Descriptor Details

  • Organismal Biology, Ecology and Evolution
  • Not Identified
  • 130
  • Sequence (S)
  • 8.0
  • Not Identified
  • Uploaded: 10/12/2017 04:44:08 PM PDT

This course sequence, intended for majors, includes a survey of the biology and diversity of organisms and examines the basic principles governing evolution of organisms and interactions between organisms and the environment. The course sequence emphasizes classification, structure and function of organisms, ecological principles, and mechanisms of evolution.

Eligible for college level math (C-ID MATH 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 151 OR any other course with Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite)


Completed C-ID BIOL 190 (Cell and Molecular Biology); eligible for English Composition (C-ID ENGL 100)

More than one combination of courses may fulfill these requirements; but each combination must include all of the following:

Overview of tree of life

Phylogeny/Evolutionary History of major taxa

Systematics and Taxonomy:  Classification schemes




Survey of animal phyla

Survey of plant phyla

Animal Systems Structure:  Anatomy

Animal Systems Function:  Physiology

Plant systems structure: anatomy

Plant systems function: physiology

Animal Development and life cycles

Plant development and life cycles

Population Ecology

Population structure, growth, regulation, and fluctuation

Intraspecific interactions

Social systems and behavior

Community Ecology

Interspecific interactions:  Predator-prey relations, competition, symbiosis

Community structure and succession

Ecosystem diversity (Biomes)

Ecosystems ecology:

    Trophic structure

Energy flow

Nutrient cycling and ecosystem integrity

Conservation biology

Mechanisms of Evolutionary change:  Natural Selection, Genetic Drift,

       Gene Flow, and Mutation, and Nonrandom Mating

Population genetics

Speciation and Extinction

The laboratory component must include greater than 80% hands-on activities that support the learning goals of the course. Laboratory content must be considered when matching courses to this descriptor. 

Typical laboratory content includes:

Use of experiments to explore course topics.

Appropriate statistical analysis of data.

Population growth modeling.

Measures of species diversity and richness.

Mechanisms of evolution.

And the following for representative organisms in phyla from both animals and plants:

A. Microscopic and gross comparative anatomy, including dissection.

B. Comparative study of functional morphology.

C. Comparative study of physiology.

D. Comparative study of developmental stages and life cycles.

Typical laboratory activities may also include: Simulations, exploratory activities in systematics, collection and analysis of population data, field observations, field sampling methods, field trips, and projects.


  1. Apply the processes of scientific inquiry including experimental design.
  2. Carry out an experiment to test a specific hypothesis using appropriate controls.
  3. Explain the essential elements of life, major hypotheses for life’s history, mechanisms for the diversification of life, and macroevolution.
  4. Apply the tools of evolutionary biology to the analysis and evaluation of historical relationships among organisms.
  5. Describe mechanisms of evolutionary change including micro-evolutionary forces that determine patterns of genetic diversity within species.
  6. Provide evidence for evolution.
  7. Evaluate the ecological relationships of organisms at the population, community, and ecosystem level.
  8. Describe flow of energy within an ecosystem and the role of nutrient cycling in maintaining ecosystem integrity.
  9. Explain fundamental prokaryotic replication, metabolism, and cellular structure in relationship to evolution of diversity.
  10. Compare and contrast differences in animal development and life cycles.
  11. Compare and contrast differences in plant development and life cycles.
  12. Describe how plants and animals maintain homeostasis: water and ion balance, gas exchange, energy and nutrient acquisition, temperature regulation.
  13. For major taxa of protists, fungi, plants and animals,
    1. Identify major groups and arrange them within currently recognized taxa.
    2. Compare and evaluate different phylogenies in terms of relationships amongst taxa.
    3. Describe structural organization/morphology.
    4. Identify and describe structures and relate them to their functions.
    5. Classify individual representative specimens to phylum.

A variety of assessment techniques including examinations, projects, papers, laboratory reports, and laboratory practicals.

A current (pursuant to C-ID policy) college level textbook and laboratory manual supporting the learning objectives of this course, and designed for majors, must be considered when matching courses to this descriptor. For example, Campbell, Raven, Mader.

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  • This descriptor is a sequence composed of at least two courses with a total minimum of 6.0 units of lecture and 2.0 units of lab covering the course content below. All courses used to meet this sequence are recommended to be taken at the same institution.

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