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BI 223

BI 223

BI223: Principles of Biology

Course Description

BI223: Principles of Biology is the third in a 3 part series of introductory biology courses that fulfill the Bacc Core Requirements for Biological Sciences Perspectives Courses. This course is a 4 credit lecture/lab course where we examine fundamental biological concepts and theories about diversity, evolution, and ecology; specifically, evolutionary relationship, transformation of energy and matter, information flow and systems at a population level or above. More specifically, we answer questions including: How does natural selection result in adaptation? How did Eukaryotes emerge? How do we determine if populations are evolving? How do we represent relatedness between species? What roles do species play within an ecological community? How are ecosystems altered by climate change? There are 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of lab each week. BI223 is offered during Spring term and Summer Session.


This course is for life science majors and pre-professional students. BI221 and basic chemistry are required.

Bi223 Course Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Describe the interconnectedness of organisms and their environment at different temporal and spatial scales. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  2. Provide morphological, molecular and developmental evidence of the common ancestry of life. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  3. Describe how biotic and abiotic components of the environment shape organismal traits through the process of natural selection. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  4. Use phylogenies to explore the evolutionary relationships among taxonomic groups. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  5. Outline how evolutionary processes impact biodiversity. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  6. Explain how biotic and abiotic interactions influence and are influenced by morphological, physiological and behavioral traits. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  7. Explain how evolutionary, developmental, and environmental processes influence the evolution of structures, functions, and behaviors that impact fitness. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  8. Describe how interactions between structure and function influence ecosystems at multiple scales. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  9. Develop a model to explain the flow of energy, and compare and contrast the cycling of matter in various ecosystems in the biosphere at human and geologic time scales. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)
  10. Use multiple representations to model the relationships between species/population abundance and distribution in relation to biotic and abiotic factors. (BCLO 1, 2, 3)

Shared Course Learning Outcomes with BI221 and BI222

  1. Generate questions and construct testable hypotheses about biological mechanisms based on observations of the natural world. (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)
  2. Design an experiment using appropriate methodology (experimental techniques, controls, data collection and analysis), reach conclusions and identify future lines of inquiry. (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)
  3. Integrate subdisciplinary concepts from within and outside biology to address complex problems. (BLCO 3)
  4. Identify ways that interdisciplinary concepts are used to explain biological phenomena. (BLCO 1 &3)
  5. Defend a viewpoint on a socio-scientific issue based on biological research. (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)
  6. Evaluate multiple representations (e.g., diagrams, physical models, mathematical relationships) by comparing the applications, strengths, and limitations of different models and their relationship to real biological systems. (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)
  7. Create models (e.g., cartoon, schematic, flow chart, interpretive dance, etc.) to demonstrate biological concepts or systems. (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)
  8. Apply quantitative skills to biological problems. (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)
  9. Explain and use mathematical relationships relevant to biology. (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)
  10. Work productively in teams with diverse perspectives.
  11. Share ideas with peers clearly and accurately using scientific conventions.
  12. Effectively communicate experimental outcomes using professional scientific formats (e.g. report, poster, presentation). (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)
  13. Read and interpret primary scientific literature. (BCLO 1, 2, & 3)