Master of Science Degree in Biology

Course Descriptions

Click on the course to view a course description, instructor information and sample syllabus.

BIOL 802 - Organic Evolution (3 credits)

A study of evolution beginning with the origin of life and characterizing biological mechanisms of evolution leading to present biodiversity. Offered online, every Fall and Spring.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Wyatt Hoback 308-865-8602 or hobackww@unk.edu

BIOL 804 - Evolution of Epidemics (3 credits)

Through videotaped lectures, reading and writing assignments, and online discussions, students will develop an understanding of the origin and the evolution of plagues. We will illustrate the techniques humans have to defend against epidemics and will speculate about their role in shaping humanity and our futures. Offered online, Spring of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Julie Shaffer 308-865-8661 or shafferjj@unk.edu & Dr. Dawn Simon 308-865-8470 or simondm@unk.edu

BIOL 811 - Scientific Illustration (3 credits)

An introduction to the discipline of scientific illustration. Students will learn the fundamental principles of creating effective illustrations for the purpose of communicating science. A limited set of media types, both traditional and digital will be explored. The main focus will be on creating the best images for use in research, teaching, journal publications, presentations, and other applications. Copyright and other legal issues will also be discussed.  A basic knowledge of biological concepts is useful; artistic ability not required.  Offered online, Spring of even-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Rick Simonson 308-865-8943 or simonsonrl@unk.edu

BIOL 812 - Microbial Diversity (3 credits)

New techniques in molecular biology have revealed three distinct cell lineages: bacteria, archaea, and eukaryae. When considering microorganisms, this information has created major changes in our understanding of phylogeny and our use of taxonomy. This course consists of two parts.  In one part, current taxonomic groupings of microorganisms and their basic characteristics are discussed. The second part of the course focuses on how these groupings were created and weaknesses in our current understanding. This is discussed in theory and also applied by students to sample data sets. Offered online, Spring of even-numbers years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Julie Shaffer 308-865-8661 or shafferjj@unk.edu & Dr. Dawn Simon 308-865-8470 or simondm@unk.edu

BIOL 813 - Issues in BioEthics (3 credits)

Bioethics is the study of ethical controversies in both biology and medicine. Science has progressed significantly in the last century and with this progress has come ethical questions. The intent of this course is to focus on a variety of issues that have arisen, including, but not limited to, assisted reproductive technologies, sex selection, cloning, and stem cell research to name a few. Offered online, Spring of even-numbered years. 
Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Meghan Sindelar 308-865-8695 or sindelarm@unk.edu

BIOL 814 - Plant Pathology (3 credits)

The course focuses on the biology of plant pathogen interactions.  Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of the disease processes of a large variety of plant diseases at both the whole plant and the molecular level.  Emphasis is also placed on current issues and topics in plant pathology in independent research review projects.  Offered online, Spring of even-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Paul Twigg 308-­865­-8315 or twiggp@unk.edu

BIOL 820 - Introduction to Graduate Study (3 credits)

An introduction to graduate study and requirements at UNK with emphasis on research methods and biological techniques for the professional teacher and biologist.  Students will gain an appreciation for the scientific method by formulating good scientific questions including sound null and alternative hypotheses, design experimental methods addressing the hypotheses and propose appropriate statistical tests for evaluation of results.  Students will practice the art of locating and understanding scientific literature.  In addition, students will engage in scientific writing which will include the submission of a research proposal.  Offered online, every semester.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Thomas Freeman 308-865-8595 or freemantl@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: The student is encouraged to take this course during his/her first 9 hours of graduate work in Biology. Course is required before enrolling in Biological Research BIOL 831A-F.

BIOL 823 - Environmental Biology (3 credits)

Environmental biology focuses on the interface of human activity and the natural biological world.  The impacts of humans on biogeochemical cycles, ecosystems, and individual species are examined.  The role of governmental policies and politics is a part of this discipline and is reviewed.  Recent scientific research and reports are used to predict what the future challenges are to humans and organisms in the face of the rapid changes brought about by human activity.  Offered online, Fall of even-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Marc Albrecht 308-865-8713 or albrechtm@unk.edu

BIOL 824 - Principles of Ecology (3 credits)

Ecology is the study of how species interact with each other and with their abiotic environment.  There are many disciplines within ecology that we will touch on, including marine ecology, ecological physiology, population biology, and community ecology.  This class will summarize current ecological knowledge, and students will read a number of classic papers in the field.  Offered online, Spring of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Marc Albrecht 308-865-8713 or albrechtm@unk.edu

BIOL 827 - Biological Statistics (3 credits)

This class is divided into two main areas.  The first is biological statistics: the collection and analysis of scientific data.  The second area is experimental design:  how an experimental hypothesis is built and what are the pieces and procedures needed to conduct a successful experiment.  The class is not mathematically intensive and relies on the power of computers beyond a few examples done by hand.  The class includes both parametric and non-parametric statistics with continuous and categorical variables.  Offered online, every Spring.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Marc Albrecht 308-865-8713 or albrechtm@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: This course is most helpful for students if taken before the BIOL 831 sequence is started.

BIOL 828 - Human Evolution (2 credits)

Human evolution has been an interest of humans probably ever since people could think about the idea. This course examines the current state of scientific knowledge of human origins. The class will focus primarily on anthropological evidence, but also include genetic and behavioral information to a lesser extent. The class is primarily a reading and discussion course. Offered online, Fall of even-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Marc Albrecht 308-865-8713 or albrechtm@unk.edu

BIOL 829 - Ecological Anthropology (2 credits)

This course is a study of human civilization through the lens of biology.  Readings specifically examine the role of biogeography, domesticable species distribution, and how the distribution of other natural resources has affected which human societies have been the most successful. The class also focuses on why certain civilizations have failed. This is a reading course with an emphasis on discussion. Offered online, Summer of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Marc Albrecht 308-865-8713 or albrechtm@unk.edu

BIOL 830P - Avian Life History (3 credits)

This course is an investigation of the major life history stages of birds.   We will discuss topics including:  evolution of birds, reproduction, migration, flight, and a variety of current topics in ornithology.  Assigned readings from the scientific literature, exams, inquiry based activities/assignments, and online discussions will be used to explore these topics. Plan to spend several hours each week on reading, writing, responding to topic discussions, and participating in activities.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Letitia Reichart 308-865-8568 or reichartlm@unk.edu

BIOL 830P - Bioethics of HeLa Cells (3 credits)

HeLa cells are one of the oldest and most commonly used human cell line.  Even though the utility of this cell line is vast and important, the history behind how the cells were isolated and used is a bioethical conundrum.  Science, medicine, and technology have progressed significantly because of the use of HeLa cells and with this progress have come ethical questions.  The intent of this course is to focus on the biological, medical, technological, and ethical issues surrounding HeLa cells.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Kim Carlson 308-865-1554 or carlsonka1@unk.edu

BIOL 830P - Evolutionary Perspectives in Medicine (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to evolutionary medicine. We will review basic evolutionary principles and apply them to medically relevant issues.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Dawn Simon 308-865-8470 or simondm@unk.edu

BIOL 830P - Immunology (3 credits)

Prerequisites: Cell Biology, Microbiology and Genetics. A general survey of the major vertebrate virus families but also including a description of plant and bacterial viruses. Major topics of discussion will include, viruses and disease, virus replication strategies, virus structure and antiviral strategies.  Offered online, every Summer.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Brad Ericson  308-865-8912 or ericsonb@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: Cell Biology or Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetics. A molecular and cellular approach to understanding the immune response is described. Major topics of discussion will include, mechanisms of innate immunity, the complement system, antibody structure and function, the cellular components of the adaptive immune system, and vaccines.

BIOL 830P - Invasive Species Biology (3 credits)

Concerns regarding the invasion of non-native species has spurred the study of biological invasions into an emerging and rapidly advancing branch of ecology. This course will offer an introduction to the biology and ecology of invasive species, with emphasis on their introduction and establishment, impacts, management, and implications for conservation.  Offered online, Fall of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Kerri Farnsworth-Hoback 308­-865­-8410 or farnsworthkm@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: Background in general ecology is helpful.

BIOL 830P - Mycology (3 credits)

This course will provide a survey of organisms belonging to and related to the Kingdom Fungi. You will learn about the many groups of fungi and how to identify many of the members, as well as learn about the beneficial and detrimental effects of fungi related to people.  Offered online, Spring of odd-numbered years. Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Paul Twigg 308-­865­-8315 or twiggp@unk.edu

BIOL 830P - Physiology of Plants (3 credits)

Life processes of plants with an emphasis on water relations and hormonal and stress physiology.  Offered online, Fall of even-numbered years. 
Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Paul Twigg 308-­865­-8315 or twiggp@unk.edu

BIOL 830P - Plant Systematics & Evolution (3 credits)

We will explore the systematics, classification, and evolution of higher plants. The topics covered will include the science of systematics, the methods and principles of systematics, the classification of flowering plants, structural, biochemical, and molecular systematics, plant diversity and evolution, green plant phylogeny, and the phylogenetic relationships of lycophytes, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms.  Offered online, Spring of even-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Paul Twigg 308-­865­-8315 or twiggp@unk.edu

BIOL 830P - Regional Anatomy & Physiology (3 credits)

A detailed investigation of the anatomy and physiology of a specific region of the human body. Students will select an instructor-approved region to study. Coursework consists of extensive use of Internet and library resources to produce a high quality, properly cited paper roughly equivalent to a book chapter on the topic.  Offered online, every Summer.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Thomas Freeman 308-865-8595 or freemantl@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: Not for students without some anatomy and physiology knowledge.

BIOL 830P - Zoonotic and Neglected Tropical Diseases (3 credits)

This course will examine the variety of infectious agents that cause Zoonotic and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) that have a significant impact on global health and public health policies. This class will explore the lifecycle of these infectious agents, the mechanisms these agents employ to cause disease and the strategies that are in place to ameliorate their effects in low and middle-income countries. Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Travis Bourret 308-865-8224 or bourrett@unk.edu 
RECOMMENDATIONS:  It is strongly suggested that students have taken an introductory microbiology course and/or Biology 840 Infectious Diseases.

BIOL 831A-F - Biological Research (1 credit - 6 credits needed in total)

The goal of this course is to acquaint a student with research associated with the biological sciences. After completing six hours, a student will have a thorough literature review, have designed a novel set of experiments, created research materials and methods, collected and analyzed data, and a written final report in a format agreed upon by the student and the advisor. This course requires permission to register. Offered online, every semester. 
Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTORS: Dr. Janet Steele 308-865-8325 or steelej@unk.edu
PREREQUISITE:  BIOL 820 - Introduction to Graduate Study

BIOL 832 - Crane Ecology (1 credit)

This course is an in-depth study of the behavior and ecology of cranes.  Assigned readings from the scientific literature, one writing assignment and online discussions will be used to explore a variety of topics including: reproductive biology, wintering ecology, migratory behavior, conservation and management of cranes. Plan to spend at least several hours each week on reading, writing, and responding to topic discussions.  Offered online, Fall of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Letitia Reichart 308-865-8568 or reichartlm@unk.edu

BIOL 834 - Conservation Biology (3 credits)

An overview of conservation biology and its importance. Special emphasis is placed on ecological, economic, and social issues relevant to biological rarity. Offered online, Spring of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Letitia Reichart 308-865-8568 or reichartlm@unk.edu

BIOL 836 - Biology of Size (3 credits)

This class examines the importance of size for biological organisms from bacteria to blue whales, microcosms to large-scale communities. Often in biology we fail to consider the importance of physical laws which determine rates of diffusion and heat transfer, transfer of force and momentum, the strength of structures, the dynamics of locomotion and more. This class attempts to rectify this oversight with readings and lectures examining the impacts of being a given size. Offered online, Summer of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Wyatt Hoback 308-865-8602 or hobackww@unk.edu

BIOL 838 - Essential Human Anatomy (3 credits)

Human anatomy including essential aspects of functional morphology will be covered. Topics covered may include the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, urinary, digestive and reproductive systems. Detailed discussion of specific anatomical regions will be required.  Offered online, every Fall.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Thomas Freeman 308-865-8595 or freemantl@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: A good course for students with little knowledge of human anatomy. Also useful for students interested in teaching high school AP courses, community college anatomy and physiology, or needing a refresher course.

BIOL 839 - Human Physiological Systems (3 credits)

General human physiology will be studied with an emphasis on systems. The integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, urinary, digestive, immune and reproductive systems will be discussed. Salient mechanical, physical and biochemical processes of organs, tissues and cells will be covered. Anatomy will be included at a level necessary to make sense of the system's function.  Offered online, every Spring.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Thomas Freeman 308-865-8595 or freemantl@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: Students will need a basic understanding of chemistry. Two semesters of undergraduate general chemistry are likely sufficient.

BIOL 840 - Infectious Diseases (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to medical microbiology with coverage of viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan disease causing microorganisms. It will cover the basic mechanisms of infection, disease progression, and immune response. It is strongly suggested that students have taken an introductory microbiology course before taking this class. Offered online, every Fall.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Julie Shaffer 308-865-8661 or shafferjj@unk.edu

BIOL 841 - Virology (3 credits)

An in-depth discussion of the principles of modern virology.  Major topics of discussion will include: virus replication strategies, virus structure, virus infection and disease, and host resistance to disease. Offered online, every Spring.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Brad Ericson 308-865-8912 or ericsonb@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: A course in genetics and a course in cell biology or biochemistry is strongly recommended.

BIOL 844 - Molecular Biotechnolgy (3 credits)

The course will consist of a short review of pertinent principles in protein structure and function, enzyme mechanisms and kinetics, and the basics of the genetic dogma and recombinant DNA technology. The bulk of the course will be made up of a topical consideration of subjects in bio­technology such as: the production of protein pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering of animals and plants, and cloning of organisms. Special consideration will be given to the molecular mechanisms behind the processes discussed. Offered online, Spring of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Paul Twigg 308-­865­-8315 or twiggp@unk.edu

BIOL 845 - Forensic Biology (3 credits)

This course will be a wide consideration of all aspects of Forensic Biology ranging from general considerations to the latest in molecular techniques. We will also review current literature, discuss case studies, and look at some mass market publications on crime scene investigation.  Offered online, every Summer.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Paul Twigg 308-865-8315 or twiggp@unk.edu

BIOL 846 - Cancer Biology (3 credits)

This course is designed as a survey of the current state of knowledge in the cellular and molecular biology of cancer processes. The students will also review current literature in cancer biology by analyzing and critiquing current articles. Offered online, Fall of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Paul Twigg 308-­865­-8315 or twiggp@unk.edu

BIOL 853 - Genome Evolution (3 credits)

This course is a survey of current research in genome evolution with an emphasis on understanding the unifying evolutionary principles. Topics include gene duplication, polyploidy, mobile elements, and comparative genomics.  Offered online, every Fall.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Dawn Simon 308-865-8470 or simondm@unk.edu

BIOL 854 - Biological Application of GIS (3 credits)

This class introduces students to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and associated concepts and technologies. The class curriculum includes an introduction to (and temporary license for) the ArcGIS GIS software package, cartographic principles, online GIS data sources, and the functioning of Global Positioning System (GPS). Particular attention will be paid to organizing GIS data into appropriate data structures and the completion of independent research projects. The independent projects have been found to be a crucial component for becoming familiar with much of the material covered in the class. No prior experience with GIS or GPS software or GPS receivers is expected. Offered online, Fall of odd-numbered years.
Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Marc Albrecht 308-865-8713 or albrechtm@unk.edu

BIOL 857 - Human Histology (3 credits)

Histology is also called micro-anatomy. This course examines animal bodies on the tissue and cellular level. Most examples will be from human anatomy. Basic tissue types will be studied as well as organ structure and function. As a distance class, micropictographs will be used (not glass slides) from the web, as well as from an assigned textbook. No prior experience with histology is expected. Offered online, Summer of even-numbered years. Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Marc Albrecht 308-865-8713 or albrechtm@unk.edu

BIOL 858 - Physiology of Stress (3 credits)

An examination of how living organisms cope with short- and long-term exposure to extreme environmental conditions related to nutrient and water availability, temperature, and pressure. A basic understanding of organismal physiology is required. Offered online, every Summer.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Janet Steele 308-865-8325 or steelej@unk.edu

BIOL 860 - Concepts of Genetics (3 credits)

Application based course covering the classical and molecular principles of inheritance. Concepts covered include various historical concepts surrounding transmission, molecular, and population genetics, current state of the discipline, and the future outlook for the field. Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge and critical thinking skills through quizzes, tests and writing assignments. Offered online, Fall of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Kim Carlson 308-865-1554 or carlsonka1@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: A good course for students with little knowledge of genetics. Also useful for students interested in teaching high school AP courses, community college genetics, or those needing a refresher course.

BIOL 861P - Human Genetics (3 credits)

The course focuses on contemporary human genetics with emphasis on genetic diseases. A study of the genetic basis and frequency of genetic defects in man and genetic counseling. Offered online, Fall of even-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Kim Carlson 308-865-1554 or carlsonka1@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: Students should be comfortable with introductory genetics concepts. Need to have a good grasp of meiosis, DNA replication, and basic inheritance. If it has been awhile you may want to take BIOL 860: Concepts of Genetics, first.

BIOL 862P - Animal Behavior (3 credits)

An introduction to the science of ethology. The course will examine behavior genetics, physiology of behavior, ecology of behavior, and the evolution of behavior.  Offered online, Summer of odd-numbered years. 
Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Joe Springer 308-865-8920 or springerj@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: A good course for students with an interest in animals in general, not just wildlife. Although it covers genetics, physiology, ecology, and evolution of behavior, prior coursework in those fields is not necessary. It is recommended that you have taken a course in scientific writing (Intro to Grad Studies would suffice) before enrolling in this course.

BIOL 863 - Biological Perspectives (3 credits)

A review of the major advances in biology from the ancients to the present, with emphasis on paradigm shifts and science as a human endeavor. Offered online, every Spring and Summer.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Wyatt Hoback 308-865-8602 or hobackww@unk.edu

BIOL 866 - Functional Morphology (3 credits)

A study of structure, form, and function of morphological adaptations in plants and animals as examined through mechanical, ecological, and evolutionary perspectives. This course will investigate the form and functions of organisms largely by examination of the scientific literature. Offered online, Spring of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Thomas Freeman 308-865-8595 or freemantl@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: Students should be comfortable with evaluation of scientific literature in diverse fields of inquiry.

BIOL 869 - Conservation of Birds and Mammals (3 credits)

"Wildlife" is defined as wild birds and wild mammals. It does not include other vertebrates (fish, amphibians, or reptiles), nor does it include invertebrate animals.  This is a course about the Principles of Wildlife Conservation, and is not specifically about wildlife management, or even wildlife ecology. However, both these latter subjects will be examined briefly. Wildlife conservation usually involves as much if not more of the following disciplines than it involves biology: history, sociology, and politics. It is recommended that you have taken a course in ecology and statistics before enrolling in this course. Offered online, Summer of even-numbered years. 
Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Joe Springer 308-865-8920 or springerj@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: A good course for students with an interest in wildlife. Although it also covers sociology, history, and politics as these disciplines affect conservation, prior coursework in those fields is not necessary. It is recommended that you have taken a course in general ecology and a course in scientific writing (Intro to Grad Studies would suffice) before enrolling in this course.

BIOL 870 - Insect Biology (3 credits)

An introduction to insects and related arthropods. Emphasis is placed on morphology, physiology, taxonomy and ecology of insects. Offered online, Summer of even-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Wyatt Hoback 308-865-8602 or hobackww@unk.edu

BIOL 876 - Natural Science Curriculum (3 credits)

For practicing science teachers. Emphasis on scientific literacy and the alignment of K-12 science curricula with state and national standards and benchmarks. Offered online, every Spring.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Kerri Farnsworth-Hoback 308­-865­-8410 or farnsworthkm@unk.edu 
RECOMMENDATIONS: For science teachers. Assignments require access to school science curricula and draw upon teaching practices and experiences.

BIOL 877 - Writing in the Sciences (2 credits)

Academic writing in the sciences can be a daunting solitary endeavor. It is the hope of this course to take away the fear of the blank page and help to engage the class with a sense of community that is inherently beneficial to the writing process. This course is particularly geared towards students who have been away from academic writing for many years, or perhaps decades. This will be an introduction into this type of writing, complete with an overview of the materials available to you as a distance student. The primary purpose of this course is to improve your written communications skills. We will focus on your ability to prepare and write technical papers in a professional scientific format. A crucial part of learning to write technical papers is reading them and practicing writing them yourself. Plan to spend at least several hours each week on reading, writing, and practicing the skills we cover in this course. Offered Online, Fall of even-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Meghan Sindelar 308-865-8695 or sindelarm@unk.edu

BIOL 881 - Current Issues in Biology (1 credit - 3 credits needed in total)

This course will expose the student to many different biological research topics, stimulate discussion on these topics, promote awareness of current issues in biology, help students critically analyze relevant and contemporary primary literature and ensure students are able to prepare appropriate presentations for scientific meetings. Offered online, every semester.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Casey Schoenebeck schoenebeccw@unk.edu

BIOL 883 - Aquatic Trophic Ecology (3 credits)

This course was developed to provide a thorough examination of the interactions between abiotic and biotic components of freshwater ecosystems incorporating both theoretical and applied aspects of aquatic food web management. Major themes of the course will include nutrient cycling, trophic state and eutrophication, predation and food webs, and fisheries ecology. Selected scientific literature and text readings will stress professional differences of opinion during discussion of topics, which is intended to guide students toward an understanding that ecological principles rarely are simple and that current dogma can at times be incorrect or incomplete. Finally, this course is directed at improving student communication (written and electronic information/technology based) and critical thinking skills. Offered online, every Spring.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Casey Schoenebeck schoenebeccw@unk.edu

BIOL 884 - Freshwater Management Techniques (3 credits)

Through videotaped lectures, reading and writing assignments, and on-line discussions, students will be introduced to both freshwater ecosystems and fishery management. Students will learn to analyze freshwater management problems using multiple techniques, to suggest alternative approaches, and to identify consequences of those approaches. Offered online, Fall of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Keith Koupal 308-865-5326 or koupalkd@unk.edu

BIOL 886 - Sexual Selection (1 credit)

Small group discussions will be used to discuss readings on the role of sexual selection in evolution. Offered online, Spring of odd-numbered years.  Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Kerri Farnsworth-Hoback 308­-865­-8410 or farnsworthkm@unk.edu
RECOMMENDATIONS: Background in evolution is helpful.

BIOL 887 - Fisheries Ecology (3 credits)

This course was developed to provide a thorough examination of both theoretical and applied aspects of fisheries ecology. Major themes of the course will include individual ecology (feeding, growth, and reproduction), population ecology, and community ecology (predation and competition). Selected scientific literature and text readings will stress professional differences of opinion during discussion of topics, which is intended to guide students toward an understanding that ecological principles rarely are simple and that current dogma can at times be incorrect or incomplete. Finally, this course is directed at improving student communication (written and electronic information/technology based) and critical thinking skills. Offered online, Summer of odd-numbered years. Sample Syllabus
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Casey Schoenebeck schoenebeccw@unk.edu