Looking for an interesting biology class to fulfill your course requirements? Want to get credits faster? Check out a couple of great options for the biology courses this fall at ACC.
Did you know how many amazing resources there are to get help in your biology courses? The biology department has a study lab in the library that is staffed by ACC biology faculty to help you with your courses. This study lab room is stocked not only with instructors, but with models, microscopes, slides, and lab equipment. We can also help with scientific writing and lab reports! The main library desk also has these items if you’d like to check them out and study on your own for a couple of hours.
For those students in BIO111, our Student Success Center also has S.I. (Student Instructors) that meet throughout the week for help with that course.
by Rachel Willard, ACC Biology Faculty
The biology department has a course that covers basic human anatomy and physiology with a focus on wellness, nutrition, and disease prevention? It has lots of amazing labs like blood typing, EKGs, DNA fingerprinting, urinalysis, and even a CADAVER WORKSHOP!
There is a traditional version and a hybrid version. Both have a lab that meets once a week. There are two sections running Spring 2019:
BIO 104 101
Lecture: Monday/Wednesday, 9 – 10:15am
Lab: Wednesday, 10:30am – 12:20pm
BIO 104 301
Lab: Tuesday, 4 – 5:50pm
It’s a GT (guaranteed transfer) science class. This would be great for you if you are in one of our healthcare programs or need a transferable lecture/lab science course. Talk to your advisor about how to apply this class to your degree or certificate!
by Rachel Willard, ACC Biology Faculty
We’re happy to tell you that our Littleton campus 3rd floor remodel is nearly complete! We have newly remodeled science labs, restrooms and student space. If you don’t remember what it looked like before, take a look.
While we have a couple of rooms left to complete, the majority of the construction is finished and our students are already utilizing these new spaces for their classes, labs and study time.
ACC Littleton 3rd Floor Science Labs
ACC Littleton 3rd Floor Student Lounge
Are you looking for a college that will give you real world, unique experiences working not only cross-departmentally, but also with other colleges? ACC takes pride in giving our students the opportunity to learn in a multitude of ways, thus increasing their job skills and their confidence in those skills.
One recent project allowed biology students to work with the University of Denver and our own multimedia, graphic design and illustration students to create work that was both scientifically and visually compelling.
Dr. Nia Bauer, ACC Biology Faculty:
To increase scientific literacy, problem solving skills, student interest and success in STEM courses, ACC Biology students are being exposed to a real-world hands-on research experience. Engaging students in a meaningful research experience early in their academic careers can have lasting implications for both initial student success and long-term development of a community of innovative, problem solving citizens.
Through a partnership with Randall Cohrs, Ph.D., Department of Neurology at the University of Denver, ACC BIO 111 students are working on a research project to map possible promoter regions in the Varicella Zoster Virus DNA, responsible for Chickenpox and Shingles. These regions will help researchers understand how the virus become activated and latent (deactivated). Ultimately, this information could lead to the design of treatment for chickenpox and shingles.
I believe that this is where education is going, away from canned labs to more open-ended projects that allow students to understand how science is really done. Since we did things a bit ‘differently’ this year in BIO 111 labs, I was looking for a way to visually represent the project that was more engaging than just words in a lab. This is why I asked Tom to help fulfill this vision and his class did an outstanding job!
Tom DeMoulin, ACC Multimedia, Graphic Design and Illustration Department Chair:
A cross-department faculty collaboration between the Biology and Multimedia/Graphic Design departments provided advanced opportunities for students in both departments last semester.
In the fall of 2015, Biology 111 students were to embark on an undergraduate research project in collaboration with a University of Denver researcher. This ongoing work allows ACC students to map the Varicella Zoster Virus DNA, responsible for Chickenpox and Shingles, looking specifically for regions that activate and de-activate the virus. Dr. Bauer wanted a visually dynamic tool to engage BIO 111 students from the outset. Nia reached out to me and my students to create a unique, animated introduction to the process.
My Motion Graphics class, MGD 143, took up the challenge as I incorporated this project into the course’s curriculum for a month of the term. Acting as both the client and technical advisor, Dr. Bauer was interviewed on multiple occasions by the Motion Graphics class to ensure both technical accuracy and her satisfaction with the project’s direction. The five-minute animation was delivered on time in a relatively short turnaround of five weeks and has subsequently been used in multiple sections of General Biology 111.
View the video of this project on ACC’s YouTube Channel.
Beginning in Fall 2016, ACC students will have the option to enroll in a new Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Fermentation Sciences. The program launches with its first fermentation-specific course, FER 101: Craft Beer Brewing.
Colorado continues to be at the forefront of the craft beer industry, ranking first in the country in terms of economic impact per capita (Brewers Association). A report conducted by the CU Leads School of Business notes a 178 percent growth in the number of breweries in the state since the recession ended in 2009. This 2014 report further explains, “Craft breweries, and especially brewpubs, are inherently labor intensive, making the economic impacts fundamentally local.”
Indeed, as the brewing market has grown in Colorado, so has the industry’s demand for well-educated professionals who are knowledgeable in the field. The malting process, the selection and management of yeast, the hop products, and the various possible sources of contamination – it’s all very science intensive, and the quality and consistency of a product is dependent on accurately implementing this science.
To ensure that graduates from ACC’s new associates program have a foundational understanding of such processes, the degree includes basic coursework in biology, chemistry, and physics. The two fermentation-specific courses are designed with direct, practical application in mind. There are also no science prerequisites for the two fermentation-specific courses, so anyone who is driven to learn about the science and art behind fermenting is encouraged to enroll.
“So…a degree in beer?!” you ask. Not quite!
Fermentation refers to a metabolic process through which yeasts or bacteria convert carbohydrates to alcohol and carbon dioxide. While beer, wine, and liquors are all made through fermentation, the process is not limited to making libations.
The list of food products made through fermentation processes is extensive and includes: cheese, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other pickled vegetables. Many such products are chock-full of probiotics, or good bacteria. Due to the widely- publicized benefits of probiotics on gut health and physical well-being, there has been a tremendous spike in the consumption of fermented products.
Take kombucha, as one example of the growth in these “functional foods.” Who would have thought we’d see the day when a bacteria-and-yeast fermented tea would be commonplace in your typical grocer?! According to a 2015 market report, there was a nearly fivefold increase in global kombucha sales from 2013 to 2015, to about $600 million a year. Sales are projected to hit $1.8 billion by 2020 (MicroMarket Monitor, 2015). This is a trend that far exceeds that established by your typical fad diet!
Students who fulfill the requirements for the A.S. degree and wish to further their education will be eligible to transfer to Colorado State University’s B.S. in Fermentation Science and Technology program.
Those not interested in pursuing an associates degree may opt to enroll in an individual fermentation course with their own personal development in mind. If you have an interest in the health benefits of fermented food products, or have ever wanted to learn how to prepare your own kombucha or yogurts at home, then FER 203: Fermented Foods Sciences would be a perfect fit.
Maybe you’d like to learn how to better your home-brewing techniques or simply wish to gain a deeper appreciation for the expansive variety of beer styles and the different ingredients and processes that lead to this diversity. If that’s you, then we hope you’ll join us for FER 101 this fall. We are excited to have partnered with Breckenridge Brewery and have some field trips in store to their impressive facility just down the street!
by Jessica Blatecky, Biology Faculty