Biology

Biology majors study living organisms and vital processes of all life forms. As a biology major, you will investigate the structure, function, heredity and evolution of microorganisms, fungi, plants and animals. Your studies will take place in labs and in the field. You will learn much more than biology. You will develop skills in scientific communication and grow as a leader. You also may attend a national scientific conference where you will learn from experts in fields in which you are interested. In addition, many students conduct research in Cottey labs with help from a professor.

Cottey offers a bachelor of science in biology, a degree that prepares you for many careers. This includes healthcare, research, conservation, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and a host of other fields. With a bachelor of science in biology, you also will be well-prepared for graduate school. Biology majors go on to receive doctorates in biology, microbiology, ecology, genetics, molecular and cellular biology and many other subfields. Others become physicians, physical therapists, genetic counselors, occupational therapists or epidemiologists.

Meet Biology Major Ceirra Carlson

Ceirra CarlsonCottey College set Ceirra Carlson up for success! The biology major from Wyoming was accepted into the physical therapy program at Creighton University, a program that accepts about 20 percent of applicants. Ceirra prepared by majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and psychology. She also played basketball for the Cottey Comets.

“I had a very good support system with the small classes,” Ceirra says. “My basketball coaches and teammates helped me, too, because we studied together.”

Her preparation included 200 hours of job shadowing. She says Cottey made it possible for her to intern at the Hanoi Hospital in Vietnam.

Ceirra enjoyed caring for patients in Vietnam and she also enjoyed her classwork at Cottey. One of her favorite Cottey classes was Molecular Mechanisms of Disease.

“I like trying to find the gaps in research,” she says. “The class inspired me to think critically and it also helped me with scientific writing.”

Ceirra became interested in physical therapy in eighth grade, when she fractured her pelvis and her back in a sledding accident.

“I was in a wheelchair and on crutches a long time,” she says. “My physical therapist pushed me and I was able to start playing volleyball and basketball.”

She chose Cottey because her mom is a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, the organization that owns and supports Cottey College.

“The financial support from the P.E.O. solidified my decision,” Ceirra says.

Cottey offers Bachelor of Science degrees in both biology and health sciences.

BIO 101
Introductory Biology (xs)
Corequisite: BIO 101L
Basic concepts of cellular structure and function, patterns of inheritance, evolutionary mechanisms, ecological relationships, and environmental concerns. Not open to students with credit in BIO 107 or BIO 125. 3 Credits 

BIO 101L
Introductory Biology Laboratory (xs)
Corequisite: BIO 101
Introduces basic laboratory techniques, experimental method, and investigation of topics pertinent to study of living things. 1 Credit 

BIO 107
Principles of Biology I with Lab (f)
Lecture and laboratory emphasizing basic biochemistry, cellular morphology, metabolism and reproduction, and classical and molecular genetics. The laboratory introduces techniques related to biochemistry, molecular biology, and cellular biology. Students may start the Principles of Biology sequence with either Principles of Biology I or II. 4 credits 

BIO 108
Principles of Biology II with Lab (s)
Covers the basics of evolution, ecology, and the diversity of life. Students will explore organisms from every kingdom to discover how these organisms are related and the varied ways organisms interact with one another. The course consists of both lecture and laboratory components. In the laboratory, students will view specimens from every kingdom of life and develop analytical skills necessary for advanced study in biology. Students may start the Principles of Biology sequence with either Principles of Biology I or II. 4 Credits 

BIO 115
Human Nutrition (xs)
This course provides an introduction to the science of nutrition: basic structure and function involved in the ingestion, digestion, absorption and metabolism of nutrients. 3 credits 

BIO/ENV 120
Introduction to Environmental Science (xf)
Involves all basic sciences (geology, physics, chemistry, and biology) in introducing scientific study of biogeochemical cycles and energy flow through ecosystems. It especially considers impact of human activities on populations, communities, and ecosystems. 3 credits 

BIO 125
Botany with Lab (f)
Lecture and laboratory introduce plant biology. The course will cover the structure and function of plant cells, tissues and organs, plants and the environment, and evolution of different plant species. In addition, the course will use artistic techniques and exploration to aid in student learning. 4 credits 

BIO 190
Introduction to Scientific Literature (s)
Presents an introduction to study in biology through examination of the professional literature. The class will focus on construction of scientific literature, writing as a group, publication ethics and Institutional Review Boards, and citations. Additionally, students will learn about the submission process for journal articles and the scientific review process. 1 credit 

BIO 204
Genetics with Lab (f)
Prerequisite: BIO 107 Principles of Biology I
Lecture and laboratory introduce the study of hereditary mechanisms with coverage of Mendelian and molecular genetics. The laboratory focuses on patterns and mechanisms of inheritance with emphasis on classical and molecular techniques. 4 credits 

BIO 211
Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab (f)
Prerequisite: BIO 107 Principles of Biology I and BIO 108 Principles of Biology II
Lecture and laboratory examine anatomical and physiological topics needed to understand basic working of human body. Lecture covers cellular physiology, tissues, musculoskeletal system, and nervous system. Laboratory includes microscopic study of tissues, dissection of preserved mammals, and study of human materials as available, e.g., skeletons and models. 4 credits 

BIO 211
Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab (s)
Prerequisite: BIO 211 Human and Anatomy and Physiology 1 OR permission of the instructor.
Lecture and laboratory examine anatomical and physiological topics needed to understand basic working of human body. Lecture covers respiratory, sensory, excretory, digestive, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Laboratory includes microscopic study of tissues, dissection of preserved mammals, and study of human materials as available, e.g., skeletons and models. 4 credits 

BIO 240
Microbiology with Lab (s)
Prerequisites: BIO 107 Principles of Biology I
Lecture and laboratory investigate the unseen world of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. Lecture covers microbial structure, metabolism, classification, and methods of control. Laboratory includes basic microbiological techniques such as propagating, staining, and identification of various microbes. This course features applied learning in the form of diagnostic case studies. 4 credits

BIO 250
Ecology with Lab (f)
Prerequisite: BIO 108 Principles of Biology II
An introduction to the interactions between living organisms and their physical, chemical, and biological environment. Several levels of ecological organization are examined including the study of different types of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Topics include population structure and growth, species interaction, nutrient cycling, and applications to current environmental management issues. The laboratory portion provides practical applications of topics in ecology including population structure and growth, species interaction, nutrient cycling, and environmental management issues. 4 credits 

BIO 275/375/475
Research in Biology (fs)
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.
Independent research in biology under direction of a faculty member. Students beginning a research project should register for BIO 275. After gaining at least one semester of experience in the research lab, and in consultation with the faculty sponsor, the student may register for BIO 375. After at least one semester of experience in BIO 375, students who have demonstrated exceptional research skills will be permitted to register for BIO 475, with the permission of their faculty sponsor. 1-3 credits repeatable 

BIO 301
Molecular Biology with Lab (s)
Prerequisites: BIO 107 Principles of Biology I; CHE 212 General Chemistry 2 recommended
Lecture and laboratory introduce the structure and synthesis of macromolecules. Lecture covers various aspects of gene struc- ture, function, and regulation. Laboratory emphasizes isolation and quantitation of DNA, recombinant DNA technology, and exercises which demonstrate the regulation of gene expression. 4 credits 

BIO 310
Cell Biology (xs)
Prerequisite: Bio 107 with a C or higher
Structure and function of eukaryotic cells. Emphasis on molecular approaches to understand cell structure, function, communication and regulation. Students will participate in the reading and discussion of primary literature, and will gain skills in experimental design and data interpretation. The course concludes with a discussion of cells in their social context by focusing on animal development, and stem cell biology. 3 credits 

BIO 320
Animal Behavior (xs)
Prerequisite: BIO 250 Ecology
This course covers the fundamentals of animal behavior. Students will learn about behavioral interactions both within and between populations of animals from the mechanisms that control behavior to the evolutionary processes through which behavioral patterns have evolved. Some examples of topics in animal behavior include: communication and social interactions, mating behavior, parent-offspring interactions, and foraging behavior. 3 Credits 

BIO 350
Evolution (xs)
Prerequisite: BIO 250 Ecology
This course will cover evolutionary principles at the genetic, organismal, and population levels. Topics include genetic and phenotypic variation, natural selection, adaptation, speciation, macroevolution, and phylogenies.  3 Credits 

BIO 390
Communicating Science (s)
Prerequisites: BIO 190 Introduction to Scientific Literature
Scientific communication is a key skill in a scientist’s toolbox. In this class, students will learn how to present scientific research in both written and oral formats. They will also begin to define and research a topic for their Capstone. 1 credit 

BIO/HBS 440
Molecular Mechanism of Disease (xs)
Prerequisite: BIO 301 and CHE 340
Provides insight into how molecular studies can be employed to expand medical research and aid in the development of novel treatments and therapeutics. The course will cover a number of areas selected by the participants. Possible topics include neurodegenerative disorders, prion disease, cancer, and diabetes. 3 credits 

BIO 490
Biology Capstone (f)
Prerequisites: BIO 390 Communicating Science, permission of the instructor
As a culmination of their time in the program, students will present both a written and oral presentation of original literature or laboratory research. 3 credits

Nancy Kohn, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Biology Program Chair
Rubie Burton Academic Center 202
(417) 667-8181, ext. 2212
nkohn@cottey.edu.

Manjira Kumar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology and Chemistry
Rubie Burton Academic Center 212
(417) 667-8181, ext. 2240
mkumar@cottey.edu.

Jason Librande, M.S.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Rubie Burton Academic Center 200
(417) 667-8181, ext. 2213
jlibrande@cottey.edu@cottey.edu.

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