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McGraw-Hill Higher Education Introduces New Introductory Level Biology Content

Professor-Author Develops a Modern, Real-life Approach to Biology Education

for Non-majors

NEW YORK, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Many students don't realize that biology is part of our everyday lives -- on a typical morning before heading to class, they may use a toothbrush to scrub the bacteria off their teeth, choose clothes made partly of natural fibers such as cotton or wool, and eat a breakfast composed of foods produced by other organisms. The challenge for today's biology professors is to help non-major students appreciate the importance and relevancy of this science to their own lives, beyond the classroom.

Biology: Concepts and Investigations, a new non-majors textbook (McGraw-Hill) takes a modern approach to biology, including a focus on genetics, with an emphasis on evolution and biological diversity. The writing style is clear and engaging and the content strongly focuses on scientific inquiry and evolution.

"McGraw-Hill Higher Education is pleased to provide the most comprehensive, up-to-date introductory level biology content on the market," said Kurt Strand, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education's Science, Engineering and Math Group. "Throughout the text, Dr. Marielle Hoefnagels, the author and a current professor at the University of Oklahoma, teaches the general concepts of biology while meaningfully connecting these concepts and theories to students' everyday lives."

Dr. Hoefnagels and McGraw-Hill employed a 360-degree development process, including a three-day forum with 15 current instructors from across the country, to create Biology's user-friendly content and innovative artwork. For example, "Burning Questions" like "What causes headaches?" are integrated throughout the text to address the need for biology to relate to students' personal lives and to answer real-life questions. "Can You Relate" sections present relevant discussion topics, like how anabolic steroids build muscle, for students and professor to explore together.

"Being a textbook author has made me a better teacher and being an instructor has made me a better author," said Dr. Hoefnagels. "Throughout the book, I had strived to ensure that all visual and textual information is explained at a level that a beginning student can understand. The text, art and photos of Biology: Concepts and Investigations help bring biology to life for faculty and students at a whole new level."

"Investigating Life" sections at the end of each chapter reinforce the importance of scientific inquiry and explain studies that shed light on evolutionary topics related to each chapter's content. Biology also uses a variety of digital tools to support the course, including quizzes, videos, animations, and a social networking application.

"This textbook presents biology to the non-science major in a clear and interesting fashion," said Kathleen Pelkki, a biology teacher at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. "Keeping evolution at the forefront with up-to-date examples of adaptations and relationships, this text has an ideal level of detail for the university student."

The book's innovative art program clearly and creatively communicates the visual science of biology for a variety of learning styles. Full-color illustrations with a three-dimensional feel are used and combined with art, photos and micrographs to create informative combinations. Consistent color-coding is used throughout the book for membranes, DNA, atoms and other important reoccurring biological structures. Additionally, numbered step-by step figures help students work through complex scientific processes in easy-to-follow steps.

The text has already been adopted for use in the 2008-2009 school year by a variety of universities, including Appalachian State University, Florida State University, Towson University and Lewis and Clark Community College. For more information, please visit

Dr. Hoefnagels is currently an assistant professor in the department of Botany/Microbiology and Zoology at The University of Oklahoma. She earned her B.S. in environmental science from the University of California at Riverside, her M.S. in soil science from North Carolina State University and her Ph.D. in plant pathology from Oregon State University in 1997. She has served as managing editor and chair of the Web site Committee for the Association of Biology Laboratory Education and is also a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers.

About McGraw-Hill Higher Education

McGraw-Hill Higher Education is a premier provider of teaching and learning solutions for the post-secondary and higher education markets worldwide. It is a unit of McGraw-Hill Education, a leading global provider of print and digital instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. McGraw-Hill Education has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 40 languages. Additional information is available at


Tom Stanton

McGraw-Hill Education

Phone: +1-212-904-3214

SOURCE McGraw-Hill Higher Education
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