Mission Statement for Introductory Biology Courses
(Biology 111, 111L, 112, 112L)


Biology 111 and 112 are offered as foundation courses for students who are planning to major in science or work in related fields such as the health professions.  These courses are taught with the following broad goals in mind:

1. to provide students with a broad perspective of the field of biology;
2. to introduce them to the major kinds of organisms;
3. to introduce them to how these organisms work and interact;
4. to establish a background for further study in advanced biology courses.

The laboratories are designed to accompany and complement the lecture courses and have as their main goals:

1. to introduce experimental methods;
2. to familiarize students with the major groups of organisms;
3. to introduce the relationships and comparative biology of these organisms.


In addition to providing students with the basic factual content of these courses, the main objectives of the introductory biology courses are:

1. to get students to realize that science operates in the real world as defined by the laws of chemistry and physics;
2. to promote the understanding that science relies on external observations, and not internal convictions, for validation, thus separating science from non-science;
3. to promote the understanding that scientific knowledge is based on the outcome of the testing of hypotheses and theories that are under constant scrutiny and subject to revision based on new observations, and not just a collection of facts;
4. to promote an appreciation for the scientific attitude - a basic curiosity about nature and how it works;
5. to promote an appreciation of humans as a part of the world's ecosystems and the relevance of science to contemporary concerns;
6. to provide a working knowledge of the processes of evolution that explain why many organisms share specific similarities and also display great diverstiy of organization, structure, function, and behavior.

In addition, some objectives specific to the laboratories are to teach how:

1. to design experiments;
2. to gather and interpret data;
3. to analyze results using simple statistical techniques;
4. to use basic laboratory techniques and equipment necessary to prepare students for upper division courses.

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