Biology for Non-Science Majors II

Biology for Non-Science Majors II


Credit Fall 2017
08/28/2017 - 12/17/2017

Course Information

Section 010
TTh 09:00 - 10:20
RRC3 3330.00
Elizabeth Maxim

Section 010
TTh 10:30 - 11:50
RRC3 3325.00
Elizabeth Maxim

Office Hours

  • M W
    10:30 - 12:00
    RRC 3321
  • T Th
    12:00 - 1:30
    RRC 3321
    And by appointment

Course Requirements

Lecture Exams: There will be five lecture exams, each worth 100 points. The exam format will be a combination of objective questions (such as multiple-choice, true­-false, and matching questions) and written” questions (such as short answer, essay, flow-charting and drawing).   The exams will be based on the information covered during the unit, whether presented in lecture or in lab or on lab reports or on the study guide for the unit.  Questions on the exam that are related to lab activities will focus on your ability to identify materials from lab.  You will be expected to recognize and identify the organisms and structures by sight.  You will be expected to spell all terms correctly in order to receive full credit.  Exams may also include any material in the textbook, articles or Internet that the instructor assigns for independent reading.

Optional Final: An optional comprehensive final will be given at the end of the semester for any student who wants to try to improve his/her grade.  The grade from the final exam will substitute for one of the regular exam grades if the final exam grade is higher.  This policy does not apply to an exam that the student has missed and did not make up (i.e., an exam with a grade of 0).  If you have an exam with a grade of 0, the final grade will be substituted for the next lowest exam grade, if the final grade is higher.

Labs: The lab is intended to provide students with a hands-on approach to the material that is covered in the unit. Each lab has materials for you to complete to turn in for credit. There are two types of materials: lab data sheets and lab reports. The lab data sheets are paper documents handed out during the lab period. You will record your observations or data and make your drawings on the data sheets. Sometimes there will also be questions to answer as well. Lab data sheets are due at the beginning of the next lab period.

Lab reports are Blackboard assessments based on the observations, activities, and lab manual questions. For most labs, you will find questions in the lab manual that you should answer before taking the Blackboard assessment. Once you have finished the lab data sheet and/or lab manual questions, go into Blackboard and click on “Lab Reports” link in the frame on the left. Then click on the lab report you need to complete. Answer the questions, then click on “Submit”. After you submit the lab report, you will be able to review your answers and the correct answers. You will also be able to access your completed lab reports through “My Grades” by clicking on the highlighted lab report scores. The deadline for submitting Blackboard lab reports is the beginning of the next lab period.

Many of the lab manual questions have an Internet component that will require the use of a computer. And obviously you will need to use a computer to submit your Blackboard lab reports. Computers are available to ACC students at all campuses in the ACC libraries and ACC learning lab centers. Each lab is worth 10 points. Sometimes there will be a 10-point Blackboard lab report and no lab data sheet. Sometimes there will be a 10-point lab data sheet and no Blackboard lab report. Most of the time there will be a 5-point lab data sheet and a 5-point Blackboard lab report. There are 25 lab reports this semester. The lowest two lab report scores will be dropped, for a total of 230 points. If you are not present during the lab, you cannot turn in the lab data sheet for credit. You can still submit a Blackboard lab report for partial credit. Please note there are no make-up labs in this course.

Extra Credit: There are several opportunities for extra credit in this course.  There are two self-guided field trips that you can go on for extra credit.  Additional information will be posted on the instructor’s web page about these self-led field trips.  Each field trip is worth up to 20 points, depending upon participation in the scheduled activities and completion of the written assignment. You may only go on one field trip, for a maximum of 20 points. There are extra credit questions on the exams.  No other extra credit is available unless a DAC survey is required during the semester.

Makeup Exams: You can miss one lecture exam and make it up.  Use this wisely because you will not be able to make up two exams, regardless of your reasons.  Makeup exams will be given in the RRC Testing Center. You must schedule and take the makeup exam within one week of the original test deadline. Makeup exams will be primarily written in nature (fill-in-the-blanks, short answer and essay questions).


Required Course Materials:

(1)  Campbell Biology Concepts and Connections, 8th edition, 2014, by Reece, Taylor, Simon, Dickey and Hogan.  Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco.

(2)  Photographic Atlas for Biology Laboratory, 7th edition, 2013, by Adams and Crawley.  Morton Publishing, Englewood, CO.

(3)  Lab Activities for BIOL 1409 Introductory Biology: Diversity of Life, 7th edition, July 2013, by Bernice Speer and Betsy Maxim. The lab manual is available online for free from the class Blackboard site or the ACC Biology Department website.

(4)  Safety glasses or goggles (for people who wear contacts), ANSI Z87.  Available at the ACC Bookstore.  Required for lab.

(5)  A set of colored pencils for lab

(6)  Closed shoes for lab

Course Subjects

Evolution and Natural Selection 1: What is evolution, adapations, natural selection, artificial selection

Evolution and Natural Selection 2: Genetic drift, gene flow, mutation, sexual selection, kin selection

Species & Speciation: Species concepts, reproductive isolating mechanisms, speciation, speciation mechanisms

Evolutionary History: Plate tectonics, continental drift, mass extinctions and their causes

Systematics: Studying evolutionary histories, phylogenetic trees and how to interpret them, classification and naming of species

Prokaryotes & Viruses: Abiogenesis (origin of life), evolutionary history of prokaryotes, prokaryotic cell structure and function, the two prokaryotic domains (Archaea and Bacteria), where do viruses fit in?

Protists 1: Eukaryotic cell structure, function and origin, evolutionary history of eukaryotes, modern plant-like protists: seaweeds and phytoplankton groups

Protists 2: Animal-like protists: amoebas, ciliates and other protozoans; and fungal-like protists: slime molds

Fungal Diversity: Characteristics and evolutionary history of fungi: yeasts, molds, mushrooms and other groups

Fungus Kingdom: Fungal lifestyles: decomposers; parasites of plants and animals; lichens and mycorrhizae

Introduction to Plants: Characteristics of plants, adaptations of plants to life on land

Bryophytes and Seedless vascular plants: evolutionary history of plants, bryophytes or non-vascular plants (mosses & liverworts), seedless vascular plants (ferns and clubmosses)

Gymnosperms: Evolution of seed plants and their characteristics, characteristics and major groups of gymnosperms

Angiosperms 1: Characteristics and evolutionary history of flowering plants, the main groups of flowering plants

Angiosperms 2: Pollination and seed dispersal in flowering plants

Plant Form and Function: Structure and function of flowering plants

Introduction to Animals: General characteristics of animals, animal body plans

Animal Diversity 1: Sponges, radially symmetrical animals (Cnidarians) and simple bilateral animals (flatworms)

Animal Diversity 2: Roundworms, segmented worms, and mollusks

Animal Diversity 3: Arthropods and echinoderms

Animal Diversity 4: Chordate characteristics, invertebrate chordates, hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous fishes

Animal Diversity 5: Bony fishes, animal adaptations to life on land, amphibians, the amniotic egg

Animal Diversity 6: Nonavian reptiles, birds, mammals

Introduction to Ecology: What is ecology, abiotic and biotic components of the environment

Biomes: Aquatic and terrestrial habitats and their characteristics and distribution

Populations: Population characteristics and dynamics, human population growth

Communities & Ecosystems: Species interactions, biodiversity, community dynamics, food webs

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

This course is one of two introductory non-science major classes. This one focuses on the diversity of life and the similarities found among all living things. The course is intended to foster an understanding of biological issues and provide students with the tools to critically analyze biological data and intelligently relate these data to issues in our society such as extinction, global warming etc.

Student Learning Outcomes: Specific skills and competencies expected of students who complete this course include:

• Describe evolution and its mechanisms

• Describe various types of ecosystems and the ecological principles that underlie their properties.

• Describe how organisms are named and classified and interpret phylogenetic trees

• Describe the diversity, structure and function of viruses, prokaryotes, and the various eukaryotes groups, including protists, fungi, animals, and plants.

As a Core Curriculum course, students completing this course will demonstrate competence in:

• Critical Thinking - Gathering, analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and applying information.

• Interpersonal Skills - Interacting collaboratively to achieve common goals.

• Quantitative and Empirical Reasoning - Applying mathematical, logical and scientific principles and methods.

• Written, Oral and Visual Communication - Communicating effectively, adapting to purpose, structure, audience, and medium.