on cell structure and function, tissues, chemistry as it relates to biological function, metabolism, and major organ systems including the integumentary system, muscular and skeletal systems, cardiovascular system and blood and lymphatic and immune systems.

BIOL 1218 Anatomy & Physiology II
This course is the second part of the two-semester Anatomy and Physiology sequence. This course covers the nervous, respiratory, digestive, urinary, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Metabolism and fluid, acid/base, and electrolyte balance are also discussed. College-level reading and writing skills are necessary.

BIOL 1220 Concepts of Biology
This course is one of two introductory courses in biology.  It is a cellular-based approach to the foundational principles of biology, and it addresses basic life processes at molecular, cellular, tissue, and organismal levels, principles of evolution,   and interactions among organisms.

BIOL 1230 Survey of Life Forms
This course is one of two introductory biology courses. It is an organism-based study of the diversity of living organisms including the structure and function of organisms to incorporate how they carry out basic life processes (e.g., gas exchange, nutrition). Students study the comparative anatomy and physiology and the evolutionary history and relationships among organisms, addressing key adaptations to survival of selected organisms.

BIOL 1300 Biological Applications of GIS Technology
This course will teach the use and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), computerized systems designed for the storage, retrieval and analysis of geographically referenced data.  Applications of GIS Technology will include using analytical tools to explore at a scientific level the spatial relationships, patterns, and processes of organisms in relation to environmental, biological, demographic, geographic, and physical phenomena. The course will be computer-intensive and project-based.

BIOL 1310 Environmental Science Seminar
This course will provide an understanding of and exposure to environmental science fields, networking, resume building, career exploration, and internship opportunities, as well as aid in students’ ability to apply scientific principles to various environmental science issues. It will introduce students to important research papers in the field of environmental science and ecology. These experiences are aimed to help prepare students for a future in-field experience, job, and/or further education.

BIOL 1400 Environmental Science Internship
This course will provide exposure to environmental science fields, as well as the development of an internship experience. Classroom discussion and readings will enrich students’ understanding of this broad field to prepare them for direct experience through an internship, which will be developed and carried out during the course.

BIOL 2000 Ecology
This course teaches the basic principles of organismal, population, community, and ecosystem ecology, with an emphasis on applied ecology. The course is designed so that at the conclusion of the course students will have an appreciation and understanding of the principles of ecology and be able to: (1) explain the various biotic and abiotic forces acting on an organism in its natural environment, (2) determine the importance of these forces under varying conditions, and (3) predict how human activities may alter the effects of these forces. The lab portion of this course reemphasizes lecture concepts and offers hands-on experience with the concepts in the lab and/or field setting.

BIOL 2020 Fundamentals of Biotechnology
This is a semester-long, lab-intensive course for students currently employed in or ultimately seeking employment in a clinical or research laboratory with a health care focus. This course is specifically designed for students in Biotechnology programs at RCTC. The goal of this course is to provide the student with both a conceptual and practical understanding of basic lab techniques with particular emphasis on developing the skills to perform these specific techniques independently upon completion of the course.

BIOL 2021 General Microbiology
This is an introductory microbiology course covering the following topics: prokaryotic cell structure, metabolism, growth, genetics, pathogenesis; viruses; the eukaryotic microbes, fungi and protozoa; epidemiology, control of microbial growth, specific and nonspecific immunity and immune disorders. Students must show completion of prerequisite courses with a C or better.

BIOL 2200 General Zoology
This course is a survey course of the classification, evolution, ecology, anatomy and physiology of animals. The lab portion of this course reemphasizes lecture concepts and offers hands-on experience with representative members of organisms studied in lecture.

BIOL 2300 Genetics
This course presents the fundamental concepts of classical transmission genetics and modern molecular genetics. Topics include Mendelian genetics, linkage and mapping, chromosomal anomalies, population and evolutionary genetics, biotechnology and nucleic acid analysis.

BIOL 2920 General Biology I:  Honors
This course is one of two introductory courses in biology, offered as an honors course with more development and detailed cellular-based approach to the foundational principles of biology, and it addresses basic life processes at molecular, cellular, tissue, and organismal levels, principles of evolution, and interactions among organisms. One of Phi Theta Kappa’s Honors Study Topic themes will unite topics covered in a traditional general biology course such as science and experimentation, cellular structure and function, genetics and inheritance, evolution, and ecology.  Through an examination of primary scientific literature and the completion of a multifaceted, original research project, emphasis will be placed on the critical analysis and integration of biological concepts as they connect to the selected theme. This course is the Honors Equivalent of BIOL 1220.

 Current Common Course Outlines for these courses can be found on the Course Schedule or Catalog Course Descriptions.

Biology Instructors