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Trends in Biology

Course Code: BIOL 1100
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Biology
Credits: 4.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course offers an overview of essential biological concepts and principles, and their connection with current issues in society. Topics include genes and inheritance, evolution, the diversity of life, ecology, as well as form and function in plants and animals. This is a laboratory course for students who are not majoring in sciences. It does not fulfill the prerequisites for second and third-year biology courses.

Course Content

1. Scientific Thinking

  • Making observations
  • Formulating and testing hypotheses
  • Scientific theories

 2. Molecules of Life & the Cell

  • Macromolecules and Lipids
  • Main components of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

 3. DNA, Genes and Inheritance

  • The cell cycle: mitosis and meiosis
  • Basics of Mendelian inheritance

 4. Evolution

  • Darwin’s research
  • The theory of evolution by natural selection

 5. Origin and Diversification of Life

  • Theories of the origin of life
  • Key events in life history
  • Phylogeny and the tree of life
  • Domains and kingdoms of life

 6. Ecology

  • How populations are studied
  • Community interactions
  • Human activities and ecosystems

 7. Plant Form and Function (content may include)

  • The diversity of the Kingdom Plantae
  • Plant support and growth
  • Resource acquisition in plants
  • Gas exchange and transport in plants
  • Plant reproduction

8. Animal Form and Function (content may include)

  • The diversity of the Kingdom Animalia
  • Nutrition, feeding and digestion
  • Circulation and respiration
  • Excretion and osmoregulation
  • Reproduction
  • Nervous systems

9. Weekly discussion on current relevant topics in biology

10. Laboratory techniques in biology including:

  • The use of the microscope to observe cells
  • Collecting and identifying organisms
  • Use of dichotomous keys
  • Identification of different animal and plant tissues and structures
  • Observation and discussion of animal and plant structure and function

Methods of Instruction

There are four hours of lecture and group discussion per week, and two hours of laboratory work. Weekly journal article and/or textbook readings will be required.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:

Class tests and assignments     20-25
Laboratory assessments    5-10
Laboratory examination  15-20
Midterm examination  25-30
Final examination  30-35
TOTAL    100


1. Class Tests and Assignments:

Class tests and assignments are a compulsory component of this course.  A minimum of 50% of the tests and assignments must be completed to get credit for the course.

2. Laboratory Activities:

Laboratory experiments and assignments are a compulsory component of this course.  A minimum of 50% of the laboratory experiments and assignments must be completed to receive a P or better grade in the course.  

3. Comprehensive Examinations:

There will be one midterm which will cover the course content to that point.  The final examination will cover the entire course.  If the student achieves a better grade on the final exam than on the midterm examination, the midterm grade will be raised to equal that achieved on the final examination.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss essential biological concepts and principles.
  2. Explain the scientific method, including the use of hypotheses and experiments.
  3. Describe the organization and diversity of life.
  4. Explain the principles of inheritance.
  5. Explain the process of evolution by natural selection.
  6. Describe the ecological relationships among living organisms and between them and the environment.
  7. Describe selected physiological processes in plants and animals.
  8. Conduct basic laboratory experiments and interpret the observations and results.
  9. Apply biological concepts and principles in the discussion of issues of current societal relevance.

course prerequisites




curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.