Biology 201

Foundations of Biology II

A PDF version of this information is available here.

Spring 2013 Course Syllabus

PrerequisitesCourse Objectives and Expectations
Required ResourcesGrading
Required TextsLecture and Laboratory Exams
Important DatesLaboratory Participation
Honor Code/Academic HonestyAutobiography Assignment
Artifact of Learning Project


Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Biology 200 – Foundations in Biology I. Proof of the prerequisite requirement is due by the end of the 2nd week of class (30 August). Proof can be a transcript or downloadable printout of Palomar course records.

Required Resources

▪ Biol201 Dissection kit, approx $15.25, available from the Palomar College Bookstore (discussed under "Laboratory" section below);
▪ Appropriate eye protection (safety glasses);

Required Texts

Biology 201 Lecture Outline, Laboratory Manual and Study Guide, 11th editions, by Daniel Sourbeer and Robert Mustard (download from Blackboard);
Biology by Campbell and Reese, 8th ed. or later;
Photographic Atlas for the Biology Lab by Van De Graaff & Crawley, 5th ed. or later;
▪ Highly Recommended: A Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms by Donald J. Borror.

Important Dates

▪ Drop deadline (without notation in record): 03 February 2013
▪ Withdraw deadline ("W" grade on record): 08 March 2013
After 08 March (the end of the 7th week of classes) an evaluative grade (A through F) will be recorded.

Student Learning Objectives

After completing Biology 201 at Palomar College, students should understand the scientific process (method), including formulation of a hypothesis; designing an experiment to test that hypothesis; analysis of the results (data) produced by that experiment; and the importance of peer review.

Course objectives and expectations

This course is designed for biology majors. As such, I will have the following expectations:
▪ Make learning the highest priority. Be professional in your work, i.e., any work you turn in should be neat, complete, accurate, and on time.
▪ Practice science, following the Scientific Method; you will design and carry out an experiment of your own design on seed germination.
▪ Be involved in professional activities such as attending a scientific seminar or meeting; interning, working or volunteering in a scientific setting; and/or subscribing to a scientific journal.
▪ Finally, strive for excellence, not mediocrity. You're going to be producing artifacts demonstrating your expanding knowledge and expertise. Create something you'll want to take pride in!

This course is content heavy and will require advanced study skills and self-discipline. As committed professionals who enjoy their work, I will expect you to keep up in your studies and not get behind. If you will commit to it, I think you will find this course not only a highly rewarding experience, but fun as well. The feeling of accomplishment is a great one, especially when you do something well. It is my desire to expose you to information and experiences that will help you excel and make wise decisions in your chosen profession.

One of the easiest ways not to succeed in Biology 201 is to not show up for class (lecture and/or lab). If you're not committed to spending your time and effort on this class, try again some other time. Students with excessive absences (>3) may be dropped from the roster, without notice, at any time during the semester.

Due Dates

Due dates for all assignments are tentative, but are likely to be as shown in the Lecture and Laboratory Schedule table. Dates will be announced in class, but you are responsible for knowing the dates of exams and other assignments. Unless otherwise specified by me, assignments are due at the beginning of the class period. Late assignments will be accepted (unless specified otherwise), but 25% of the point total for the assignment will be deducted for each class meeting or part thereof that it is late (e.g., after two full weeks, the assignment is worth 0 points).

Lecture Exams: On exam days, be sure to get adequate rest, have back-up plans in place for getting to class on time, and arrange for reliable transportation to class. You may retake Lecture Exam 1, 2, or 3 at the last class meeting during finals week.

Laboratory Exams and Quizzes: Due to the nature of setting up lab exams (practicals), NO LAB EXAMS CAN BE MADE UP. If you miss laboratory exams, or more than one lecture exam, you will receive a score of "zero" on those exams. Quizzes are typically given at the beginning of class meeting. If you are late or miss class, there will be no makeup quizzes.

Honor Code/Academic Honesty

By remaining enrolled in this class you are pledging, on your honor, that you will not engage in any acts of dishonesty. Cheating, plagiarism (copying anything or using data without citing the source), or any act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for work that is not your own is unacceptable. The Palomar College Office of Student Affairs describes these Standards of Academic Integrity in the Student Code of Conduct. There is to be absolutely no communication of any kind (between students) once an exam begins. Nothing is allowed at the test area except for a writing instrument(s) and eraser. All questions should be directed to me and you may not leave the room during an exam and resume it when you return. If you leave the room I will collect the exam, and I will grade what you have completed. My policy is that students caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive a zero grade on that assignment or exam (1st offense). For 2nd offenses or in instances of cheating on an exam, a letter describing the incident will be sent to the Life Sciences Department Chair and to the Office of Student Affairs. Important: allowing another student to copy from your material makes you complicit in the act of cheating.
If you are aware of cheating of any kind, I would appreciate what information you have, as it is essential to maintain the integrity of the course -- this includes communication between individuals in different class sections, copying assignments to be collected, plagiarizing papers, etc.


Your education, as you know, is an extremely valuable commodity. It is therefore important to extend as much courtesy as possible to your fellow classmates, so that everyone gets as much as possible out of the course. These courtesies include the following: If you are late to class, please enter quietly (it helps to take your materials out of your backpacks before entering the room). If you have to leave early, put your personal materials away after leaving the room. Please do not talk, exchange notes, or otherwise disrupt the class during instruction. Please turn off pagers, alarms, and cell-phone ringers. If your behavior in any way distracts other students, you may be dismissed from the class.


Points will be earned for activities in both lecture and laboratory, in the following ways (these are approximations):

Lecture Exams 3 x 100 points each
Laboratory Exams (Practicals 3 x 100 points each
Laboratory Exercises 2 x 20 points each
Autobiography 30 points
Artifact of Learning Project 80 points total

Your percent score in the class will be determined as follows:
Course % =
Sum of points earned by you
x 100
Total of points possible on all assignments

Grades in the course are assigned according to the following scale:
A = 90% and above; B = 80 - 89.99%; C = 70 - 79.99%; D = 60 - 69.99%


The laboratory component is a crucial part of the course. The Department of Life Sciences requires that you participate fully in laboratory exercises, i.e., the laboratory must be experienced. If you miss the equivalent of more than three laboratory periods, your participation will be considered unsatisfactory and you will receive an “F” in the course. Use laboratory time wisely, as you can reduce outside study time if you do. The attitude "I'll learn it later" is the attitude of a mediocre to poor student, not the attitude of a committed professional.
We will be using some preserved specimens in class. Be sure to review the Materials Safety Data Sheets provided to you. If you have any suspected or known allergies to materials we will be using, or if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, please notify me of the condition, and consult with a physician as soon as possible. We will be doing some dissections, and you will need to provide your own dissection kit and eye protection (disposable gloves will be made available to you in lab).
Eye protection is required in the laboratory. You will not be allowed to participate without proper eye protection.

Autobiography Assignment

30 points, due Tuesday, 29 January
Tell me about yourself, and be sure to include the following information:
Tell me about your science background, and the reason for taking this class in particular.
What letter grade do you expect to earn in the class and why?
What is your career goal, and what is your plan to achieve that goal?
What are your interests and hobbies?
Anything else you would like me to know about you?
Refer to the Syllabus for the complete details of this assignment.

Artifact of Learning Project

80 points total
There are three separate "deliverables" for the Artifact of Learning Project (see the separate handout for details on content):

▪ Project Proposal paper (due Thursday, 14 February); 15 points
▪ The Electronic Artifact (presentation plus CD-ROM copy); 50 points
▪ Project Summary paper; 15 points

Lecture and Laboratory Schedule

Back to Top

Natural World RapidWeaver theme by ThemeFlood