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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

Biology for Science Majors I BIOL-1406

  • Spring 2014
  • Section SECTION_304 CRN-20685
  • 4 Credits
  • 01/13/2014 to 05/06/2014
  • Modified 01/13/2014

Meeting Times


  • Monday, Wednesday, 9:10 AM to 10:25 AM, S 225


  • Monday, Wednesday, 10:35 AM to 11:50 AM, S 224

Contact Information

Professor: Michelle McNeil

E-mail response time: 24 hours M-F; 72 hours on weekends (e-mails received after 4:00 pm on Friday)

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM
  • Monday, Wednesday, 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Tuesday, Thursday, 9:15 AM to 10:15 AM


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, 10th Edition, 2014. Reece, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, and Jackson. Pearson Education, Inc. 

Lab Manual: Biology 1406 Laboratory Manual, Spring 2014, Richardson et. al. Copy Stop Print & Postal 

Required MasteringBiology Registration

MasteringBiology is an online learning resource (available with etext access). Mastering is included in the price of a new (not used) textbook at the bookstore. The Mastering website has a variety of helpful tutorial materials including animations of important concepts, topic tutorials, links to external sites with further information, Self-Study Modules, Lab Resources, and practice quizzes and exams. Mastering is also where you will be required to complete your online homework.

The bookstore package has an access card that has been shrink-wrapped with the book and contains the necessary access code to register. If you have purchased a used book, or one from a different source (like Amazon/eBay/Chegg/etc.), you will need to purchase Mastering Access separate from the bookstore or from

Testing Forms

AccuScan Advantage Form #28980 (available @ Blinn Bookstore or Learning Center) for lecture exams and the final exam.

Required eCampus Access

Access to the Internet is REQUIRED. Internet access at home would certainly be a plus, however, all students at Blinn College and/or Texas A&M have computing resources available to them. The Open Computer Lab at Blinn College is located in Room H-225. If you are not familiar with these, see me or inquire at the Learning Center in the Library Building, Room 258, for more details, ASAP.

eCampus is an online course tool. It is in essence a virtual classroom through which I will be posting course related materials, information, as well as homework and bonus assignments. You will also be able to contact me with questions and or problems you might be having and have the ability to contact your classmates. It will be your responsibility to check this site daily.

To access eCampus, go to  and select this course. For help on how to navigate eCampus, go to or for problems accessing eCampus contact Distance Education at

Student E-mails

Students are assigned an E-mail address that must be checked regularly for official Blinn communications and course information. The address is of the form: Firstname.LastnameLast2digitsBlinnID  Information about accessing this account can be found at:

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. A comprehensive final exam

Lecture Exams

There will be 4 major lecture exams during the semester that will constitute 30% of your final grade. On average, exams will cover 4-5 chapters and will include material covered in lecture, readings from your lecture text, material covered in MasteringBiology and eCampus, and your notes. Exams may include multiple choice questions, fill-in-the-blank, labeling diagrams, and short answer essay (1-2 paragraphs) questions. All exams will be closed-book and closed-note and all electronic devices, including cell phones, must be turned off.

Take these exams very seriously. Do not wait until the day before the test to begin preparing for an exam.

There are no scheduled “make-up” lecture exams. Makeup exams will be given at the discretion of the instructor and my differ from the tests given at the scheduled times. Unless the student contacts the instructor within 24 hours of the absence with an official Blinn excused absence (see attendance policy), any missed exam will count as a grade of zero.

After grading, exams will either be temporarily returned to the student for in-class review for 5 minutes OR the most-missed questions will be reviewed by the instructor. If exams are temporarily returned, neither questions nor answers may be copied or photographed in any way. You may come to my office during office hours to review any exams that you wish.

Laboratory Practical Assessments

There will be two lab assessments this semester that will be worth 20% of your grade. These exams are departmental and common (all 1406 students take the same exam). 
Laboratory exams will consist of short answer, problem solving, or fill-in-the-blank questions.

Study guides for each lab practical are provided ahead of time and can be found at the back of the lab manual in the Appendix.

Take these practical exams very seriously. Do not wait until the day before the test to begin preparing for an exam.

There will be NO MAKE-UP EXAMS for the lab practicals. No exceptions.

Class Participation & Homework

Almost every week in class, there will be lecture quizzes, in-class assignments, homework assignments, or in-class discussions that will be used to measure your understanding of material that is being presented in lecture or lab. It is your responsibility as a student to be prepared every day for a possible assignment or in-class discussion and to keep up with the lecture and lab material. Participation and homework activities constitute 30% of your final grade.

  • Lecture Activities, Quizzes, Homework - Throughout the semester there will be lecture quizzes, departmental assessments, in-class assignments, or online homework assignments through eCampus or MasteringBiology that will be used to measure your understanding of material that is being presented in lecture, or that will cover material from a previous lecture or assigned readings. 

Online lecture homework through MasteringBiology will always be due the Sunday after the chapter is covered in lecture at 11:00 pm.

  • Lab Worksheets – Lab participation will mainly consist of in-class laboratory assignments from the lab manual. In order to receive credit for these participation assignments, students must be present and actively participating in the activity. This means that students must successfully demonstrate their understanding of the content being covered by correctly completing the laboratory worksheet results and review questions. Students may not make up participation exercises due to being late to class or being absent from class. You must be present to participate. There are no makeup labs. If you miss a lab, then you are responsible for obtaining the material and information from your lab manual, lab group or the instructor.

Final Exam

The Final is a mandatory departmental comprehensive common exam worth 20% of your final grade. It will consist of 100 multiple choice questions covering all chapters covered during the course.  All students must take the final examination at their designated time. If you miss the final exam, a grade of zero will be recorded. There will be no final exam make-ups, no exceptions.

FINAL EXAM Section 304: Monday, May 5th from 10:15 am -12:15 pm in S224 (LAB ROOM)

Bonus Opportunities

Throughout the semester, there will be opportunities for bonus points in the form of eCampus, or homework assignments.  Take advantage of these opportunities when they are offered and pay attention to due dates, do not ask me for “extra credit” at the end of the semester.  I provide bonus points to every member of the class uniformly and these bonus opportunities will be used to generate extra points that will be added to your point total at the end of the semester. Since I do not curve individual exam scores, these bonus activities will help generate a curve.


I expect that you will spend time after each class to study and review your notes, read assigned chapters and labs before coming to class, and complete any offered study materials. A course schedule containing a list of the topics and chapters to be covered has been provided. You are required to get a textbook and a lab manual.  There is a lot of material to be covered in this course and we may not get to all of the material in the textbook in class, but you will still be responsible for the assigned chapters on an exam. Because of the quantity of material to be covered, do not fall behind in your readings.

The same level of preparation is also expected regarding lab time – it is your responsibility to come to lab prepared. I will only give a brief intro or demonstration for each lab exercise; the rest of the time, it is up to you to get through the material assigned for that day. Please read the assigned activity in the lab manual (see Course Schedule) before coming to lab and always bring your lab manual to class.  This will greatly facilitate your progression through the assigned material for that day as well as reduce the potential for errors made in lab.


Each student is required to participate in lab exercises.  Students are responsible for their work area, and should return any material or equipment to its proper location. Remember a clean lab area minimizes the health hazards that a student might be exposed to. A student not actively involved in lab exercises must have valid documented justification for not participating in class exercises. Use your lab time efficiently, especially as skills learned will be evaluated during Laboratory Practicals.


The following are required components of a student’s final grade.


Your final score is based on a percentage scale and will be calculated by taking the sum of your average percentage for each category (evaluation method) as per the table shown. Do not base your course grade on expectations of curving, extra credit points, or dropped exams.

Course Evaluation Method

Total Possible

Lecture Activities, Quizzes, Homework


Class Participation (Lab Worksheets)


Lecture Exams


Lab Practicals


Comprehensive Final Exam


Bonus Points




Grade Updates: I will provide periodic updates of your total points earned and grade-to-date on eCampus to help you gauge whether you are meeting your goals for the course. However, please realize that it may take a week for graded exams to be returned. Due to FERPA guidelines, I cannot discuss your grades via e-mail or phone call; any discussion of grades must be done in person during office hours or during a scheduled conference.


Letter Grade











≤ 60%

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

Cellular telephones and beepers/pagers must be disengaged while the student is in the Blinn College Library or any classroom/lab, unless otherwise instructed. 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

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.

In order to be considered as an excusable absence, you must notify me within 24 hours of being absent. You must present me with your documentation the first day you return to class from being absent.  If you are too sick to come to class, you are sick enough to see a doctor.  In this case, you MUST bring me a doctor’s note stating why you were absent.  This does not include a regular doctor’s appointment that was scheduled during class time, only unscheduled instances or medical emergencies where you are ill and need a doctor’s care. If a family emergency exists, you must provide documentation (ex: obituary, doctor’s note for the family member, funeral program etc.).  If an accident occurs, I must receive documentation that you were involved (ex: police report ).

If you are more than 15 minutes late to lecture or lab, or if you leave class for an unexcused extended period of time, you will be counted as absent.

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, [email protected].

Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.


BIOL 1406 Biology for Science Majors I (Spring 2014)


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







Water and Life


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

A Tour of the Cell cont’d

Lab 8 – Microscopy

Lab 9 – Observing Cells in   Action






Viruses  & Membrane Transport

Membrane Transport cont’d

Lab 10 – Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic   Cells

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport




11§ /08


Cell Communication & Intro   to Metabolism

Intro to Metabolism

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport cont’d

Lecture:Cellular Respiration (chapter   09)





Test   #2  (6-8, 11, 19)

Cellular Respiration

Review for Lab Practical #1

Lab Exam   #1 (Wednesday, 03/05)




Spring   Break

No Class

No Class






Photosynthesis cont’d

Cellular Respiration Concept   Maps

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

13 Q




From Gene to Protein

Lab 15 – DNA Isolation

Gene Expression Concept Maps






Regulation of Gene Expression

Mendel and the Gene Idea

Lab 16 – Restriction   Endonucleases

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics






Mendel and the Gene Idea

Test #4 (13-14,   16-18)

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics cont’d

Review for Lab Exam #2 





Chromosomal Basis of   Inheritance

Chromosomal Basis of   Inheritance cont..

Lab Exam   #2 (Monday, 04/28)

Review for final exam

FINAL   EXAM: Section 304- Monday May 5th from 10:15 am to 12:15 pm in room S-224


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

** Only a portion of the chapter will be covered.

Q Q-drop, last day to withdraw with a “Q” is Friday, April 11, 2014.