Programs

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Chair:  Maria Bertagnolli
Professors:  J. Beckstead, M. Bertagnolli, D. Boose, W. Ettinger, H. Lefcort, P. Pauw, N. Staub
Associate Professors: K. Anders, G. Chang, J. Haydock, B. Swanson
Assistant Professors: E. Addis, M. Poxleitner
Professor Emeritus:  R. Prusch

The Biology Department offers a selection of courses that helps students to understand the unity, diversity and complexity of life at the molecular, cellular, organismal, and ecological levels using evolutionary principles as the unifying theme. Students in the Biology program learn concepts in subdisciplines of biology and acquire scientific problem solving skills through lectures, discussions, laboratory exercises, and research. The program is aimed at preparing students for a broad range of biology-oriented careers, such as those in medicine, biotechnology, environmental science, research, and teaching.

The Bachelor of Science degree is designed for students preparing for a career in biology, including continued training in graduate programs in a broad range of subdisciplines of biology, as well as medical, dental, and veterinary school. Students interested in careers in biological research should consider the Research Concentration. Students interested in biochemistry and molecular biology may consider several options. For a course of study with a more biological emphasis, students may consider a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in chemistry. This provides the equivalent of the biochemistry degree recommended by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. For a more biochemical emphasis, students may consider the Biochemistry degree offered in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  

The Bachelor of Arts degree, in coordination with the teacher certification program in the School of Education, prepares students to teach biology at the secondary level. The Bachelor of Arts degree may be suitable for certain graduate programs that do not require physics or more than two semesters of chemistry such as wildlife biology or ecology. However, the Bachelor of Science degree allows more options, even within these subdisciplines. A Bachelor of Arts degree allows students to take more elective courses in other departments at the university, thus gaining a broader liberal arts education. A minor in biology is offered for students interested in careers that integrate biological principals with other fields, including political science, engineering, business, environmental studies, and scientific journalism.

The Biology department also participates in the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Concentration, which is open to all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. Biology faculty teach the science portion of the Environmental Studies curriculum, which includes either Human Ecology (BIOL 123), Ecology-for Biology majors (BIOL 102), Field Botany (BIOL 140, ENVS 110), Field Studies in Biodiversity (BIOL 159, ENVS 111), or approved sections of Core Topics (BIOL 199), followed by Case Studies in Environmental Science (ENVS 200). Members of the Biology Department also advise environmental studies students, and collaborate in teaching the concentration's capstone course, Symposium in Environmental Studies (ENVS 499)

The Biology curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad background in biology. During the first two years, all students receive a foundation in basic biological principles by taking Information Flow in Biological Systems (BIOL 105) and Energy Flow in Biological Systems (BIOL 106). These classes expose students to the core concepts of evolution, structure and function, information flow/exchange/storage, energy pathways and transformations, and systems. The introductory laboratory (BIOL 105L) gives them an authentic scientific experience.  At the intermediate level, students take integrative courses in Physiology and Biodiversity (BIOL 205), Ecology (BIOL 206) and Genetics (BIOL 207) that build on the core concepts.  Courses in General Chemistry (CHEM 101) and Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 230) are required for students to understand the structure and function of biological and how these molecules interact in living systems. Students earning the B.S. Major in Biology are also required to take Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 331) and Intro. to Bioanalytical Chemistry (CHEM 240) as well as a year of physics. Students are encouraged to choose, in consultation with their advisor, a set of upper division courses. Students must complete an Advanced Topics course (BIOL 399), preferably in their junior year. In this course students read, analyze, and discuss primary research literature on selected biological topics. Finally, students are required to complete the Senior Colloquium (BIOL 499) in their senior year, which provides practice in the application of students' mastery of biological knowledge through discussion of a broad range of literature. 

Laboratory work is an important component of the biology curriculum and complements classroom learning. Beginning with the introductory courses, laboratories provide students with the opportunity to apply the scientific method of inquiry to experimental models while learning techniques and critical thinking skills that are vital to a successful career in science. Moreover, the Biology Department encourages students to participate in faculty research programs  (areas include cell biology, vertebrate biology, evolutionary biology, plant physiology, population and community ecology, animal behavior, genetics and biochemistry). Interested students should contact specific faculty members concerning the availability of research opportunities.

Some courses are specifically designed to fulfill requirements for non-science majors. These include courses that fulfill the laboratory science requirement for the core curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences: Human Ecology (BIOL 123 and BIOL 123L), Field Botany (BIOL 140 and BIOL 140L), Field Studies in Biodiversity (BIOL 159), and Core Topics (BIOL 199 and BIOL 199L); and those that fulfill the mathematics or natural science requirement of the core curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences: Biological Concepts (BIOL 100), Science and Religion (BIOL 134), and Biology of Medicine (BIOL 165).

B.S. Major in Biology: 62 credits
Lower Division
BIOL 105BIOL 105L Information Flow in Biological Systems 4 credits
BIOL 106 Energy Flow in Biological Systems 3 credits
BIOL 205BIOL 205L Physiology and Biodiversity 4 credits
BIOL 206BIOL 206L Ecology 4 credits
BIOL 207BIOL 207L Genetics 4 credits
PHYS 101PHYS 101L (or PHYS 103PHYS 103L) 4 credits
PHYS 102PHYS 102L (or PHYS 204PHYS 204L) 4 credits
CHEM 101CHEM 101L General Chemistry 4 credits
CHEM 230CHEM 230L Organic Chemistry I 5 credits
CHEM 240CHEM 240L Intro. to Bioanalytical Chemistry 4 credits
Upper Division*
CHEM 331CHEM 331L Organic Chemistry II 4 credits
BIOL 399 Advanced Topics 2 credits
BIOL Upper Division Electives 15 credits
BIOL 499 Senior Colloquium 1 credit
B.A. Major in Biology: 40 credits
Lower Division
BIOL 105BIOL 105L Information Flow in Biological Systems 4 credits
BIOL 106 Energy Flow in Biological Systems 3 credits
BIOL 205BIOL 205L Physiology and Biodiversity 4 credits
BIOL 206BIOL 206L Ecology 4 credits
BIOL 207BIOL 207L Genetics 4 credits
CHEM 101CHEM 101L General Chemistry 4 credits
CHEM 230CHEM 230L Organic Chemistry I 5 credits
BIOL 399 Advanced. Topics 2 credits

Upper Division*
BIOL Upper Division Electives


9 credits

BIOL 499 Senior Colloquium 1 credit


Minor in Biology: 28 credits
Lower Division
BIOL 105BIOL 105L Information Flow in Biological Systems 4 credits
BIOL 106 Energy Flow in Biological Systems 3 credits
BIOL 205BIOL 205L Physiology and Biodiversity 4 credits
BIOL 206BIOL 206L Ecology 4 credits
BIOL 207BIOL 207L Genetics 4 credits
CHEM 101CHEM 101L General Chemistry  4 credits
Upper Division
BIOL Upper Division Electives 5 credits



* A prerequisite for BIOL 205, 206 and 207 is a C- grade or better in BIOL 105, BIOL 105L and BIOL 106.  For upper division biology electives, a minimum of 10 credits (BS), 6 credits (BA), or 4 credits (Minor) must be biology classes taken from Gonzaga faculty: students participating in School for Field Studies programs or other study abroad programs should make note. All classes should be chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.

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BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT
Dr. Maria Bertagnolli
Department Chair
502 E. Boone Avenue AD 5
Spokane, WA 99258
Phone: (509) 313-6687
bertagnolli@gonzaga.edu

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