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Cycles of Life: Exploring Biology


Play Overview Video

Cycles of Life: Exploring Biology gives students a breathtaking view of the origin and nature of life, from the simplest single-celled forms to complex plants, animals and human beings. As an introductory biology course, it teaches the fundamentals of biology as well as how biology is applied in the real world. This course examines the scientific method and considers both its promises and limitations. Students will develop an understanding of the basic concepts of biology, the characteristic elements, processes, and features common to all life forms, the nature and workings of the human body, and the vital role humans play in the total ecology of the earth. The lessons provide a dramatic, educational, and inspiring journey through the web of life that connects all living creatures.

Instructors can customize the course by making learning assets open or closed to student view, add learning assets such as new assignments, discussion forums, web research activities, and extra credit work. Finally, there is the option of turning on automatic student tracking that simplifies the evaluation process.

The textbook to accompany this course is Biology: Concepts and Applications, written by Cecie Starr, Christine Evers, and Lisa Starr. Additional information is provided under the “How to Adopt Course & Print Materials” tab below. To request access to an electronic review copy of the textbook, please contact Cengage Learning.

For access to Coast Learning Systems’ online course preview site, please complete a Preview Request Form.

Lesson Titles and Descriptions

1. The Unity and Diversity of Life

Beginning with the features that distinguish living matter from nonliving matter, the program provides an overview of biology. Scientists expand on the theme of “What is life?” by bringing up new questions: What do we mean by unity? By diversity? Dr. Paul Saltman describes the flow of energy from the sun to living organisms, while Dr. Christopher Wills discusses sexual reproduction as a means of genetic diversification.

The next question explored is “What is the scientific method?” Biologists Bonnie Roohk and John Moore outline the steps in the scientific method against the backdrop of a specific example: researchers apply the techniques in an investigation of pesticide resistance in mosquitoes.

In the third segment, paleontologist Blaire Van Valkenburgh uses scientific method to study the unity and diversity of life. By analyzing bone structure in fossilized saber-tooth cats, she traces the evolution and extinction of different species.

The ultimate goal is to inspire an appreciation for the processes that contributed to the amazing variety, yet common threads, of life.

2. Chemical Foundations of Life

The composition of matter is central to the understanding of life. The program details the functions and main forms of all matter, including atoms, molecules, elements, and compounds.

In the program’s first segment, Dr. Mark Poth documents the harmful effects of the prolonged exposure of pine trees to Southern California’s polluted air. In the process, he deals with the nature of the atom and introduces organic and inorganic compounds. The program goes on to explain how chemical reactions change compounds and how isotopes are used as a research tool.

In segment two, the process of desalination serves as the vehicle to describe the many properties of water and the importance of water to life. Animations illustrate how hydrogen and oxygen atoms bond together to form a polar molecule.

Segment three examines the work of Dr. Susan Taylor, who discovered the stru cture of the enzyme protein kinase, explaining how living beings are essentially chemical entities. The crucial role of complex shapes in organic molecules is also explained.

3. Secrets of the Cell

What is a cell and why is it crucial to the understanding of life processes? Dr. Dwayne Simmons describes how a vast universe of cells works together to form living beings. For example, a football player’s separate populations of cells in his ears and brain enable him to focus on important
sounds amid the din of background noise from the crowd.

In the next segment, Dr. Robert Heath discusses the role of membranes in cells and the importance of molecular movements in plants.

Finally, the program compares wholly different types of cells: the cells of prokaryotes versus those of eukaryotes. Dr. Dennis Focht tells why bacteria are self – contained living cells that envelop and permeate almost everything around us. He also describes the incredibly complex world of prokaryotes. Included in the program are discussions of the various organelles found in eukaryotic cells.

4. The Power of Metabolism

Former Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby relates how her body’s reactions changed when she denied it nutrients while competing as a teenager. Her condition, called bulimia, illustrates the importance of constantly supplying chemical reactions of cells with required ingredients. Among the topics covered in the first half of the program are metabolic pathways and the roles of enzymes, coenzymes, and cofactors.

Next, the program discusses bioluminescence as an example of a unique metabolic process. Using her study of bioluminescent fish, Dr. Margo Haygood relates how an enzyme that carries out a bioluminescent reaction is a luciferase.

In conclusion, Professors Saltman and Haygood summarize the first two laws of thermodynamics. As various animals, including humans, give a display of energy expenditure, the experts discuss the concepts of changing energy from one form to another and constantly using ATP to maintain order in metabolic systems.

5. Energy In—Energy Out

Life is a marvelous, complex system of prolonging order, all sustained by energy. The pathways by which cells trap and use this energy are photosynthesis and aerobic respiration. Dr. Jeanne Erickson relates her research of the photosynthetic process that splits water in the chloroplast of a single-cell alga. Along the way, the program explains the roles and importance of photoautotrophs, heterotrophs, the light-dependent phase, carbon fixation, and
the Calvin – Benson cycle.

Dr. Paul Saltman describes the three stages in aerobic respiration: glycolysis, Krebs cycle, and electron transport
phosphorylation. He later explains another form of cellular respiration: fermentation. It is illustrated by active yeast in the beer-brewing process.

6. Generations: Mitosis and Meiosis

Cell division is at the heart of all the stories in the program. They illustrate how this process powers a continuous stream of molecular messages that define each organism and how it grows, reproduces, and repairs itself. Dr. Christopher Wills and Dr. Gary Karpen explain how hereditary instructions contained in chromosomes dictate the physical and behavioral traits of organisms. For continuance, each species must pass on those instructions from one generation to the next.

The program reveals that each species has a specific number of chromosomes: Humans have 46, horsetail grass has 216, and pea plants have 14. As an organism develops, its cells begin to differentiate into various forms (e.g., nerve cells, muscle cells, and bone cells) that are not clones, although each cell in an organism does carry an exact copy of all chromosomes. The process of mitosis is illustrated by a trip to a winery, where grapes of prime stock are cloned to preserve genetic characteristics in each crop. In contrast, meiosis produces cells, called gametes, with only half of the hereditary information of the parent germ cells. Researcher Arlene Kumamoto of the Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species discusses the implication of cell division on the reproductive patterns of dik-dik antelopes at the San Diego Zoo.

7. Patterns of Inheritance

Gregor Mendel’s theory of inheritance in the mid – 1800s became the basis for predicting how characteristics are passed from one generation to another. Marvin Rosenberg discusses how modern-day experiments on strawberry plants carry on Mendel’s genetic theses and improve the productivity of commercially grown crops. In the animation sequences throughout the program, the Punnett Square is used to illustrate how genes are sorted in the second generation produced by two organisms. To illustrate codominance, incomplete dominance, epistasis, and polygenic inheritance, Mel Carpenter details how his selective breeding of homing pigeons makes them look like pure white doves. This also covers the concept of pedigree. Finally, Carol Kasper discusses hemophilia, a genetic disease passed from generation to generation in a sex-linked pattern of inheritance.

8. DNA: Blueprint of Life

By mixing and matching animals or plants with desired characteristics, farmers and gardeners manipulate their heritable traits. They choose the features they want and attempt to eliminate the others. Today, with the advent of genetic engineering, we can tinker at a much deeper level with startling precision. The question arises: How far do we go? The program initially looks at the question in a historical perspective. Dr. Inder Verma provides insights and descriptions relating to the discovery of the DNA molecule. This segment explores the research that led to the model of DNA structure presented by James Watson and Francis Crick. Later, Dr. Leroy Hood discusses his efforts to decipher the DNA code and its implications. Also, Dr. John Wasmuth describes his search for the Huntington’s Disease gene, a task akin to finding a needle in 200 haystacks. Highlighting the final segment is the story of a boy with a rare disease (severe combined immunodeficiency disease) caused by a missing gene for adenosine diaminase. The story unfolds to explain how doctors and a research team replaced the boy’s missing gene, one of the first times that genes have been inserted permanently into the blood-producing cells of a human. Recent tests
indicate the gene replacement was successful because the boy’s blood cells are producing a necessary enzyme.

9. Proteins: Building Blocks of Life

By examining proteins, Dr. James Lake believes he might find the tracks of evolution, the hereditary path of life back to the first cell. He explains the structure and order of proteins, along with a unique property of DNA and proteins to retain and replicate the genetic code through thousands of years with extraordinary fidelity. In the next segment, a television meteorologist describes how he survived sickle-cell anemia. This often-fatal childhood disease illustrates how one small change in our genetic code causes drastic differences. One sickle-cell gene protects the body against malaria; two sickle-cell genes create a painful and deadly blood disease. Dr. Cage Johnson explains that research in genetic therapy may provide long-term help for patients. Finally, the program looks at the curious case of slime mold, an organism that is a compelling example of how cells control protein production. Dr. Richard Firtel contrasts how simple prokaryotic cells use operons as “on – off” switches for proteins, while more complex eukaryotic cells differentiate their structures by utilizing proteins in a variety of ways.

10. Microevolution

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is presented by John Moore, who discusses its major concepts. Additional historical insight into the theory of evolution is discussed by Ernst Mayr who further defined “species” in the 1940s.

This introduction to the subject gives way to a story of unusual mosquitoes that have developed resistance, through mutation and natural selection, to most current forms of insecticides. How are mosquito populations affected by genetic and environmental conditions? In evaluating the insects’ response to the pressure of insecticides, the program discusses selection pressures.

Divergence and various forms of isolation — including geographic, reproductive, structural, and behavioral — are illustrated by plant and animal life on a California coastal island. Misty Gay and Allan Fone show examples of plants on Catalina Island that evolved differently from their counterparts on the mainland. Because of specific environmental pressures unlike those on the mainland, animals on the island evolved into various subspecies. Examples such as the Dwarf Gray Fox show mechanisms that prevent interbreeding, such as isolation of gametes and isolation through time.

11. Macroevolution

As a theory, evolution is constantly being tested and evaluated. Scientists explain that each piece of new evidence contributes to completing a picture of life as it developed from the beginning — a dynamic and continuing process over a vast span of time. Macroevolution is the larger picture of species’ changes over time, their patterns and trends. Evidence of this evolutionary connection is found in the fossil record.

Paleontologists Eric Scott and Kathleen Springer explain how discovering fossils gives one a “snapshot in time” of the animals and ecosystems of an era. Fossils give clues to phylogeny, how one animal species is related to another.

Next, the concepts of homologous structures and shared characteristics are described by Dr. Blaire Van Valkenburgh. By studying the teeth and bones of ancient wolves and saber – tooth cats, she is able to reconstruct these animals that disappeared long ago. Further, Dr. David Bottjer discusses extinctions in general — why they occur and why the history of life on Earth is dotted with mass extinctions.

In conclusion, Dr. Russell Doolittle and Dr. Stanley Miller explain the unique combination of chemical, temperature, and atmospheric conditions that became the criteria for the origin of life on Earth.

12. Viruses, Bacteria, and Protistans

The program begins with a historical view of the science of classification from the Carl Linnaeus-based system to the five kingdoms that are used in classification today.

The second segment examines bacterial and viral threats to the community through food. Bacteria account for half of the history of life on Earth. They are defined and the subkingdoms of archaebacteria and eubacteria are described. An animation illustrates their incredibly swift reproductive processes. Further, Alex McPherson explains why viruses are not considered to be part of the five kingdoms of life.

Finally, in an exploration of the kingdom of protistans, Dr. Peter Franks discusses plankton, dinoflagellates, and phytoplankton. His work centers on studies of the algae that cause “Red Tide.”

13. Fungi, Plants, and Animals

With more than 1.5 million species of living entities on Earth, scientists must organize the life forms to make sense of their evolution and relationships. The program explains the basic biological classification system and gives an evolutionary overview of the characteristics found in three of the five kingdoms: fungi, plants, and animals.

In the first segment, Larry Beezley, curator of Quail Gardens, and Dr. Michael Simpson describe the evolution of plant species and their differing structures from bryophytes like mosses to angiosperms, the flowering plants. The program details how spore-bearing plants such as ferns quickly had competition from the wildly successful modern flowering plants.

In the second segment, Dr. Tom Bruns explains that fungi are decomposers and are necessary to recycle organic materials into the soil. The fascinating life cycle of the common button mushroom is illustrated by R. B. Crouch, who takes us on a tour of his mushroom farm.

Finally, Dr. David Resnick and Dr. James Lake explain the many phylogenetic branches of the animal kingdom. The role of distinct organs is contrast ed between simpler and more complex animals.

14. Plant Structure

For most people, few days pass without a significant encounter with plants. They stimulate our senses and sustain our bodies in a relationship that dates to the origins of humankind. Many plants also share a trait: flowers. Most of the 300,000-plus known species on Earth are flowering varieties called angiosperms. Dr. Ann Hirsch studies the roots of plants, which have the crucial job of collecting nutrients for plant growth and maintenance, and for processing nitrogen.

Looking deeper into plant tissues, the program indicates that primary growth originates at apical meristems and at meristematic tissues derived from them. Secondary growth includes the thickening of the stems and roots. Dr. Arthur Gibson tells us about the variety of stems, from grass to lumber, and explains why the differing meristem cells are necessary.

An animation illustrates the cohesion-tension theory of water transport. As water molecules exit the plant via transpiration, cohesion of water creates tension throughout the plant to pull water molecules into the roots and xylem. This type of movement and other crucial processes rely on the leaves, which are the organs for photosynthesis and balancing the outside environment and internal workings of the plant or tree. Dr. Robert Heath guides us through leaf structure and function.

15. Plant Reproduction

Contributing to the success of plants is an intriguing combination of reproductive strategies that exploits and influences the anatomy and behavior of animals, including insects. Using the natural elements of wind, water, and fire, plants have evolved other remarkable mechanisms to maximize reproduction opportunities. For example, pollen size and flower-wall structures increasingly restrict pollen dispersal by wind, but more dispersal is facilitated by mobile pollinators such as butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, and bees. Seed dispersal and germination play major roles in the movement and continuation of plant species.

Regarding structural development of plants, scientists have discovered that hormones control it in much the same way they influence the shaping of animals. Dr. Elliot Meyerowitz discusses his research on the genetics of Aribidopsis—mouse-ear cress — and establishes the action of hormones such as auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, and ethylene. Applying microbiology to understanding plant reproduction promises greater production of the fruits and seeds that are most precious to us.

16. Animal Structure

All animals are collections of billions of different types of cells and tissues, each specially adapted to its specific function. But each animal has a commonality: It achieves motion promoted by a musculoskeletal system and maintains equilibrium through homeostasis and feedback.

The program touches on the similarities and differences of integument, from reptile to amphibian and, ultimately, to mammals. In the first segment, against the backdrop of a “tortoise refuge,” Dr. David Reznick explains the relationships between tissues, organs, and organ systems. An animation illustrates different tissues in a tiny bit of skin, an organ that serves similar functions of protection and temperature regulation in many animals.

In the second segment, muscle atrophy in astronauts is used as a vehicle to describe the muscle system. Physiologist Kenneth Baldwin describes what causes muscle contractions on a cellular level.

In the final segment, thoroughbred-horse training leads to a discussion of the skeletal system. Dr. Reznick explains the dynamic nature of skeletal structure and bone cell structure.

17. Circulation: A River of Life

To sustain life in complex organisms, food and chemical products and by-products must be moved rapidly to and from the body’s living cells. In animals, the transport medium is blood moving through the circulatory system. The program cuts to a hospital emergency room as a trauma unit stabilizes a patient. The ER doctor narrates the scene and details the composition of circulatory systems that occupy most animals: the heart, blood, and a closed system of vessels, veins, and capillaries. Striking animation illustrates the typical circulatory system. Interestingly, different animals have different types of hear ts that are designed for their particular survival needs. This is the topic of the second segment, in which Dr. James Hicks discusses his study of alligator hearts and the reptilian ability to hold more oxygen in their blood. Lastly, a case study of a heart attack victim is the context for an exploration of disorders of the cardiovascular system. The basic structure and function of the heart, the primary component of the circulatory system, are detailed by Dr. Shahbudin Rahimtoola. He explains the heart’s crucial timing mechanism and how the two coronary arteries branch off the aorta to cycle blood throughout the system.

18. Immunity

All animals have a complex system of physical and chemical defenses to protect them against disease. The first line of defense, surface barriers, is explained in a story about injured birds. As veterinarian Scott Weldy describes how he treats wounded birds of prey, immunologist Edward Golub explains the process of inflammation. Next, the program follows Dr. Jeff Galpin, a survivor of the polio epidemic of the 1950s, who is now a clinical researcher studying the AIDS virus. He explains how specialized T cells (helper and killer T cells) and other blood cells are the frontline soldiers of the immune system. Animation illustrates how macrophages usually engulf potentially harmful viruses and bacteria. Because this is not the case with AIDS, there is a further discussion of T cells, B cells, and antibodies. In the final segment, we investigate an autoimmune disease, lupus, with Dr. Robin Dore. Her patient has an overactive immune system which attacks its own cells, causing chronic inflammation and fatigue. Although the cause of the disease remains a mystery, research continues into how cells recognize self and non-self in order to protect the body against harm.

19. Respiration

Most animals exchange gas with their environment, taking in oxygen and giving off carbon dioxide. Respiratory adaptation depends on the evolution of the animal with respect to its size, need for energy, and environment. Dr. Karen Martin gives an overview of aerobic respiration, and graphic animation shows the diffusion of gases across a moist membrane with changing concentrations. A tour of the human respiratory system highlights the middle segment of the program. Dr. Christopher Cooper discusses the process of breathing. The viewer actually follows one breath of air on inhale down the throat into the trachea and through the bronchial tree. The program branches off into the circulatory system as Dr. Gerald Kooyman explains how the physiology of seals and penguins in the Antarctica stores air for long periods as these animals dive for food.

20. Digestion and Fluid Balance

The survival of organisms depends on the constant supply of fluids and nutritional elements. Once this supply is taken in and processed, the waste must be efficiently eliminated from the system. Without these properly functioning organ systems, animals would die of malnutrition or from the toxic buildup of waste products. In the first segment, Dr. Carol Beuchat discusses the specialized fluid balance of hummingbirds and the role of the urinary tract in maintaining homeostasis in animals. Next, the program explains the digestive system and the role of enzymes in digestion. Dr. James Sokolowski talks about pet food research, pointing out that familiar vertebrates like cats and dogs have very different nutritional needs, with dogs being more similar to humans than one might think. The final story illustrates the crucial role of the kidney in maintaining homeostasis. A patient is followed through the grueling process of being connected to a dialysis machine for four hours every day. Animations explain how the kidneys act to filter fluids in the body.

21. The Neural Connection

This lesson features examples of a polo player in action and a novice at a firing range to demonstrate how reflex actions and chemical responses are triggered directly by sensory stimuli.

22. Endocrine Control: Systems in Balance

This lesson touches on the basics of pituitary function, effects on the adrenal gland, and the influence of biofeedback in regulating the reactions to stress.

23. Animal Reproduction and Development

The continuation of life through the physical process of reproduction is explored. Using as a backdrop experimentation in avian embryos by Dr. Marianne Bronner-Fraser and her husband, Dr. Scott Fraser, the program covers cellular development and cell differentiation. Different modes of reproduction, from asexual reproduction of hydra to sexual reproduction in more complex animals, are compared. Included is a comparison of the avian and mammalian reproductive systems.

In exploring the female and male reproductive systems, the program focuses on human anatomy and physiology. The concepts are illustrated by a couple that goes through in-vitro fertilization successfully. A highlight of this segment is a graphic explanation of the menstrual cycle.

Later, Dr. Peggy Grau describes the stages of fetal development. A fetus is seen as it develops through the trimesters, and the concepts of migration and induction are explained.

24. Populations and Communities

Dr. Jack Burk and Dr. Gene Jones explain the importance of maintaining species, using as an example the Woolly Star, an endangered shrub in the alluvial fan of a river bed. Ultimately, every plant and animal in that community depends on the success of others for their survival. Keeping tabs on the population of the Woolly Star is the first step in protecting all of the organisms in the habitat.

In another relationship, an owl and a mouse illustrate predation in a grove of trees. Other examples of species in teraction include commensalism and mutualism. The program explains the niches of the Great Horned Owl and the Common Barn Owl, which operate in an example of competitive exclusion.

Finally, Dr. Lynn Carpenter explains, the way humans operate and adapt has made them, biologically speaking, one of the most successful species on Earth. Dr. John Weeks tells how population growth is affected by the relationship between birth rates and death rates.

25. Ecosystems and the Biosphere

A quiet marsh or a forest may look peaceful, but a delicate balance of interactions that take place in ecosystems determines life and death for the inhabitants.

Dick Zembal reveals one such ecosystem as he struggles to save the Clapper Rail, an endangered bird species of the salt marsh. Further, salt marsh plants and animals are used as an example of a complex food web.

Delving further into an aspect of an ecosystem, a controlled “burn” in a forest illustrates the cycling of nutrients in an ecosystem. The story shows how carbon and nitrogen are released and reused by the environment after a forest fire, and how some plants depend on fires to trigger new growth.

Finally, Dr. Warren Blier explains the effect of global weather patterns on climate. Detailing the importance of precipitation zones, Dr. Mark Poth takes us on a tour of the ecosystems found at different elevations on a mountain.

26. The Human Factor

How humans use technology to affect ecosystems is central to the program’s stories. The possible effects of global warming on the environment are discussed in the first segment. Dr. John Roads explains how increased CO2 might cause global warming, while Dr. Walter Oechel measures how CO2 affects plant growth and predicts the potential impact changes might have on the atmosphere.

The second segment explores new non-carbon-based fuel supplies, hydrogen-powered vehicles, solar power, and fusion as possible solutions to a dependency on carbon fuels.

In the third segment, Dr. William Frankenberger illustrates an innovative way to clean up toxic wastes by using microorganisms that occur naturally in the environment. The concept of bioremediation is explained. These stories help to illuminate balance in ecosystems and human beings’ role in the environment.

National Academic Advisory Team

Jerry Button, Portland Community College
Nancy Dengler, Professor, Department of Botany, University of Toronto
Brian Earle, Division of Natural and Applied Sciences, Cedar Valley Community College
Jack Goldberg, Section NPB Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis
Samuel Huang, Professor of Biology, Riverside Community College
Gary H. Karpen, Molecular Biology and Virology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Carolyn Robertson, Director of Instructional Television and Extended Courses, Tarrant County Junior College
Tim Tirrell, Chairperson, New Jersey Community College Telecommunications Consortium, Inc., Cumberland County College
Randall Warwick, Professor, Coastline Community College

On-Camera Experts

Walter Allen, Casa de Tortuga
Kenneth Baldwin, Professor Physiology & Biophysics, University of California, Irvine
Cyril H. Barton, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, Irvine
Mike Bartusick, Park Bench Café
Kathy Batchelor
Larry Beezley
Kevin Bengston
Kurt Benirschke
Carol A. Beuchat, Associate Professor of Biology, San Diego State University
Dr. Warren Blier, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Dynamics, University of California, Los Angeles
Pete Bloom
Dr. David Bottger, University of Southern California
Marianne Bronner-Fraser, Professor of Biology, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Tom Bruns, Department of Environmental Science, University of California, Berkeley
Jack H. Burk, Professor Biological Sciences, California State University, Fullerton

Tom Burnes, Glencastle Brewery & Belmont Brewery
Vince Caiozzo, Department of Biology, University of California, Irvine
Dr. F. Lynn Carpenter, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Mel Carpenter, Carpenter Dove Releases
Dr. Michael Clegg, University of California, Riverside
J. Travis Columbus, Research Biologist, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens
Dr. Christopher B. Cooper, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine
Brian Craft
Bob Crouch, Mountain Meadow Mushrooms
Dr. David G. Diaz, West Coast Fertility Clinic
Russell Doolittle, Professor of Biology, University of California, San Diego
Dr. Robin Dore
Gregory Erickson, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
Dr. Jeanne Erickson, Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri
Chris Evans, Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles

Richard Firtel, Professor, Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego
Dennis Focht, Microbiologist, University of California, Riverside
Allan Fone, Restoration Ecologist, Santa Catalina Conservancy
William F. Frankenberger, Professor of Soil Microbiology, University of California, Riverside
Dr. Peter Franks, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Scott Fraser, California Technical University
Diane Freeman, United States Forest Service
D. Michael Fry, Professor of Biology, University of California, Davis
Pat Gallagher, Comaduke Productions
Dr. Jeffrey Galpin
Misty Gay, Naturalist, Santa Catalina Island Conservancy
George Georghiou, Professor of Entomology, University of California, Riverside
Dr. Arthur C. Gibson, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Edward S. Golub
Mrs. Carolyn Goode

Dr. Peggy Grau, Kaiser Permanente
Dr. Susan Hackwood, Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Riverside
Margo Haygood, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
Robert Heath, Plant Physiologist, University of California, Riverside
James Heffel, Senior Project Engineer, University of California, Riverside
Dr. Barry Heller, Emergency Physician, St. Mary’s Hospital
Alfred Hershey, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives
James W. Hicks, Associate Professor of Biology, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Ann M. Hirsch, Department of Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
Leroy Hood, Professor of Molecular Biotechnology, University of Washington
Eleanor Huang, Professor of Nutrition, Orange Coast College
George L. Hunt, Jr., Professor of Biology, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Cage S. Johnson, University of Southern California
E. W. “Bud” Johnston, Old English Ranch
Dr. Eugene C. Jones, Professor of Biology, California State University, Fullerton

Dr. Gary Karpen
Dr. Carol Kasper, Orthopaedic Hospital
Kathleen Keeler, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska
Robert Knox
Dr. Donald, B. Kohn, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
Dr. Gerald L. Kooyman, Research Professor, Polar Images
Arlene Kumamoto, Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San Diego
James A. Lake, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Kirk Larson, University of California South Coast Research Station
Keith Lyle, St. Louis Rams
Ernst Mayr, Museum Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
Karen Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, Pepperdine University
Alicia McDonough, Ph.D., Professor, Physiology, University of Southern California
James L. McGaugh, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning, University of California, Irvine
Alex McPherson, Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside

Jerald M. Medwa
Dr. Robert Merz, Cardiologist, St. John’s Medical Center
Richard P. Meyer, Ph.D., Vector Ecologist, Orange County Vector Control District
Elliot Meyerowitz, Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology
Dr. Hildy Meyers, Medical Director, Epidemiology, Orange County Public Health
Alan Mikolich, Beekeeper
Dr. Stanley Miller, Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of San Diego
Austin K. Mircheff, Ph.D., Professor of Physiology, University of Southern California School of Medicine
Leslie Monroe
Dr. John Moore, University of California, Riverside
Kevin Moses, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California
Christopher Nance, N.B.C.
Peter Narins, Professor of Physiological Science, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Aurelia Nattiv, Division of Family Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
John Newport, Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Xuong Nguen-Huu, University of California, San Diego
Bob Norton
Walter Oechel, Professor of Biology, San Diego State University
Dr. Richard Olmstead, Professor of Botany, University of Colorado
D. J. Peterson
Vernon Pitsker
Mark A. Poth, Research Soil Scientist, USDA Forest Service Research
Shahbudin Rahimtoola, H.M.D., Professor of Cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles
David Reznick, Professor of Biology, University of California, Riverside
Cathy Rigby-Mc Coy, Entertainment
Dr. Catherine Rivier, The Clayton Foundation Lab, The Salk Institute
John Roads, Meteorologist, Scripps Institution
Bonita Roohk, Golden West College
Marvin Rosenberg, California State University, Fullerton
Paul Saltman, Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego

Brett Scott, Casa de Tortuga
Eric Scott, Paleontologic Field Supervisor, San Bernardino County Museum
Julie Schaffer, Clinical Research Associate
Dave Schissel, General Atomic Corporation
Allan Schoenherr, Professor of Ecology, Fullerton College
Vaughn Shoemaker, Professor of Zoology, University of California, Riverside
Dwayne Simmons, Physiologist, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Michael Simpson, Department of Biology, San Diego State University
Gary M. Snyder, Chief Engineer, Metropolitan Water District
J. H. Sokolowski, D.V.M., Ph.D., Professional Services Manager, Waltham U.S.A. Inc.
Kathleen Springer, Paleontologic Project Manager, San Bernardino County Museum
Merete Stockmann
Charles Taylor, Professor of Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
Susan S. Taylor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego
Richard K. Tramp, D.V.M., Old English Rancho

Randy L. Tucker, Sargent – Police Department, City of Garden Grove
Blaire Van Valkenburgh, Professor of Paleobiology, University of California, Los Angeles
Inder Verma, Professor, Lab. of Genetics, The Salk Institute
Donald Warren, Old English Rancho
Dr. John Wasmuth, Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine
James Watson. Geneticist. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives
Craig Weaver, Callaway Vineyard & Winery
James Webb, Jr., PO, Vector Ecologist, Orange County Vector Control District
Dr. John R. Weeks, Demographer, San Diego State University
Dr. Scott Weldy
Guy D. & Billie Jo Wiles
Christopher Wills, Geneticist, University of California, San Diego
Jeffrey Wilson, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Newport Behavioral Health Clinic

Coast breaks from the traditional order of topics and in a fashion that emphasizes key concepts better, and that allows students understanding to develop in a more natural manner."
David Carter, Angelo State University


Instructors can customize the course by making learning assets open or closed to student view, add learning assets such as new assignments, discussion forums, web research activities, and extra credit work. Instructors also have the option to request a “copy” of their prior course each term. Finally, there is the option of turning on automatic student tracking that simplifies the evaluation process.

How to Adopt Course & Print Materials

There is no fee paid by an institution or instructor when the online course/content is adopted. Each student is required to purchase a one-time use Access Code. To adopt and offer this course online, instructors complete an Online Course Request Form prior to the start of each term, and a course shell will be provided by the date requested. Instructors also have the option to request a “copy” of their prior course each term.

This online course is hosted and provided in a Moodle® (LMS) shell, and instructors can link from their institution’s LMS or send their students directly to the class URL. Coast Learning Systems provides instructor and student technical support via an electronic help desk, which is monitored 7 days a week. Our goal is to make sure you enjoy teaching with our content and that your students have an engaging and positive learning experience.

The Online Course Request Form should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of your class.

Biology: Concepts and Applications
Cengage Learning, ISBN: 978-1-2854-2781-2
The textbook is available in paperback, as an eBook with multiple access lengths, eChapter, or as a rental with multiple options.

One-Time Use Online Course Access Code
Coast Learning Systems, (800) 547-4748
ISBN: 978-1-59846-545-7
Access Codes are sold through bookstores only; we do not sell directly to students.

If you are interested in licensing just the videos as a resource for your own online, hybrid, video-based, or traditional course, please contact our office. In areas where connectivity is a challenge, DVDs are a perfect solution. All of the video lessons are available in a professionally produced set of DVDs and are available directly from Coast Learning Systems. Please contact our office for DVD options and pricing, (800) 547-4748.