Bio 120 Organismal Biology Fall 2018 Tentative Schedule

Lecture SB‑331: MWF 9:00‑9:50 — Laboratory SB‑331: R 8:00‑10:50 — LLC SB‑331: W 3:00‑3:50
Hotlines: 860‑465‑4444 or 800‑578‑1449

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

Date Preparation Needed for Class
Wed-Aug 29 Introduction: It is in the Syllabus
"Effective Learning..." Assignment
Thu-Aug 30 Read Freeman: B.2 B.3 pp 19-25 and Pechenik: pp 144-152
Quiz 1Biologist at Work! Data collection only! Hist
Hand Data for: Fall 2018
Comprehensive Exam
Fri-Aug 31 Chapter 1 Science and Biology
Mon-Sep 3 Labor Day!
Wed-Sep 5 Resume and Cover Letter Assignment
Writing Due: "Effective Learning..."
Chapter 7.2, 47.3 Eukaryotic Cells and Syngamy
Thu-Sep 6 Chapter 32.1
Quiz 2Invertebrate Reproduction Exercise Hist
with Lytechinus variegatus
SeaBiscuit Movie
Fri-Sep 7 Chapter 24.1 Taxonomy
Mon-Sep 10 Chapter 22.1-2, BioSkill B.13 pp 47-49 Cladistics
Wed-Sep 12 Due: Biologist at Work!
Chapter 22.4 The Beak of the Finch
Thu-Sep 13 Read Pechenik: pp 160-173, Use: pp 178-181, 208-211
Due: Invertebrate Repro. Ex.
Quiz 3Figuring Biological Data Init Worksheet All
The Course Data File
Fri-Sep 14 Chapter 25.1 Reversal Homoplasy
Mon-Sep 17 Evolution of Bacteria Chapter 30.1-3 Animal Evolution
Wed-Sep 19 Chapter 30.4, 31 Invertebrate Animals Strutting our Prowess
Thu-Sep 20 Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data: Table 1, Fig. 1 only
Quiz 4 — Excel Statistics Workshop
Fri-Sep 21 Chapter 32 Vertebrate Animals
Mon-Sep 24 Chapter 29 Fungi
Wed-Sep 26 Chapter 28 Plants
Thu-Sep 27 Chapter 50.5
Writing Due: Fig. Bio. Data: all 7
Due: Fig. Bio. Data. Worksheet
Quiz 5Animalia: Crayfish Ethology Hist
Fri-Sep 28 Chapter 27 Protista (sensu lato)
Eukaryotic Cells
Mon-Oct 1 Chapter 7.1, Chapter 26 Prokaryotic Cells
Wed-Oct 3 Chapter 9.1, 9.6, 10.1 Prokaryotic Metabolism
Thu-Oct 4 Due: Crayfish Ethology
Quiz 6Make .fas file for Laptop/USB drive/OneDrive/email
Click to install MEGA software
Fungi Hist
and Mammalian Systematics Hist
Seed Germination Setup
Plant Beans in Greenhouse!
Fri-Oct 5 Chapter 38.4, 37.2-37.4 Seed Germination and Seedling Response
Mon-Oct 8 Meet in Science 331
Lettuce Germination Intro
Initial Seed Germination Count
Wed-Oct 10 Chapter 7.2-7.3 Eukaryotic Transition
Thu-Oct 11 Revision Deadline: Fig Bio Data: 7
Due: Fungi
Due: Mammalian Systematics
Quiz 7Seed Germination Exercise Wkst Hist
Z-test of Proportions Exercise
Seed Germination Writing Assignment Hist
Fri-Oct 12 Chapter 35.1-35.2 Plant Transpiration
Date Preparation Needed for Class
Mon-Oct 15 Due: Resume and Cover Letter First Drafts
Chapter 35.4 Translocation
Wed-Oct 17 Chapter 38.1-38.4 Plant Reproduction
Thu-Oct 18 Quiz 8Cladistics Exercise Hist
Reversal Homoplasy
Fri-Oct 19 Midterm Histogram
Outlining for Writing M&M
Mon-Oct 22 Chapter 39.2-3.93 Animal Cellular Structure
Wed-Oct 24 Chapter 40 Animal Osmotic Balance and Excretion
Thu-Oct 25 Due: Cladistics
Read the worksheet and preview the
Cross sections: Leaf, Stem, Root.
Quiz 9Plantae: Vegetative Hist
Spectra Writing Assignment
Fri-Oct 26 Due: Seed Germ Exercise
Writing Due: Seed Germination
Chapter 41 Nutrition
Mon-Oct 29 Chapter 41 Digestion
Wed-Oct 31 Happy Halloween!
Chapter 42 Animal Gas Exchange
Thu-Nov 1 Due: Plantae Vegetative
Quiz 10Organisms Once Protista Species! Hist
Excitation & Emission Spectra
Fri-Nov 2 Chapter 42 Circulation
Mon-Nov 5 Chapter 42 Heart Functions
Wed-Nov 7 Chapter 43 Nerve Systems
Thu-Nov 8 Due: O.O.P.S.!
Quiz 11Archaealogy & More
Halobacterium Slides
Double-Y Plots
Fri-Nov 9 Prokaryotic Cell Structure (whiteboard)
Mon-Nov 12 Prokaryotic Cell Structure Continued
Wed-Nov 14 Bacterial Cells
Thu-Nov 15 Writing Due: Absorption Spectrum
Quiz 12Bacteriology Exercise
Bacteria incubated at 32° C.
Fri-Nov 16 Outlining Double-Y Plot Assignemnt
Mon-Nov 19 Revision Deadline: Seed Germination
Observe Bacteriology Results in Science 331
Prodigiosin Path
Wed-Nov 21 Cleaning House and Cooking
Thu-Nov 22 Turkey Dissection
Fri-Nov 23 Sleep and Leftovers!
Mon-Nov 26 Animal Gas Exchange
Wed-Nov 28 Finish Animal Gas Exchange
Thu-Nov 29 Due: Bacteriology
Writing Due: Double-Y Plots
Quiz 13Cyanobacteria Exercise
Intro, Slides, Observe Archaealogy and More
Fri-Nov 30 Due: Archaealogy & More
Animal Circulation
Mon-Dec 3 Course Evaluation
Continue Animal Circulation
Wed-Dec 5 Finish Animal Circulation
Thu-Dec 6 Due: Cyanobacteria Exercise
Quiz 14Animalia: Frog Physiology
☠ Ultimate Revision Deadline: 4 PM ☠
Due: Resume and Cover Letter Assignment Final Drafts
Tue-Dec 11 Due: Animalia: Frog Physiology
8:00-10:00 AM Laboratory Final SC 331
Fri-Dec 14 8:00-10:00 AM Comprehensive Final 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!

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.

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.

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:

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, come to regular meetings of the Biology LLC (W 3-3:50 PM in Science 331), 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 Assistant is Alexis Adcock (adcocka∂my⋅easternct⋅edu and 860‑941‑9252) here. She took Organismal Biology in a prior semester and, because of her outstanding performance, she was invited to be a TA for this class. Alexis is a biology major and thus can help you in many ways working your way through our program! She has 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.