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BIO 197

First-Year Seminar

A seminar focused on a theme related to the study of biology. Open only to first-year students. May not be counted toward major.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

Dana Dudle

197A: FYS: Biology Writing

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences recently identified four critical societal needs for the next several decades: sustainable production of food, protection of ecosystems in the face of global change, development of renewable energy, and improvement in individual human health. Understanding biological patterns and processes is crucial because each of these needs relates directly to biology. Scientists need to write clearly about these complex, interdisciplinary problems in order to facilitate public engagement. Also, community members need to read scientific texts with confident minds and critical eyes. In this seminar, we will approach texts from the popular press and from the scientific literature that will help us learn about food production, cancer cells, environmental conservation, and more. We will write clear, concise, and precise prose exploring these texts, and practice ways to present data graphically in ways that can inform and engage our communities.

Melissa Petreaca

197B: FYS: Human Pandemics and Zoonotic Diseases

Because many deadly human diseases, including rabies, the bubonic plague, Ebola, and AIDS, are "zoonotic" diseases that were originally transmitted from nonhuman animals to humans, many speculate that the next human disease to emerge from obscurity into a dangerous, potentially deadly pandemic will also be a zoonotic disease. In this course, students will examine historical cases of zoonotic diseases that led to widespread human disease and death, and will evaluate the ability of zoonotic diseases that currently cause isolated or rare human disease to cause widespread human diseases in the near future.