|BIOLOGY LAB I, Autumn 2011||Janet Stein Carter, Associate Professor of Biology|
|course #34BIOL111-001, MW 1:00-2:50 pm||Office: room EDU-215-N, phone 732-5313|
|Office: M & W 12:00-1:00, T & H 1:00-2:00|
|(or stop in whenever I’m there)|
|(If I’m not in my office, then check the Lab area)||e-mail: Janet.Carter@uc.edu|
2 undergraduate credits. This science majors’ course illustrates the processes, principles, and concepts discussed in Biology I through investigative labs that emphasize examples from everyday life, the scientific method, keeping a lab notebook, and collecting and analyzing data via computer. Activities include accuracy and precision of data, equipment skills, sugar in foods, fermentation, sterile technique, osmosis, and field hikes to study local organisms. Coreq: Biology 101 (which has Prereq: High-School Biology or Biology 104, High-School Chemistry, High-School Algebra).
Please fill out this pre-lab questionnaire so we have a better idea of “where you’re at” coming into the course.
This Majors’ course will illustrate the biological processes, concepts, and theories as discussed in Biology I with examples from everyday life. You will explore and develop your understanding of these processes and theories through hands-on discovery activities. The goals will be:
Methods of Reaching These Objectives:
Note: Weather permitting, we will be spending time outdoors studying local flora and fauna. Thus, the following schedule is subject to change due to rain. Tests, quizzes, and other due dates will be at the stated times unless an announcement to the contrary is specifically made beforehand (with the one exception that if it is raining when a field-hike quiz is scheduled, that quiz may be postponed). Please wear/bring clothing suitable for hiking through brambles and/or mud and/or poison ivy. Due to various safety regulations, long pants and sturdy boots/shoes are mandatory for field hikes. Inappropriately-dressed students will not be permitted to participate in lab activities and will, thus, not have notes for any lab(s) missed. Since some of the hikes are mildly strenuous, people with asthma, diabetes, and/or hypoglycemia should plan ahead and come prepared to deal with any possible reactions they might have.
In the event that all classes are canceled due to inclement weather, UC will make that information available via the local media and via other means. In the event that classes are not canceled, but I cannot make it in due to weather or illness, I will send an e-mail message to all students for whom I have e-mail addresses. If you wish to receive that notification, please provide me with an e-mail address for an account which you check regularly.
|Autumn Quarter Schedule|
Grades will be determined based on the total of the points from the two quizzes (50 pt. each), midterm (200 pt.), final (200 pt.), and notebook gradings, (2 at 200 pt. each), and plant/insect collection (100 pt.), plus points from Abstracts and any unannounced “pop” quizzes, thus a minimum of 1000 points will be possible. A histogram (curve) of the total scores will be constructed and analyzed using statistical methods. In general, the class mean will serve as the dividing line between “B” and “C” scores, and only those students whose scores are above the mean plus one standard deviation unit, thereby demonstrating superior mastery of the material covered, will receive an “A.” An “F” will be given when an individual repeatedly scores at the bottom of the class and shows blatant disregard for good study habits and class attendance. Ten percent (10%) of the total possible points will be deducted per class period for late assignments (notebooks, papers, collections, etc.). As stated in the Making and Keeping a Lab Notebook protocol, “No books abandoned in my mailbox will be considered as turned in, nor will they be graded — your portion of the grade sheet must be filled out and turned in with the notebook.” Any student who stops attending class and does not go through the official withdrawal process will be given the grade of “UW” — unofficial withdrawal — the equivalent of an “F.” Grades will be awarded based on a straight A-B-C-D-F grading scale.
I realize that there are some medical conditions which, legitimately, can preclude a student from having an equal chance to learn in this course. A very obvious example would be a student who had trouble hearing me speak, thus was at a great disadvantage because (s)he would miss what I was saying in lecture. However, other, more subtle, conditions such as ADD and dyslexia can also adversely affect an equally-intelligent student’s opportunity to obtain information and/or communicate to me that (s)he has learned the needed material. It is not “unfair” to anyone to make arrangements to compensate for such medical conditions, but rather, this can help insure that such people have an equal chance at doing well in this course. Obviously, however, such students would still have to demonstrate that, given reasonable accommodations, they are capable of mastering the required material. Thus, students who need some type of accommodations in order to “level the playing field” and put them on a par with the rest of the class should speak with me now, not after grades have suffered.
Tests and Quizzes:
There will be two quizzes worth 50 pts. each and a midterm and final worth 200 pts. each plus a number of 10-pt. “pop” quizzes to insure you are reading the lab protocols before lab. Make-up tests will be given only in the event of a valid excuse, and must be taken promptly. Field-tests and pop quizzes cannot be made up. Tests will cover material from each lab session that is included, and grades will not be adjusted for any labs that you miss — “I wasn’t there” is not a reason.
Students who miss a test should make arrangements with the instructor to make it up BEFORE the next class period. Requests to make up tests after the tests have been returned and discussed will be denied unless a student has a valid excuse (such as a doctor’s note). Optionally, a more difficult make-up test may be written (but graded on the same curve as everyone else). Only one test may be made up late, and then only with a valid excuse. If more than one test is missed, subsequent tests will receive a “zero.” This means that if you skip one test because you “don’t feel like it,” then miss a second test due to illness, you have used up your one chance and will receive a “zero” on the second test. It has been my experience that students who don’t take a test on time because they think they need more time to study end up doing no better (if not worse) when they do finally take the test. There will be a 10% per class period penalty for a late test.
Optional Resources and Equipment:
Pechenik, Jan A. 1993. A Short Guide to Writing about Biology. 2nd. Ed. HarperCollins College Publ., New York. (available in the bookstore)
Some important, related links:
Other Things to Include in Your Notebook
Make sure you have all of the following in your lab notebook: