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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

BIOL 1213: Principles of Biology II

This course is designed for biology or science majors, and offers a survey of the kingdoms of life, emphasizing their ecology and evolutionary relationships. BIOL 1215 is the laboratory component.

Learning outcomes

  • Discuss the mechanisms of evolution by natural selection.
  • Explain our changing view of the evolutionary history of biological diversity.
  • Discuss important processes and interactions leading to the structure of natural communities, especially natural selection, population growth, competition, nutrient cycling, and behavioural ecology.
  • Be familiar with the major ecosystems on land and in water.
  • Critically discuss the role of humans as a force of change in the biosphere.
  • Classify living organisms.
  • Understand and articulate the principles and processes of scientific inquiry.
  • Think critically about the principles of biology studied and communicate your thinking clearly and concisely in speaking and in writing.

Course topics

  • Unit 1: Biology, Science, and Society
  • Unit 2: Evolution
  • Unit 3: Systematics, Phylogeny, and Biological Diversity
  • Unit 4: Ecology
  • Unit 5: Global Change

Required text and materials

The following Open Education Resources (OER) textbook, free of charge, is required for this course:

  1. Holmberg, T. J. (2023). Principles of Biology II, OL ed.  LibreTexts Biology. 
    Retrieved from:


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the mandatory final examination.

Note: The final exam for this course is only available as a paper exam and must be taken in person at an approved Testing Centre. Please email with any questions.

Assignment 1: Biology, Science, and Society 15%
Assignment 2: Evolution 15%
Assignment 3: Systematics, Phylogeny, and Biological Diversity 15%
Assignment 4: Ecology 10%
Assignment 5: Global Change 10%
Quizzes 5%
Final Examination (mandatory) 30%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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