Science and Mathematics

SM 100D Fundamentals of College Mathematics
3 non-degree credits

This course prepares students for SM 161 or SM 163 by introducing them to the operations and properties of the real number system, algebraic expressions, and solving equations. Applications are stressed throughout the course. This course provides three college credits which are factored into the GPA. However, these credits are taken in addition to the total credit requirements of the student's major program. Placement is based upon an entrance mathematics test. Ordinarily, students are expected to complete this course by the end of their first year of college (September to September or January to January). Students who participate in Summer College (August) prior to their first year of school must complete this course by the end of that academic year (May). Students who fail this course twice will be dismissed from the College. (Offered annually)

SM 116 Physical Science
4 credits (AS)
Physical Science is an introduction to various disciplines of science, namely physics – the science of matter and energy; chemistry – the science of matter and change; astronomy – the science of the universe beyond our planet; and geology – the science of Earth and its history. The basic laws that govern physics and chemistry can also be applied to astronomy and geology. The history of development of these laws adds to the perspective of how scientific knowledge has evolved through the course of human history and how science influences our lives and how it can be used in the future. (Offered spring term)

SM 117 Diversity of Life
4 credits (AS)
This course provides a survey of the diversity of life, from bacteria through fungi, plants and vertebrates, while emphasizing the functioning of an organism within its world. Topics include the essentials of energy metabolisms, bodily structures and functions, and the way organisms interact and evolve with their environments. The laboratory is integrated with class material, and incorporates experimental design, student demonstrations, observations, and computer simulations. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered fall term)

SM 118 Cellular and Molecular Biology
4 credits (AS)
Students investigate the organization and function of living cells, from the prokaryotes through the eukaryotes. Emphasis is on the biological molecules; organelle structure and function; cell division and signaling; cell metabolism; gene structure and function; genomics and population genetics; and how all of this can integrate to produce a well-functioning, multicellular organism. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term)

SM 121 General Chemistry I
4 credits (AS)

General Chemistry is the study of matter and its transformation. Topics studied are atomic structure, stoichiometry, chemical equations, balancing redox equations, and chemical bonding. The laboratory emphasis is on the techniques of quantitative analysis. Three lectures and a laboratory session every week. (Offered fall term) Prerequisite: SM 161 College Algebra or equivalent and one year of high school chemistry.

SM 122 General Chemistry II
4 credits (AS)

General Chemistry II is a continuation of SM 121 General Chemistry I with emphasis on more advanced aspects of chemistry. Topics studied are molecular structure and covalent bonding theories, gases, liquids, solids, chemical and ionic equilibrium, acid-bases, and electrochemistry. The laboratory component includes molecular models, physical measurements, acid-base chemistry, redox titrations, some semi-micro qualitative analysis and a research project. Three lectures and lab every week. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: SM 121 General Chemistry I.

SM 140 Environmental Science
4 credits (AS)

In this course, the impact of human activity on the environment is discussed within the context of basic ecological principles. Topics include energy, population biology, resource management and pollution. Lecture and discussion material is combined with field work conducted at local natural areas. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered fall term)

SM 161 College Algebra
3 credits (AS)

This course features basic algebraic and logarithmic concepts necessary to prepare students for pre-calculus and statistics. Topics include algebraic fundamentals; rational expressions; exponents and radicals; linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, logarithmic and exponential functions; introduction to function inverses; system of equations; matrices. Applications are stressed throughout. (Offered fall and spring terms) Prerequisite: SM 099 or equivalent through placement testing or permission of the instructor.

SM 163 Contemporary Mathematics
3 credits (AS)

This course provides a practical alternative to traditional mathematics. The emphasis is on utility and applications to contemporary mathematical problems. Topics investigated will be drawn from management science; mathematics of social choice; size, shape and symmetry; and methods of data collection and description. Applications are stressed throughout. (Offered fall and spring terms) Prerequisite: SM 099 or equivalent through placement testing or permission of the instructor.

SM 164 Visual Mathematics
3 credits (AS)
This course familiarizes students with fundamental properties of two and three dimensional geometric shapes and fosters an appreciation for the usefulness of geometry, with an emphasis on design through a projects based approach. Topics include: problem solving; geometric shapes and measurement; perimeter, area and volume; similarity; coordinate and transformation geometry; and Escher tessellations.

SM 165 Pre-Calculus
3 credits (AS)

This course provides students with a thorough understanding of the mathematical concepts and skills needed as prerequisite for Calculus I. Emphasis is placed on developing mathematical reasoning and graphical visualization skills, thus helping students understand how the mathematical concepts can be applied to solve real world problems. Topics studied include graphs, functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, and matrices. (Offered fall and spring term) Prerequisite: Successful completion of mathematics placement exam or equivalent or permission of the instructor.

SM 211 Investigating Biology
3 credits (AS)

Students are introduced to a variety of commonly used field and laboratory techniques for investigating biological topics. Emphasis is placed on hypothesis development, sample methodology and data collection, and the basics of data analysis, interpretation and presentation. Does not fulfill the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life or SM 118 Cellular and Molecular Biology.

SM 215 Equine Anatomy and Physiology
4 credits (CS/AS)

The course familiarizes students with the skeletal structure, musculature and internal systems of the horse, including the nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, integumentary, special senses and reproductive systems. The course structure includes three lectures and one laboratory session each week. This course fulfills the lab science requirement in the general education core. (Offered fall term) Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life or SM 118 Cellular and Molecular Biology.

SM 219 Aquatic Biology
4 credits (AS)

The physical and biological aspects of aquatic ecosystems are investigated. Topics include the types of major freshwater habitats (ponds, lakes, rivers, bogs and swamps) and the physiological and behavioral adaptations of animals and plants in each of these habitats. The laboratory portion consists of field trips to various habitats, analysis of the physical factors, and determination of species present. (Offered irregularly). Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life or SM 140 Environmental Science.

SM 221 Organic Chemistry I
4 credits (AS)

This class focuses on a study of carbon-containing compounds upon which living things are based. It deals with the structure, bonding and reactivity of compounds that contain mainly carbon and hydrogen. Emphasis is placed on understanding relationships between molecular structure and properties and on designing syntheses of organic compounds. The use of spectroscopy in determining the molecular structure will be included as well. The laboratory provides hands-on experience with the tools and techniques of organic chemistry. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered fall term, alternate years) Prerequisites: SM 121 General Chemistry I and SM 122 General Chemistry II.

SM 222 Organic Chemistry II
4 credits (AS)
This course is a continuation of Organic Chemistry I with emphasis on monofunctional and polyfunctional organic compounds and multi-step methods of synthesis. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term, alternate years) Prerequisite: SM 221 Organic Chemistry I.

SM 224 General Zoology
4 credits (AS)
This course is a survey of the animal kingdom, covering major invertebrate and vertebrate groups. Emphasis is placed on structural and functional relationships related to evolution and physiology. Lab exercises compare these relationships among diverse taxonomic groups. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered alternate years)

SM 225/325 Plant Biology
4 credits (AS)

Students explore in more depth the morphology, anatomy, development, metabolism, physiology and evolution of plants and their traditionally linked allies, the bacteria and fungi. Additionally topics emphasize plant domestication and economic/ecological importance. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term) Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life or SM 118 Cellular and Molecular Biology.

SM 231 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
4 credits (AS)

Students investigate the basic anatomy and histology of the principle organ systems of vertebrates with a focus on comparing the structural variation and adaptations with respect to taxonomy, evolution and ecological relationships. Lab is integrated with lectures. (Offered alternate years) Pre-requisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life or SM 224 General Zoology.

SM 243/343 BioTopics
3 credits (AS)
This course serves as a spring entry-level course for the biology program. As such, the topics vary by instructor and year. Example topics include, but are not limited to, forest ecology, invasive species, oceans, seeds of change, and biology of parasites. Those students taking the course for 300-level credit must cover and complete additional material and assignments. Does not fulfill the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term)

SM 250/350 Service Learning/Laboratory Experience
1 credit (AS)

An added component to course offerings in any semester, this course provides students with public outreach experience or an additional field/laboratory experience while reinforcing concepts learned in coursework. A contractual agreement between the instructor and student(s) will outline the objectives of the project and the credit level to be received at the completion of the project. May be repeated for credit if associated with a different topic. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

SM 261 Statistics
3 credits (AS)

Statistics is designed for students interested in social, behavioral and natural sciences, business, and economics. Topics include descriptive statistics; counting methods; probability and probability distributions including binomial, normal, Poisson, and t-distributions; estimation; hypothesis testing; chi-square applications; linear regression and correlation. Technology will include the use of statistical software and will be introduced through workshops. Prerequisite: SM 161 College Algebra or SM 165 Pre-Calculus ("C" grade or better strongly recommended) or permission of the instructor.

SM 265 Calculus I
3 credits (AS)

This course is an introduction to calculus with an exploration of the properties of relations and functions, limits and continuity, derivatives, related rates and other applications of the derivative. Students will also be introduced to Integral calculus.

SM 266 Calculus II
3 credits (AS)

This course is a continuation of SM 265 Calculus I. Students will explore the indefinite and definite integral techniques of integration, applications of the integral, infinite sequences and series, power series and Taylor and Maclaurin series. (Offered annually) Prerequisite: SM 265 Calculus I.

SM 302 Wetlands Ecology
4 credits (AS)
A coordinated lecture/laboratory approach that will emphasize wetlands within the continental United States. The course will provide a background in both historical and modern wetland issues; characteristics of freshwater, estuarine, and marine wetland types, including important plants and animals of each; processes of wetland determination and delineation; regulatory framework of wetlands protection; and procedures involved in wetland restoration and conservation. Students will also gain experience in wetlands research. (Offered fall term alternate years) Prerequisite: SM 140 Environmental Science or SM 117 Diversity of Life or equivalents, or permission of the instructor.
 
SM 306 Field Natural History
4 credits (AS)

Field Natural History is the study of organisms in their natural environments. In this class, students will explore the fields, forests and waterways of Central New York through lectures, readings, discussions and laboratories. The student will develop identification and observation skills as well as experience in using digital video equipment and the computer programs associated with this technology. There are three lectures and a lab every week. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered alternate years) Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life and SM 118 Cellular and Molecular Biology or equivalents.

SM 307 Animal Behavior
3 credits (AS)

This course surveys the basic principles of animal behavior. We examine the proximate and ultimate causes of behavior, including the role that ecology, culture, evolution, and genetics play in behavior. Our focus will be both on the behaviors themselves and how we, as scientists or critical thinkers, can determine the causes for any particular behavior. Does not fulfill the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term alternate years) Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life and SM 118 Cellular and Molecular Biology or equivalents, or permission of instructor.

SM 311 Global Environmental Issues and Perspectives
3 credits (AS)

Environmental problems often transcend countries’ boundaries. A global perspective towards pressing environmental issues such as resource and energy depletion, sustainability, global warming, and pollution is examined. By using case studies and readings, students will explore how governments and international NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) attempt to address and resolve these problems. (Offered on a rotating basis)

SM 314 Field Botany
4 credits (AS)

This course focuses on field recognition of individual plants and on the ecological structure of botanical communities of Central New York. Emphasis is on identification and ecology of the plants, herbarium preservation as a means of maintaining a record of local flora. There are three lectures and a lab each week. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered alternate years) Prerequisite: any introductory biology course.  

SM 315 Genetics
4 credits (AS)

This course is an introduction to classical genetics, modern developments and evolutionary trends in genetics. We will consider major contemporary problems of importance related to genetics, such as genetic engineering, forensic genetics, and medical genetics. The laboratory is integrated with classroom topics and incorporates DNA techniques, simulations, recitation/discussions and experiments. There are three lectures and a lab every week. Fulfills the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term, alternate years) Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life and SM 118 Cellular and Molecular Biology or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

SM 331 Animal Physiology
4 credits (AS)

This course presents a detailed study of animal function within the animal as well as with its physical environment. Topics include sensory systems, homeostatic control mechanisms like thermoregulation and osmoregulation, as well as the functional adaptations used by animals to overcome environmental challenges. (Offered alternate years) Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life or SM 224 General Zoology.

SM 342 Principles of Ecology
3 credits (AS)

Ecology is the scientific study of the relationships between organisms and their environment from the functioning of individual organisms to the perspective of our planet’s environment as an integrated system forming the basis of a global ecology. This course provides the student with an introductory overview of this diverse field of study and an appreciation for the continuing importance of ecological science in guiding human relationships with our planetary home. Prerequisite: SM 117 Diversity of Life or SM 140 Environmental Science or permission of the instructor.

SM 385/485 Internship I
3-6 credits (CS)

Internships consist of off-campus fieldwork based on a learning contract signed by the student, agency supervisor and faculty director. The student participates in internship seminar meetings and an annual group presentation of internship experiences. A written evaluation of the experience is required of the student and agency. The student develops a final report that synthesizes the internship and academic activities. (Offered annually) Pre- or co-requisite: CM 301 Speech and Rhetoric.

SM 396 Scientific Inquiry
3 credits (AS)

Students gain intensive practical experience in all aspects of the process of scientific inquiry, including collection of primary and secondary literature and synthesis of relevant information from this literature, development of testable hypotheses, appropriate design and implementation of experiments, data analysis and presentation, scientific writing, and the peer-reviewed publication process. Students become familiar with strengths and weaknesses of important forms of scientific communication, including peer-reviewed primary research and review articles, conference presentations (oral and poster), grant proposals and Web sites. Additional topics include the history of scientific inquiry, ethical conduct of scientists, funding sources, and communicating with public audiences. (Offered annually) Prerequisite: One year of SM laboratory science courses or permission of the instructor.

SM 402 Watershed Management
3 credits (AS)
Students gain an understanding of hydrology and physical, biological, and chemical characteristics that influence water quality and quantity and are, therefore, important to watershed management. Topics include effects of various land uses, chemical and biological water quality indicators, and techniques for improving water quality and managing water quantity. An important culminating project is the development of a watershed management plan. Does not fulfill the lab science requirement. (Offered spring term alternate years) Prerequisite: SM 140 Environmental Science or SM 302 Wetlands Ecology or permission of the instructor.

SM 411 Cell Biology and Physiology
3 credits (AS)

This course examines major areas of cell biology, including detailed examination of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells and membranes, bioenergetics, cell signaling and cellular and molecular aspects of immunology and development. (Offered on a rotating basis, spring term) Prerequisites: SM 118 Cellular and Molecular Biology and SM 221 Organic Chemistry I.

SM 451 Independent Research
2 credits (AS)

Students conduct laboratory or field research on a project they create in consultation with one of the biology professors. The credits and project will be outlined via a contractual agreement between the student(s) and instructor(s); a final, potentially publishable research report will be produced by the end of the course. Offered every semester or annually as either a regularly scheduled course or an independent study. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and junior status.

SM 470 Environmental Interpretation
4 credits (AS)

Building on concepts learned in the core of the Environmental Biology degree, this course integrates these concepts with the practical approach of communicating and interpreting nature for the general public. Students will further their knowledge of the inhabitants of local environments while designing and implementing environmental exhibits for the college and/or community in the form of slide presentations, informational leaflets, exhibits, and interpretive programs. Prerequisite: Junior/senior standing.

SM 499 Capstone Seminar
3 credits (AS)

In the Capstone Seminar students focus on specific academic projects that both integrate the knowledge and skills from their previous course work and prepare them for the next stage of their professional development. The course stresses written, oral and visual communication; pragmatic problem-solving skills; setting and achieving specific goals; teamwork; and self-assessment.