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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

General Biology I BIOL-1406

  • Spring 2013 Full Term 2013

  • Section SECTION_316 CRN-20527

  • 4 Credits

  • 01/14/2013 to 05/07/2013

  • Modified 01/09/2013

Meeting Times


Monday, Wednesday, 5:40 PM to 8:20 PM, S225/224

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Brad Metz

Office: S117
Phone: n/a

Office Hours MW 8:20-8:50 PM


An in-depth introductory survey of contemporary biology for students majoring in the biological sciences. Topics emphasized include, the chemical basis of life, structure and function of cells, energy transformations, and molecular biology and genetics.


Prerequisites: Exemption or passing score on reading section of THEA or alternative test or completion of READ 306 with a grade of C or higher.

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. Interpret the process by which scientific knowledge is acquired and evaluated.

2. Evaluate the characteristics of cells.

3. Recognize the molecular basis of evolutionary change.

4. Evaluate the composition of biological macromolecules and the role they play in the structure and function of cells.

5. Interpret selected metabolic processes carried out by cells and their essential role in sustaining life.

6. Compare and contrast the methods by which cells divide.

7. Set-up and evaluate basic Mendelian genetics problems.

8. Demonstrate the ability to use the compound light microscope and technological applications utilized in modern biology.



Textbook: Biology, 2nd Edition, 2011. Brooker, Widmaier, Graham and Stiling, McGraw Hill 

Lab Manual: Biology 1406 Laboratory Manual, Spring 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.  Further, there will be a number of assignments posted to eCampus that must be completed as part of the student's grade.

Information about the eCampus system can be found at:



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. 

The writing assignments will be described in class, but are basically short essays and exercises in critical reading.  Lecture homework will be writing or problem-solving assignments provided occasionally throughout the semester; typically they will serve as preparation for the exams, but may also comprise in-class quizzes or online homework.  I will be scaling these assignments as appropriate to your needs throughout the semester.



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 grade.  You may also simply add the points you’ve earned and check the chart below to see where you fall for your final grade.

Lecture Exam (n=4)   400 pts
Laboratory practical (n=2)   200 pts
Laboratory worksheet (n=17)     80 pts
Writing assignment (n=3)   100 pts
Quizzes and Homework (n>8)`     70 pts
Final Exam (n=1)   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.  Long pants and closed-toe shoes are recommended for all laboraries.






Lecture Topic

Laboratory Topic






First Day /Intro to Biology

Intro to Biol/Atoms & Molecules

Labs 1 & 2 – Safety/Process of Science

Lab 3 – The Scientific Method






MLK Holiday – No Classes

Atoms, Molecules, and Water

MLK Holiday – No Classes

Lab 4 and 5 – Exp. Design/Graphing





Organic Molecules

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement

Organic Molecules Activity






Exam 1 (Ch. 1-3)

General Features of Cells

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement cont’d

Lab 7 – Testing for Organic Molecules






General Features of Cells

Membrane Structure, & Transport

Lab 8 – Microscopy

Lab 9 – Observing Cells in Action






Membrane Structure, & Transport


Lab 10 – Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport






Energy, Enzymes, & Metabolism

Exam 2  (Ch. 4-6, 10)

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport cont’d

Ch 7: Cellular Respiration






Cellular Respiration

Cellular Respiration Concept Maps

Review for Lab Practical #1

Lab Exam #1 (Wednesday, 03/06)



Happy Spring Break (03/11-03/15) – No Classes







Nucleic Acid Structure

Ch 8: Photosynthesis

Lab 12 – Spectrophotometry






Nucleic Acid Structure

Exam 3 (Ch. 7-8, 11)

Lab 13 – Chromatography

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis





Gene Expression

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis cont’d

Gene Expression Concept Maps

13 Q





Gene Regulation/Mutation Eukaryotic Cell Cycle

Lab 15 – DNA Isolation

Lab 16 – Restriction Endonucleases






Eukaryotic Cell Cycle

Simple Patterns of Inheritance

Lab 17 – Mitosis

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics






Simple Patterns of Inheritance

Exam 4 (Ch. 12-16)

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics cont’d

Review for Lab Exam #2





Complex Patterns of Inheritance

Lab Exam #2 (Monday, 04/29)

Review and Assessment


Final Exam

Final Exam for section Biol 1406-316 is Monday, May 6: 5:30-7:30 PM


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

Q Q-drop, last day to withdraw with a “Q” is Friday, April 12, 2013.