Earth Day on Campus

Seminars, Projects, Independent Studies

Listed below are classes that offer practice and training or hands-on experience in some facet of biology.  Included here are internships and independent studies classes.

Seminars, Internships, and Independent Studies classes
  • Offered infrequently.  Instructors vary. 2 units. Hours: 36 (36 lecture) Sample syllabus.

    BIOL 291 is an ideal class for students who want to dig deeper into biological issues without the added pressure of exams.  We encourage you to sign up for BIOL 291 if you want to push the boundaries of your skills and knowledge within a group of like-minded students seeking a wider range of experiences in biology. 

    BIOL 291 is a seminars-based course designed to provide students with exposure to a broad range of current research topics in biology while building research and presentation skills.  The course has four main components:

    • Research seminars given by invited successful biologists are sprinkled throughout the semester, and provide students with insights into how research is conducted, as well as cutting edge findings in a variety of biological sub-disciplines.
    • A “journal club” style discussion of research papers published in scientific journals (mostly papers authored by seminar speakers).
    • Through tutorials, worksheets, and discussions, students learn how to read and analyze scientific papers and conduct literature research on a topic of their choosing.
    • At the end of the semester, students will present a 15 -20 minute seminar on their selected research topic.

    Transfer Information: CSU Transferable

  • 1-4 Units depending on hours worked.
    Structured, on-the-job experience in a field directly related to the student's area of interest in the biological sciences.

    Internships and volunteer experience can be a powerful career development tool. By participating in an internship students gain practical hands-on job experience, learn industry standards, and evaluate actual work environments.
    For paid internships, 1 unit = 75 hours, 2 units = 150 hours, 3 units = 225 hours.
    For volunteer internships, 1 unit = 60 hours, 2 units = 120 hours, 3 units = 180 hours. 

    Limitations on Enrollment: Student must have completed 12 units at SBCC with a G.P.A. of 2.5 and a minimum of 6 units with a G.P.A. of 3.0 in the Biological Sciences Department. 
    Skills Advisories: Eligibility for ENG 110 or ENG 110H.
    Transfer Information: CSU Transferable

    As well as internships offered by departments, students can also sign up for WEXP 290 — General Work Experience and receive academic credit for internships and volunteer experience.

    Course Objectives:
    1. To allow students to gain experience in an area of biological science through working with local businesses, museums, nonprofit groups or governmental agencies. The student should be able to apply classroom knowledge from previous biology classes to their work and to gain valuable experience.
    Student Learning Outcomes:
    1. BIOL 295 SLO 1 - Research and prepare a cited written report in a standard scientific format based on a search and evaluation of the literature data.
    2. BIOL 295 SLO 2 - Carry out a research/work project on a timeline with regular guidance from a faculty member.
    3. BIOL 295 SLO 3 - Prepare a written report documenting the research/activities completed.
    Course Content and Scope:

    There will be an individual study plan for each student determined by the employer, student and faculty sponsor before the internship begins.  Student will develop skills and abilities on the job while learning to accept the responsibility of working productively (reporting to work on time, being thoughtful of others' time and work, and accepting criticism as well as compliments). 

    Sample Assignments:
    In consultation with your advisor, develop a plan of action for the first 30 days of the internship. This plan is to include the objectives of the project, the procedures that will be implemented and the days and times committed to the work.

    Required Assignments:

    1. Consult with faculty sponsor during the first two weeks of the semester to see if an appropriate internship is available.
    2. Meet with employer to finalize internship duties, learning expectations and time schedule by third week of the semester.
    3. Keep a journal of work experience to turn in at the end of the semester.
    4. Turn in midterm and final evaluation (both student and employer) to faculty sponsor.

    Methods of Evaluation:

    1. Midterm evaluation by student and employer
    2. Final evaluation by student and employer
    3. Journal
  •  Independent literature search and/or reading of material on a topic in biology. A final report, including an annotated bibliography, is required. 1-4 Units depending on the number of hours.
    Skills Advisories: Eligibility for ENG 110 or ENG 110H. Transfer Information: CSU Transferable

    Each student will design a program of reading with an instructor and file an Independent Studies Contract outlining the proposed research topic.  Before the student begins work, the instructor and the Biological Sciences Department Chairperson must approve the Independent Studies Contract and the contract must be filed with the Admissions office.

    The Independent Reading in Biology concept is intended to meet the special needs of the advanced, able and motivated student in areas which the regular curriculum cannot. No formal instruction is presented by the instructor of record; however consultations with the student during office hours and at other times by appointment will serve as guidance for the project.

    Course Objectives:
    • General: Independent Reading in Biology gives students a more thorough background in areas of interest which a regular course can mention only briefly. The use of literature search techniques in finding and reporting information will strengthen the skills of the student in biology and other areas.
    • Skills and Abilities: A student will be able to collect and read information from primary and secondary sources, perform literature searches, write reports on biological investigations and understand the vocabulary and techniques of a specific area of research.
    • Attitudes and Appreciations: The student will gain a greater appreciation for the research information that may be found in the vast scientific literature. Study in Biology 298 will give the best possible experience in the development of a broadly educated person. It will give the student a chance to work in close relationship with a professional biologist. As such, it will enable the student to learn how to think more effectively, to be more discriminating among values, and to learn how to make appropriate applications of biology to related fields.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    1. BIOL 298 SLO 1 - Work Experience/Independent Study SLO1 - Students will be able to demonstrate in the final report they submit for this class that they have acquired the experiences, competencies and skills that are specified in their independent study course contract.
    2. BIOL 298 SLO 2 - Work Experience/Independent Study SLO2 - Students will demonstrate that they have been able to work independently in engaging in the learning activities required to successfully meet the objectives detailed in their independent studies contract for this course.
  • Limitations on Enrollment: Student must have completed 12 units at SBCC with a G.P.A. of 2.5 and a minimum of 6 units with a G.P.A. of 3.0 in the Biological Sciences Department.
    Skills Advisories: Eligibility for ENG 110 or ENG 110H.
    Hours: 192 (192 lab)

    BIOL 299 is considered an Independent Study class.  Learn more about SBCC's Independent Study Policy

    Independent, systematic research investigation of a problem in biology. A final report on research conducted is required. May be taken four times for credit. Course restricted to 3 repetitions. Transfer Information: CSU Transferable

    The Independent Research concept is intended to meet the special needs of the advanced, able and motivated student in areas which the regular curriculum cannot. No formal instruction is presented by the instructor of record; however consultations with the student during office hours and at other times by appointment will serve as guidance for the project.

    Sample Assignments:
    You will find, review, read, and download at least five full-length (not just the abstracts) peer-reviewed research articles from one or more scientific, peer-reviewed research journals. These articles need to be on some aspect of your Independent Research. You will take at least a page of reading notes on each of these articles to hand in with the finished assignment. These articles comprise your bibliography, which you will then annotate. An annotation is a short (a few sentences, or 50 to 75 words) summary of the content of the article, and can include your personal evaluation of its importance to your own current understanding and/or future professional work.

    Required Assignments:

    Independent Research may be taken fall, spring or summer sessions, subject to the willingness of the instructor. The reading subject matter may vary according to the interests of both student and instructor. A literature search on the selected topic will be conducted and/or selected material will be read. A final report, consisting of a summary of the readings and an annotated bibliography, following the Biological Sciences Research Report Style Guide must be submitted to the instructor and the Biological Sciences Department Chairperson. Students will be required to: 1. file a formal outline of the proposed research with the Biological Sciences Department, 2. submit a record of work conducted as a laboratory or field research notebook. 3. submit a final report following the Biological Sciences Research Report Style Guide.

    Methods of Evaluation:

    Evaluation criteria The nature of the research will determine the basis of student evaluation. The number of experiments completed, consultation of appropriate reference works, completeness of research notebook, the form of the final report and the presentation and interpretation of data collected may serve as the basis of evaluation in whole or in part with other criteria appropriate to the research conducted. At the conclusion of the program of research and with the submission of all written materials, assignment of grades should be done after consultation the Department Chairperson. Graded assignments 1. Annotated bibliography 2. Final report.

    Course Objectives:
    1. General: Independent Research gives students a more thorough background in areas of interest which a regular course can mention only briefly. The use of the scientific method in uncovering information and in reporting the results of laboratory and field investigations would be strengthened. Greater experience in the use of scientific equipment and instrumentation would be gained.
    2. Skills and Abilities: A student will be able to organize a research project, collect data from primary and secondary literature sources, perform of careful research, and write of reports on biological investigations.
    3. Attitudes and Appreciations: The student will gain a greater appreciation for the detail and care necessary for design, experimentation and interpretation of biological research.
    4. Independent Research will give the best possible experience in the development of a broadly educated person. It will give the student a chance to work in close relationship with a professional biologist. As such, it will enable the student to learn how to think more effectively, to be more discriminating among values, and to learn how to make appropriate applications to related fields.
    Student Learning Outcomes:
    1. Research and prepare a cited written report in a standard scientific format based on a search and evaluation of the literature data.
    2. Carry out a research/work project on a timeline with regular guidance from a faculty member.
    3. Prepare a written report documenting the research/activities completed. 
Biomedical Sciences: Human Dissection
  • Directed dissection of a specific region of the  human cadaver. BMS 119 A: Head and Neck, BMS 119 B: Appendages, BMS 119 C: Torso
    May be taken for one credit. This unit of credit requires 48 hours laboratory work per semester. Graded Credit/No Credit only. Transfer Information: CSU Transferable

    In this course, students will, as a member of a small team, dissect areas of the external and internal structures of the specified regions of the human cadaver, under the close supervision by the instructor.

    Sample Assignments:
    The student must design a protocol specific to each assigned area of dissection. The dissection protocol will contain the following elements in the order noted below (wherever possible, include referenced pictures, drawings, photographs, etc.): 1. Title of Dissection Area (you do not need to specify R or L) 2. Your Name and Semester 3. Anatomical Introduction to the Region of Dissection (written formally) 4. Checklist of Structures 5. Description of Dissection Procedure a. Skinning b. Approach c. Special structures and Cautions d. Description of Structures • Muscles • Vessels • Nerves • Related Regional Structures • Illustrations (must be accompanied by references) 6. Notes – do this as you dissect a. Problems b. Useful hints c. Procedural notes d. Structures removed e. Structures observed apart from checklist

    Required Assignments:

    To dissect assigned areas of the cadaver, as directed by the instructor. Students will be required to submit a draft protocol concerning the particular region they are assigned for dissection. They will submit a final protocol at the end of the course. Students will be required to give at least two oral presentations to the instructor and fellow dissectors.

    Methods of Evaluation:

    The instructor will observe and evaluate dissection protocols and dissection skills as the task proceeds. Evaluation will be on a combination of observed skill level, application to task, and participation.
Environmental Studies: Projects & Internships
  • Fall semesters only • Instructor: Adam Green

    Students work in groups to develop projects that make the college and local community more sustainable. Lectures, discussions and workshops provide the student with current knowledge in environmental science, sustainable practices, and real-world skills needed to implement practical solutions to local environmental and social problems.
    (2 Units) Hours: 36 (36 lecture) Transfer Information: CSU Transferable.

    Student Learning Outcomes:

    1. ENVS 200 SLO 1 - Develop and implement a project that addresses sustainable practices on the campus or in the community.
    2. ENVS 200 SLO 2 - Visually and verbally present the results of a project coherently and effectively.
    3. ENVS 200 SLO 3 - Write a coherent and effective report on a project using appropriate evidence and documenting sources and collaborators.

    Course Objectives:

    1. Implement a project at the college or in the local community that makes the college or community more sustainable. Examples might include, but are not limited to: a. Develop or improve upon a recycling program with the necessary education component. b. Decrease single occupancy car trips and improve public transportation. c. Replace non-recyclable, non-biodegradable containers in the dining commons with biodegradable containers that can be composted. d. Implementing a compost program for food scraps. e. Writing a grant for photovoltaic solar panels. f. Working with architects and school departments to decrease water and electricity usage in a new building. g. Increase the use of recycled products on campus, such as recycled paper for printing and duplicating. h. Develop media to educate college and community members about sustainable options and programs.
    2. Maintain a formal agenda for each meeting
    3. Explain the science behind the issue (freshwater shortages, global climate change etc.), including what we know, how we would investigate what we don’t know, and how the data is being used or interpreted by scientists, activists, politicians, and the general public.
    4. Coherently discuss the current political and cultural context and how it serves to continue or change the trajectory of the environmental impact. For example, how does our love affair with the car hinder our attempt to improve public transportation and how can we make taking the bus cost effective, convenient, and cool?
    5. Find facts and use an analytical approach to current and future problems, and to think critically in examining such problems using accurate and up-to-date information including Internet resources.
    6. Effectively communicate in written and oral form using appropriate language and methodology.
  • Student must have completed 12 units at SBCC, with a GPA of 2.5 and a minimum of 2 units in Environmental Studies. Structured internship program in which students gain experience with work on campus or in the community, related to Environmental Studies.(2-4 Units) 

    Skills Advisories: Eligibility for ENG 110, ENG 110H.
    Transfer Information: CSU Transferable

    There will be an individual study plan for each student determined by the employer, student, and faculty sponsor before the internship begins.  Student will develop skills and abilities on the job while learning to accept the responsibility of working professionally and productively (reporting to work on time, being thoughtful of others' time and work, and accepting criticism as well as compliments).  Student will develop a work aptitude in their area.

    Internships and volunteer experience can be a powerful career development tool. By participating in an internship students gain practical hands-on job experience, learn industry standards, and evaluate actual work environments. For paid internships, 1 unit = 75 hours, 2 units = 150 hours, 3 units = 225 hours. For volunteer internships, 1 unit = 60 hours, 2 units = 120 hours, 3 units = 180. Students desiring to receive academic credit for internships and volunteer experience should sign up for WEXP 290 — General Work Experience. Refer to individual departments for department-based internship opportunities and course listings.

    Sample Assignments:
    Journal: Journal entries would include significant steps toward progress with a project, outcomes of important meetings, identification of obstacles and proposed solutions, and analysis of any data collected. A successful journal allows the faculty sponsor to clearly track progress and pass on the project to another intern if deemed appropriate for ongoing work.

    Required Assignments:

    1. Consult with faculty sponsor to develop internship project or employment with local organization.
    2. If applicable, meet with employer to finalize internship duties, learning expectations and time schedule.
    3. Keep a journal of project progress or work experience to turn in at the end of the semester.
    4. Submit a final written report on project or work experience including how it is related to Environmental Studies.

    Methods of Evaluation:

    1. Regular meetings: Does the student make regular meetings? Is the student prepared? Is the student making progress?
    2. Journal: Does the journal contain sufficient detail? Does the journal show sufficient effort?
    3. Final report: Is the report complete showing full arc of project or work experience? Does report show connection with environmental issues? Is report sufficient to fully understand project or experience and could it be passed on to another student to continue the work if deemed appropriate?