Life was once very simple: single cells eating and being eaten. Things have gotten complicated. Diverse habitats have selected for a staggering variety of organisms. In this course we will explore some of the organisms that inhabit the earth's myriad niches. Our examination will encompass adaptations at the cellular and organismic level, taking particular note of the symbiotic interactions that make life possible for many organisms. Throughout the semester we will discuss how researchers expand what is known by examining questions and data. You will also spend time in the laboratory honing your own questions and observation skills.