Lecture Only Classes

3-unit classes without a lab.

Biological Sciences Lecture Only classes

This page lists the lecture only, 3-unit classes offered in Biology, Bio-Medical Sciences, Botany, Environmental Studies and Zoology.  These classes do not have a lab.  Classes are offered both on campus and online.

Within Area 5 of IGETC students need to complete one class from Area 5a (Physical Sciences) and one class from Area 5b (Biological Sciences).  One of these classes needs to have a lab and the two classes together need to total 7 - 9 semester units.  BIOL 110: Natural Science is the only class offered by the Biological Sciences Department that is in both Area 5a and 5b.  BIOL 110 is only offered online.  IGETC (download pdf)

Lecture only classes: Biology

  • Online.   Generally offered Spring, Fall and one of the summer sessions.
    Topics covered in BIOL 110 include:
    1. Atomic structure and chemical bonds
      a. Origin of Universe, b. Molecular geometries, c. Structure of the physical world, d. Biochemistry
    2. Structural biomaterials
    a. Lipids and membranes: volumes and surfaces, b. Protein: wool, silk and spider snares, c. Polysaccharides: cell walls and wood, d. Composite materials: insect cuticles and bone, e. Biological ceramics: egg shells and clam shells
    3. Optimal form
    a. Soap films and minimal surfaces b. Cell and tissue architecture c. Natural history of size d. On being large: trees and elephants e. On being small: unicells and mites
    4. Functional design
    a. Countercurrent exchange: gills and flippers b. Surface and volume: water conservation in rats and plants c. Support: hydrostatic, internal and external skeletons d. Feeding structures e. Swimming: fins and flagella f. Terrestrial locomotion g. Evolution and aerodynamics of flight
    5. Fossil reconstructions
  • Online:  Fall, Spring, Summer (first 6 weeks).  On Campus:  Spring only.  Instructors: Larry Friesen (online), Blake Barron (online summer), Jennifer Maupin (on campus)

    Description of the on-campus class:

    What is evolution?  What are its causes, how and why does it vary from one population or species to another, and what does it have to do with genes, randomness, and the environment?  A famous biologist once said “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” and indeed biologists now view the world and all biological inquiry through the lens of evolution and adaptation.  In Bio 112, we study the development of Darwin’s theory of evolution, and tie ideas of natural selection in with more recent knowledge from the fields of genetics, DNA analysis, development, and paleontology.  Throughout the course, we emphasize how the process of evolution connects all species while at the same time making each of us unique.  Sample syllabus

    Topics Taught include:
    • Life in Context
    Origin of Universe and Earth; Earth's climate through time; Biomes and biogeography
    • Transmission of inherited characteristics
    History of evolutionary thought; Mendelian genetics; Chromosomal theory of inheritance
    • Central dogma and the origin of genetic variation
    Molecular structures of DNA, RNA and proteins; Role of DNA; Gene and chromosomal mutation
    • Population genetics
    Genetic equilibrium; Selection; Balanced polymorphism; Genetic drift and flow
    • Biodiversity
    Biological classification and phylogeny; Species; Speciation; Coevolution
    • Origin and early evolution of organisms
    Origin of earliest cells; Endosymbiotic theory of eukaryotic origins; Origin of multicellularity
    • Adaptations of aquatic organisms
    Early trends in the evolution of protists, plants and animals; Preadaptations to land life
    • Plant and invertebrate transitions to land
    The first terrestrial ecosystems; Coevolution of insects and plants
    • Vertebrate evolution
    The basic vertebrate body plan; Fishes and the origin of jaws; The transition to land; The great reptile radiations; Natural history of dinosaurs; Adaptations of pterosaurs and birds for flight; Extinction; Origin of mammals; Evolutionary radiations of mammals History of evolutionary thought; Mendelian genetics; Chromosomal theory of inheritance Central dogma and the origin of genetic variation Molecular structures of DNA, RNA and proteins; Role of DNA; Gene and chromosomal mutation Population genetics Genetic equilibrium; Selection; Balanced polymorphism; Genetic drift and flow Biodiversity Biological classification and phylogeny; Species; Speciation; Coevolution Origin and early evolution of organisms Origin of earliest cells; Endosymbiotic theory of eukaryotic origins; Origin of multicellularity Adaptations of aquatic organisms Early trends in the evolution of protists, plants and animals; Preadaptations to land life Plant and invertebrate transitions to land The first terrestrial ecosystems; Coevolution of insects and plants Vertebrate evolution The basic vertebrate body plan; Fishes and the origin of jaws; The transition to land; The great reptile radiations; Natural history of dinosaurs; Adaptations of pterosaurs and birds for flight; Extinction; Origin of mammals; Evolutionary radiations of mammals.

  • Online •  Fall & Spring. May also be offered in the summer • Instructor: Larry Friesen
    Topics Taught:
    1. describe the history of Earth, continental drift, climate history, changing biogeographic regions, and major extinctions.
    2. describe the physical laws of thermodynamics, the driving force attributed to electromagnetic radiation, and the flow and cycling of matter through ecosystems.
    3. explain the biome concept and compare and contrast different biomes.
    4. describe homeostasis at the organism, population, community and ecosystem levels and thermodynamic views of the “ecosystem”.
    5. describe primary production, its measurement, the interplay of light and temperature, and limiting factors in a variety of ecosystems.
    6. explain food chains and food webs and describe direction, rates, and efficiencies of transfer.
    7. list and define common mating systems and sexual selection and describe the underlying strategies of each.
    8. list, define and describe the elements comprising population structure, size, distribution, range, variation and growth.
    9. describe the relationship between genotype and phenotype and the extensions of Mendelian genetics to population genetics and evolution.
    10. define symbioses in both broad and narrow contexts and describe life history adaptations, coevolution, and evolutionary tempo and mode.
    11. describe predator-prey cycles and the experiments that have been utilized to understand their continuity and stability.
    12. describe the concepts of phylogeography, vicariance, metapopulations and reproductive isolation and the use of genetic/molecular techniques of analysis.
    13. describe "biological community" as a natural unit of ecological organization.
    14. describe the mechanisms used to analyze species abundance, diversity and richness in communities.
    15. define succession and the concepts of sere, succession, and transient and cyclic climaxes.
    16. describe geographic patterns of species diversity and the relationship to the concept of niche.
  • Online • Rarely offered • Instructor: Larry Friesen
    Topics Taught:
    1. Explain general biological principles as displayed in the rich diversity of aquatic life forms and associations.
    2. Discuss the interrelationships among electromagnetic radiation, the physical environment and living organisms in marine and freshwater ecosystems.
    3. Identify the common living organisms in marine and freshwater habitats and describe the characteristics by which they are classified.
    4. Describe the methods used in collecting, recording and interpreting data related to water analysis, biodiversity evaluation and tracking.
    5. Compare and contrast the adaptations of organisms from different aquatic ecosystems and different phyla.
    6. Describe the history, advances, diversification and biogeography of aquatic life on Earth through time.
  • Online.  Fall, Spring.  May also be offered in Summer.  Instructor:  Larry Friesen
    Topics Covered:
    1. Describe the fundamental structures and functions of living organisms at the cellular level.
    2. Describe the great diversity, patterns of growth, and adaptations of organisms.
    3. Describe history and evidence for the origin of life to diversification of major phyla.
    4. Describe principles of evolution and natural selection and the evidence from paleontology, development, comparative anatomy, and molecular biology.
    5. Describe the structure and function of DNA, RNA and proteins.
    6. Describe bioenergetics and the nature of enzymes and metabolic pathways supporting respiration and photosynthesis.
    7. Describe the life histories of plants and animals and the strategies contributing to the successful production of future generations.
    8. Describe transitions of plants and animals from aquatic habitats to life on land.
    9. Compare and contrast the successes of major groups within the kingdoms of life.
    10. Describe the origin, diversification and adaptations of vertebrates over time from fishes through early terrestrial vertebrates to birds and mammals.
  • Online. Fall, Spring.  May also be offered in summer sessions.
    Topics Covered:
    1. Describe the general nature of science and the scientific method.
    2. Describe the theories proposed regarding the origins of the oceans and the history of their exploration.
    3. Describe the complex marine physical environment including plate tectonics, seawater chemistry and seawater motion.
    4. Describe how the physical environment of the ocean affects marine organisms and how major changes cause unique phenomena (like El Nino and La Nina).
    5. Describe marine ecology including the marine trophic pyramid and marine productivity.
    6. Describe the complex communities of coral reefs, the Antarctic and Arctic, rocky shores, sandy beaches, mud flats, and the deep-sea (including hydrothermal vents).
    7. Describe the ocean’s major migrators (both horizontal and vertical) especially salmon, marine turtles, both baleen and toothed whales, and elephant seals.
    8. Describe the environmental concerns we now face in the area of marine science including pollution, and loss of fisheries.
  • Online. Not offered on a regular schedule.
    Topics Covered:
    1. Define the natural forces at work on Earth and their influences on organisms.
    2. Give examples of global ecosystems and biomes and describe their physical, biological and ecological features.
    3. Identify many and varied life forms found in different ecosystems and understand the physical and biological forces that shape ecosystems.
    4. Describe the processes of organic evolution and the evolutionary relationships of major phyla.
    5. Describe the systems by which life forms are organized within the various taxa.
    6. Describe the principles of phylogeography, the factors contributing to the differential distribution of populations, and the mechanisms used to distinguish populations and species.
    7. Describe how the geologic and climatologic history of Earth has influenced the development of biomes and the distribution of life.
    8. Define and use several different mechanisms to quantify biodiversity.
    9. Describe and provide examples from Earth's history of speciation and extinction events using molecular, geologic, and fossil evidence.
  • On-campus. rarely offered, 
    Topics Covered:
    1. Describe and diagram the basic structure and functions of DNA and RNA (including chromosomes, chromatin, exons, introns, mRNA, rRNA, tRNA, replication, transcription, RNA processing and translation).
    2. Compare and contrast prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including structures, functions, domains of life and evolutionary origins. Describe the theory of and evidence for endosymbiosis. State how the scientific method is applied to develop and test hypotheses and to better understand biological processes.
    3. Distinguish between the modes of inheritance of genetic traits and solve genetics problems utilizing Punnett squares and pedigree analysis.
    4. Distinguish between genotypes and phenotypes and understand the relationship between the two. Define allele, gene, locus, heterozygous and homozygous.
    5. Explain the mechanisms and types of mutations in DNA, and cite specific examples of mutations in human genetic disorders.
    6. Compare and contrast cell division in prokaryotes vs. eukaryotes. Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis, and oogenesis and spermatogenesis.
    7. Explain the role of mutations in evolution and natural selection, as well as in molecular clocks. From a basic population genetics perspective, explain why some alleles change in frequency over time while others are stable for long periods.
    8. Explain how reproductive barriers isolate gene pools leading to speciation.
    9. Name several human chromosomal abnormalities, their underlying biological causes, and method of diagnosis.
    10. Describe and compare the techniques of prenatal testing via amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, as well as ultrasound and blood marker tests, including the limitations and risks of each test.
    11. Name and describe several human genetic disorders, including autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, multifactorial, mitochondrial and sex-linked conditions. Demonstrate how pedigrees can be used to determine mode of inheritance. Outline the role of genetic counselors.
    12. Discuss the importance of both genetic and environmental factors in cancer risk, and the ethical issues of testing for cancer-related genes.
    13. Identify the applications and limitations of genetic testing, as it relates to inherited disorders and cancer genes.
    14. Identify mechanisms of epigenetics and describe examples of genomic imprinting in humans and mice. Relate these to behaviors that may impact phenotypes of our descendants (smoking, drinking, diet).
    15. Compare and contrast embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells, in terms of their origins, potential applications, and relevant ethical issues.
    16. Explain the process (and limitations) of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) as it applies to mammalian cloning. Discuss potential future applications, e.g. therapeutics, de-extinction, human cloning, and ethical issues associated with each.
    17. Relate the mechanisms of gene regulation and cell differentiation to normal development, cloning, stem cells and epigenetics.
    18. Give several examples of the applications of biotechnology in modern society, including agricultural, medical and forensic applications that utilize genetically modified organisms (GMO), recombinant DNA technology, and DNA profiling. From an evolutionary perspective, explain why microbes or "pharm" animals can be used to produce human proteins (i.e. universal genetic code). Present and debate the relevant ethical and environmental issues pertaining to at least one of the above.
    19. Outline the strategy of gene therapy and demonstrate understanding of its potential applications as well as current challenges.
    20. Outline the basic methods of Artificial Reproductive Technologies, such as IVF, ICSI, pre-implantation diagnosis and gender selection, artificial insemination, egg donation, and surrogacy. Delineate some of the associated concerns, such as increase in multiple births, gender bias, potential harm to fetus, long-term effects on bonding, psychological issues.
    21. Explain the process and applications of bioremediation, and the related environmental and ecological issues.
    22. State the events of fertilization and early embryonic development. Describe the role of gene regulation and cell differentiation in embryonic and fetal development. Discuss the implications of meiosis and sexual reproduction in generating variation for natural selection
  • Fall only, on campus.  Rarely offeredInstructor Mike Masson
    Topics Taught:
    1. Describe the skeletal anatomy and structural changes over time in the makeup of modern Homo sapiens.
    2. Discuss muscular form as it relates to changes in skeletal anatomy.
    3. Apply knowledge of changing availability of foods to changes in the structure of human digestive processes.
    4. Describe environmental and ethological events with an emphasis on neural evolution and the importance of brain development and evolutionary success.
    5. Apply knowledge of environmental influences on vitamin synthesis and melanin protection in the integumentary system.
    6. Describe the components and functions of DNA.
    7. Describe the mechanism of protein synthesis vis a vis transcription and translation.
    8. Illustrate and describe the nature of mutations in evolution.
    9. Name the main tenets of the origin of species as presented by Charles Darwin.
    10. Elaborate on the evidences that support the theory of evolution.
    11. Explain the species concept and problems involved with defining a species.
    12. Compare and contrast gradualism with punctuated equilibrium.
    13. Name the candidates for early human evolution and evidence to support their candidacy.
    14. Compare the concept of cladistics with phylogeny based on weighted characteristics.
    15. Describe the evidence in the last 2 million years that relates to modern human evolution.

Lecture only classes: Biomedical Sciences

  • Spring and Fall.  On campus.
    Basic overview of the study of human nutrition. Sample syllabus

    At the completion of this course, the successful student will be able to:

    1. Summarize a basic overview of the study of human nutrition
    2. Describe the essential nutrients, their function, chemistry and sources
    3. Describe how the body uses the basic nutrients to grow and support health
    4. Describe the problems associated with inadequacies
    5. Describe the problems associated with excess nutrients
    6. Critically evaluate current topics in nutrition
    7. Discern credibility with respect to controversies in the science of nutrition, i.e., distinguish fact from fallacy
    8. Describe the relationship between heredity, nutrition, and health
    9. Assess personal dietary intake
  • On campus Spring and Fall.  Online Summer I.  Instructor Blake Barron
    Introduction to human reproduction with topics including structure, function, diversity and fluidity, and changes over the lifespan,  Sample syllabus.

    By the end of the course, the successful student can:

    1. Delineate a basic overview of the history of human sexuality since 1900.
    2. Describe basic techniques that have been used in the research of human sexual behavior and physiology.
    3. Explain recent scientific research on the basis and diversity of human sexual behavior, gender identification and basic physiology.
    4. Identify and describe the anatomy of the human male and female reproductive systems.
    5. Describe the physiology of male and female reproductive systems including gametogenesis, sex steroid production and the role of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis
    6. Describe the endocrine regulation of reproduction including the hormonal control of gametogenesis, the menstrual cycle, and changes that occur during pregnancy, parturition, puberty and menopause.
    7. Explain the physiological mechanisms of sexual differentiation and puberty in animals including humans.
    8. Describe basic principles and solve elementary problems of human genetics and heredity.
    9. Describe fundamental aspects of pregnancy, embryonic and fetal development, and parturition.
    10. Identify the physiological mechanisms of sexual arousal in humans and describe principal aspects of the evolution of human sexual behavior.
    11. Describe, compare and fundamentally evaluate different modes of contraception and abortion.
    12. Describe physiological determinants of puberty, menopause, sexual dysfunction and infertility.
    13. Describe and compare the causes of and current techniques used in the treatment of infertility and sexually related diseases and dysfunctions
    14. Explain the basic biology of the immune system as it relates to HIV infection and AIDS.
    15. Describe the physiological causes, methods of diagnosis/evaluation and treatments of sexually transmitted infections.
  • Online.  Spring, Fall and Summer I.  Instructor: Eric Wise
    Descriptive introduction to the structure and function of the human body. 

    By the end of the course, a successful student can:

    1. Describe the human body in detail
    2. Relate the structure of the organ systems of the body with their function
    3. Distinguish tissues based on architecture as seen in illustrations
    4. Describe the action of numerous muscles of the body
    5. Identify the gross anatomical features of the organs of the body
    6. Identify anatomical features in illustrations, and
    7. Accurately use the vocabulary important to describing human anatomy and physiology in a medical and allied health field setting.
There are no lecture only classes in Botany.


Lecture only classes: Zoology

  • Online. Taught Spring and Fall semesters and Summer I.  Instructor:  Michelle Kowalewski.

    Animal physiology is the study of animal function - the study of "how animals work". Beginning with the fundamentals of cell structure, metabolism, and water and solutes, the lecture sequence continues with bioenergetics, integrating systems, movement, and the osmotic environment.  With all systems and processes, mechanism, evolutionary history and model animals will be considered.  How does it work; How did it come to be; How do different animals solve the same problems? Sample syllabus

    By the end of the course, the successful student can:

    1. Describe the relationship between environment and animal distribution.
    2. Describe the cell structure and the regulation of cell metabolism.
    3. Describe the physical principles of water and solute transport.
    4. Describe different methods of feeding and acquiring nutrients.
    5. Describe metabolism and the techniques used to measure metabolic rates.
    6. Describe mechanisms by which animals maintain homeostasis with respect to heat, gases, water and solutes.
    7. Describe animal sensory systems and how they integrate information for responses to stimuli.
    8. Describe endocrine and neuroendocrine control of circadian rhythms, reproduction and migration.
    9. Describe muscle and movement.
    10. Describe oxygen, carbon dioxide and internal transport for terrestrial and aquatic animals at high altitude and great depths, and while traveling between those extremes.
  • On-campus and online.  On campus lecture offered Spring and Fall semesters.  Online lecture offered Spring and Fall and at least one of the summer sessions.  Instructors:  Hisaya Fukui (on campus) and Larry Friesen (online).

    Animal Diversity is a general zoology course emphasizing the variety of structures, functions and adaptations of protozoa and animals. Animal Diversity (Zoology 122) combined with Animal Diversity Laboratory (Zoology 123) satisfies the SBCC General Education Requirement in Natural Sciences and transfers to all UC and California State University campuses where they will also satisfy a general education requirement for a life science laboratory course. Animal Diversity alone satisfies the UC/CSU general education (IGETC) requirement for a life science lecture course.

    By the end of the course, you should be able to describe the system by which animals are organized within the various taxa; describe the structure and function of animal cell structures; describe, compare and contrast the structures and functions of the skeletal, digestive, nervous, circulatory, reproductive, endocrine, muscular, osmoregulatory, and sensory systems of animal phyla; describe the life histories of animals from all major phyla; describe the evidence for evolutionary relationships between animal phyla; and compare and contrast the unique features of animal phyla.

  • Online.  Instructor: Larry Friesen

    By the end of the course a successful student can:

    1. Describe the anatomy and physiology of insects and related forms.
    2. Describe the life histories of insects including reproduction, growth and development.
    3. Provide an annotated outline of the evolutionary history of insects from their origins to diversification on land.
    4. Identify insects to family and describe the characters that differentiate orders and families of insects.
    5. Explain and provide examples of the ecological roles of insects.
    6. Describe methods and results of experiments investigating insect learning and behavior.
    7. Describe the evolutionary history and development of insect social behavior.
  • Online. 

    By the end of the course, a successful student can:

    1. Describe the current theories of bird origins.
    2. Describe the physical principles of flight and the particular adaptations of flighted birds.
    3. Explain the techniques and theories of systematics and the development of bird phylogenics.
    4. Identify and describe the structures of bird anatomy and describe their functions.
    5. Describe inter- and intraspecific behaviors of birds.
    6. Describe the major sensory systems and understand how they function in communication.
    7. Describe bird migrations and theories of navigation.
    8. Describe bird social behaviors and their adaptive advantages.
    9. Describe reproduction in birds and the production and development of the egg.
    10. Describe the factors determining bird distribution and population growth.
    11. Integrate the concepts of functional anatomy, behavior, biogeography and ecology through descriptions of the life histories of birds.
  •  Online Spring. Instructor: Kris Burnell or Larry Friesen

    ZOO 140 introduces students to the basic concepts of animal behavior.  By the end of the semester, students will have a general understanding of invertebrate and vertebrate behavior, including learning, foraging strategies, sexual selection, mating systems, social behavior and the evolutionary mechanisms that guide it.  This is a three-unit non-major’s biology course which satisfies the SBCC General Education requirement in Natural Sciences.  This course is transferable to the UC & CSU as a general education life science course.  Biology majors are welcome to take this course, however they will not receive credit toward their major for this course. Sample syllabus

    By the end of the course, a successful student can:

    1. Describe the major sensory systems and explain how they function in causation and communication.
    2. Describe the major effector systems and explain how they control behavior and selective responses.
    3. Explain the process of how generalizations of behavior are constructed from observations of individual behavioral events.
    4. Describe the principles of sexual selection and understand the role of parental investment.
    5. Describe inter- and intraspecific feeding relationships.
    6. Describe animal migrations and theories of orientation.
    7. Describe social behaviors and demonstrate an understanding of how they evolve.
    8. Describe the genetic regulation of behavior, how behavior evolves and how we can use comparative methods to study the process.
    9. Describe the development of behavior during an animal’s early life and the various influences that shape this development.
    10. Integrate the concepts of behavior, ecology and evolution through descriptions of the role of behavior in the animal’s interactions with its environment and the ways in which the environment shapes adaptive behavior on an evolutionary time scale.

Lecture only classes: Environmental Studies 

  • Instructors: Michelle Paddack (on campus), Eric Wise (online)

    ENVS 110 satisfies the SBCC general education requirement in Natural Sciences when in combination with ENVS 111. Sample syllabus

     Environmental studies combines science with culture and human values. This class provides a foundation of scientific principles  to better understand the human impacts on our planet.  

    By the end of the course, a successful student can:

    1. describe and demonstrate understanding of the biological significance of human activities influencing environmental change,
    2. describe the physical, biological, political and cultural interactions that have impacts on the environment and organismic populations,
    3. determine the growth and variations in populations and their interactions with the environment
    4. explain and correlate human alteration and intervention in areas of agriculture, forestry, water and air resources, wildlife, water pollution, toxic waste. pesticides and energy
    5. Incorporate accurate and up-to-date information from books, articles, and internet sources to critically analyze current and future problems.