What do you get when you mix genes with the environment, then add a touch of Darwin? A web-based course the West Virginia University Department of Biology is offering next semester through Extended Learning.

“Biology Connections II”will provide contemporary instruction in genetics, evolution and ecology for teachers and others interested in the subject matter, said Ed Keller, a biology professor in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. The course starts Jan. 16.

“Its designed as a course for teachers who want to update their knowledge of biology,”Keller said.”Its been 20 years or more since many teachers studied biology, and two-thirds of the material in this course has been acquired since then, especially in genetics and ecology.”

The course is not limited, however, to teachers, he added.”This would be a good introductory course for people who have not studied a lot of biology.”

Keller will teach the class over the Internet through WebCT, requiring students to have access to an Internet browser such as Netscape 4.0, Explorer 4.0 or greater.

Students will also perform lab experiments on four occasions at the nearest of the following selected regional sites: Concord College, Hedgesville High School, Logan High School, Morgantown High School, Oak Glen High School, Roane County High School and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg.

Details about the class can be found athttp://www.as.wvu.edu/~acad/bioconII.html.

Registration will be the first day of class at one of the sites. Students must be in a WVU graduate program or register for one three-hour course under a”professional development”arrangement. To enroll at WVU , call 304-293-2834 or 1-800-2LEARN2.

WVU students can register through the WVU STAR System athttp://star.wvu.edu.