Life Science Programs
The Life Sciences Department offers courses that support the Associate of Arts,
Associate of Fine Arts, and Associate of Applied Science Degrees.
These courses are designed to introduce students to the diversity within the plant
kingdom and among groups of organisms traditionally studied by botanists; to introduce
students to the structures of the vascular plants and their functions; and to introduce
students to vascular plant taxonomy and field botany using collection, preservation
and specimen preparation techniques. As a result of participation in these courses
students can prepare themselves to enter upper division botany courses with confidence;
to identify plants in the Pacific Northwest and use floras from any region; and
to prepare plant specimens for permanent storage and use in scientific investigations.
These courses involve a study of the basic concepts of ecology including ecosystem
structure and function, energy flow, biogeochemical cycles, limiting factors, population
dynamics, and community interactions. Emphasis is placed on use of the scientific
method to understand man’s current environmental problems and in the development
of possible solutions.
These courses provide an integrated view of the living world including the nature
of sciences, evolution of biological organization, composition and organization
the composition and organization of living material, metabolism, control, reproduction,
heredity, and ecological relationships. Students will develop a basic understanding
of the principles forming the foundation of modern biology. Such principles include
the chemical and cellular basis of life; flow of energy in biological systems; Mendelian
and molecular genetics; reproduction and development of organisms, ecological relationships;
and evolution of plants and animals.
Human Anatomy and Physiology
These courses provide integrated study of the human body structure and function.
Students will cover introductory cytology and histology, the integumentary, skeletal,
muscular, and nervous systems, and sensory organs. Major body systems such as the
digestive, urinary, respiratory, endocrine, reproductive, and blood and lymph systems
are also covered. Students will develop a basic understanding of vocabulary as well
as structure and functioning of the above systems. In addition, students will develop
skills in use of the microscope, dissection, and other manipulative laboratory skills.
This subject area includes an introduction to the study of bacteria, viruses, fungi,
and protozoa. Coursework includes microbial structure; physiology and genetics;
physical, chemical, and immunological control of microbes; and the role of microbes
in disease. Laboratory skills such as staining, media preparation, isolation of
microbes, their cultivation, and bacterial identification techniques are included.
These courses are designed to introduce students to scientific study of food in
its relationship to human health and performance. Students are introduced to proteins,
carbohydrates, fats, water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Macro and micro-minerals
and water are studied with respect to their metabolic functions, physical and chemical
properties, deficiency signs and symptoms, and toxicity symptoms. In addition, food
processing and its effects on the nutrient availability of foods, the uses, abuses,
and regulation of food additives are addressed.
Students studying paleontology are introduced to the history of life over geologic
time as represented by fossils of animals, plants and other organisms. Coursework
includes the morphology and anatomy of ancient organisms as well as evolutionary
relationships among them.
These courses are designed to introduce students to diversity within the animal
kingdom including a comprehensive survey of animal phyla. Students are introduced
to the morphology and classification, anatomy, physiology, evolution, and ecology
of various animal groups. In addition, students learn from laboratory sessions and
field trips relating classroom information to organisms in their environments.