Northern Fur Sea Lion,
Pribilof Islands, Alaska.

Biol 215

"If you have the will, there is a discipline in science in which you can succeed. Look for the ones still thinly populated, where fine differences in raw ability matter less. Be a hunter and explorer. Perhaps this strategy can never work for track, with one distance and one clock. But it serves wonderfully well at the shifting frontiers of science."
-Edward O. Wilson, 1994.

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Study Help & Assignments

Syllabus Fall 2021.pdf
About studying & conduct
Biosurfing Assignment
Journal Article Assignment  
Plankton Data Assignment
Term Project


Lab Help Pages
BIOL 215 Lab Skills 

Study help

River mosquitoes
California State...
Study tests
Class handouts
Stylesheet for writing papers

Careers in Biology

BIOL 230

BIOL 215—Organismal Biology

Like Wilson, you, too, will become caught up in hunt and exploration-an affair that will last a lifetime.

This is the first course in the core program for Biology majors. You should be taking CHEM 210/218 or higher concurrently. When you have completed the Biology core program and organic chemistry you will be able to undertake upper division coursework in the biological sciences. Course content, assignments, and lab work are comparable to that of your transfer institution and designed to prepare you for upper division work in the sciences. The basic principles you will study in Organismal Biology will be applicable in all biology–related professions including medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, animal behavior, and ecology.

Organismal Biology will introduce you to the diversity of living organisms and how they have evolved to meet the challenges of life. All living organisms are faced with the same set of problems including how to get nutrients and transform those nutrients into usable energy and how to reproduce.

Fall 2021. See Canvas
Lecture will be online with assignments to complete each week at your own pace within the given week.
All labs will be face-to-face in 7241.

Urry, L. et al. (2021). Campbell Biology, 12th ed. San Francisco: Pearson.
Case, C. and S. Bookstaff. (2021). Investigations in Biology. San Bruno: Skyline College..

Test keys | Grades


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Lab skills acquired in BIOL 215
Lab Manual Table of Contents

Agarose gel electrophoresis
Antigen-antibody precipitation
Bacterial culture
Biochemical analysis
Biochemical testing for enzyme activity.
Biochemical testing for starch, molecular oxygen, and carbon dioxide
Calculate species diversity
Cell culture
Changing wavelength and intensity of light
Compound light microscopy
Computer database and graphing
Conduct transect studies
Dissection of fresh animal
Estimating size through a microscope
Extraction of sea urchin eggs and sperm
Graphing: hi-lo, XY line graph, multiple dependent variables, –values
Insect cultivation
Low-power microscopy
Mathematical analysis of mitosis stages
Statistical analyses: Chi square and sign tests
Slide agglutination
Spreadsheet sorting
Standard curve construction and use
Two dependent variables; % change
Vertebrate dissection
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