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Biology

 

Dr. Maureen Romine, Department Chair
Ivan Hilton Science Building, Room 324,
505-454-3264
FAX: 505-454-3103
E-mail: romine_m@nmhu.edu



About

The Department of Biology values teaching and research as equal and essential components of the education of our students and seeks to integrate research with teaching at every possible opportunity in the curriculum. Housed in the Ivan Hilton Science Center, students enjoy modern laboratories and instrumentation.

The department offers both BA and BS programs in biology. A recommended curriculum /or plan of study, is available for all degrees.

For those with an interest in teaching with an emphasis in science, other options, aside from earning a degree in biology, include a BA in general science for secondary school teachers (Grades 7 – 12), a minor in general science for elementary school teachers (Grades K – 5), or a combined science minor.

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Faculty

Sarah Corey-Rivas, Ph.D.
Ben Nelson, DVM
Jesus Rivas, Ph.D.
Maureen Romine, Ph.D.
Jessica Snow, Ph.D.

 


Mission of the Biology Program

The mission of the Biology Program is to provide students with a high quality education that includes experience with research and field projects. The program provides a scientific and technical background that empowers students to successfully pursue science and technology careers or proceed to advanced graduate studies. Faculty strives to make each student’s educational experience challenging and rewarding.

The Biology Program prides itself on its ability to place students into bioscience careers. Data suggest that our graduates are highly successful in being admitted to and completing medical, dental, and veterinary schools and graduate programs nationwide. The department attributes this success to intensive biology laboratory and field experiences with cutting-edge technology and instructors committed to individual student progress. Facilities include laboratories in physiology, microbiology, molecular biology, plant biology, and a greenhouse, as well as nearby field sites for ecological research. A computer laboratory with bioinformatics software is available for classes and student use. Students majoring in biology are taught the practical use of common scientific instrumentation they will encounter in their careers. All biology students seeking a BS are required to complete an undergraduate research project that provides students with a realistic perspective of biology and how scientific investigations are conducted.

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More Program Information

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Pre-Professional and Pre-Med Curriculum

A “pre-professional” student is one who follows an undergraduate academic pathway and enters a post-graduate school to obtain a license to practice medicine. Medical doctoral degrees include allopathic (MD), osteopathy (DO), veterinary medicine (DVM), dentistry (DDS or DMD), podiatry (DPM), pharmacy (PharmD), ophthalmology or optometry (MD or OD), and physical therapy (DPT).

Medical schools usually require completion of an undergraduate degree. While they do not require a specific major for admittance, a biology major is among the most common majors that students complete prior to acceptance to medical school. A biology major with the recommended core of undergraduate courses will provide the basis for much of the material covered on the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) or other related entrance exams. Currently, these core courses are:

  • 2 Introductory Biology Courses
  • 2 General Chemistry Courses
  • 2 Organic Chemistry Courses
  • 1 Biochemistry course
  • 2 Introductory Physics courses
  • 2 Math courses (some schools recommend Calculus)
  • 2 Behavioral Science courses (Psychology and/or Sociology)
  • 2 courses in English/writing

Anatomy and physiology courses are also useful as is a research experience or relevant internship.

All of these core courses can be included in the BS or BA in Biology and completed in four years without the need of any minor. In addition, the Biology department offers a non-thesis master’s degree with biomedical focus that seamlessly integrates with the undergraduate biology major providing our graduates superior preparation for the biomedical field.

Some careers where a biology degree is appropriate are:

Medicine Optometry/Ophthalmology

Dentistry Occupational therapy

Pharmacy Veterinary medicine

Physical therapy Medical technology

Bioengineering Wildlife Conservation

Ecologist Game warden

Botanist K-12 teacher

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Major in Biology (BA)

Required courses: 54-59 credit hours

BIOL 2620 General Biology 1 (4)
BIOL 2110 Principles of Biology Cellular and Molecular Biology (4)
BIOL 3000 Genetics (4)
BIOL 3130 Diversity and Systematics (3)
CHEM 1215 General Chemistry 1 (3)
CHEM 1225 General Chemistry 2 (3)
CHEM 1215L Chemistry Lab 1 (2)
CHEM 1225L Chemistry Lab 2 (2)
CHEM 3410 Organic Chemistry 1 (4)
FOR 3400 Quantitative Methods (3)

Choose one of the following:
BIOL 3010 General Microbiology (4)
BIOL 3020 Animal Structure and Function (4)
BIOL 3030 Plant Structure and Function (4)

Choose one of the following:
BIOL 3890 Ecology (4)
BIOL 4760 Evolution (3)

Choose one of the following:
BIOL 4050 Bacterial Physiology (4)
BIOL 4230 Molecular and Cell Biology (4)

Choose one of the following:
MATH 1430 Applied Calculus (3)
MATH 1250 PreCalculus (5)

Choose one of the following:
PHYS 1510 Algebra Physics 1 (4)
AND
PHYS 1240 Algebra Physics 2 (4)
OR
PHYS 1310 Calculus Physics 1 (5)
AND
PHYS 13200 Calculus Physics 2 (5)

Electives: 8 credit hours
In consultation with your biology adviser, choose any combination of elective to receive a minimum of eight upper-division credit hours (>3000).

Major Total: 62-67 credit hours
Core Requirements: 21 credit hours
Flex Requirements: 10 credit hours
Extended Requirements: 8 credit hours
Proficiency Requirements: 11-17 credit hours
General Electives to 120: 3 – 8 credit hours
Total for degree: 120-128 credit hours*

*A minor is not required. The number of proficiency credit requirements will vary based on student placement scores. The University requires a minimum of 45 upper-division units for the degree.

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Major in Biology (BS)

Biology majors must take the following required courses and electives.
Required courses: 65-71 credit hours

BIOL 2620 Ecology & Evolution (4)
BIOL 2110 Principles of Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology (4)
BIOL 3000 Genetics (4)
BIOL 3130 Diversity and Systematics (3)
CHEM 1215 General Chemistry 1 for STEM Majors (3)
CHEM 1215L Chemistry Lab 1 for STEM Majors (2)
CHEM 1225 General Chemistry 2 for STEM Majors (3)
CHEM 1225 Chemistry Lab 2 for STEM Majors (2)
CHEM 3410 Organic Chemistry 1 (4)
MATH 1250 Trigonometry & Pre-Calculus (5)
MATH 1510 Calculus I (4)
FOR 3400 Quantitative Methods (3)
BIOL 4910 Senior Project (2)
BIOL 4980 Applied Biological Research (1-4)

Choose one of the following:
BIOL 3010 General Microbiology (4)
BIOL 3020 Animal Structure and Function (4)
BIOL 3030 Plant Structure and Function (4)

Choose one of the following:
BIOL 3890 Ecology (4)
BIOL 4760 Evolution (3)

Choose one of the following:
BIOL 4050 Bacterial Physiology (4)
BIOL 4230 Molecular and Cell Biology (4)

Choose one set from the following:
PHYS 1230 Algebra-based Physics 1 (4)
AND
PHYS 1240 Algebra-based Physics 2 (4)
OR
PHYS 1310 Calculus-based Physics 1 (5)
AND
PHYS 1320Calculus-based Physics 2 (5)
Electives: 12 credit hours

In consultation with your biology adviser, choose any combination of electives to receive a minimum of 12 upper-division credit hours (>3000) with at least eight hours from biology. The remainder can be from any other science including biology. If BIOL 3310, 3320, and 4320 are three of the chosen electives for the BS degree in biology, they will be counted as only a total of 8 credits toward the 12 credits required, thus requiring an additional class be taken.

Major Total: 77-83 credit hours
Core Requirements: 21 credit hours
Flex Requirements: 10 credit hours
Extended Requirements: 8 credit hours
Proficiency Requirements: 11-17 credit hours
Total for degree: 127-139 credit hours*
*A minor is not required. The University requires a minimum of 45 upper-division units for the degree.

 

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Major in Biology with a Concentration in Teaching

Biology degree requirement, including the following four credits of electives:
BIOL 3590 Fundamentals of Lab Safety (1)
BIOL 4200 Teaching Science and MATH in Middle and Secondary Schools (3)
And must minor in secondary education

Concentration Total: 69-71 credit hours

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Minor in Biology

Required Courses: 16 credit hours

BIOL 2620 Ecology & Evolution (4)
BIOL 2110 Principles of Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology (4)
Take at least 2 courses of the following list:
BIOL 3000 Genetics (4)
BIOL 3010 General Microbiology (4)
BIOL 3020 Animal Structure and Function (4)
BIOL 3030 Plant Structure and Function (4)
BIOL 3130 Diversity and Systematics (3)
BIOL 3890 Ecology (4)
Electives: 8 hours
Choose at least two 3000-to 4000-level courses in biology.

Minor Total: 24 credit hours

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Pre-Professional and Pre-Med Curriculum

A “pre-professional” student is one who follows an undergraduate academic pathway and enters a post-graduate school to obtain a license to practice medicine. Medical doctoral degrees include allopathic (MD), osteopathy (DO), veterinary medicine (DVM), dentistry (DDS or DMD), podiatry (DPM), pharmacy (PharmD), ophthalmology or optometry (MD or OD), and physical therapy (DPT).

Medical schools usually require completion of an undergraduate degree but do not require a specific major for admittance. There is, however, a recommended core of undergraduate courses that will provide the basis for much of the material present on the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) or other related entrance exams. Currently, these core courses are:

  • 2 Introductory Biology Courses
  • 2 General Chemistry Courses
  • 2 Organic Chemistry Courses
  • 1 Biochemistry course
  • 2 Introductory Physics courses
  • 2 Math courses (some schools recommend Calculus)
  • 2 Behavioral Science courses (Psychology and/or Sociology)
  • 2 courses in English/writing

Anatomy and physiology courses are also useful as is a research experience or relevant internship.

All of these core courses can be included in the BS or BA in Biology and completed in four years without the need of any minor. In addition, the Biology department offers a non-thesis master’s with biomedical focus that seamlessly integrates with the undergraduate biology major providing our graduates superior preparation for the biomedical field.

Some careers where a biology degree is appropriate are:

Medicine Optometry/Ophthalmology

Dentistry Occupational therapy

Pharmacy Veterinary medicine

Physical therapy Medical technology

Bioengineering Wildlife Conservation

Ecologist


Information for Pre-Professional and Pre-Med Students

This information is provided for students of New Mexico Highlands University who are interested in careers in medicine. The following topics are addressed here.

 

What is a “Pre-Professional” or “Pre-Med” Student?

A “pre-professional” student is one who is following an undergraduate curriculum to prepare for a post baccalaureate program leading to a license to practice. Two major practice disciplines that require professional licensure credentials are medicine and law.

“Pre-med” usually refers to a student who is following a track that leads toward a Doctorate of Medicine degree from a medical school. Allopathy (MD) and osteopathy (DO) are medical doctoral degree that cover many specialties including family practice, OBGYN, orthopedics, surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, dermatology, oncology, ophthalmology, and psychiatry to name a few. Medical doctoral degrees also include veterinary medicine (DVM), dentistry (DDS or DMD), and podiatry (DPM).

Other advanced degrees in healthcare such as pharmacy (PharmD), optometry (OD), and physical therapy (DPT) lead to careers that are considered professional rather than medical. Undergraduate curricula in these areas are usually not described as “pre-med” but may still be included under “pre-professional”.

The following information applies more directly to pre-medical students; although, all pre-professional students might find useful what is covered here with regard to admission tests, core requirements, and processes.


 

Core Courses to Include in Your Undergraduate Major when Preparing for Medical School

Getting into medical school is not necessarily related to your specific undergraduate major; although, some undergraduate programs of study may be more helpful than others. Science/math/behavioral science core curricula for medical, dental, and veterinary schools can be quite similar. A curriculum that includes more—rather than less—chemistry, physics, and math generally leads to a better performance on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and a better chance for admission to medical school.

Without reference to a specific undergraduate major, the recommended science/math/social science core courses covering material on the MCAT are:

  • 2 introductory Biology courses with labs that are in the Biology major (some medical schools require 3 or 4 courses; a physiology course sequence is also useful)
  • 2 General Chemistry courses (I and II) with labs that are in the Chemistry major
  • 2 Organic Chemistry courses (I and II) with labs that are in the Chemistry major
  • 1 upper-level Biochemistry course with the Organic Chemistry II course as prerequisite
  • 2 introductory Physics courses with labs (some medical schools require Calculus-based Physics)
  • 2 introductory courses in the behavioral sciences (one each in Psychology and Sociology)
  • 2 Math courses (which may already be Biology/Chemistry/Physics degree requirements; some medical schools recommend calculus)
  • 2 courses in English/Writing

These core courses tend to align with minimal, undergraduate course requirements for admission to most medical schools and are the courses that should be taken regardless of major.

Pharmacy, optometry, and physical therapy doctoral programs, are not classified as medical schools, do not have standard undergraduate core science courses, do not require the MCAT, and may not even require a bachelor’s degree for admission. Early on, students should check specific requirements for the schools to which they might apply.


 

Degree Programs and Curricula as Suggested by Pre-Professional Advisors that Pre-Med Majors Typically Choose Include (click to view specific curricula)

Biology Majors and Pathways [link]

Chemistry Major and Pathways (PDF)

These programs can provide 4-year baccalaureate science degrees that include the requisite core courses. If remedial courses are required as you begin your college coursework, your pathway to a degree might require summer courses and/or take more than four years. Additional elective courses may be added through advisement depending on your specific interests and goals.


 

Qualities Possessed by Applicants Considered by Medical Schools Include

  • a good score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT, more on this is found below)
  • consistency in maintaining a very good (exceptional) undergraduate grade point average (GPA) especially in the core courses while progressing through your undergraduate program, perhaps even finding time to include an undergraduate research project
  • in addition to the core courses, a choice of relevant and academically rigorous major courses and electives with course completion and time spent to obtain undergraduate degree also being factors
  • being able to read with comprehension and to write well—good communication skills
  • a demonstrated commitment to the medical field that could include a summer internship or “shadowing” a healthcare provider related to your field of interest as well as volunteer work
  • a depth and breadth of knowledge of current issues not limited to those in medicine
  • being able to thoughtfully answer the question “Why do you want to be a doctor (or a dentist or a podiatrist, or a veterinarian, or…)?”
  • communicating with confidence and sincerity—listening and responding—in a pre-admission interview with medical school faculty members or the admission committee or medical students while explaining, discussing, and defending your choice of profession and your commitment to it.

 

Application Processes and Admission Tests

The application processes for most medical and professional schools are online and centralized. Required admission tests are usually given at testing centers located throughout the nation. These tests are demanding, differ in emphasis from one medical field to another, and assess your adeptness in applying your knowledge and your reasoning skills to various scenarios—using those critical thinking abilities that you have developed. Here is how some of the various admission tests shake out.

  • The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test­) is required for admission to MD, DO, DPM, and usually DVM programs (some DVM programs may require only the Graduate Record Exam, the GRE). More on how the MCAT is administered and scored is given below.
  • Dental students take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) overseen by the American Dental Association (ADA).
  • Pharmacy students take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) offered by American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). The Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) is the centralized application service for schools of pharmacy.
  • Physical Therapy applicants take the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) made available through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) or alternatively, may require the GRE.

Doing well on the MCAT (DAT, PCAT, GRE or other admission test) is very important. One should study hard and prepare specifically for the exam without overdependence on college coursework—do not think that your college coursework is all that you need to review. Be very disciplined. Significant, routine, uninterrupted, focused study time is required.

Practice tests along with study materials and review strategies are available to help prepare for pre-professional examinations. Seek them out; use them for practicing—over and over.


 

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)—Some Specifics

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score is the single most important factor considered for medical school admission. It provides a common metric for evaluating the academic preparation of all applicants. The MCAT is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is the AAMC’s centralized medical school online application processing service. The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine’s (AACPM) manages admissions to colleges of podiatry.

The MCAT is offered nationally more than 20 times a year. You may take it up to 3 times in a single testing year, 4 times during a two consecutive-year period, and 7 times in a lifetime.

The now retired “old” MCAT, offered from 1991 – 2015, focused on verbal reasoning, physical sciences, and biological sciences. The current test, offered since April 2015, requires mastery of the same basic core material. It has many more questions (230 versus 144) than the old MCAT and, at just over six hours, is about three hours longer. It is divided into four sections:

(1) Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems,

(2) Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems,

(3) Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and

(4) Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)

Scores in each of the four sections range from 118 (low) to 132 (high) with 125 being the center of each section score. An overall (total) score for all four sections is also reported and is between 472 and 528 with 500 being the midpoint of all total scores. (For the old test, individual section scores ranged from 1 to 15 with an overall score being between 3 and 45. The mean of all total scores originally was set at 25 but drifted upward over time.)

A majority of approximately 50,000 yearly applicants to United States medical schools who take the MCAT, major in Biology (53%) or in the physical sciences (Chemistry/Biochemistry/Physics, 11%). From all of the applicants, about 39% are accepted.


 

Medical School Application Process, Materials, and Timeline

As you apply for medical school admission, you should have readily available as needed

  • your continually updated autobiographical sketch or essay
  • your list of professional and personal references—people who will submit good recommendations for you
  • all college-level transcripts
  • MCAT (DAT, GRE, etc.) scores (If there is a Pre-Professional Advisory Committee, you may be asked to keep these items up-to-date and on file there.)
  • a “Plan B” just in case (this being a possible interview question—answer succinctly without dwelling on it) Re-application or a post baccalaureate pre-medical prep program or an “offshore” medical school may serve as Plan B but might exact a price in time and money.

The application process for all medical and professional schools should begin 12 to 18 months prior to the beginning of that school’s classes. For example, students wishing to start in the medical school’s fall term should have their American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application completed and submitted by the summer of the previous year, have taken their MCAT exam in the Spring and certainly by August of that previous year—with substantial amount of the core courses having also been completed by then—and have notified their references to be prepared to submit letters on their behalf.

Most medical schools use the AMCAS centralized application site, so you do not have to send separate applications to each medical school to which you are applying. When you apply to medical schools through AMCAS, the AAMC also sends your MCAT scores to your designated schools along with your AMCAS application. (Similar centralized application processes may be available for other medical professional programs.)


 

Finally…

Getting into medical school requires a consistent effort and performance at a high level. It is hard work that can be time consuming. There is no single, correct path. Those around you can help, but it is mostly up to you. Be prepared to stand firm and, if necessary, distance yourself from those who do not understand and support your commitment.


 

Pre-Med/Pre-Professional Faculty Advising Contacts

Ben S. Nelson, DVM
HSCI 326
Phone: 505.454.3305
Email: nelson_ben@nmhu.edu

Jan M. Shepherd, PhD
HSCI 237
Phone: 505.454.3464
Email: jshepherd@nmhu.edu

Jessica Snow, PhD
HSCI 136
Phone: 505.426.2118
Email: jbsnow@nmhu.edu

 

This major is under the College of Arts and Sciences


Biology (BIOL) Course Descriptions

BIOL 1100. General Biology (4); 3, 2 Fa, Sp
This course introduces non-science majors to basic biological concepts including, but not limited to the properties of life, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, evolution, biodiversity, and ecology. In the laboratory, students will learn quantitative skills involved in scientific measurement and data analysis. Students will also perform experiments related to topics such as biochemistry, cell structure and function, molecular biology, evolution, taxonomic classification and phylogeny, biodiversity, and ecology.
In the laboratory, students will learn quantitative skills involved in scientific measurement and data analysis. Students will also perform experiments related to topics such as biochemistry, cell structure and function, molecular biology, evolution, taxonomic classification and phylogeny, biodiversity, and ecology
Required of biology majors who are not yet eligible for ENGL 1110 or have an ACT MATH score of <17. Does not count toward biology major. Previous NMHU BIOL 110.

BIOL 1140. Biology for Health Sciences (4); 3, 2 Fa, Sp
This introductory biology course for students interested in health science careers focuses on the concepts of chemistry, cell biology, metabolism, genetics, and regulation of gene expression. In the laboratory, students will learn skills involved in scientific measurement, microscopy, and mathematical analysis. Students will also perform experiments and data analysis related to cell structure and function, chemistry, enzyme activity, and genetics. This introductory course is for non-science majors interested in professions related to human conditions. Previous NMHU BIOL 131.

BIOL 1350-4350. Selected Topics in Biology (1-4 VC) Var
Course in a topic or topics in biology. May be repeated with change of content. Previous NMHU BIOL 135-435.

BIOL 2110. Principles of Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology (4); 3, 2 Fa, Sp
This course introduces students to major topics in general biology. This course focuses on the principles of structure and function of living things at the molecular, cellular and organismic levels of organization. Major topics included are introduction to the scientific process, chemistry of cells, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, cell division, DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Laboratory exercises focus on major topics including introduction to the scientific process, chemistry of cells, organization of cells, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, cell division, genetics, DNA replication, transcription, and translation. The prerequisite is CHEM 1215 and lab. Previous NMHU BIOL 212.

BIOL 2620. Ecology & Evolution (4); 3, 2 Fa, Sp
This course provides an initial foundation in the concepts and models in the fields of evolution and ecology. There will be a strong emphasis on understanding the process of science as applied by ecologists and evolutionary biologists. By the end of this course, you will understand the major drivers of evolution and the major ecological patterns and processes in nature. Evolutionary concepts will include Darwinian principles, evolutionary processes within populations (including natural selection), the fossil record, the origin and diversification of life, and phylogenetics. Ecological concepts will include global patterns of species diversity and abundance, organismal and behavioral ecology, population dynamics, community ecology, ecosystem processes and conservation biology. Your analytical and quantitative abilities will be reinforced and improved, and you will gain skills in critical thinking that will make you a more scientifically-aware citizen. Laboratory exercises focus on concepts associated with ecology and evolutionary biology: Darwinian principles, the fossil record and patterns of diversification of ancient life, evolution of populations, speciation, phylogenetics, ecology and study of the biosphere, behavioral ecology, population ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, and conservation ecology.

Prerequisites: Eligible for ENGL 1110 and have an ACT MATH score >16. Recommended corequisite: CHEM 1215 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 211.

BIOL 3000. Genetics (4); 3, 2 Sp
Fundamental concepts of genetics. The course will cover Mendelian genetics, population genetics and the fundamentals of DNA replication, transcription, translation, and regulation. Prerequisites: BIOL 2110, CHEM 1215, MATH 1215 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 300.

BIOL 3010. General Microbiology (4); 3, 2 Fa
This course offers students an intensive and comprehensive introduction to microbiology. The course will focus on the physiology and molecular biology of bacteria and viruses. Some emphasis will be placed on microbial pathogenesis. Prerequisite: BIOL 2110 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 301.

BIOL 3020. Animal Structure and Function (4); 3, 2 Alt, Fa, Odd
An introduction to the anatomy, embryology, and physiology of animals. Prerequisite: BIOL 2620 and 2110 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 302.

BIOL 3030. Plant Structure and Function (4); 3, 2 Sp
Comparative microscopic and gross structures of plants and major physiological processes. Prerequisite: BIOL 2620 and 2110 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 303.

BIOL 3130. Diversity and Systematics (3); Fa
This course introduces the student to the diversity of life. Students will become acquainted with the history of life on earth, the accepted theories for the evolution of ice, and the rise of the different taxonomic groups. Students will study the structure, function, ecology, and taxonomy of bacteria, fungi, protists, plants, and animals with an evolutionary context. The course centers on identifying, learning, and describing the significant adaptations of the major groups and evolutionary relationships among taxa. Prerequisites: BIOL 2620 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 313.

BIOL 3310. Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 (4); 3, 2 Fa
Structure and function of the human body at the cellular, tissue, organ, and organ-system levels of organization. Prerequisite: BIOL 2110, and Prerequisite or Corequisite: CHEM 1225 and CHEM 1225L and completion with a grade of C or better or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 331.

BIOL 3320. Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 (4); 3, 2 Sp
A continuation of BIOL 3310. Structure and function of the human body at the cellular, tissue organ, and organ-system levels of organization. Prerequisites: BIOL 3310 and completion with a grade of C or better or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 332.

BIOL 3590. Fundamental Principles of Laboratory Safety (1); 1 Fa
Introduction to the principles of laboratory safety including the proper use of emergency safety equipment and personal protective equipment, instructions for the safe handling, labeling, storage and disposal of chemicals, and safety in the biology and physics labs. Emphasis will be placed on preparing science educators in safety procedures. Prerequisites: CHEM 1225 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 359.

BIOL 3890. Ecology (4); 3, 2 Alt, Fa, Odd
Organizational and functional processes of ecosystems: distributions, abundance, and interactions of organisms. Prerequisite: BIOL 3130 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 389.

BIOL 3990. Undergraduate Research (1-6 VC) Var
Special research problems for selected biology majors. A terminal research paper and oral presentation are required. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 399.

BIOL 4050. Bacterial Physiology (4); 3, 2 Var
Aspects of the physiology and molecular biology of microorganisms. The genetics, molecular structure, and functional aspects of prokaryotic cells will be discussed. Bacterial metabolism will be studied, including energy production and use by aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. Concepts of cellular growth, biosynthesis, and molecular genetics will also be addressed. Prerequisites: BIOL 3000, 3010 and CHEM 1225 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 405.

BIOL 4150. Biotechnology (4); 2, 4 Var
Introduces students to latest techniques in biotechnology including recombinant DNA, tissue culture, and organelle isolation as well as genetic engineering, industrial microbiology, and agricultural biotechnology. Prerequisites: BIOL 3000, and CHEM 1215 or permission of instructor. A special fee is assessed. Previous NMHU BIOL 415.

BIOL 4230. Molecular and Cell Biology (4); 3, 2 Sp
Detailed exploration of basic cellular chemistry, macromolecules, cell structure and function, and mechanisms and regulation of gene expression. The laboratory will explore eukaryotic cell biology using modern molecular biology techniques. Topics include DNA and protein structure and function. Prerequisites: BIOL 3000 and one of the following: BIOL 3130, 3010, 3020, 3030, 3310 or 3320 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 423.

BIOL 4240. Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory (1); 0, 2 Sp
Laboratory course to accompany BIOL 423. This lab is required of students who have satisfied the molecular and cellular biology lecture requirement but have not taken the laboratory portion. Previous NMHU BIOL 424.

BIOL 4250. Marine Biology (4); 3, 2 Fa, 3 yr cycle
Major groups of marine invertebrates and algae are observed and studied in their natural habitats. Students participate in a 10-day field trip during the spring break, with transportation and room charge to be determined at the time of the class. Enrollment is limited to 16. Prerequisites: Major or minor in biology, BIOL 3130, and permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 425.

BIOL 4270. Immunology (3); Alt, Fa, Even
Study of diseases of vertebrates with emphasis on host-parasite interactions. The course includes principles of isolation, characterization, and control of pathogenic organisms, as well as principles of vertebrate response to infection, antigen-antibody interaction, hypersensitivity, and autoimmune diseases. Prerequisites: BIOL 3130 and BIOL 3000 or BIOL 3310 and 3320. Previous NMHU BIOL 427.

BIOL 4400. Conservation Biology (3); Alt, Sp, Odd
This course intends to familiarize the student with the major conservation issues of our time and encourage them to think critically about the different problems facing the planet as it moves into the future. This course analyzes the interrelationship between human activities and the environmental crisis and studies alternatives for the preservation of biodiversity. Through the use of case studies and primary literature, students will get a deeper understanding of the complexities associated with the conservation of biodiversity. Prerequisites: BIOL 3130 and BIOL 3890 or FOR 4310. Previous NMHU BIOL 440.

BIOL 4450. Biology of Vertebrates (3); Fa, 3 yr cycle
Evolution, comparative morphology, classification, and life histories of vertebrates. Prerequisite: BIOL 3130. Previous NMHU BIOL 445

BIOL 4550. Wildlife Diseases (3); 3 Var
An introduction to viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases found in wildlife species. The diagnosis and management of the diseases are explored. Prerequisites: BIOL 3130, BIOL 3000 and one of the following: BIOL 3010, 3020 or 3030 and permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 455.

BIOL 4570. Advanced Wildlife Management (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
This course presents advanced wildlife management concepts and is intended for senior and master-level students that have already taken, or are currently enrolled, in ecology or wildlife management courses. This course addresses the different goals of wildlife management: control of exotic species, restoration of endangered ones and harvesting species via game hunting or commercial use. Students will be expected to master concepts of population control, community ecology, and methods used to analytically calculate population parameters. Prerequisite: BIOL 3890 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 457.

BIOL 4630. Nutrition (3); 3 Var
This course provides students with an understanding of animal nutrition and appreciation of the importance of nutrition in health and economics. Subjects to be covered will include digestive anatomy, physiology, and nutrition of various animal species. Prerequisites: BIOL 3000 or BIOL 3310 and 3320 and permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 463.

BIOL 4700. Comparative Animal Behavior (4); 3, 2 Fa, 3 yr cycle
This course presents the basics of animal behavior and is intended for senior and graduate students that have already taken, or are taking, classes in evolution and ecology. The course spans from basic genetics of behavior to the learning and environmental-based issues within a comparative and evolutionary context. Students must understand the mechanisms and evolution of animal behavior. The topics we will explore include the history of the scientific study of behavior; tools and approaches used to study behavior; and the interrelationship with its ecological and evolutionary aspects. Prerequisite: BIOL 3130. Previous NMHU BIOL 470.

BIOL 4720. Human Evolutionary Behavior (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
This course intends to familiarize students with evolutionary forces that shape human behavior. This emergent field deals with evolutionary interpretation of human behavior including, group living, mating preference, kin and sexual conflicts, and habitat preference. Students are expected to understand and incorporate principles of evolutionary thinking in designing scientific questions and testable hypothesis about human behavior. This course is also called Evolutionary Psychology in other universities. Prerequisite: BIO 3130 or permission of the instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 472.

BIOL 4740. Tropical Ecology (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
This course presents the basics of tropical ecology and is intended for senior or graduate students that have already taken, or are taking, classes in evolution and ecology. The course spans from basic definitions of tropics geographically to how basic ecological processes work under the particular conditions in the tropics. The course emphasizes aspects related to the high diversity in the tropics in a comparative approach drawing from the students’ experiences in temperate systems. Prerequisite: BIOL 3890 or other junior-level ecology courses. Previous NMHU BIOL 474.

BIOL 4750. Field Tropical Ecology (1-4 VC); Su, 3 yr cycle
This course presents the basics of Tropical Ecology and is intended for senior or graduate students that have already taken an upper level class of tropical ecology. This is a hands-on course where students are expected to learn the natural history of representative organisms of the system they study. The practical exam will involve knowledge of taxonomy of plants and animals as well as their ecology and role in the ecosystem. Students are expected to keep a field notebook with carefully noted observations of the ecosystem as well as notes of their field project. Prerequisite: BIOL 4740 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 475.

BIOL 4760. Evolution (3); Alt, Fa, Even
Evolution, studied in terms of molecular, Mendelian, and population genetics. Prerequisite: BIOL 3000 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 476.

BIOL 4770. Macroevolution (3); Fa, 3 yr cycle
Macroevolution is the study of patterns and processes driving the diversity of species on earth. In this course, students will learn how patterns of phylogenetic diversity are distributed geographically, and through time, particularly in relation to conservation challenges in the 21st century. Students will analyze data to learn how processes of evolution influence diversity at and above the species level. Topics include: speciation, hybridization, diversity, coevolution, the extinction crisis, phylogenetics, phytogeography, biogeography, contemporary evolution and humans, and related topics. Prerequisite: BIOL 4760 or BIOL 3890 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 477.

BIOL 4800. Parasitology (4); 2, 4 Fa, 3 yr cycle
An introduction to the taxonomy and life cycles of vertebrate parasites and pathogenic effects upon their animal hosts: protozoan, trematode, scythed, nematode, and acanthocephalan parasites of domestic animals and man. Prerequisites: BIOL 3130 or BIOL 3310 and 3320 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 480.

BIOL 4810. Developmental Biology (4); 3, 2 Fa, 3 yr cycle
This course investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate animal development. Topics include fertilization cleavage, gastrulation, axis specification, organogenesis, morphologies, and stem cells. Laboratory sessions focus on experimental manipulations of early invertebrate and vertebrate embryos and emphasize student-designed research projects. Prerequisites: BIOL 3130 and 3000 or BIOL 3310 and 3320. Previous NMHU BIOL 481.

BIOL 4850. Endocrinology (4); 3, 2 Alt, Sp, Even
This course reviews the embryological origin, histological structure, and function of the endocrine glands. Individual organs, the hormones it produces, and how its function may be integrated at the systemic and cellular level will be examined. Endocrine topics will be presented with real-world examples and presented in a comparative manner among species. Prerequisites: BIOL 3130 or BIOL 3310 and 3320 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 485.

BIOL 4870. Histology (4); 2, 4 Alt, Sp, Odd
The microanatomy and functional organization of basic tissues: epithelium, connective tissue, cartilage, bone, muscle, and nerve. The course covers the histology of the blood and lymph vascular systems, glands, and secretions, particularly of man. Prerequisite: BIOL 3130 or 3310 and 3320 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 487.

BIOL 4890. Molecular Evolution and Ecology (4); 3, 2 Sp, 3 yr cycle
Molecular ecology explores the application of molecular techniques to attain a deeper understanding of ecological systems. Themes of evolutionary and ecological theory, behavioral ecology, genetics, phytogeography, and conservation genetics will be covered. Application-based content will include molecular identification techniques for individuals and species, landscape and population genetics, hybridization, genomic methods for ecology, and measuring adaptive variation. Technical applications will include data analysis using current software in the field. Prerequisites: BIOL 3000 and 4760 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 489.

BIOL 4900. Independent Study (1-6 VC); Var
Individual study arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 490.

BIOL 4910. Senior Project (2); 1, 3-4 Fa
With the help of the instructor and a faculty mentor, students will use the theoretical and experimental expertise acquired in their classes to develop a scientific question; design an appropriate laboratory, field, or other methods of study to gather information that will help them answer the question; and begin the study that will be completed during the next semester. Prerequisite: Senior classification in biology or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 491.

BIOL 4930. Field Botany (2); 1, 2 Var
Qualitative and quantitative techniques of community analysis, including floral sampling techniques for estimating population demographic patterns. The taxonomy and natural history of representative groups of land plants will be studied in the field. Prerequisite: BIOL 3030 or 3130. Previous NMHU BIOL 493.

BIOL 4940. Field Zoology (3); 0, 6 Alt, Fa, Odd
Qualitative and quantitative techniques of community analysis, including faunal sampling techniques to estimate population demographic patterns. The taxonomy and natural history of representative groups of land animals will be studied in the field. Prerequisite: BIOL 3020 or 3130. Previous NMHU BIOL 494.

BIOL 4980. Applied Biological Research (1-4 VC); Fa, Sp
In this capstone course students participate in a research project where they have the opportunity to apply the results of their college preparation. Each class will conduct research toward a biological hypothesis or question chosen by the instructor. Each student will investigate a specific aspect of the broader question culminating with the preparation of a poster, presentation, and/or paper. Students will participate in an applied hands-on research project generating original data that they will compile, analyze, and communicate their results. Prerequisites: BIOL 4910 Senior Project I. Corequisite: permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 498.

BIOL 4990. Independent Research (1-6 VC); Var
Individual research arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU BIOL 499.


This major is under the College of Arts and Sciences