Bio 120 Organismal Biology Spring 2017 Tentative Schedule

Sec 01 Lecture SB‑134: MWF 8:00‑8:50 — 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 9-11 SB 356

Date Preparation Needed for Class
Wed-Jan 18 Introduction
"Effective Learning...Assignment"
Thu-Jan 19 Read Knisely: pp 207-212
Quiz 1Biologist at Work!
Hand Data for: 8AM Lab
Fri-Jan 20 Chapter 1 Science
Mon-Jan 23 Writing Due: "Effective Learning..."
Chapter 1
Wed-Jan 25 Chapter 25 Biology
Thu-Jan 26 Due: Biologist at Work!
Read Knisely: pp 55-75, Use: pp 181-188, 219-242
Quiz 2Figuring Biological Data
The Course Data File
Fri-Jan 27 Chapter 27 Taxonomy
Mon-Jan 30 Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data:
Table 1, Fig. 1 only
Chapter 28.1
Wed-Feb 1 Chapter 28 The Beak of the Finch
Thu-Feb 2 Quiz 3 — Excel Statistics Workshop
Fri-Feb 3 Chapter 28 Evolution of Bacteria
Research Article Figure Analysis
Mon-Feb 6 Chapter 7.1
Wed-Feb 8 Chapter 29
Strutting our Prowess
Thu-Feb 9 Snow Day! Yikes!
Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data: all 7
Due: Fig. Bio. Data. Worksheet
Quiz 4Invertebrate Reproduction Exercise
with Arbacia punctulata
SeaBiscuit Movie
Fri-Feb 10 Snow Delay! Homework: SeaBiscuit Movie
Meet ON TIME in Science 331 (laboratory)
Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data: all 7
Due: Fig. Bio. Data. Worksheet
Invertebrate Reproduction Exercise
with Arbacia punctulata
Mon-Feb 13 Snow Delay! Chapter 9.1 & 9.6
Prokaryotic Cells
Chapter 10.1-10.2 Homework: SeaBiscuit Movie
Meet ON TIME in Science 331 (laboratory)
Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data: all 7
Due: Fig. Bio. Data. Worksheet
Invertebrate Reproduction Exercise
with Arbacia punctulata
Wed-Feb 15 Chapters 29 (rev), 30.3
Cyanobacteria Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data: all 7
Due: Fig. Bio. Data. Worksheet
Thu-Feb 16 Due: Invertebrate Repro. Ex.
Quiz 4Cladistics Exercise
Reversal Homoplasy
Fri-Feb 17 Vacation: Lincoln's Birthday
Mon-Feb 20 Vacation: Washington's Birthday
Wed-Feb 22 Chapter 7.2 Prokaryotic Metabolism
Thu-Feb 23 Quiz 5Bacteriology Exercise
Fri-Feb 24 Due: Cladistics
Mon-Feb 27 Revision Deadline: Fig Bio Data: 7
Chapter 30 Eukaryotic Transition
Wed-Mar 1 Chapter 12.1-12.2, 13.1 Reversal Homoplasy
Thu-Mar 2 Quiz 6Cyanobacteria Exercise
Intro, Slides, Prodigiosin Path
Fri-Mar 3 Protista (sensu lato) Cells
Additional Graphics/Writing Discussion
Mon-Mar 6 Chapter 31
Wed-Mar 8 Chapter 41
Thu-Mar 9 Due: Bacteriology
Quiz 7Archaealogy & More
Double-Y Plots
Fri-Mar 10 Chapter 50.1-50.3 Protista (sensu lato) Cells
Outlining for Writing M&M
Date Preparation Needed for Class
Mon-Mar 13 Spring Break
Wed-Mar 15
Thu-Mar 16
Fri-Mar 17
Mon-Mar 20 Chapter 40.1-40.4 & pg. 809
Prokarytic Growth
Wed-Mar 22 Chapter 37 Eukaryotic Growth
Thu-Mar 23 Due: Cyanobacteria Exercise
Quiz 8 — Finish Archaealogy & More
Organisms Once Protista Species!
Excitation & Emission Spectra
Plant Beans in Greenhouse!
Fri-Mar 24 Chapter 38, Outlining for Writing M&M, Results, etc.
Mon-Mar 27 Writing Due: Double-Y Plots
First 25 min in Science 331
Seed Germination Set-Up
Wed-Mar 29 Chapter 32 Plant Meiosis
Thu-Mar 30 Due: O.O.P.S.!
Due: Archaealogy & More
Quiz 9Reset Seed Germination Exercise
Lettuce Germination Intro
Z-test of Proportions Exercise
Fri-Mar 31 Chapter 33
Mon-Apr 3 Chapter 34
First Count Seed Germination SC 331
Wed-Apr 5 Chapter 35
Thu-Apr 6 Due: Invertebrate Repro. Ex. Last page only!
Revision Deadline: Double-Y Plots
Complete Parts I & IIA before lab day!
Cross sections: Leaf, Stem, Root.
Quiz 10Plantae: Vegetative
Finish Seed Germination Data Collection
Fri-Apr 7 Chapter 42
Mon-Apr 10 Chapter 45 Animal Reproduction
Wed-Apr 12 Mineral Nutrition
Thu-Apr 13 Due: Seed Germ Exercise
Writing Due: Seed Germination
Due: Plantae Vegetative
Make .fas file for Laptop/USB drive/email
Click to install MEGA software
Quiz 11Fungi and Mammalian Systematics
Fri-Apr 14 Day of Reflection
Mon-Apr 17 Chapter 45.1 & 45.3 & 45.5 Plant Circulation
Wed-Apr 19 Chapter 48.3-48.4 Animal Circulation A
Thu-Apr 20 Due: Fungi
Due: Mammalian Systematics
Quiz 12Animalia: Crayfish Ethology
Fri-Apr 21 Writing Due: Absorption Spectrum
Chapter 44 Animal Circulation B
Mon-Apr 24
Wed-Apr 26 Chapter 46.3 & 46.4-pp.943 Animal Circulation C
Thu-Apr 27 Due: Crayfish Ethology
Quiz 13Animalia: Frog Physiology
Fri-Apr 28
Mon-May 1 Chapter 43.5
☠ Ultimate Revision Deadline: 2 PM ☠
Food Digestion Food DigestionB
Wed-May 3 Wastes Elimination
Thu-May 4 Due: Animalia: Frog Physiology
Laboratory Skills Assessment
Open Lab Study for Final exam
Mon-May 8 8:00-10:00 AM Comprehensive Final in SC 134


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 II lecture and lab (CHE 211 and 213) or perhaps Math (MAT 155 or 243, but likely NOT MAT 135!!) as well. You might also be finishing up 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 (5th 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, a newer 6th edition, or an earlier edition to guide you through the course. This text will be used in Bio 220 and Bio 230 as well.

The department has selected Karin Knisely's, A Student Handbook For Writing In Biology (Sinauer/MacMillan) 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. Among many options for purchasing, our university bookstore will have the latest fourth edition (2013) and used copies for purchase.

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 20% 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 20% of the course grade.

✎ Writing Projects: ✍

This is a writing-intensive course. During the semester, five 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!

Final Examination:

The course ends on the date of the final 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 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! The semester-long participation points provide another 20% of the course grade.

Final Course Grade:

As described above, your final grade is calculated based on weightings of 20% for quizzes, 20% for worksheets, 20% for writing assignment first submissions, 20% comprehensive final exam, and 20% for the participation points. Grouped differently, lecture performance is assessed by quizzes (18%), participation (20%), and final exam (18%) for a total of 56% of the course grade. Laboratory performance is assessed by laboratory worksheets (20%), writing assignments (20%), quizzes (2%), and final exam (2%) for a total of 44% 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:

If you believe you will need special accommodations for this class, please contact the Office of AccessAbility Services at (860) 465-5573. The instructor cannot provide 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, 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. One of our Biology Majors, Christina Welch, is well known for being a terrific tutor there for biology core courses, chemistry, and physics! Her hours are W and F 9-11 AM, and R 9-noon. 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 Assistant is Zach Skarzynski (skarzynskiz∂my⋅easternct⋅edu 860‑378‑7429). Zach took Organismal Biology a few semesters ago and, because of his performance, he was invited to be a TA for this class. He is a biology major and thus can help you in many ways working your way through our program! He has endured our cognate (CHE and MAT) courses and can help with those too.