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Foundations: Science, systematics, evolution, and the diversity of life

         What is science?

         Biological systematics: a historical perspective

         What is a species? (The species problem)

         Evolution: the integrating theory of life


         Evolutionary trees: A primer (from Understanding Evolution)

         Molecular clocks (from Understanding Evolution)

         Genetic phylogeny and molecular clocks

         Population genetics

         Diversity of life: prokaryotes

         Diversity of life: multicellularity


Atoms to cells


         Chemical Bonds

         Water: the medium of life

         Carbon: the backbone of life





Principles of cellular metabolism




         Poisons, toxins, and drugs: biochemical shenanigans of doom

         Molecules, energy, and cellular fire: introduction to cellular respiration


         Cellular respiration



Cell signaling and gene expression

         Cellular communication

         Gene expression

         Regulation of gene expression


The blueprint of life: genomes



Principles of reproduction and development

         DNA replication




         Factors complicating Mendelian genetics

         Genetic program of development

         Viruses: using cellular machinery to propagate non-cells



         The biotech toolbox


Organismal challenges: water, food, and the colonization of land

         Life on land vs sea

         Principles of biological transport

         Water loss and the rubisco problem: C3, C4, and CAM plants

         Animal digestion

         Animal waste management and water balance

         Animal circulation and respiration


Organismal challenges: sensing and responding to the environment

         Plant sensing

         Animal sensing

         Nervous systems

         Neuron triggering


Organismal challenges: reproduction and development

         Plant reproduction

         Sex in animals

         Animal mating behavior

         Animal development


Organismal challenges: environmental constraints (populations, communities, and ecosystems)

         Introduction to populations

         Population growth

         Estimating population size: the mark-recapture technique

         Social living

         Species interactions

         Plant defense and symbiosis

         The human microbiome

         The animal immune system

         Biological communities: trophic structure

         Community change through time

         Climate and life




         Introduction to statistics


Marine Science

         A brief history of ocean exploration

         Challenges of marine science

         Challenges of ocean navigation

         Mapping the world

         The lat/lon system

         Ocean zones

         Marine geology

         Thermohaline circulation

         Ekman transport and upwelling

         Ocean gyres

         Climate part 1: Insolation and general heat distribution patterns

         Climate part 2: The effect of planetary rotation

         Climate part 3: Other climate effects

         The biological Pump

         The iron hypothesis

         Stable isotope fingerprints: isotope paleoproxies

         Challenges facing the ocean

         The buffering system of the ocean

         The ocean and the CO2 problem

         In situ ocean observation

         Life in the sea

         Pelagic communities

         Benthic communities


Safety Training

         TA lab safety training