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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

Biology for Science Majors I BIOL-1406

  • Fall 2013

  • Section SECTION_319 CRN-11398

  • 4 Credits

  • 08/26/2013 to 12/13/2013

  • Modified 08/26/2013

Meeting Times


Monday, Wednesday, 5:40 PM to 8:20 PM, S216/S215

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Brad N Metz

Office: S117
Phone: n/a

Office Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, 8:20 PM to 8:50 PM, S117


Fundamental principles of living organisms will be studied, including physical and chemical properties of life, organization, function, evolutionary adaptation, and classification. Concepts of cytology, reproduction, genetics, and scientific reasoning are included. Laboratory activities are designed to reinforce lecture topics.


Prerequisite: Students must be college ready in reading, by means of appropriate exemption score by TSI or alternative test; or by completing READ 0306, or READ 0307, or DIRW 0326, or ESOL 0325 with a “C”or better, or by completing READ 0208 or ESOL 0226 with a passing grade.

Recommended: MATH 1314 – Successful completion of College Algebra or concurrent enrollment in higher-level mathematics.

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. Describe the characteristics of life.
  2. Explain the methods of inquiry used by scientists.
  3. Identify the basic requirements of life and the properties of the major molecules needed for life.
  4. Compare and contrast the structures, reproduction, and characteristics of viruses, prokaryotic cells, and eukaryotic cells.
  5. Describe the structure of cell membranes and the movement of molecules across a membrane.
  6. Identify the substrates, products, and important chemical pathways in metabolism.
  7. Identify the principles of inheritance and solve classical genetic problems.
  8. Identify the chemical structures, synthesis, and regulation of nucleic acids and proteins.
  9. Describe the unity and diversity of life and the evidence for evolution through natural selection.
  10. Apply scientific reasoning to investigate questions and utilize scientific tools such as microscopes and laboratory equipment to collect and analyze data.
  11. Use critical thinking and scientific problem-solving to make informed decisions in the laboratory.
  12. Communicate effectively the results of scientific investigations.


Textbook: Campbell Biology, 9th Edition, 2011. Reece, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, and Jackson. Pearson Education, Inc. 

Lab Manual: Biology 1406 Laboratory Manual, Fall 2013, Richardson et. al. Copy Stop Print & Postal 


Course Requirements


Students are expected to regularly utilize the eCampus system, as many learning aids and handouts will be posted there. These will not be passed out in class. Information about the eCampus system can be found at: 

Mastering Biology

This is a new online learning environment designed to help you practice and enhance your knowledge of the textbook.  Students will be expected to perform weekly assignments in Mastering Biology.  You must purchase a license for Mastering Biology along with your textbook or go to  course ID METZ11398



Exams and assignments overview: Exams will be largely written, with some matching, fill in the blank, and multiple choice; each exam will focus on the material in their corresponding unit, but to some extent all exams will be comprehensive. The final is a course-wide exam consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions written primarily from the material in the book: you must keep up with the readings in this course to succeed in this class and on the final.

The laboratory worksheets are short answer and problem solving and will serve as daily participation exercises. Laboratories will be completed in groups however each student is expected to complete and turn in their own laboratory worksheet. There are two course- wide laboratory practical exams, which will be taken individually. 

There will be weekly assignments provided through the Pearson Mastering Biology learning management system.  These take the form of online homework and quizzes that prepare you for exams.

Finally, and at the discretion of the instructor, there will be a few low-impact paper homework assignments provided throughout the semester.  These assignments will be short quizzes or activities designed to reinforce particularly difficult concepts.


Below are the point values for all major assignments and how many of each I have scheduled. With regard to quizzes and homework, there will be a minimum of 8 quizzes, the rest will be assigned as needed. Each point on an assignment is worth 1 point on your final grade (or 0.1% if you prefer). At any time during the semester if you’d like to check your progress, you may add the points you’ve earned and divide by the number of points that have been offered to that point to get an idea of your running percentage. You may also simply add the points you’ve earned and check the chart below to see where you fall for your final grade. All points are weighted equally.






Lecture Exam

100 pts


400 pts

Laboratory Practical

100 pts


200 pts

Laboratory Worksheets

5 pts


85 pts

Mastering Biology Work



100 pts

Miscellaneous homework



65 pt

Final Exam

200 pts


200 pts




1050 pts

A 900-1050
B 800-899
C 700-799
D 600-699

Last passing grade

F 0-599


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

Curving and Extra Credit

I do not curve individual grades. I will provide extra credit opportunities as I see fit to the entire class throughout the semester. These will take the form of particularly difficult questions on exams, or assignments, additional assignments, or extra quizzes. No individual extra credit will be assigned nor will requests for such be responded to favorably 

Late Work

Any assignments that are not turned in on time or exams that are missed will be graded zero with no opportunity for make-up unless your absence is the result of an approved absence as described below. Bear in mind that Blinn has a strict attendance policy (outlined below). If an emergency should arise that prohibits your attending class, it is imperative that you contact me before class to make arrangements. 

Attendance Policy Reminder

Missing lecture, lab or both will count as one absence. For classes that meet twice a week during the spring semester two absences counts as one week's absence. Students accumulating two week’s worth of absences (four unexcused absences) will be dropped. 

Problem Resolution

If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try and resolve the problems or issues. If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241,

Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories. 


This course includes a laboratory section, which means you will occasionally be working with chemicals that can burn or stain, hot liquids, and glassware.  Long pants are recommended for all laboraries. Closed-toed shoes are required for entry into the laboratory.


Outline of the course content and Schedule (MW)*:





Lecture Topic

Laboratory Topic






First Day /Intro to Biol

Intro to Biol/Chemical Context of Life

Labs 1 & 2 – Safety/Process of Science

Lab 3 – The Scientific Method






Holiday-Labor Day

Water and Life

Holiday-Labor Day

Lab 4 and 5 – Exp. Design/Graphing






Carbon and Molecular Diversity

Large Biological Molecules

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement cont’d






Large Biological Molecules

Test #1  (1-5)

Organic Molecules Activity

Lab 7 – Testing for Organic Molecules





A Tour of the Cell /Viruses


Lab 8 – Microscopy





Membrane Transport/ Cell Communication

Lab 9 – Observing Cells in Action

Lab 10 – Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells






Intro to Metabolism

Test #2  (6-8, 11, 19)

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport cont’d





Cellular Respiration

Cellular Respiration Concept Maps

Review for Lab Practical #1








Lab Exam #1 (Monday, 10/21)

Lab 12 – Spectrophotometry






The Cell Cycle

Test #3  (9-10, 12)

Lab 17 – Mitosis

Lab 13 – Chromatography






Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycle

Molecular Basis of Inheritance

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis cont’d

12 Q




From Gene to Protein

Gene Expression Concept Maps

Lab 15 – DNA Isolation






Regulation of Gene Expression

Mendel and the Gene Idea

Lab 16 – Restriction Endonucleases

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics






Mendel and the Gene Idea

Thanksgiving Holiday

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics cont’d Thanksgiving Holiday





Test #4 (13-14, 16-18)

Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance

Review for Lab Exam #2

Lab Exam #2 (Wednesday, 12/04)




Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance

Review and Assessment


Final Exam

Section 316:  Wednesday, Dec. 11th 5:30-7:30PM in S225


* In case of course schedule changes, updates will be posted on eCampus and notified in class.

  • § We covered only part of the chapter.

Q Q-drop, last day to withdraw with a “Q” is Friday, November 15, 2013.