BIOL 11400: Examining the World through Evolutionary Biology
Fall 2012
2:35 pm - 3:50 pm TR, CNS 112

Instructor:  Dr. Anne Stork; Admin Annex 119; Office Phone- 4-3575; astork@ithaca.edu

Office Hours: Make an appointment through email or after lecture is best

Course Description:  Evolutionary biology not only helps us to understand how and why organisms have become the way they are, evolution is a feature of our everyday lives. In this course we will examine the mechanisms that have resulted in the rich diversity of life on our planet. We will also explore how evolutionary biology helps us to understand current issues in ecology, conservation biology, global climate change, agriculture, and human health and medicine. Topics in this course will include: the fossil record, biodiversity, mass extinctions, human evolution, infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. The focus of the course will be concepts over details and scientific reasoning over terminology.

My goal for you as a student is that you expand your critical thinking and science literacy skills, skills which will serve you for a lifetime. Listening attentively to the lectures in this course will provide you with pertinent background information on evolutionary biology issues. However, to really learn how to think about evolution, you will need to do just that. So, come to lecture each day prepared to fully engage your brain. In this course we will have short clicker quizzes, small group work, and class discussions to facilitate your understanding of how evolutionary biology influences our everyday lives.

Text and Other Required Course Materials:

Sakai  Sakai will be used extensively in this course for posting lectures, the updated syllabus, outside readings, assignments, and general notices regarding the course. 

Syllabus: Contents of the syllabus are subject to change as the semester progresses.

GOALS FOR THIS COURSE:

a. Students will develop an understanding of some basic scientific principles.

Students will understand the basic scientific principles needed to understand what evolution is, the evidence supporting it and the major mechanisms that result in evolution. This goal will be assessed through quizzes on Sakai and exams.

b. Students will develop an appreciation for the relevance of science to society, as well as some comprehension of the interaction of humans and the natural and physical world.

Students will understand how scientists study evolution and how evolution is relevant to our lives. They will also research and present a current example of evolution in the news. This goal will be assessed through exam questions and their presentation grade for “Evolution in the News.”

Grading:

DAILY, SHORT “CLICKER” QUESTIONS: We will have daily, multiple choice “clicker” questions to help you engage with the lecture material and foster discussion.  You will not be graded on your performance on these quizzes- but your participation. We will be using the Turning Technologies clicker each day in class to take these quizzes. If you forget your clicker, you will receive a “0” for the day so REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR clicker TO EACH CLASS!  NOTE: Using someone else’s clicker in their name is considered to be plagiarism and therefore cheating. Plagiarism cases will be dealt with as outlined below in the plagiarism section.

IN-CLASS GRADED CLICKER QUIZZES: We will have occasional, announced graded clicker quizzes on the readings. If you forget your clicker, you will receive a “0” for the quiz. If you miss the class due to an unexcused absence, you will receive a “0” for the quiz. Should an emergency arise, you are responsible for informing me before the class you will miss in order to get an excused absence. (For example, emailing me during the class period to tell me that you are sick and can’t make it will not excuse you from the quiz.)  If you are unable to call, have someone make the call for you. Calling me does not guarantee my acceptance of your reason for absence, but failing to notify me, even if your absence is excused, does guarantee that you will get a 0 for that quiz. If you miss a quiz due to an excused absence you will not be able to make up the quiz. Your next quiz will just count double.

ONLINE SAKAI  QUIZZES: There will be six online quizzes on Sakai. These quizzes will be open book (your text) and you may work with other members of the class.

SHORT assignments: 1) Introductory Essay 2) Evolution in the News Presentation 3) Climate Change Assignment

MAKING UP Assignments/late assignments: You cannot make up missed clicker question points.  Unless we have previous arrangements, if an assignment is not in by the due date, I will deduct 10 points for each day it is late. You need to hand in this assignment to the assignment tab in Sakai; I do not accept work via e-mail.

GRADING:

20 %          Daily Clicker Questions

10%            In-class GRADED clicker quizzes on the reading

28%           Online Sakai Quizzes

2%              Assignment 1

5%              Evolution in the News Presentation

5%              Group Climate Change Assignment

30%            Exams (10% each for exams 1, 2, and final)

 

Grading Scheme:

93-100  A

90-92  A-

88-89  B+

83-87 B

80-82 B-

78-79 C+

73-77 C

70-72  C-

68-69  D+

63-67  D

60-62 D-

< 60 F

 

Attendance: This is an interactive class and your participation is critical to the success of the entire class.  In addition, you are expected to attend every class session on time. If you do miss class, you are still responsible for all material presented in class and for any assignments/changes announced in class. If you miss class due to an excused absence, you are still responsible for material presented during class.

 

If you miss an exam or a graded clicker quiz during an unexcused absence you will get a 0 for that exam. Should an emergency arise, you are responsible for informing me before the class you will miss. If you are unable to call, have someone make the call for you. Calling me does not guarantee my acceptance of your reason for absence, but failing to notify me, even if your absence is excused, does guarantee that you will get a 0 for that exam or quiz.

 

Plagiarism: Please review the College’s definition of plagiarism is it appears in the Student Handbook.  I will report all plagiarism offenders to Judicial Affairs. In a collaborative project, all students in a group may be held responsible for academic misconduct if they engage in plagiarism or are aware of plagiarism by others in their group and fail to report it. Students who participate in a collaborative project in which plagiarism has occurred will not be held accountable if they were not knowledgeable of the plagiarism.

 

Accommodations: Every effort will be made to accommodate special needs of students. Please consult the Student Handbook for procedures and policies regarding accommodations.

 

"In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Students must register with Student Disability Services and provide appropriate documentation to Ithaca College before any academic adjustment will be provided."

Diminished mental health, including significant stress, mood changes, excessive worry, or problems with eating and/or sleeping can interfere with optimal academic performance. The source of symptoms might be related to your course work; if so, please speak with me.  However, problems with relationships, family worries, loss, or a personal struggle or crisis can also contribute to decreased academic performance.

Ithaca College provides cost-free mental health services through the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to help you manage personal challenges that threaten your personal or academic well-being.

In the event I suspect you need additional support, expect that I will express to you my concerns and the reasons for them.  It is not my intent to know the details of what might be troubling you, but simply to let you know I am concerned and that help (e.g., CAPS, Health Center, Chaplains, etc.), if needed, is available.

Remember, getting help is a smart and courageous thing to do -- for yourself and for your loved ones.

*****Please note that this schedule is for planning purposes and is subject to change. Please check Sakai for the most current schedule.*****

 

Date

Topic

Assignments

8/30 Th

Intro

What is evolution- and why does it matter to me?

 

9/4 Tu

Evidence for Evolution

 

Chapter 6

pp 28-38

9/6 Th

Emergence of Life

 

Bring Turning Point Clicker to Class!!!

 

Assignment 1 Due September 7 by 11:30 pm!

 

SAKAI reading

 “Life’s Origin and Early Evolution” in  Evolution of Life

9/11 Tu

Darwin - How He Changed How We Viewed the World

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1228/1228-h/1228-h.htm

Sakai Quiz 1 on Chapter 6 and pp 28-38 due by 2 pm.

 

 

SAKAI-Chapter 2 Volpe and Rausenbaum

9/13 Th

Darwin continued

SAKAI- “Modern Darwin” “Darwin’s First Clues” “Darwin’s Living Legacy”

 

GRADED clicker quiz on the readings at the beginning of class.

9/18  Tu

Mendel Why Genetics Matters

 

Mendel Case Study

Sakai Quiz 2 on Chapter 3 and pp 145-151 due by 2 pm.

 

Chapter 3 and pp.145-151

9/20 Th

Sources of Genetic Variation

SAKAI-Chapter 5 Volpe and Rausenbaum

 

9/25Tu

Natural and  Artificial Selection

Sakai Quiz 3 on Chapter 7 due by 2 pm.

Chapter 7

SAKAI “Testing Natural Selection” Scientific American

9/27  Th

Selection continued

 

“Fast-Reproducing Microbes Provide a Window on Natural Selection”

 

http://www.microbemagazine.org/index.php/component/content/article/697-featured/3085-evolution-in-action-a-50000-generation-salute-to-charles-darwin

 

GRADED clicker quiz on the readings at the beginning of class.

10/2 Tu

Coevolution

Chapter 10

10/4 Th

EXAM 1

 

10/9 Tu

Genetic Drift and Gene Flow

 

SAKAI-Chapter 9 Volpe and Rausenbaum

10/11 Th

Speciation

Punctuated Equilibrium

Chapter 9

pp. 216-221

10/16 Tu

Phylogenies

Molecular Evolution

Molecular Clock

Sakai Quiz 4 on Chapter 9 and pp 216-221 due by 2 pm.

pp.336-338; pp.330-335

 “Electric Fish In Africa Could Be Example Of Evolution In Action”

10/18 Th

FALL BREAK

 

10/23 Tu

Molecular Clock II

SAKAI-Chapter 15 Volpe and Rausenbaum

10/25 Th

DEVO EVO

pp. 151-156

 

SAKAI Chapter 3- Your Inner Fish

 

GRADED clicker quiz on the readings at the beginning of class to prepare for group discussions.

10/30 Tu

DEVO EVO cont

 

SAKAI “From Atoms to Traits” Scientific American

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/26/science/26devo.html?ex=1187928000&en=3f27141e0157fe8d&ei=5070

 

GRADED clicker quiz on the readings at the beginning of class to prepare for group discussions.

11/1 Th

Exam 2

 

11/6 Tu

Mass Extinction Events- Times Past.

Sakai Quiz 5 Chapter 13 due by 2 pm.

Chapter 13

11/8 Th

Extinction Today

 

The Sixth Extinction

http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/eldredge2.html

 

How Will the Sixth Extinction Affect the Evolution of Species?

http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/myers_knoll.html

11/13

Tu

Extinction Today

and climate change

Climate Change assignment due today before 2 pm.

11/15 Th

Evolution and Global Climate Change Part II

 

Evolutionary Response to Rapid Climate Change

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/312/5779/1477

 

“Global warming 'altering genes' “

 

“Warm Water Creatures May Soon Rule the Oceans

 

GRADED clicker quiz on the readings at the beginning of class.

11/20 Tu

Thanksgiving Break

 

11/22 Th

Thanksgiving Break

 

11/27 Tu

Evolution and Preserving Species Diversity- What We Can Do

Evolutionary Biologist Aim to Protect Madagascar’s Plants and Animals

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/roberson.html

SAKAI “Eco-evolutionary Dynamics”

11/29 Th

Evolution and Human Health

 

Chapter 16

 

12/4 Tu

Evolution and Human Health continued

Sakai Quiz 6 on Chapter 16 due by 2 pm.

SAKAI “This Old Body”

“What Will Become of Homo sapiens?”

“Making evolutionary biology a basic science

for medicine”

GRADED clicker quiz on the readings at the beginning of class to prepare for group discussions.

12/6 Th

Evolution and Human Health III

 

Microbes: What They Do and How Antibiotics Change Them- http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/meade_callahan.html

 

“Human skin populated by veritable zoo of bacteria”

http://www.evolutionandmedicine.org/

 

“Darwin’s Surprise- Why are evolutionary biologists bringing back extinct deadly viruses?”

12/11 Tu

Evolution and Why it Matters for Farmers

 

“Researchers use new stem cell method to treat mice”

“Elevated Carbon Dioxide In Atmosphere Weakens Defenses Of Soybeans To Herbivores”

 

“Natural Insecticide Re-created In The Lab”

12/13 Th

 Review

 

 

FINAL EXAM

Fri Dec 21

4:30- 7 pm

 

 

 

 



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Page maintained and updated by Nancy Pierce and Anne Stork.
Last updated 10/2012