Biology

Professors Mark Christensen, Mark Johnson, and Rick Kopp;

Associate Professors Mary Anne Carletta, Tim Griffith, Tracy Livingston (Chair)

Bill Stevens; Adjunct Instructors Jana Henson and Ray Wechman

Contact the Department

Biology Department
Georgetown College
400 East College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324

Department Site

Email

The Department of Biological Sciences offers students the knowledge and skills that will prepare them for futures in professional settings and/or serve them as citizens and caretakers of life on earth. The department offers a range of introductory and advanced courses in the areas of zoology, botany, microbiology, cell and molecular biology, and ecology. The B.S. degree program is designed to provide students the academic preparation needed to succeed in graduate and professional schools in the health sciences (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, nursing, etc.), environmental fields, teaching, and many areas of research. In addition, the department provides the academic preparation for employment in biological fields (academic, industrial, government, and medical). The department, through its curriculum, helps students to achieve this preparation by requiring students to demonstrate:

an understanding of the purpose of science and the place biology has among the sciences and society, in general;

an understanding of the scientific method: construction of hypotheses, data collection and analysis techniques, and formulation of conclusions;

a comprehension and appreciation of the basic concepts of biological science including: the unity and diversity of life, biological molecules, the cell as a functioning structure, mechanisms of inheritance, principles of ecology, and processes of evolution;

skills for effective verbal communication to peers in scientific settings;

skills to write clear scientific research and review papers;

an understanding of the process of scientific publication and the ability to understand and critique primary scientific literature.

 

The biology faculty aim to facilitate a well-rounded educational experience for each student by providing challenging in-class instruction, hands-on laboratory and field experiences, and opportunities to engage in independent study.

 

Major

(B.S. degree) Forty-nine hours required. A minimum of thirty-eight hours in Biology including BIO 111, 212, 214, 314, 335, 451, 452, and fourteen hours of electives to be selected from 300-400 level courses in Biology (excluding BIO 306). One elective course must be a field course selected from the following: BIO 300, 316, 320, 413, or 470 field topics. A maximum of three hours of Independent Study, BIO 440, can be used to satisfy the elective hours. In addition, the required allied hours are MAT 111 and CHE 111, 112, and 113. MAT 125, and CHE 201, 202, 309 and 310 are recommended. Those seeking certification in teaching must take BIO 305 and 311 as two of their electives. The four courses in the biology core (BIO 111, 212, 214, 314) are preferably taken in the freshman and sophomore years; all should be completed by the end of the junior year.

 

Minor

Eighteen hours required, including BIO 111. Note that BIO 212, 214, or 314 are prerequisites for most upper level electives. BIO 100 does not apply to a major or minor in Biology.

 

100. Science of Life. (3 hours) A general course designed for students other than biology or environmental science majors or minors. Laboratory. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.         Fall and Spring

 

111. Biological Principles. (4 hours) An introduction to the major themes of biology: organismal diversity, evolution and ecology, and the cellular, genetic, and metabolic basis of life. Laboratory. This course carries the Quantitative (Q) Flag in the Foundations and Core Program. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.              Fall and Spring

 

208. Science Careers Seminar. (2 hours) An interdisciplinary seminar in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines that will introduce students interested in scientific research to an array of professions and professionals in these fields. This introduction will emphasize comprehension and analysis of published scientific research and provide students with the opportunity to meet the science professional who produced the work. Prerequisites: One science or mathematics course for majors, sophomore or junior standing, and approval of instructor.                                                                        Fall

 

212. Cellular and Molecular Biology. (4 hours) An introduction to cell biology, metabolism, genetics, gene expression, and diversity of unicellular organisms. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 111. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.                                                                                                                                     Spring

 

214. Organismal Diversity. (4 hours) An introduction to the biology of multicellular organisms. Lecture topics include reproduction and early development, control of gene expression in development, homeostatic systems of plants and animals, signaling and coordination in plants and animals, and the history of multicellular life. Lab will emphasize the diversity and evolution of multicellular organisms. Laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 111. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.               Fall

 

260. Preceptorship in Health Sciences or Veterinary Science. (1 hour) On site supervised experience in the medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary sciences. Prerequisite: Junior classification with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or permission of instructor. BIO 305 recommended. (Pass/Fail only)                                                                                         Fall and Spring

 

300. Marine Biology. (3 hours) An introduction to marine science with an emphasis on the ecology of marine life and marine ecosystems. Required off campus field trip. Prerequisite: One course from BIO 212, 214, or 314.

Even Springs

 

305. Human Physiology I. (3 hours) The function of the human body with

emphasis on cellular and tissue-level structure and function. Topics include

cellular physiology and the physiology of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Prerequisite: BIO 212               Fall

 

305L. Human Physiology I Lab: Electrophysiology. (1 hour) This lab is designed to introduce students to the properties of cells in the respiratory, skeletal muscle and cardiovascular systems. Most labs will examine the electrical properties of cells, including electroencephalography, electrocardiography, and electromyography. Corequisite: BIO 305. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.                                                                                 Fall

 

306. Human Physiology II. (3 hours) A continuation of Biology 305. The physiology of the brain and sensory organs, and of the endocrine, digestive, immune, and urogenital systems, with emphasis on cell and tissue structure and function. Prerequisite: BIO 305                                                                                                                                     Spring

 

306L. Human Physiology II Lab: Histology. (1 hour) This lab is designed to introduce students to the microscopic study of cellular/tissue structure and function. All of the major organ systems will be examined in this lab. Corequisite: BIO 306. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.                                                         Spring

 

311. General Microbiology. (4 hours) Introduction to the diversity, cell biology, physiology, genetics, ecology, and medical impact of microorganisms and viruses. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 212. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.                                                                                                                     Fall and Spring

 

312. Immunology and Pathogenesis. (4 hours) A study of the bacteria pathogenic to humans and the mechanisms of infection and immunity. Methods of isolation, growth, and identification of the pathogens and serology are emphasized. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 212; BIO 311 recommended. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.          Odd Springs

 

314. Evolution and Ecology. (4 hours) Study of populations, communities, and ecosystems, and the evolutionary forces that shape them. Laboratory. Prerequi-sites: BIO 111; MAT 111 recommended. This course carries the Quantitative (Q) Flag in the Foundations and Core Program. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.              Spring

 

316. Plant Taxonomy and Spring Flora. (4 hours) Principles of classification, identification, and nomenclature of vascular plants. Field-oriented laboratory emphasizes collection and identification techniques, as well as on-sight recognition of local flora in winter and spring conditions. Prerequisite: BIO 214. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section. Odd Springs

 

320. Vertebrate Ecology. (4 hours) An investigation of vertebrate animals emphasizing their ecology, biogeography, and conservation. Special emphasis is placed on life history strategies. Field-oriented laboratory activities include the collection and identification of animals, as well as the gathering and analysis of baseline population data. Prerequisite: BIO 214. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.                                                                                       Odd Falls

325. Vertebrate Anatomy and Embryology. (4 hours) A course on the organization, development, and function of the vertebrate body, with emphasis on understanding why vertebrates, including humans, are built as they are. Laboratory includes detailed dissection of sharks and cats and microscopic study of frog and chick embryos. This course provides a strong foundation for the study of medical or veterinary gross anatomy, but it is not intended solely for pre-medical and pre-veterinary students. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 214 or BIO 305. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.    Spring

 

330. Environmental Science and Natural Resources. (3 hours) (See ENV 330)                                  Even Springs

 

335. Genetics and Molecular Biology. (4 hours) Introduction to both classical and molecular genetics using microbial, plant, and animal systems. Modern recombinant DNA techniques and their applications are also discussed. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 212. This course carries the Quantitative (Q) Flag in the Foundations and Core Program. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.                                                                                                       Fall and Spring

 

337. Cell Biology. (4 hours) Relationships of intricate cell structures to specialized cell function, including mechanisms associated with growth, differentiation, biochemical activity, physiological behavior. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 212. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.

Even Springs

 

413. Freshwater Biology. (4 hours) Freshwater systems and the nature and interactions of their physical and biotic components. Includes taxonomic identification, emphasizing the algae, invertebrates and vertebrates. Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 214. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.                                Even Falls

 

421. Developmental Biology. (3 hours) The genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying the development of multicellular organisms. Topics include control of gene expression, pattern formation, and selected topics in animal and plant development. Emphasis on reading and discussion of current research literature. Prerequisites: BIO 214; BIO 335 recommended.          Odd Falls

 

440. Independent Study. (1-3 hours) An independent research project supervised by a member of the department. Prerequisites: BIO 214, and consent of supervising professor.                                                  Fall and Spring

 

451. Seminar I. (2 hours) A topical “capstone” course which draws upon skills, knowledge, and experiences students have gained throughout their years of college study, particularly in biology. Emphasizes library research, scientific writing, oral presentations, discussion, and critical thinking. Prerequisite: Junior classification and completion of two of the following with a C or better (BIO 212, 214, 314) or permission of instructor. This course carries the Writing (W) Flag in the Foundations and Core Program.        Spring

452. Seminar II. (2 hours) A topical “capstone” course which draws upon the skills, knowledge, and experiences students have gained throughout their years of college study, particularly in biology. Emphasizes library research, scientific writing, oral presentations, discussion, and critical thinking. Prerequisites: BIO 451 and Senior classification.            Fall

 

470. Topics in Biology. (1-4 hours) Significant topics in biology. Course content varies. Not offered on a regular basis; students should consult the current class schedule. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. As needed

Click to See Career Options

AREA

EMPLOYERS

STRATEGIES

BIOTECHNOLOGY

  • Research and Development
  • Laboratory Testing
  • Education
  • Colleges and universities
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Agricultural industry including fertilizer manufacturers and animal and plant breeding and production
  • Federal and state government laboratories and agencies
  • Industry, particularly biotechnology firms
Become proficient using laboratory equipment and computers. Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced positions in research, development, and management. Take additional courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Complete an undergraduate laboratory research project with a professor.

GENETICS

  • Research and Development related to: Animals, Plants, and Humans
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Education
  • Colleges and universities
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Large producers of seed, livestock, and poultry
  • Government laboratories such as: Department of Agriculture, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Institutes of Health
  • Biotechnology industry
  • Hospitals and medical centers
Acquire a broad background in sciences, mathematics, and computer technology. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced positions in research and management. Earn a master’s degree from an accredited program for genetic counseling. Complete an undergraduate research project with a professor. Find a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

MICROBIOLOGY

  • Research and Development
  • Education
  • Quality Control
  • Colleges and universities
  • Private research foundations
  • Government research laboratories and service agencies
  • Hospitals and public health facilities
  • Agricultural experiment stations
  • Food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic companies
    Industry including wood products, paper, textiles, optical equipment, leather, and electrical equipment
  • Environmental and pollution control agencies
Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions. Develop additional competencies in chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Take courses related to your field of interest or consider an advanced degree to specialize. Find a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. Complete an undergraduate research project with a professor. Develop strong skills using laboratory equipment and computers.

BOTANY

  • Education
  • Research and Development
  • Conservation
  • Production
  • Quality Control
  • Administration
  • Colleges and universities
  • Medical and private research laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Industries and laboratories involved in production of food, textiles, chemical, and forestry products
  • State and federal government, especially the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, and Health
  • Botanical gardens and arboretums
  • National and international environmental Organizations
Conduct undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Take courses in this specialized area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities. Take courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced positions in research and management. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY

  • Education
  • Research and Development
  • Taxonomy
  • Conservation
  • Consulting
  • Administration
  • Colleges, universities, and agricultural colleges
  • Federal agencies including Departments of Agriculture and Interior
  • State and local agencies
  • Private research foundations
  • Museums
  • Botanical gardens and arboretums
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Public health laboratories
  • Hospitals
  • National and international environmental organizations
Earn a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Develop excellent laboratory and computer skills. Get involved with undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

ENTOMOLOGY

  • Education
  • Research and Development
  • Toxicology
  • Conservation
  • Quality Control
  • Colleges and universities, especially colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine
  • Industry including food producers and processors, chemicals for insect control, and lumber and pulp
  • Chemical companies
  • Pest control companies
  • Federal and state government
  • Health agencies
  • Agricultural experiment stations
  • Inspection agencies and control boards
  • Conservation agencies
Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Conduct undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Take courses in this specialized area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

MARINE AND AQUATIC BIOLOGY

  • Research and Development
  • Education
  • Administration
  • Production
  • Quality Control
  • Conservation
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Inspection organizations
  • Private recreation organizations
  • Research laboratories
  • Colleges and universities
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Fish hatcheries
  • National and international environmental agencies
Develop a good foundation in mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics, and chemistry. Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Obtain experience related to fishing and boating. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. Take specialized courses in this area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities.

ZOOLOGY

  • Animal Care/Training
  • Research and Development
  • Conservation
  • Administration
  • Education
  • Wildlife preserves and parks
  • Zoos, aquariums, and other collections of animals
  • Museums
  • Research organizations
  • Pharmaceutical, chemical, and agricultural service industries
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Colleges and universities
  • Veterinary hospitals
  • Clinics and hospitals
Obtain experience working with animals and various related laboratory equipment. Develop a broad background in biology and other related subjects such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions. Complete a biology-related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. A zoological background is good preparation for a career in veterinary science or medicine, but an advanced degree is also required to practice.

BIOMEDICAL

  • Physiology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Pathology
  • Research and Development
  • Education
  • Quality Control
  • Colleges and universities
  • Professional schools including colleges of pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture
  • Clinics and hospitals
  • Private research foundations
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Federal laboratories and regulatory agencies
  • Independent testing laboratories
  • Public health departments
  • Agricultural experiment stations
  • Industrial laboratories including chemical, petroleum, food processing, drug, and cosmetic manufacturers
Obtain a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research positions. Acquire a background in physics, organic and physical chemistry, mathematics, and anatomy. Take courses in area(s) of specialization and/or consider an advanced degrees; some may require an M.D. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

BIOINFORMATICS

  • Research and Development
  • Education
  • Biotechnology industry
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Government research laboratories
  • Universities and colleges
Double major or minor in computer science. Acquire experience working in teams. Develop in-depth programming and relational database skills. Learn molecular biology packages, web design, and programming skills. Complete an internship in your area of interest.

EDUCATION

  • Teaching
  • Non-classroom Education
  • Universities and colleges
  • Medical and other professional schools
  • Public and private schools, K-12
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Nature centers and parks
Certification is required for K-12 school teachers, and Ph.D. is needed in universities and colleges. Gain experience working with students through tutoring, interning, or volunteering. Learn to work well with all types of people. Develop excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills.

HEALTHCARE

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Podiatry
  • Chiropracty
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Allied Health
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Hospitals
  • Medical centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practice
  • Government agencies
  • Armed forces
  • Home health organizations
  • Universities and schools
  • Nonprofit organizations
Plan to attend a medical school or other related graduate program. Maintain an outstanding grade point average, particularly in the sciences. Secure strong faculty recommendations. Meet with a pre-health advisor periodically. Join related student organizations. Demonstrate leadership abilities. Obtain a summer job, volunteer position, or an internship in a hospital. Develop a back up plan in case medical/graduate school admission is denied. Consider alternative but related careers such as physician assistant and nurse practitioner.

TECHNICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL SALES

  • Manufacturing firms including: Pharmaceuticals, Animal pharmaceuticals, Laboratory equipment
  • Medical supplies and prostheses
Develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Take courses in anatomy, pharmacology, and chemistry. Obtain sales experience and/or a business minor. Hold leadership positions in campus organizations. Join the student American Marketing Association.

LEGISLATION/LAW

  • Lobbying
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Science Policy
  • Patent Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Federal and state government
  • Law firms
  • Large corporations
Acquire internships in federal or state government.
Develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
Acquire a Ph.D for advanced positions.
Take courses in history, political science and/or legal studies.
Earn a J.D. degree to practice law.

BIOLOGICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Major medical, dental, and veterinary schools
  • Research centers
  • Federal government
  • Museums
  • Zoological and environmental societies
  • Publishing houses
  • Free-lance
Acquire thorough knowledge of photographic procedures and technology. Become skilled with medical and scientific instruments including microscopes. Take specific courses in biological, medical, and ophthalmic photography; courses in illustration and printing are also helpful.

TECHNICAL WRITING

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Newspapers
  • Publishing companies including scientific magazines, professional journals, periodicals, textbooks, and online publishers
  • Medical and veterinary colleges
Take advanced courses in technical writing or journalism classes or consider a minor in either. Develop strong writing skills and command of the English language. Obtain an advanced degree in scientific journalism.

ILLUSTRATION

  • Publishing companies including scientific magazines, professional journals, periodicals, textbooks, and online publishers
  • Educational and scientific software companies
  • Medical and veterinary colleges
Double major or minor in graphic illustration. Acquire word processing and desktop publishing skills. Find a part-time, summer, co-op or internship position with a publisher or newspaper.

General Information

  • A Bachelor’s degree in biology will qualify one for work as a laboratory assistant, technician, technologist, or research assistant in education, industry, government, museums, parks, and gardens.
  • An undergraduate degree in biology can also be used for nontechnical work in writing, illustration, sales, photography, and legislation.
  • Master’s degrees in fields related to biology allow for more opportunities in research and administration. Some community colleges will hire Master’s level teachers.
  • Doctoral degrees in fields related to biology are necessary for advanced research and administrative positions, university teaching, and independent research.
  • An advanced degree provides the opportunity to specialize under the different areas of the biological sciences.
  • The biological sciences are good preparation for a career in healthcare such as medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science, but professional degrees and licenses are also necessary to practice in these fields.
  • Learn laboratory procedures and become familiar with equipment.
  • Obtain summer, part-time, volunteer, co-op, or internship experience to test the fields of interest and gain valuable experience.
  • Develop strong computer, mathematics, and verbal and written communications skills.
  • Join professional associations and community organizations to stay abreast of current issues in the field of biology and to develop networking contacts.
  • Read scientific journals related to your area of interest.
  • Maintain a high grade point average to improve chances of graduate and professional school admission.
  • Become familiar with the specific entrance exam for graduate or professional schools in your area of interest.
  • Secure strong relationships and personal recommendations from professors and/or employers.
  • Consider completing a post doctoral experience after graduate school.
  • Learn federal, state, and local government job application process. The federal government is the largest employer of biologists.
  • Gain experience with grant writing and fundraising techniques. Often research must be funded in this manner.

Helpful Links

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer



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