SylBio10 Spring2011

Section 189
Biology 10 Course Syllabus
ID Number:________
Spring 2011
Instructor: Professor Pat A. Farris
Phone: (818) 710-4140 (voice mail)
e-mail: FarrisPA @
Office Hours: T Th 7-8, M T 11-12, W 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Office Location: CFS 91087
Moodle Site:
Web Site:
Required Texts and Materials
“Natural History Lecture Notes” by P.A. Farris (green cover with oak leaves)
“Natural History Lab Guide” by P.A. Farris (white cover with bird)
A bird field guide (I’ll show you several options - not needed until end of April)
A standard “low-tech” calculator is needed for labs and exams. Dictionaries, translating devices and
phones are NOT allowed.
Pencil is required for all lab work, and suggested for all exams.
Lecture Topics
Class Information, Characteristics of Life
Taxonomy, Scientific Methods
Lab 1 - Natural History of Com. Organisms
Read pages 1-13
Turn in page 7, read Lab 1
Read pages 14-15
Taxonomy, Five Kingdoms
Lab 2 - Intro. to the Microscope
President’s Day Holiday
Read Lab 2
Read pages 16-18
21 Another President’s Day Holiday
23 Vertebrates, Intro. to Evolution
25 Lab 3 - Survey of the Five Kingdoms
Reading Assignment
Read Lab 3
Practice page 19, read pages 21-25
Darwin’s Theory, Intro. to Genetics
Read Lab 4
Lab 4 - Natural Selection
Read pages 26-36
PTC, Finches and Horses, Review Kingdoms
7 Lab Quiz : Labs 1, 2, 3 and 4 (50 pts)
9 Lecture Exam (80 pts)
11 Lab 5 - Plants
Read Lab 5
Read pages 37-46, 59-61
Abiotic Factors, Plant Physiology
Read pages 62-69
Pollination and Seed Dispersal, Insect Orders Read Lab 6, learn insect orders
Lab 6 - Insects
Read pages 70-77
Bees, Insect Review
Biotic Factors
Lab Practical: Plants and Insects (50 pts)
Study page 71, read pages 47-52
Read pages 53-58
28 Community Structure, Plant Keys
30 Lecture Exam (80 pts)
1 Field Trip (Lab 7) Serrania Avenue Park
4 Plant Review
6 CSS and Chaparral
8 Field Trip (Lab 8) Rocky Oaks
Read pages 83-87
Read pages 88-92
11 Fire Ecology
13 Botanical Garden
15 Lab Practical Plant Identification (50 pts)
(with a huge extra credit potential!)
Buy bird field guide soon!
Study pages 78-81
Monday April 18 - Monday April 25 - Spring Break! Note the extra day!
27 Introduction to Diversity
29 Bird walk on campus (bring field guide!)
Read pages 113-116
Bird Review and Diversity Calculation
Complete pages 117-118, read pages 97-106
Tundra and Tropics
Field Trip (Lab 11) Malibu Creek State Park
9 Bird review and Calculations
11 Bird Flight Adaptations
13 Field Trip (Lab 12) Sepulveda
16 Tropical Organisms
18 Mammal Identification
20 Lab 13 - Mammal Adaptations
Read pages 119-122
Read pages 107-112
Read Lab 13
Read pages 93-96
23 Bird Behavior
25 Mammal, Bone and Bird Review
Read pages 123-124
27 Lab Practical (70 pts) Bird and Mammal ID, Bones
Final Exam: Wednesday, June 1 from 9:00 - 11:00 (70 pts)
Includes CSS, Chaparral, Fire Ecology through Bones
90 - 100%
78 - 89%
65 - 77%
55 - 64%
below 55%
There are a total of three exams (230 pts), four lab tests (220 pts), twelve labs (130 pts) and several in-class
or take-home assignments, for a rough total of 620 points. No lab work from previous semesters will be
Exams are a combination of short answer and multiple choice. The exams cover all the lecture,
laboratory and field trip information. It is these exam scores that most determine your grade in the
class. Only one make-up exam will be allowed per student during the semester IF you notify me before
the absence (via voice mail or e-mail). Bring a calculator to all exams. Phones must be off and put
away during all exams. All students must take the Final Exam regardless of their percentage in the
class at the end of the semester.
Any student caught cheating will receive a zero for that exam or assignment and I will file an
“Academic Dishonesty Report” with the Dean of Students, which becomes a permanent part of
your academic record.
Lab Quizzes and Practicals
Quizzes cover in-class laboratories and will consist of terms, definitions, short answer, labeling
diagrams, calculations or identifying the function of various structures. Lab Practicals will test your
ability to recognize plants and animals that were seen on the field trips. You may find the practice
quizzes on the web site helpful for studying at home. During the test, you will see the actual plants or
animals, or photographs, and then be required to name them or list a distinguishing characteristic. This
is a timed test! There are no make-ups for this kind of test and points will be deducted if you
are late!
Field Trips
On these days we will meet off-campus. Make your own travel arrangements ahead of time and check
the field trip maps for materials needed. In some locations there are parking fees, so it is best to
carpool. Dress appropriately - conditions may be cold, windy, muddy or all three. Severe weather may
change our schedule - to see if a field trip has been cancelled, check the classroom window or Moodle
site for announcements. If weather is an obvious impending factor, then an in-class exercise may be
arranged and we will meet in the lab.
You must be on time for all field trips. Being “on time” means that you are standing next to me and
saying “here” when I call the roll at the designated meeting time. You will lose points on the field
exercise for being late.
During the first five minutes of each field trip, explicit instructions will be given on what is expected
of each student during the field time, and exactly what is to be turned in at the end of the trip. Missing
a field trip entirely means that you have missed your chance to see the plants and animals you will be
tested on. The class will be dismissed from the field trip location early enough to allow time to return
to a regularly scheduled class on campus.
You may find it helpful to carry a camera on the plant ID field trips.
Please advise me of any allergies (bees, for example) prior to field work. Smoking is prohibited in all
field trip locations. It’s bad for you anyway.
Attendance Policy for Biology 10
The official campus policy: Any student that misses more than two class meetings before the official
census on Monday of the third week (Feb 21), will be dropped without penalty. If you decide to stop
attending the class after the census, it is YOUR responsibility to drop the class on-line. The last day to
drop the course (and receive a “W”) is May 8.
Mrs. Farris’ policy: As a laboratory class, your attendance is an extremely important part of passing
this class. Your grade will be adversely affected by excessive absences or by showing up late. If you
miss too many lectures and/or labs, this will result in a letter grade of “F” in Biology 10, even if you
have taken all the exams. Do not rely on me to drop you after the census date. If you are still on the
rollsheet on May 9, you will receive a letter grade in Biology 10.
Class Conduct
Please be considerate of others in the course. Showing up late, talking during lecture and other
disruptive behavior is rude to me and to your fellow classmates. If I do not have your full attention
during the lecture, I will ask you to leave. If you disrupt the class beyond my tolerance, you will be
officially excluded from the class and will have to get a written clearance from the Dean of Students in
order to return. Videotaping or audio recordings are not allowed during lectures.
How To Pass This Class
Be on time. Every day. I spend the first few minutes of each class going over the class schedule,
when assignments are due and in general, letting you know what’s important. Don’t be the last one to
find out what’s going on.
Stay current with the material. The night before a practical or exam is too late to start studying.
Since there is no traditional textbook for this class, there is no opportunity to “catch up later”. Most
exam points come from my lectures - successful students take lots of notes.
Make flash cards. This is a very visual class - you will have to memorize many different species of
plants and animals, and many of them can appear identical unless you spend time figuring out the
differences on your own. Flash cards are like mini-tests that can be a very quick way to study terms
and identify species.
Study with a group. I usually have the classroom open early, so you can arrange to meet with your lab
partners to go over notes.
Take advantage of review time in class. Sometimes the only study materials you have are in the form
of class specimens. If I take up class time to put specimens out on demo for your review, take
advantage! Ask me how to tell one specimen from another, or ask me “what do I have to know
about...” questions. I often let a few exam questions “slip out” during review sessions - listen
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