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COURSE NUMBER: BIOL 495
COURSE TITLE: Biology Seminar
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Darcy Visscher
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 1(hrs lect 0 - hrs sem 1 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A weekly seminar through the entire academic year, exploring the contexts for the discipline of biology, including historical, methodological, ethical and societal dimensions, as well as current biological topics of interest in basic research, industrial and environmental settings. Ethical and professional responsibilities for biologists in industrial, research and academic settings will be addressed, as well as other topics that explore the interface between biology and society. Students, faculty and visiting speakers will give presentations. This course will meet concurrently with BIOL 395, and from time to time with CHEM 395/495. It is required for third-year biology majors. First and second year students are strongly encouraged to attend presentations. Mark for the course will be pass/fail.

Prerequisites: Six credits in biology at the 300 level

REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • Berry, R.J. (Ed) (2009). Real Scientist: Real Faith. Monarch Books, Grand Rapids.
  • Selected readings made available on Moodle   
MARK DISTRIBUTION : The course will be graded on a PASS / FAIL basis. A passing grade requires a minimum of 70% in these activities. Notice that by biology faculty policy an attendance of less than 90% will result automatically in a failing grade, without respect to items 1 (Seminar Leading) or 3(Reflective Journal) above.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Appreciate the role of creativity and art in science
  • Articulate the role of scientists in society from a perspective of faith integration
COURSE FORMAT: This course follows a seminar format, meeting for one hour per week throughout the entire academic year. We will employ an interactive learning approach using readings, class discussion, presentations and research projects. Students will be required to actively participate in, and also lead, various learning activities in the course. Each person will keep areflective journal of the seminar presentations and assigned readings. 


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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