Bio 120 Organismal Biology Fall 2019 Tentative Schedule

Lecture SB‑331: MWF 9:00‑9:50 — Laboratory SB‑331: R 8:00‑10:50 Hotlines: 860‑465‑4444 or 800‑578‑1449

Dr. Ross Koning 860‑933‑2712 Science 356 MWF 10-12 SB 356

Date Preparation Needed for Class
Wed-Aug 28 Introduction
"Effective Learning..." Assignment
Thu-Aug 29 Read Freeman: B.1 pp 19-21 and Pechenik pp 144-152
Quiz 1Biologist at Work! Hist
Hand Data for: 8AM Lab
Fri-Aug 30 Chapter 1— Scientific Method
Mon-Sep 2 Labor Day
Wed-Sep 4 Writing Due: "Effective Learning..."
Resume and Cover Letter Writing Assignment Hist
Chapter 1— Finish Scientific Method
Thu-Sep 5 Due: Biologist at Work!
Read Freman: B.2-3 pp 21-26, Pechenik: pp 158-173, Use: pp 178-181, 208-211
Quiz 2Figuring Biological Data Hist Wk Hist All SC 220
The Course Data File
Table and Figure Checklists and Initial Rubric
Fri-Sep 6 Chapter 1—Biology and Hierarchy
Mon-Sep 9 Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data: Table 1, Fig. 1 only Hist
Chapter 24.1, 25.1— Finish Biology and Hierarchy
Wed-Sep 11 Case Study 1 Freeman 446-448 and Chapter 26
Taxonomy and Hierarchy
Thu-Sep 12 Read Freeman Chapters 7.2, 47.1, 47.3, 32.1 and Fig. 30.12
Complete 3 tutorials: Fert Lab, SeaBiscuit Movie, Anatomy
Quiz 3Invertebrate Reproduction Exercise Hist
with Lytechinus variegatus image
Fri-Sep 13 Chapter 22 esp: Case Study 2 p 448-450
Phylogeny and Tree of Life
Mon-Sep 16 Chapter 22.1-22.3—Tree of Life Exploration
Evolution of Bacteria
Broader Presentation Video
Darwin's Postulates and Modern Synthesis
Wed-Sep 18 Darwin's Postulates: The Beak of the Finch
Thu-Sep 19 Due: Invertebrate Repro. Ex.
Quiz 4 — Excel Statistics Workshop
Fri-Sep 20 Chapter 25—Intro cladistics
Mon-Sep 23 Chapter 7.1, 26, 9, 10—Strutting our Prowess
Wed-Sep 25 Mapping SINEs, Homoplasy & Parsimony
Thu-Sep 26 Read Freeman B.13 pp. 47-48, Review Ch. 25
Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data: all 7
Due: Fig. Bio. Data. Worksheet
Quiz 5 GraphCladistics Exercise Hist
Cladistics Introduction
Fri-Sep 27 Chapter 9—Cladistics Lab Homework!
Mon-Sep 30 Chapter 10—Prokaryotic Cells: Fermentation Prokaryotic Cells
Wed-Oct 2 Chapter 10— Prokaryotic Cells: Respiration
Thu-Oct 3 Tutorials: Fix Bacteria to Glass, Gram Stain, Streak Plate, Spread Plate
Due: Cladistics Exercise
Revision Deadline: Fig Bio Data: 7
Quiz 6Bacteriology Exercise Hist
Fri-Oct 4 Chapter 26 — Prokaryotic Cells: Photosynthesis
Mon-Oct 7 Chapter 7, 9, 10— Prokaryotic Cells (continued)
Wed-Oct 9 Chapter 7.1 and 26 3— Prokaryotic Cells: Photosynthesis
Thu-Oct 10 Pre-lab tutorial: Phyllid Wet Mount
Quiz 7 — Bacteriology Observations Prodigiosin Path
Cyanobacteria Exercise Hist
Intro, Slides
Fri-Oct 11 Due: Bacteriology
Prokaryotic Cells: Transcription, Translation, Replication, Binary Fission, Furrowing
Mon-Oct 14 Chapter 27.3— Eukaryotic Cell Evolution
Wed-Oct 16 Chapter 7.7-7.3—Eukaryotic Cells: Nucleus, ER, Golgi, Mitochondrion
Thu-Oct 17 Read Freeman B.8 p. 33
Pre-lab Tutorial (icon) and Virtual Spec (arrow at bottom)
Quiz 8Archaealogy & More Hist
Halobacterium Slides Cell Density Plots Hist
Fri-Oct 18 Due: Cyanobacteria Exercise
Chapter 27 — Protists: Archezoans Trichonympha
Date Preparation Needed for Class
Mon-Oct 21 Chapter 27 — Protists: Euglenoids, Ciliates, Brown, Red Algae
Wed-Oct 23 Chapter 28 — Cell Cycle, Karyotype, and Mitosis
Thu-Oct 24 Protist Wet Mount
Writing Due: Cell Density Plots
Quiz 9Organisms Once Protista Species! Hist
Continue Archaealogy & More
Excitation/emission spectra
Seed Germination Set-Up
Plant Beans in Greenhouse!
Fri-Oct 25 Chapter 27.3, Chapter 28 — Cytokinesis Life Cycles
Mon-Oct 28 First 25 min Seed Germination Data
Finish Life Cycles: Haplontic, Diplontic, Diplohaplontic
Wed-Oct 30 Chapter 37.2-37.4 esp. Fig 37.20—Zygote to Phytochrome to Seed Germination
Thu-Oct 31

Revision Deadline: Cell Density Plots
Due: O.O.P.S.!
Quiz 10Seed Germination Exercise Hist
Seed Germination Writing Assignment Hist
Lettuce Germination Intro
Finish Archaealogy & More
Fri-Nov 1 Chapter 38.1-38.3—Meiosis: Plants
Mon-Nov 4 Due: Archaealogy & More
Revision Deadline: Cell Density Plots
Chapter 34, Fig 36.9—Gravi- Photo-tropism and Mineral Elements
Chapter 36.1-36.3— Root Structure, Osmosis, Cation Exchange
Wed-Nov 6 Continue Root Structure
Thu-Nov 7 Review Figs. 34.18, 34.19, 34.21, 36.12, 35.6, 35.10, 35.13,
Read the worksheet and sketch the cross-sections
Pre-lab Tutorial (icon) and Virtual Spec (arrow at bottom)
Leaf, Stem, Root.
Quiz 11Plant Anatomy Hist
Optical Sectra Writing Assignment Hist
Fri-Nov 8 Writing Due: Seed Germination
Due: Seed Germ Exercise
Chapter 35—Transpiration and Translocation
Stem and Leaf Structure and Function
Mon-Nov 11 Finish Transpiration and Translocation
Wed-Nov 13 Chapter 29 — Fungi
Thu-Nov 14 Due: Plant Anatomy
Have homework done, and .fas file in cloud/email
If using your own laptop, install MEGA 7
Quiz 12Fungi Hist and Mammalian Phylogenetic Systematics Hist
Fri-Nov 15 Chapter 30— Intro to animals
Mon-Nov 18 Writing Due: Optical Spectra
Continue Intro to animals
Wed-Nov 20 Chapter 41—Food Digestion
Thu-Nov 21 Due: Fungi
Due: Mammalian Phylogenetic Systematics
Quiz 13Animalia: Crayfish Ethology Hist
Fri-Nov 22 Finish Digestion
Chapter 42 — Circulation
Mon-Nov 25 Chapter 42 — Closed Circulation, Heart Function
Wed-Nov 27 Clean House and Start Cooking
Thu-Nov 28 Dissect Turkey and Consume!
Fri-Nov 29 Shopping or Sleeping?
Mon-Dec 2 Chapter 43— Nerve System functions
Wed-Dec 4 Due: Animalia: Frog Physiology
Chapter 47— Animal Reproduction
Thu-Dec 5 Revision Deadline: Seed Germination
Due: Crayfish Ethology
Quiz 14Animalia: Frog Physiology Hist
Fri-Dec 6 Writing Due: Resume and Cover Letter
Chapter 40—Animal Waste Elimination
☠ Ultimate Revision Deadline: 2 PM ☠
Thu-Dec 12 8-10 AM - Laboratory Skills Exam in SC 331
Fri-Dec 13 8-10 AM - - Comprehensive Final Exam in SC 331


Bio 120 is a required course for freshman biology and biochemistry majors and minors. If you are not in the biology major or minor program or the biochemistry major, then you should drop this course immediately. It does not meet the LAC requirements for any other students! If you are a biology or biochemistry major, it is likely that you should be simultaneously registered for Chemistry I lecture and lab (CHE 210 and 212) or perhaps Math (MAT 155 or 243, but likely NOT MAT 135!!) as well. You might also be taking the courses needed for the first 30-60 credits at Eastern: ENG 100 or HPE 104/108.

Liberal Arts Curriculum Objectives:

Bio 120 is a course that excuses Biology majors from the LAC Tier1 Natural Sciences requirements. This course should substantially meet the objectives of the LAC Tier 1 courses:

Moreover, BIO 120 should substantially meet the objectives of the LAC Tier 1 Natural Science courses:

Course Plan:

The structure and function of organisms is the focus of this course. In exploring the diversity of living organisms, we consider the basic problems faced by all living organisms and compare the diverse solutions that have evolved among the branches of the tree of life (bacteria, archaea, protists, stramenopila, rhodophytes, plants, fungi, and animals). The fundamental concepts include: cell structure, homeostasis (obtaining minerals and nutrients, exchanging gases, transporting materials, maintaining temperature, balancing solutes), growth, movement, reproduction, and evolution. In weekly laboratory exercises you measure, observe, and design and execute experiments with living organisms. You sketch and label diagrams of organisms at cell, tissue, system, and whole-body levels. You build, revise, and interpret cladograms based on morphological, nucleotide, and amino acid data. You prepare smears, wet mounts, and hand sections and other specimens for observation and testing in compound and dissection microscopes, and use spectrophotometers. You gain experience in serial dilution and axenic culture techniques. You document organismal responses to a range of stimuli. This course provides up to 2 of the 8 points needed to met the university second stage writing requirement (Bio 050). We concentrate on writing the title, materials and methods, and results sections of research articles. You prepare professional tables and graphs, conduct appropriate statistical testing of results, and express data with attention to rounding and precision. This course provides three hours of lecture and 3 hours of laboratory experience each week. A final course grade of C- or better is required in this course to proceed into the sophomore core courses.

This Class Is Flipped!

This semester, our approach is called "flipping" the class; the idea is that you will prepare for class so that you are coming to class already knowing the material. In the classroom we will practice from what you know, apply what you know to new situations, or examine case studies related to what you know. The reason professors are "flipping" classes is to help you transition from the K-12 model of you being taught (notice how passive that is) to what will be happening to you for the rest of your life. We are the last of your teachers; from here on out it is up to you to learn on your own, and to put youself into practice as a scientist. You have to become a teacherless lifelong learner. You will want to pay close attention to the instructor when teaching you about metacognition (how your brain works to help you learn), and apply the techniques that are suggested to assist your learning. For this class you have to learn about each topic before class so you can participate in class. The days of arriving on "empty" are left behind in K-12 education; now you need to arrive to class on "full" tank, ready to go. On the job after college, this is how you avoid hearing "the Donald" from your boss. With this in mind, how do you fill up?


There are two required textbooks for this course. The Biology core course instructors have chosen Scott Freeman's Biological Science (6th edition) published by Pearson/Benjamin Cummings as our main textbook. This book may be available as a stand-alone printed book, or as a stand-alone electronic-book (with limited-time access), or both. You may obtain this edition or an earlier edition to guide you through the course. This text will be used in Bio 130, 220 and 230 as well.

The department has selected Jan Pechenik's A Short Guide to Writing about Biology (9th edition) published by Pearson as the style manual for all writing in its courses. This book will help you in all future Biology courses at ECSU, so you DO need to purchase it; earlier editions might present some savings. Among many options for purchasing, our university bookstore will have the latest ninth edition (2016) and used copies of earlier editions for purchase. The previously adopted book by Karin Knisely, A Student Handbook For Writing In Biology (Sinauer/MacMillan) would also be acceptable and may be less expensive.

Much of the content of this section of Bio 120 course will be provided on our course website at

The individual laboratory exercise handouts will be provided as needed. Replacements for "lost" copies must be obtained by printing out a replacement from the course website. You will need a 1.5-2 inch 3-ring binder to organize your course materials and a zipper case in your binder to hold other materials! Buy a pencil, mechanical preferred, with eraser; as all work in ink receives a 10% grading penalty. You may find useful: a laptop computer with Microsoft Office installed, or a USB/Flash/Jump Drive for some of your laboratory work. You will find a simple (+−×÷=) calculator and colored pencils useful.

Dress Code: This class will be consistent with departmental guidelines for laboratory courses. You are expected to wear closed shoes for all laboratory meetings. You are expected to wear long pants or jeans, or will bring a labcoat to cover your shorts/dress/skirt/kilt. You will wear your slacks snugly at your waist and will not be exposing the class to your undergarments. In laboratory, you will not wear shirts/blouses/sweaters/etc. with long flowing sleeves. You will not be allowed to wear a hat in lecture or laboratory but, for your safety ⚠, if your hair is longer than your earlobes, regardless of gender (♂ ♀ ⚥), you are required to use a hair-tie/scrunchie for lab days when we work with open flames. You are not allowed to eat or drink in the laboratory ☠.


Quizzes will be given, usually at the beginning of the laboratory time slot. When the last quiz is turned in by students who arrived to laboratory on time, the rest of the incomplete quizzes will be collected. ⚠ Do not be late to laboratory class! Quizzes may cover all course material, divided approximately 90% lecture and 10% laboratory. You should expect a variety of question types: multiple choice, matching, diagrams to draw and/or label, charts, short answers, etc. The mix of question types on a quiz will not be announced ahead of time, so it is up to you to anticipate and be ready for any kind of question on each quiz. Quiz grades will be determined by straight scale relative to the top score attained in the class: 90%=A, 80%=B, 70%=C, 60%=D. The lowest quiz score may be dropped from the final course grading. Quizzes provide 15% of the final course grade.

Laboratory Worksheets:

For each laboratory class you must bring the laboratory exercise worksheet if distributed in an earlier class meeting. The completed worksheets (always requiring work outside of classtime) or other reports required are due at the beginning of class as shown in yellow highlight on the on-line syllabus. Papers received during or after class on that day will be penalized as one-day late. Late papers will receive a penalty of 10% per day late. Moreover, after the instructor has returned the first graded paper to one classmate, all still-unsubmitted papers receive a grade of 0%! The instructor will strive to return worksheets at the next class meeting, so you are warned that tardy papers may go very quickly to 0%. There are no make-up laboratory sessions, and absence from any laboratory exercise will not be excused, and a grade of 0 will be recorded in the gradebook. Laboratory exercise grades will be determined by straight scale. The mastery of laboratory skills gained in the course will be assessed on the last day of laboratory. Laboratory exercise worksheets provide 15% of the course grade.

✎ Writing Projects: ✍

This is a writing-intensive course. During the semester, six writing projects will be assigned beyond the exercise worksheets. The first will be given out in the first class meeting. The Figuring Biological Data, Archaealogy and More, Seed Germination, and Plantae: Vegetative exercises will be the foundation for you to write some portions of a formal laboratory report in this course. The drafts for writing will be due as shown in orange highlight in the on-line syllabus. Writing assignments must be computer generated and printed out in hard-copy; electronic submissions are not acceptable. Much of the work on these writing projects will be done in Microsoft Excel and Word; you may download a free copy of Microsoft Office. Late papers will receive a penalty of 10% per day late. After the first graded paper is returned to any classmate, all unsubmitted papers receive a grade of 0%. Graded writing assignments will be returned as soon as possible. If a writing assignment is scored at or below 65%, then it must be revised and resubmitted by the deadlines until it meets this benchmark. However, only the first score will count in the grading…so your first submission should not be a first draft! Failing to submit (and resubmit by the deadlines as needed) any one of the writing projects will result in course failure. If all writing projects have been submitted (and promptly resubmitted if needed) and ultimately exceed the 65% benchmark, then the initial scores on writing assignments provide 20% of the course grade.

Written communication is important for continued success within any discipline. Biology majors are expected to meet the University's intermediate writing requirement (Bio 050) within the four core courses (Bio 120, 130, 220, 230). Students may earn 0-2 points from Bio 120 and from Bio 130 and 0-4 points for Bio 220 and for Bio 230. Bio 050 credit is awarded when a student earns at least 8 total points. The Bio 050 standard must be met prior to registering for Bio 466 (Senior Seminar). For this course, the writing focus is the Materials and Methods and the Results sections of the standard laboratory report. This is why so much effort is applied to learning how to make publishable-quality figures and tables. If the average of your first-submissions of the writing assignments is 85% or better, you will receive 2 points. If that first-submission writing average is between 65 and 85% you will receive 1 point. If the first-submission writing average is below 65%, or if any writing assignment fails to meet the benchmark on resubmission by the deadline, you will receive 0 points. ⚠ It is important to put forth your best effort on the first submission of these writing assignments!

Lab Techniques Examination:

The course ends on the date of the lab techniques exam as assigned in the official ECSU final exam schedule for our laboratory meeting time. You must be careful to arrange your travel, work, or other schedules around this date and time! The techniques examination will measure your personal ability to use equipment and carry out procedures learned all semester in the laboratory. The exam will test, for example, your ability to use digital pipettes, microscopes, spectrophotometers, calipers, balances, etc. The lab techniques examination provides 20% of the course grade.

Final Examination:

The course ends on the date of the final exam as assigned in the official ECSU final exam schedule for our lecture meeting time. You must be careful to arrange your travel, work, or other schedules around this date and time! The comprehensive examination will cover all topics in the semester — both lecture and laboratory. The exam will be constructed of about 250 questions taken from the semester quizzes, plus a few questions on course topics covered after the last quiz. The comprehensive final examination provides 20% of the course grade.

Participation Points:

Participation in this course is expected. While much of that is assessed in the written laboratory assignments above, some of your participation will be objectively measured using your response record to a variety of activities in lecture. Spotty lecture attendance and late arrivals to class can strongly impact this part of your grade. A significant portion of these points will be awarded for taking the on-line Comprehensive Exam in Biology during the first week of the semester; this is a course requirement and should be taken very seriously! Other spot-checks on your skills development during the semester will be similarly scored as participation. The semester-long participation points provide another 10% of the course grade.

Final Course Grade:

As described above, your final grade is calculated based on weightings of 15% for quizzes, 15% for worksheets, 20% for writing assignment first submissions, 20% comprehensive final exam, 20% for the lab final exam, and 10% for the participation points. Grouped differently, lecture performance is assessed by quizzes (13%), participation (10%), and final exam (18%) for a total of 41% of the course grade. Laboratory performance is assessed by laboratory worksheets (15%), writing assignments (20%), quizzes (2%), and final exam (2%), and lab final (20%) for a total of 59% of the course grade.

Please be aware that your final course grade needs to be C- (70%) or better to continue as a Biology major. You cannot register for either Bio 220 or 230 unless your transcript shows a C- or better for both Bio 120 and 130. Moreover, retaking a core course requires the approval of the Biology department chairperson! And, it is important to note that, those repeating a biology course go to the very end of the registration line; a repeat-seat in the course is given only after all other students have had a chance to register for their first time in the course. So you need to make a genuine attempt to seriously work hard and to achieve much in this course! On each quiz you will be provided with a current course average (a x̄ maybe ± ŝ) to assist you in knowing how well you are doing. You are warned that, as the semester progresses, the growing pile of grades requires increasingly outstanding subsequent results to raise the more-massive average! Heroic measures on the last few assignments are statistically incapable of changing the overall average by more than a fraction of a percent!

Other Course Policies and Expectations:

The instructor will do his level best to grade your work as fairly and as objectively as possible. He is open to your suggestions about fairness. He will reconsider any grading that you may feel was unfair within one week of a graded quiz or other paper's return to you. He cannot address concerns that go unexpressed, so you are invited to the office hours to discuss every concern you may have in this course. Two students who compare grading on their separate papers and believe they have found an example of special treatment, should come in together to discuss it objectively. The instructor will never take points away from any points awarded on a paper. However, it may be that two answers that seem to be "the same" are, in fact, different-enough that one is correct and the other is wrong. It may only be the addition of a single word that makes a difference between a point and no point. It may be that the point was not awarded in one case because the word was not connected properly to a structure on a diagram, etc. Please come in to discuss your concerns; the instructor is happy to explain the grading to you and to make any adjustments as are correct and fair ☺. It is extremely discouraging for instructors to read about "unfair grading" in the final course evaluations when students do not bring their concerns to resolve the issues during the semester and it is too late to address the problem ☹.

The university and the instructor expect you to attend all 6 class hours per week, and to study and complete course assignments for an additional 12 hours per week at home in this one course! It is very unlikely that any laboratory assignment will be completed in class. It is critical that you learn to avoid initiating homework during laboratory class. ◉ Lab exercises are not designed to allow you to complete homework in class!

The biology department and the instructor in this course expect you to monitor your university email address for important communications from the university, from the department, and from your biology instructors. In this course, the official syllabus is the on-line version as modified during the semester; you are expected to check the syllabus frequently and regularly for changes, especially due dates for assignments.

The instructor's estimates of your commitment to high performance in this course may provide leverage or barrier should your earned grade fall near a grade border. Attendance, attitude, and attention are three strong components to the commitment factor in the final grade. Staying on-task, remaining engaged in class discussion, and performing as an effective team-member in laboratory are also critical. You will receive substantial worksheet penalties for relying upon data that you did not help to collect. As an adult, you are expected to bring all required materials (especially your clicker!) to class, to be on time, etc. The instructor is especially unsympathetic to those who are routinely late to classes. Extra credit assignments will not be given to anyone for any reason. There may be bonus points provided for everyone to earn, however.

If you are a commuter to our campus, you should remember that parking is often hard to find and leave extra time for the search, and for the walking that may be required once you are parked. Also, you need to think about alternatives should you have vehicle problems. Is there a family member who can give you a ride? Do you have contacts for other ECSU students from your town with whom you might carpool? Are your tires good enough for the driving conditions that New England weather will present? Commuters need to be courageous about driving in snow, on glare ice, in torrential rain, etc.

Copying or plagiarism will not be tolerated. While you will work together to obtain data in the laboratory, your own observations, your own Excel calculations, and your own graphics must be shown on the quizzes, worksheets and writing projects. The computer technique of copy-paste or using your lab partner's computer file is perhaps the easiest and fastest way to become a plagiarist. This is also the form of plagiarism that is easiest for faculty to detect! The ECSU plagiarism penalty is expulsion. ☠

Getting Personal Help For This Course:

Eastern complies with all ADA and Rehabilitation laws. If you believe you will need special accommodations for this class, please contact the Office of AccessAbility Services at (860) 465-0189 immediately. The instructor cannot provide special accommodations until he has received an accommodation letter from the Office of AccessAbility Services.

Students having difficulty in this course are advised to use the office hours of the instructor, come to regular group office hours (W 3-3:50 PM in Science 356, 331, or 220 as appropriate), to seek the help of the teaching assistant(s), and are encouraged to use the tutoring, math, and writing support offered by the Academic Services Center located on the ground floor of the Library. If you need these services, you should seek help before it is too late to make a difference in the course outcome.

In laboratory, your Teaching Assistants are Cassidy Baranowski, Margo Kaufman, Marissa Poulin, and Alma Reyes-Gonzalez. Three of these students took Organismal Biology in a prior semester and one took its equivalent at another university. Moreover because of their outstanding performances, all four of them were invited to be a TA for this class and can help you with everything in this course! They are biology majors and thus can help you in many other ways as you learn your way through our program too! They have finished the Chem 1 and Chem 2 and pre-Calc and Calc 1 courses with equally outstanding grades and thus can help you with those classes too. The best way to learn anything is to teach it to someone else, and our TAs are taking advantage of this opportunity to assist you.