Montana State University

Department Course Descriptions 2014-2016

Biology Courses / Fish and Wildlife (WILD) Science and Management Courses

BIOLOGY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Descriptions are in numerical order rather than rubric order in this arrangement.

Upperdivision courses are numbered 300 and 400. Graduate courses are numbered 500 and above. For admission to upper division (numbered 300 or higher) Biology (BIOB, BIOE, BIOO, BIOM) and Fish and Wildlife Management (WILD) courses, students must have completed at least 45 total university credits with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 for all courses and have also earned a "C-"or better for any prerequisite courses.  Limited exceptions may be made by consent of instructor. Any student who obtains enrollment in an upper division biology course without satisfying these requirements will be required to withdraw from the course.

 

The MSU Course Equivalency Tool will provide the former rubric for each course or prerequisite. 

BIOB 100IN - ORGANISM FUNCTION
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in fall semesters
The course examines biological  origins and diversity of life on Earth, emphasizing  biodiversity of principal biomes, origins of biodiversity,  and  exploring form, function, and adaptation of relevant biological systems, including photosynthesis, nutrition, and immunity.  The course also explores relevant ecological relationships among organisms with an emphasis on animals and plants. 

BIOE 103CS - ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & SOCIETY
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in fall semesters
The relationship between people and the environment using the earth as an ecosystem to show the effects of people's activities on natural ecosystems. Environmental issues such as wilderness, wolf reintroduction, global warming, fire ecology, whirling disease, and grizzlies are covered.

BIOB 170IN – PRINCIPLES of BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
4 credits, Lecture 3, Lab 1
Offered in fall and spring semesters
This course examines the biology, ecology, and evolutionary relationships among living organisms. All forms of life will be considered, from single celled prokaryotes to multicellular eukaryotic plants and animals.

BIOO 230 - IDENTIFICATION OF SEED PLANTS
4 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 2
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOB 170IN
Identification of conifers, trees and shrubs, and herbaceous seed plants; determination by use of manuals; vocabulary, classification and nomenclature; and preparation and collection of seed plant specimens.

BIOE 290R UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
1-3 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum of 6 credits 
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Consent of instructor and approval of department head
Directed undergraduate research which may culminate in a written work or other creative project. Course will address responsible conduct of research.

BIOE 292 INDEPENDENT STUDY
1-3 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum of 6 credits, 
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Consent of instructor and approval of department head
Directed research and study on an individual basis.

BIOE 370 GENERAL ECOLOGY 3 credits, Lecture 
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOB 170IN; M121Q or M161Q or M171Q; Recommended: STAT 216Q or BIOB 318
Relation of organisms to their environment. The composition, structure, function and distribution of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Emphasis on population ecology, including demography, population dynamics and evolutionary ecology.

BIOE 375 ECOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE
3 credits, Lecture 
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOB160 and BIOB 170IN, and BIOE 370 or NRSM 240
Students explore how ecosystems are responding to climate changes at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Case studies include changes in vegetation and soils, plants and animal phenology, and disease outbreaks.

BIOE 405 BEHAVIORAL & EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture 
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370.
Abundance and distribution of organisms in relation to their evolution, behavior, population biology and interactions with other organisms.

BIOE 408 ROCKY MOUNTAIN VEGETATION
2 credits, Lecture 1, Lab 1
Offered in fall semesters
PREREQUISITE: Junior or senior status in biological sciences and consent of instructor
Field identification of major Rocky Mountain ecosystem-types; the composition, structure and function of climax and alternate communities; their environments, geography and history; and discussion of management alternatives. Includes introduction to field methods, statistical evaluations, remote sensing, and library use.

BIOO 412 ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in fall semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOB 160 or BIOB 260, and one of the following: CHMY 211, CHMY 321, or CHMY 123.
General homeostatic physiology of animals with emphasis on mammals. Selected body systems are covered with major emphasis on the integration of body processes.

BIOO 415 ICHTHYOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOO 310.
Characteristics, classification, evolution, and life histories of major groups of marine and freshwater fishes, with an emphasis on North American freshwater fauna. Laboratory emphasizes identification, morphology, life history, and distribution of Montana species.

BIOE 416 ALPINE ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in summer semesters
PREREQUISITE: Junior standing, BIOB 170IN.
The ecology characteristics of alpine areas. A three-day field trip will confirm and reinforce material presented in class and is a course requirement. 

BIOE 420 FIELD ORNITHOLOGY
 3 credits, Lab
Offered in summer semesters
PREREQUISITE: Junior standing, and either BIOB 100IN or BIOB 170IN.
Field identification, habitat affinities and life histories of birds of the northern Rockies. Includes early morning field trips.

BIOE 421 YELLOWSTONE WILDLIFE ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in summer semesters
PREREQUISITE: Junior standing, and either BIOB 100IN or BIOB 170IN.
Basic ecology of the major animal species of the Yellowstone area and the ecological controversies surrounding their management.

BIOE 427RN REsearch in Freshwater Ecology
3 credits, Lecture 1, Lab 2
Offered in fall semesters
PREREQUISITE: Prior or concurrent registration in BIOE 428.
Optional laboratory for BIOE 428. Introduction to representative freshwater habitats, communities, organisms, and sampling methods through laboratory and field exercises and classroom discussions. Formal written reports are required after completed exercises.

BIOE 428 FRESHWATER ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in fall semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370 or consent of instructor.
This course examines relationships between freshwater organisms and their environment. Students learn about the ecology of rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and wetlands, with exposure to a wide diversity of organisms and processes. Emphasis is placed on linking basic concepts and real-world applications.

BIOE 440R CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in fall semesters 
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370, STAT 216Q and 217Q.
Examines issues relevant to conservation of wild populations, focusing primarily on animals. Emphasis is on approaches that use demography, population biology and genetics to address conservation questions. Readings are from the primary literature, rather than a textbook, including case studies. Cross-listed with BIOE 521.

BIOE 445 MACROSYSTEMS ECOLOGY: Linking Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems across Scales
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in spring semesters 
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370.
Advanced ecology designed to help students "put the pieces together" and understand how plants, animals, and ecosystems interact. These interactions are examined across biomes of the world to better understand general principles to derive effective local management strategies.  

BIOE 455 PLANT ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOB 170IN and BIOE 370 or NRSM 240.
Principles of plant ecology, covering plant-environment relations, plant life histories, plant-animal interactions, plant community concepts, the role of plants in ecosystem processes, and current global issues in plant ecology.

BIOO 470 ORNITHOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOO 310.
Evolution, functional biology, distribution, and classification of birds. Montana species recognition is developed through laboratory use of a representative skin collection.

BIOO 475 MAMMALOGY

3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in fall semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOO 310
Evolution, functional biology, distribution, and classification of mammals. Labs cover taxonomy and identification of representative forms with a focus on Montana species.

BIOB 480 CONSERVATION GENETICS
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in fall semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOB 375, BIOB 420, and STAT 216Q completed. (No concurrent registration.).
Introduces the theory and practice of conservation genetics, focusing primarily on animals. Case studies will be used liberally, and emphasis will be placed on interpreting genetic data. Readings will include primary literature. Cross-listed with BIOE 548.

BIOE 490R UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
1 - 6 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum of 12 credits, maximum of 6 as electives in Organismal Biology Option
On Demand
Directed undergraduate research which may culminate in a research paper, journal article, or undergraduate thesis. Course will address responsible conduct of research.

BIOB 491 SPECIAL TOPICS
1 - 4 credits, may be repeated, maximum of 12 credits, maximum of 6 as electives in Organismal Biology Option
On Demand
PREREQUISITE: Course prerequisites as determined for each offering.
Courses not required in any curriculum for which there is a particular one-time need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand.

BIOE 492 INDEPENDENT STUDY

1 – 3 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum of 12 credits, maximum of 6 as electives in Organismal Biology Option
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Junior standing, consent of instructor and approval of department head.
Directed research and study on an individual basis.

BIOE 494 SEMINAR/WORKSHOP
1 credit, Seminar, may be repeated, maximum 4 credits
Offered fall semesters
PREREQUISITE: Junior standing and as determined for each offering.
Topics offered at the upper division level which are not covered in regular courses. Students attend and discuss write critiques of seminar presentations by professional biologists.

BIOB 497 EDUCATIONAL METHODS/BIOLOGY
Multiple Departments
2 credits, Lab, may be repeated, maximum of 4 credits, maximum of 2 as electives in Biological Sciences Options
Offered all semesters
PREREQUISITE: Junior or senior standing, consent of instructor and department head.
Provides deeper contact with a subject for those considering an academic profession. This provides experience in a teaching laboratory under detailed academic supervision in recognition that teaching enhances learning. Includes the preparation, organization, presentation of materials, and student evaluation.

BIOE 499 SENIOR THESIS/CAPSTONE
2 credits, Seminar
Offered spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: Senior standing in Ecology Department, and prior or concurrent registration in BIOB 420.
Senior capstone course. Discussion of topics that integrate evolutionary theory with ecology, genetics, medicine, behavior, or other subjects that are part of the biology curriculum.

BIOE 514 ECOLOGICAL MODELING
3 credits, Lecture 3
Offered in fall semesters
Many ecological processes take place at time scales that are either too fast or slow, or occur at spatial scales either too small or large, for direct observation. This course will introduce students to ecological modeling as a tool for integrating data from observations and experiments with theoretical approaches, with a particular focus on terrestrial ecosystems. A comprehensive range of topics will be covered; including those related to ecosystem development (i.e., establishment, growth, competition, mortality and disturbance), issues associated with aggregating and scaling ecological data, and introduction to various approaches used for computer modeling.

BIOE 515 LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
4 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 2
Offered in alternate fall semesters in odd numbered years
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
Principles on landscape pattern, change, and function. Application of theory to conservation including population viability, reserve design, multiple-use landscapes. Lab introduces GIS, GPS, and simulation models. For graduate students and motivated undergraduates.

BIOE 517 ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL MODELING
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in spring semesters
Ecological modeling is a rapidly advancing field with new conceptual approaches developed each year for simulating carbon, water, nutrient, and disturbance processes. As new understanding of ecological processes evolve from measurements, experiments, and satellite observations, ecological models must remain adaptive and flexible to remain state-of-art. Advances in ecological modeling are critical for reducing uncertainty in projecting future climate change and climate change impacts in terrestrial ecosystems. The topics of this course will change year-to-year and build from the foundations of ecological modeling covered in BIOE514.

BIOE 521 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in fall semesters 
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370, BIOB 420 and STAT 216Q, and STAT 217Q, or equivalents.
A broad survey of conservative biology, emphasizing approaches related to demography/population dynamics and evolution.  Less extensively considers approaches related to community/ecosystem/landscape ecology. Approaches include empirical field studies, mathematical models, using R for modeling and empirical analysis, reading primary literature, writing a research paper and presenting a research talk. Cross-listed with BIOE 440.

BIOE 524 FRONTIERS IN LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in alternate fall semesters in even numbered years
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370 or the equivalent.
Students and instructor will write a scientific paper for publication that synthesizes an important question in landscape ecology. Students will select the topic, review and synthesize current knowledge on the topic, and write a scientific manuscript.

BIOE 525 RESEARCH METHODS AND THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS not included
3 credits, Lecture 2, Recitation 1
On Demand
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
Application of the scientific method to answer biological questions and the development of skills needed to prepare research proposals, critique research studies and communicate research findings. For first year graduate students.

BIOE 532 PHYSIOLOGICAL PLANT ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in alternate fall semesters in odd numbered years
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370.
Outlines the plant's Hutchinsonian niche through review of energy, material (water, nutrients and toxins) and mechanical (including animal) factors. Computer modeling of plant function in the environment is discussed.

BIOE 533 PHYSIOLOGICAL PLANT ECOLOGY LAB
1 credit, Lab 
On Demand
COREQUISITE: BIOL 532.
A research project in physiological plant ecology will be chosen, carried out and reported in scientific journal format.

BIOE 534 VEGETATION ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture 
Offered in alternate spring semesters in odd numbered years 
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370.
Considers the composition, structure, function, distribution in time and space, ecology and classification of communities. Emphasizes universal methods, current studies and Rocky Mountain systems. Complementary field experience is available in BIOE 408.

BIOE 540 ANALYSIS OF ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES
3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in alternate spring semesters in even numbered years 
Multivariate statistical analysis of data from terrestrial or aquatic, plant or animal communities. Classification, ordination, and predictive modeling of species and communities, emphasizing a hands-on approach and practical problem solving in community ecology.

BIOE 542 COMMUNITY ECOLOGY

3 credits, Lecture
Offered in alternate spring semesters in odd numbered years
PREREQUISITE: At least one undergraduate or graduate course in each of the following: ecology (e.g., M 171Q) and statistics (e.g. STAT 216Q) or consent of instructor.
Focuses on the origin, maintenance, and consequences of biological diversity within local communities by examining studies of natural patterns, explorations of mathematical models and direct experimentation. The complexities of species interactions are explored in multispecies assemblages. 

BIOE 548 CONSERVATION GENETICS

3 credits, Lecture
Offered in fall semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOB 375, STAT 216Q and STAT 217Q.
Introduction to the application of genetics for the conservation of plant and animal populations. Emphasis will be placed on case studies from the primary literature and analyzing genetic data using mathematical models developed in class. Cross-listed with BIOE 480.

BIOE 554 FOUNDATIONS OF ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
1 credit, Seminar
Offered in fall semesters
This course explores the origin, maturation, and application of core principles in ecology. Students gain an appreciation for the scope of ecology, how theory and application are linked, and how big ideas in ecology have matured (or not) over time.

BIOE 555 COMMUNICATIONS IN ECOLOGICAL SCIENCES

1 credit, Seminar
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.
This course will require students to gain experience presenting scientific information in a variety of communication methods.

BIOE 575 RESEARCH OR PROFESSIONAL PAPER/PROJECT

1-4 credits, Independent
On Demand
Graduate standing and committee approval and consent of instructor.
A research or professional paper or project dealing with a topic in the field. The topic must be mutually agreed upon by the student and his or her major advisor and graduate committee.

BIOE 590 MASTER'S THESIS

1-10 credits, Independent, maximum credits unlimited
Offered all semesters 
PREREQUISITE: Master's standing. 

BIOE 591 SPECIAL TOPICS
1-4 credits, Independent, maximum 12 credits
On Demand
PREREQUISITE: Upper division courses and others as determined for each offering.
Courses not required in any curriculum for which there is a particular one time need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand before requesting a regular course number.

BIOE 592 INDEPENDENT STUDY

1-3 credits, Independent, maximum 6 credits
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing, consent of instructor, approval of department head and Dean of Graduate Studies.
Directed research and study on an individual basis.

BIOE 594 SEMINAR

1 credit, Seminar, maximum 4 credits
On Demand
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing or seniors by petition and course prerequisites as determined for each offering.
Topics offered at the graduate level which are not covered in regular courses. Students participate in preparing and presenting discussion material.

BIOE 598 INTERNSHIP
2-12 credits, Independent
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing, consent of instructor and approval of department head.
An individualized assignment arranged with an agency, business or other organization to provide guided experience in the field.

BIOE 690 DOCTORAL THESIS
1-10 credits, Independent, maximum credits unlimited
Offered all semesters.
PREREQUISITE: Doctoral standing.


FISH AND WILDLIFE Science and Management COURSES


WILD 201 INTRODUCTION TO FISH & WILDLIFE
1 credit, Seminar
Offered in fall semesters
An introduction to the career opportunities and current issues associated with management of fisheries and wildlife. For Fish and Wildlife Majors or those interested in the profession.

WILD 290R UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
1-3 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum of 6 credits
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Consent of instructor and approval of department head
Directed undergraduate research which may culminate in a written work or other creative project. Course will address responsible conduct of research. 

WILD 291 SPECIAL TOPICS

1-4 credits, maximum 12 credits
On Demand
PREREQUISITE: None required but some may be determined necessary by each offering instructor.
Courses not required in any curriculum for which there is a particular one-time need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand before requesting a regular course number.

WILD 292 INDEPENDENT STUDY
1 - 6 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum of 12 credits
On Demand
Directed undergraduate research which may culminate in a research paper, journal article, or undergraduate thesis. Course will address responsible conduct of research.

WILD 301 PRINCIPLES OF FISH & WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
3 credits, Lecture
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: BIOB 160 and BIOB 170IN and Junior standing.
Overview of history and ecological principles underlying fish and wildlife management. In-depth discussion of current issues.

WILD 401RN FISH & WILDLIFE CAPSTONE
4 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 2
Offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: WILD 301, STAT 216Q, BIOE 370, and earning degree in Biological Sciences, Fish & Wildlife Management or consent of instructor. 
Senior capstone course. Course emphasizes solving problems related to management of fish and wildlife. Students will be introduced to field techniques, analysis approaches, and scientific literature used to develop management plans for terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. For Fish and Wildlife Majors.

WILD 490R UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH 
1-6 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum of 12 credits, 
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Consent of instructor and approval of department head
Directed undergraduate research which may culminate in a written work or other creative project. Course will address responsible conduct of research.

WILD 491 SPECIAL TOPICS
1 - 3credits, may be repeated, maximum of 12 credits
On Demand
PREREQUISITE: Course prerequisites as determined for each offering.
Courses not required in any curriculum for which there is a particular one-time need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand.

WILD 492 INDEPENDENT STUDY

1 – 3 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum of 6 credits, 
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Junior standing, consent of instructor and approval of department head.
Directed research and study on an individual basis.

WILD 498 INTERNSHIP
1-4 credits, Independent, may be repeated, maximum 8 credits
On Demand
PREREQUISITE: Approval of intern program by instructor and the department head.
An individualized assignment arranged with an agency, business, or other organization to provide guided experience in the field.

WILD 501 APPLIED POPULATION ECOLOGY
3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in spring semesters 
PREREQUISITE: BIOE 370 or WILD 301.
An in-depth review of the (1) key theories of population ecology, (2) the application of theory in contemporary population management, and (3) managing populations in the face of uncertainty.

WILD 502 ANALYSIS OF POPULATION & HABITAT DATA
3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in alternate fall semesters in odd numbered years
PREREQUISITE: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in a four-hundred level statistics course.
Study of the theory and methods of sampling and analyzing population and habitat data for vertebrates. Estimation of population size, survival, & recruitment using competing models that relate population states and rates to habitat conditions and other covariates of interest. Computer lab.

WILD 504 WILDLIFE-HABITAT RELATIONSHIPS 3 credits, Lecture
Offered in alternate spring semesters in even numbered years
PREREQUISITE: Completion of a 500-level statistics course.
This course will help students develop a conceptual and practical understanding of wildlife-habitat relationships and the use, application, and limitations of the analytical tools used to analyze these data.  Course will be a blend of discussion and lecture; students will be responsible for written assignments based on readings and data sets.

WILD 510 FISHERIES SCIENCE

3 credits, Lecture 2, Lab 1
Offered in alternate spring semesters in even numbered years
PREREQUISITE: BIOO 415, WILD 301.
An in-depth review of fisheries data types and the analysis and interpretation of those data as it relates to freshwater fisheries research and management.

WILD 513 FISHERIES HABITAT MANAGEMENT
3 credits, Lecture 
Offered in alternate fall semesters in even numbered years
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
Assessment and application of ecological principles and methods used to protect and restore stream, lake and reservoir habitats for management of fishes and other aquatic organisms.
2014-16
WILD 525 HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
3 credits, Lecture
To be offered in alternate spring semesters in even numbered years
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing 
This course provides fisheries and wildlife management graduate students with an understanding of how social, cultural, behavioral, and demographic characteristics of humans affect fisheries and wildlife management.

WILD 548 RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES

2 credits, Lecture
To be offered in spring semesters
PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
An introduction to the philosophical underpinnings of resource science and management, with the goal of helping students to develop their own ideological perspective.  A broad array of interdisciplinary readings is used to survey philosophical worldviews and explore their influence on science. 

WILD 575 RESEARCH OR PROFESSIONAL PAPER/PROJECT

1-4 credits, Independent
On Demand
Graduate standing and committee approval and consent of instructor
A research or professional paper or project dealing with a topic in the field. The topic must be mutually agreed upon by the student and his or her major advisor and graduation committee.

WILD 591 SPECIAL TOPICS
1-3 credits, maximum 12 credits
On Demand 
PREREQUISITE: Upper division courses and others as determined for each offering.
Courses not required in any curriculum for which there is a particular one time need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand before requesting a regular course number.

 

 



 

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