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Natural History Minor

D Earth & Environmental Sci
Biology
Swenson College of Science and Engineering
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Required credits in this minor: 34
The natural history minor enhances student understanding of the ecology and geology of the natural world. It places particular emphasis on courses with field labs. The minor program covers a wide range of topics in earth's history, geomorphology, ecology, ornithology, entomology, ichthyology, mammalogy, animal behavior, and field interpretation for education, as well as other topics.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Required Courses (22 cr)
BIOL 1011 - General Biology I [LE CAT4, NAT SCI] (5.0 cr)
BIOL 1012 - General Biology II [SUSTAIN] (5.0 cr)
BIOL 2801 - General Ecology (3.0 cr)
GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
GEOL 2110 - Earth History (4.0 cr)
BIOL 4992 - Senior Seminar: Classic Readings in Natural History (1.0 cr)
Required Electives (12 cr)
Take 12 or more credit(s) from the following:
Biology
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· BIOL 3601 - Plant Diversity (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 3603 - Plant Taxonomy (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 3701 - Animal Diversity (4.0 cr)
· BIOL 3760 - Marine Biology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 3761 - Field Studies in Marine Biology (4.0 cr)
· BIOL 3830 - Aquatic Food Webs (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 3835 - Freshwater Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4731 - Entomology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4761 - Ichthyology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4763 - Ornithology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4764 - Mammalogy (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4818 - Biotic Response to Climate Change (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4850 - Food and Humans (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4891 - Animal Behavior (2.0 cr)
· BIOL 5515 - Microbial Diversity and Phylogeny (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5777 - Plankton Biology (2.0 cr)
· BIOL 5801 - Microbial Ecology (2.0 cr)
· BIOL 5802 - Microbial Ecology Laboratory (2.0 cr)
· BIOL 5805 - Fisheries Ecology and Management (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4839 - Coral Reef Field Studies (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5865 - Conservation Biology (2.0 cr)
· BIOL 5870 - Wetland Ecology (3.0 cr)
· Geology
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· GEOL 3100 - Earth's Climate and Environment: Past and Future (3.0 cr)
· GEOL 3210 - Geomorphology (4.0 cr)
· GEOL 4500 - Field Geology (6.0 cr)
· GEOL 5220 - Advances in Paleoclimatology (3.0 cr)
· Additional Elective Options
Take 0 or more course(s) from the following:
· ENED 3341 - Field Interpretive Techniques I (3.0 cr)
· ENED 3342 - Field Interpretive Techniques II (3.0 cr)
· FST 3236 - Icelandic Geology & the New Society (3.0 cr)
 
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· Natural History Minor
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BIOL 1011 - General Biology I (LE CAT4, NAT SCI)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02401 - BIOL 1011/BIOL 1013
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Fundamental concepts of biology, including chemical basis of life, cell structure and function, energy transformations, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, genetics, molecular biology, DNA technology, development, origin of life, and evolution. (4 hrs lect, 2.5 hrs lab) prereq: 1 yr high school Chem or 1 semester college Chem, Math ACT 21 or higher or MATH 1005 or higher; credit will not be granted if already received for BIOL 1013
BIOL 1012 - General Biology II (SUSTAIN)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Fundamental concepts of biology, including classification and diversity of life, anatomy, physiology, and development of prokaryotes, protistans, fungi, animals, and plants; behavior; population, community, and ecosystem ecology. (4 hrs lect, 2.5 hrs lab) prereq: A grade of C- or better in 1011
BIOL 2801 - General Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Relationships between life and environment for individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems; surveys of environmental factors and biomes. May be taken without lab 2802. (3 hrs lect) prereq: A grade of C- or better in both 1011 and 1012; may be taken without lab BIOL 2802
GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems (LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Comprehensive survey of Earth's composition, structure, and dynamics to develop an understanding of internal processes, plate tectonics, and surface processes as a framework for geological history and development of life.
GEOL 2110 - Earth History
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
The historical development of the science of geology, nature of the geologic record, fossils, the geologic time scale, and tectonic evolution of continents and ocean basins. Concepts presented are developed within the framework of the theory of plate tectonics. prereq: 1110 or 1130 or 2610 or Ast 1040 or Geog 1414 or instructor consent
BIOL 4992 - Senior Seminar: Classic Readings in Natural History
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Readings and discussion of the classics of natural history writing from authors such as Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell, John Wesley Powell, Peter Freuchen, Rachel Carson, Paul Errington, and E.O. Wilson, among others. prereq: Seniors who have declared a natural history minor, no grad credit
BIOL 3601 - Plant Diversity
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Evolutionary survey of plants, focusing on diversity of life histories and patterns of organization. Fossil and extant groups, including algae, fungi and nonvascular and vascular land plants. (2 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, field trip) prereq: 1012
BIOL 3603 - Plant Taxonomy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to taxonomy of vascular plants, emphasizing seed plants; representative families; terminology; literature; use of keys. (2 hrs lect, 2 hrs lab) prereq: 1012
BIOL 3701 - Animal Diversity
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Survey of major animal phyla, focusing on phylogeny, anatomy, physiology, and ontogeny. (2 hrs lect, 4 hrs lab) prereq: 1012
BIOL 3760 - Marine Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
A multidisciplinary approach will be used to explore the diverse ecosystems of the marine realm. Emphasis will be on the ecological and physiological adaptations that have allowed animals to colonize habitats ranging from the intertidal zone to the abyss. prereq: 1011, 1012
BIOL 3761 - Field Studies in Marine Biology
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Introduction to the marine environment by visiting either US i.e. Friday Harbor, WAS or MBL, Woods Hole, MA) or International (i.e. Leigh, New Zealand) marine lab and conducting both laboratory and field research. Topics include ecology, animal physiology, animal behavior, ichthyology and fisheries biology. Lectures will precede daily field trips where students will make in situ measurements and/or bring specimens back to the laboratory for study. prereq: 1011 or instructor consent; Course may only be repeated if location is different.
BIOL 3830 - Aquatic Food Webs
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Classic and modern topics in aquatic food web ecology including biogeography, predator-prey interactions, competition, life-history strategies, and energy flow. Emphasis on phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish, and macroinvertebrates. Instruction includes lectures, field and laboratory exercises, and reading and discussion. prereq: 1012
BIOL 3835 - Freshwater Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Exploration of freshwater habitats and their biological diversity with emphasis on how human behavior is affecting those habitats and biodiversity. prereq: 2801 or concurrent
BIOL 4731 - Entomology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Structure, life history, ecology, classification, evolution, principles of control, and significance of insects in our society. Field collections. (2 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab and field) prereq: 1012 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 4761 - Ichthyology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Physiologic, taxonomic, ecologic, economic, and behavioral aspects of fishes. Lab emphasis on fishes of Great Lakes region, including field conducted independent study. (2 hrs lect, 3 hrs lab, field) prereq: 2801 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 4763 - Ornithology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Lab and field identification of birds, their migration and habitats; biological, taxonomic, and economic considerations. (2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab and field) prereq: 2801 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 4764 - Mammalogy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Origin, taxonomy, distribution, physiology, ecology and behavior of mammals. Laboratory and fieldwork includes collection, preparation and identification of Minnesota species. (2 hrs lecture, 3 hours lab, field) prereq: 2801 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 4818 - Biotic Response to Climate Change
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Many species are already responding to climate change, as evidenced by earlier budburst, flowering, and arrival of insect and bird pollinators. In only a few cases can we distinguish between phenotypic responses to longer growing seasons and warmer temperatures (plasticity) and evolutionary change in response to altered patterns of natural selection. Climate change will pose strong evolutionary challenges to native populations. In this course we will explore the fundamental response of the biota to these changes" extinction, migration, and adaptation. prereq: Biol 2201, no grad credit
BIOL 4850 - Food and Humans
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
In this course we will examine the evolutionary genetics underlying the process of plant and animal domestication, and the evolution of weeds and insect pests in the new environment provided by human-initiated agriculture. Classical readings on the origin of agriculture and agricultural pests (weeds and insects) and the latest findings in this constantly changing field will be examined. Students will learn key concepts regarding the response of plants and animals to natural and artificial selection, and the application of population genetics, phylogenetics, quantitative genetics, and genetic mapping to major questions in agricultural genetics. Past and current challenges in agricultural productivity and sustainability will be addressed throughout the course. prereq: 2201, 3802 or IBS graduate student
BIOL 4891 - Animal Behavior
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Known behavior of various vertebrate and invertebrate phyla, emphasizing adaptive significance and the genetics and ontogeny of behavioral patterns. Mating, aggressive, nutritive, and nurturing behavior and relation to ecology of animal populations. (2 hrs lect) prereq: 2801 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5515 - Microbial Diversity and Phylogeny
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Evolutionary survey and characteristics of microorganisms focusing on autotrophic and heterotrophic prokaryotes from various habitats. Isolation, examination, and identification of bacteria from field collections using microscopic, physiological, biochemical, molecular, phylogenetic, and computer database techniques. (2 hours lecture and 2 hours lab) prereq: 2101 or 3100 oe 3502 or 4501 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5777 - Plankton Biology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Explores topics in the biology of plant and animal plankton with emphasis on lake communities. Topics include biogeography, life-history, anatomy, physiology, and ecology of plankton. Basic limnology covered as relevant. Meets twice weekly for lecture and literature discussion. prereq: 2801, 2802 or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5801 - Microbial Ecology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Microorganisms in natural environments: diversity, distribution, energetics, and growth of heterotrophic and autotrophic microbes in oxic and anoxic habitats. Roles of microbial populations and communities in biogeochemical cycling, ecosystem functioning, landscapes, and industrial, agricultural, and environmental applications. prereq: (2101 or 3100) and (2801 or 3502 or 4501), or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5802 - Microbial Ecology Laboratory
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Lab and field-oriented exercises that teach concepts about microbial populations and their communities, energetics, food webs, biogeochemistry, and biodiversity while providing an introduction to research methods. Students master advanced microscopic, culturing, spectroscopic, molecular, radioisotopic, and computational techniques. (3 hours lab) prereq: 5801 (may take concurrently) or WRS or IBS grad student
BIOL 5805 - Fisheries Ecology and Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Lectures, readings and computer exercises relating to current issues in fisheries ecology. Computer exercises will emphasize techniques used by scientists working in the field and prepare the student for the use of quantitative research tools for independent research. Includes 2 one-hour lectures and 1 three-hour lab weekly. prereq: 2801, 2802, college-level course in statistics or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5833 - Stream Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Studies of stream communities and ecosystems as influenced by biological interactions and physical factors. Emphasis on North Shore streams. (2 hrs lect, 6 hrs lab and field) prereq: 2801 or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 4839 - Coral Reef Field Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01396 - Biol 5839/Geol 5839
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Field study on San Salvador, Bahamas focusing on the biological and geological studies of the coral reef complex and associated habitats of the Caribbean. We will examine the ecology and taxonomy of associated biota as well as the physical, chemical and sedimentary processes in coral reef environments. prereq: BIOL 1011 and 1012 or GEOL 1110 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5861 - Lake Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Ecology of lakes and reservoirs. (3 hrs lect) prereq: 2801 or WRS or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5865 - Conservation Biology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Introduction to science of species, habitat, and ecosystem conservation and management. prereq: 2801 or IBS Grad student
BIOL 5870 - Wetland Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Hydrology, nutrient cycling, and productivity of wetland ecosystems and the adaptations and interactions of resident biota; assessment, management, conservation, restoration, and creation of wetlands. Two daylong weekend field trips required. prereq: 2801, 2802 or WRS or IBS Grad student
GEOL 3100 - Earth's Climate and Environment: Past and Future
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Exploration of the processes that control Earth's climate and affect the environment on timescales of 100's of millions to 10's of years. Discussions will include how and why the dinosaur's environment was different from today's environment and concerns about future global warming. prereq: 1110 or 1130 or 1610, Chem 1151 or 1153/1154
GEOL 3210 - Geomorphology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01407 - Geol 2210/3210
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study of Earth surface processes emphasizing the origin and evolution of landforms; response of the physical environment to climatic change and tectonic events, and application of physical, chemical, and mathematical principles to the study and interpretation of landforms. prereq: 1110 or 2110, Math 1250 or 1290 or 1296 or 1596 or instructor consent
GEOL 4500 - Field Geology
Credits: 6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
Geological mapping of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic terranes and of Quaternary deposits and landforms; topographic maps and aerial photographs, including preparation of geologic maps and cross sections, and map unit descriptions. prereq: 4450, department consent; no grad credit
GEOL 5220 - Advances in Paleoclimatology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Analysis of past global change from climate proxy records in glacial ice, tree rings, ocean and lake sediments, ocean corals. Impact of ocean and atmospheric circulation on global climate; climate cycles; El Nino; human impact on global climate. Offered alternate years. prereq: instructor consent
ENED 3341 - Field Interpretive Techniques I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Techniques and methods used to interpret natural history of autumn and early winter environments. Emphasizes geomorphology, tree identification, and basic raptor ecology. Primarily field based at sites throughout northeastern Minnesota. prereq: credit will not be granted if already received for REC 3341
ENED 3342 - Field Interpretive Techniques II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Techniques and methods used to interpret natural history of winter and spring environments. Ecology of winter, vernal ponds, spring wildflowers, biomes, and migratory birds. Primarily field based at sites throughout northeastern Minnesota. prereq: credit will not be granted if already received for EnEd 3342
FST 3236 - Icelandic Geology & the New Society
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Study Abroad Course prereq: Admitted to an approved Study Abroad program, required consent from the International Education Office.