CANs List

Curriculum Action Notice


Academic Affairs Committee


February 13, 2006

This is a bulletin from the Academic Affairs Committee concerning proposed curricular actions. Please forward any comments or concerns in the next 10 days to the AAC chair, Jannis Floyd, Retan Center 208-D, ext. 4795,

Curricular Action Notice: Biology
New Course Request: BI 3381 Environmental Microbiology (4 credits)

Purpose and Nature of Course: To provide a course which presents the major principles of microbiology through an environmental perspective for those students concentrating in areas such as Fisheries and Environmental Science.
Clock Hours: Lecture __3__ Recitation _____ Lab ___3_
Contract Hours: Lecture __3__ Recitation _____ Lab __3__
Course Description for Catalog (limit to four sentences):
An introductory course with emphasis on the basic principles and concepts of microbiology focusing on the diversity of microbes, their metabolism, and their role in the environment. The laboratory helps students develop culturing techniques and other experimental methods commonly used for the study of microbial populations in their environment.
Prerequisites: BI 3370
Requested initial date of offering (Must meet new catalog deadline of March 1)_Fall 2007Estimated Frequency of Offering: _every other year in fall_List 1 – 3 sample textbooks for this course:
  • Madigan, Michael T., Martinko, John, and Parker, Jack. 2002. Brock Biology of Microorganisms (10th ed.). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Prescott, Lansing M., Harley, John P., Klein, Donald A. 2005. Microbiology (6th ed.) McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
  • Supplemental book:
    Dyer, Betsey Dixon. 2003. A Field Guide to the Bacteria. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
Describe Evaluative Techniques
Students will be assessed through multiple exams, a specimen collection, writing assignments and successful application of laboratory methods.

Environmental Microbiology Course Outline

Topical outline (Lecture):
(Modified from the American Society for Microbiology Core Themes and Concepts for an Introductory Microbiology Course)

Microbial cell biology
Information flow within a cell
Regulation of cellular activities
Cellular structure and function
Growth and division
Cell energy metabolism*

Microbial genetics
Inheritance of genetic information
Cause, consequences and uses of mutations
Exchange and acquisition of genetic information*
Interactions and impact of microorganisms and humans
Microbial pathogenicity
Antibiotics and chemotherapy
Genetic engineering*
Interactions and impact of microorganisms in the environment
Adaptation and natural selection*
Microbial recycling of resources*
Microbes transforming environment*
Integrating Themes
Microbial evolution*
Microbial diversity*

* - Particular emphasis in this course

Topical outline (Laboratory):
  • Aseptic technique
  • Microscope use
  • Slide preparation
  • Staining methods
  • Media preparation
  • Microbial growth
  • Microbial quantification
  • Use of physiological test media (microbial metabolism)
  • Isolation of target microorganisms (phylogenetically and/or metabolically defined)
  • Identification of microorganisms
  • Winogradsky columns
  • Evaluation of bacterial communities using culturing and/or molecular techniques
  • Antibiotic-producing environmental isolates
  • Genetic engineering and molecular technique


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