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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

Biol. for Non-Science Majors I BIOL-1408

  • Fall 2013
  • Section SECTION_304 CRN-11539
  • 4 Credits
  • 08/26/2013 to 12/13/2013
  • Modified 09/19/2013

Meeting Times

Lecture & Laboratory:  MW 1:25 - 4:05 PM

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Robert Brick

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Office: S - 167
  • Phone: 979-209-8256
  • Website:

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM, S - 167
  • Monday, Wednesday, 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM, S - 167
  • Tuesday, Thursday, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM, S - 167


or by appointment


This course provides a survey of biological principles with an emphasis on humans, including chemistry of life, cells, structure, function, and reproduction. Laboratory activities are designed to reinforce lecture topics.

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


  1. Distinguish between prokaryotic, eukaryotic, plant and animal cells, and identify major cell structures.
  2. Identify stages of the cell cycle, mitosis (plant and animal), and meiosis.
  3. Interpret results from cell physiology experiments involving movement across membranes, enzymes, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration.
  4. Apply genetic principles to predict the outcome of genetic crosses and statistically analyze results.
  5. Describe karyotyping, pedigrees, and biotechnology and provide an example of the uses of each.
  6. Identify parts of a DNA molecule, and describe replication, transcription, and translation.
  7. Analyze evidence for evolution and natural selection.
  8. Apply scientific reasoning to investigate questions, and utilize scientific tools such as microscopes and laboratory equipment to collect and analyze data.
  9. Use critical thinking and scientific problem-solving to make informed decisions in the laboratory.
  10. Communicate effectively the results of scientific investigations.



Textbook: What is Life, Blinn College Custom Edition, J. Phelan, 2012, W.H. Freeman and Company

Lab Manual: Biology 1408 Laboratory Manual, Fall 2013 Edition. Prestridge etal., TBA.  (New edition of Lab Manual is under construction.) 

Course Requirements

All sections of this course regardless of location or modality will require:

  1. A minimum of three major exams
  2. A minimum of two laboratory exams
  3. Comprehensive final exam


The following are components of a student’s final grade in this course.

  1. Lecture Exams: Three major exams will cover the lecture material, evenly distributed throughout the semester and will will account for 30% of the final grade.
  2. Laboratory Exams: Two laboratory exams will require students to demonstrate an understanding of the laboratory exercises. The Laboratory exams will be designed to address both knowledge and skills and will account for at least 30% of the final grade.
  3. Lecture Quizzes/Homework: Given at the discretion of the instructor. These materials will account for approximately 10% of the final grade.
  4. Additional Reports or Projects: Given at the discretion of the instructor.
  5. Student participation is assessed through the various assignments such as quizzes and laboratory work. These materials will account for at least 10% of the final grade
  6. Final Exam: A comprehensive exam will cover the entire course. 
  7. Point Distribution:
    Lecture exams (3 exams x 100 points each) 300 points
    Laboratory exams (4 exams x 75 points each) 300 points
    Final exam 200 points
    Lecture Quizzes/Homework 100 points
    Laboratory work/Quizzes 100 points

    Total points possible = 1,000

    A = 900 – 1000 points, B = 800 – 899 points, C = 700 – 799 points, D = 600 – 699 points, F < 600 points.

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook. In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Electronic Devices

All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Lecture Quizzes

Periodic quizzes on the YourBioPortal website or in class will cover recent and current lecture topics.  No make-up is offered for missed quizzes regardless of reason.  An unexcused absence from a quiz will result in a grade of zero.

 Laboratory Work

Periodic quizzes and worksheets will cover recent topics and assigned readings from the lecture and the laboratory.  A grade of zero will be recorded for missed work unless an approved excuse is submitted.  No make-up is offered for missed quizzes.

 Lecture Exams

Lecture exams will consist of 50 questions including multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching and/or short answer questions and a short essay.  All exams require an Advantage #28980 scantron.  While not targeted, specifically, material from relevant labs may be included on a lecture exam.

 Laboratory Exams

Laboratory exams will consists of approximately 25 stations covering the most recent lab exercises. No make-ups will be offered for missed lab exams.  If you anticipate missing an exam, please contact your instructor as soon as possible.  While not targeted, specifically, material from relevant lectures may be included on a lab exam.  

 Criteria for Grading:

Lecture Exams: There will be three lecture exams during the semester plus a comprehensive final exam.   Make-up lecture exams are only offered to students with an excused absence.  Excused absences include those officially recognized by Blinn College plus a death in the family, or an illness with a doctor’s certification or as approved by the instructor.  To arrange for a make-up exam see me during the first class period following your absence.   An unexcused absence from a graded activity will result in a grade of zero.

 Laboratory Exams: There will be four lab exams.  No make-up exams will be offered for lab exams.



Biology 1408 – Fall, 2013 – MW schedule


Lecture Topics


Lab Topics

Lab Activity

Day 1

Class Intro/Study Skills


Lab safety, Scientific measurement

Review lab safety procedures
Lab 1 – Measurement; to properly use the caliper please watch the 6 minute You tube video at:

Day 2

Scientific Thinking


Scientific method of investigation

Lab 2


Labor Day Holiday




Day 3

Scientific Thinking


Scientific literacy

Lab 3

Day 4




Lab 4

Day 5



Testing for macromolecules

Lab 5

Day 6



Review for Lab Exam I

Labs 1 - 5  

Day 7



Lab Exam I

Labs 1 - 5  

Day 8


1 - 3


Lab 6;  Review microscope lab supplement

Day 9


1 - 3

Cell exploration

Lab 7

Day 10



Diffusion and osmosis

Lab 8

Day 11



Scientific literacy

Lab 9

Day 12



Review for Lab Exam 2

Labs 6 - 9

Day 13

DNA, Gene expression & Biotechnology


Lab Exam 2

Labs 6 - 9

Day 14

DNA, Gene expression & Biotechnology



Lab  10

Day 15

Chromosomes & Cell Division



Lab 11

Day 16

Chromosomes & Cell Division


DNA replication

Lab 12

Day 17

Chromosomes & Cell Division


Transcription & Translation

Lab 13

Day 18


4 – 6

Scientific literacy

Lab 14

Day 19

Genes & Inheritance


Review for Lab Exam 3

Labs 10 - 14

Day 20

Genes & Inheritance


Lab Exam 3

Labs 10 - 14

Day 21

Evolution & Natural Selection


Cell division

Lab 15

Day 22

Evolution & Natural Selection


Genetic inheritance

Lab 16

Day 23

Evolution & Natural Selection


Natural selection

Lab 17

Day 24

Evolution & Behavior


Evidences of evolution

Lab 18

Day 25

Evolution & Behavior


Scientific literacy

Lab 19

Day 26

Evolution & Behavior





Thanksgiving Holiday




Day 27

Catch-up & Review for Exam 3

7 - 9

Review for Lab Exam 4

Labs 16-19

Day 28


7 - 9

LAB Exam 4

Labs 16-19

Day 29

Catch-up & Review for Final Exam


Review for Final Exam


Day 30

Final exam 304: 12:45 PM