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Popular insect lab part of Professor Webb’s BIO 101 course this fall

SC4’s Essentials of Biology (BIO 101) course addresses the nature of biology as a science. Students learn core biological concepts and engage in the analysis and communication of biological subject matter.

This is an introductory course for non-biology majors. “Students will be better informed on issues that affect their everyday lives,” said Professor Dave Webb. “They will understand how science works and how critically important it is to make decisions based on legitimate scientific evidence.”

Two current examples of the above are climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. Webb states, “Students will learn how to distinguish scientific reality from misinformation.”

Webb is one of several professors teaching this course on campus this fall. While the course objectives are the same, the labs are unique to the professor allowing them to teach to a particular area of expertise and interest.

For example, taking advantage of Webb’s training in entomology, his fall class begins with a five-week sequence of labs centered on insect identification. Students learn:

  • How to use two different types of microscopes
  • Insect anatomy and the key features of major groups of insects
  • The techniques used to identify specimens of the different major groups of insects
  • How to collect insects in the field

“A field trip to collect insects is the most popular lab of the semester,” continues Webb. “It’s close to campus, which is convenient, and best of all — we’re outside.”

It’s important for students to experience biology out in the field looking at living organisms. While laboratory biology remains undeniably important, there is still much to be learned from biologists who roll up their sleeves, go outside, and get dirty.

Registration for fall semester is now open and seats are available for BIO 101 sections. Check out a full list of classes being offered at

New to campus, visit Professor Webb and the SC4 campus community look forward to welcoming you to campus in August.