Welcome to the Biology 21x (211-213) Principles of Biology Course Website! 

BI21x is the Principles of Biology Series. This series has 3 non-sequential courses that are taken by life science and pre-professional majors at Oregon State University.  This series is the introductory series for these students to the major concepts and skill in Biology. It fulfills the Biological Sciences Perspectives Catergory of the Baccelaurate Core. It is designed to prepare students for upper division courses by giving a broad survey of topics ranging from the origin of life to cell metabolism to global ecology.  This survey is the base knowledge that all biologists should have to function as scientific citizens. We also introduce the skills necessary to succeed in science such as: lab safety and protocols, scientific methodology, microscope use, dissection skills, communication skills, and scientific reading and writing skills.  These skills are built into our course through our laboratory and lecture exercises.  Since this course is an inroductory course we also scaffold the students' learning process to help student develop study skills and life skills that will help them progress into upper division course.  Additionally, Biology is an inherently interdisciplinary subject that includes concepts from other subject areas such as mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, geology, history, writing and more.


Major Themes in Biology

According to the AAAS Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action, there are 5 majors themes (concepts) and 6 major competencies in biology. All of the concepts and competentices are covered to varying degrees in the BI21x series and in great detail in the Biology major.

These themes are:

1. Evolution: The diversity of life evolved over time by processes of mutation, selection and genetic change.

2. Structure and Function: The basic units of structure deine the function of all living things.

3. Information Flow, Exchange and Storage: The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.

4. Pathways and Transformation of Energy and Matter: Biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transfomation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.

5. Systems: Living systems are interconnected and interacting.


The competencies are:

1. Ability to apply the process of science.

2. Ability to use quantitative reasoning.

3. Ability to use modeling and simulation.

4. Ability to tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science.

5. Ability to communicate and collaborate with other disciplines.

6. Ability to understand the relationship between science and society.