Fundamentals of Biology: Fall 2012

Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00-9:50 am in Textor 102
Varied days/times, see below
Course web siteSakai



Dr. John Hopple


Center for Natural Sciences 213A


Contact: (607) 274-1086,

Office Hours:

Tuesday, Thursday - 12:10 - 1:00 p.m., Friday - 10:00 -10:50 a.m., or by appointment.

Required Lecture Text and Equipment:


Biology: the Diversity of Life 13e (Custom Edition) by C. Starr, R. Taggart, C. Evers, and L. Starr. Cengage Learning, Mason, Ohio. 2013.


Lab Manual:

Mader, Sylvia S. 2011. Customized Laboratory Manual “Inquiry into Life” - 13th edition, Wm. C. Brown Pub. Chicago (ISBN 9780077459239)

ResponseCard NXT personal response system.  Turning Technologies (available at the IC bookstore).


Student TA/Tutors:    Review Sessions, TBA -- announced in class


Laboratory Sessions:

Monday 1:00 pm

....CNS 102 (John Hopple, CNS 213A, Section 02
....CNS 105 (René Section 13

Tuesday 9:25 am

....CNS 102 (Amy Lyndaker, CNS 165, alyndaker@ithaca.eduSection 03
.... CNS 105 (Jayasri Srinivasan, CNS 213B, Section 04

Tuesday 1:00 pm

....CNS 105  (Nancy / Maya Patel – Section 05
....CNS 102 (Amy Lyndaker, CNS 165, Section 06

Wednesday 1:00 pm

....CNS 102 (John Section 07
....CNS 105 (Nancy / Maya Patel Section 11

Thursday 9:25 am

....CNS 102 (Jayasri Srinivasan, CNS 213B, Section 08
....CNS 105  (Nancy / Maya Patelmpatel@ithaca.eduSection 12

Thursday 1:00 pm

....CNS 102 (Amy Lyndaker, CNS 165, Section 09
 ...CNS 105 (Nancy / Maya Patel Section 10

Syllabus (PDF)

Lecture Schedule (PDF)

Laboratory Schedule (PDF)


Course Description:  This is the first semester of the introductory biology series for non-major students.  It is a survey of biology for physical and occupational therapy, exercise science, and other health-related majors. General topics covered include cell structure, cellular respiration, mitosis and meiosis, genetics, DNA structure and function, and animal physiology.  Lectures will present information through a variety of formats including blackboard work, PowerPoint, videos, and “clicker” questions.  During lectures students should be actively thinking in addition to taking notes.


Course Objectives:  At the conclusion of the course you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the following:
  1. Understanding the levels of organization of life and the role of evolution in explaining life's diversity.
  2. Developing your ability to use the scientific method to observe phenomena, design experiments, make accurate measurements, graph and interpret data, and communicate your results.
  3. Explaining the basic concepts in biology including the chemical basis of life, structure of cells, how cells produce and use energy, how cells reproduce, and how inheritance works.
  4. Understanding animal structure and function with an emphasis on major physiological systems including digestive, respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, immune, nervous, endocrine, and structural and muscular control.
  5. Appreciate homeostasis and interconnections among physiological systems

Lecture:  Students are expected to attend all lectures with the exception of health emergencies, religious holidays, court appearances, or college-authorized extracurricular events.  If you miss a lecture for one of the above reasons please convey the reason and date to Dr. Hopple in person or by email.  If you miss a lecture for any reason, it is your responsibility to get the notes from a classmate.  Do not assume that all lecture material is covered in the text.  Do not ask Dr. Hopple for missed notes.  Understand that poor attendance generally correlates with poor grades.


Lecture assessment:  Understanding of lecture material will be assessed through four exams.  Exams will consist of multiple-choice and short answer questions.  The first three exams are scheduled during regular lecture periods.  Make-up exams will be given only in special situations (see above) and may be of a different format that regularly scheduled exams.  Requests for make-up exams must be made one week ahead of the regularly scheduled exam time.  Unexplained absences will result in a grade or zero for that exam.  The final exam will be given during finals week (see Lecture Schedule.pdf).  The final exam will cover material from the last quarter of the course (100 pts.) and cumulative material from the entire semester (100 pts.).  Material for the exams will be drawn primarily from the lectures.


Reading assignments are found in the Lecture Schedule.  Students should keep up with the readings as listed.  To get the most out of the lectures, students should study the appropriate readings before the class when they will be discussed.  Reading assignments are mandatory unless otherwise noted.  Additional readings may be added that are not listed.  Readings that are not part of the textbook will be posted on sakai.


Lecture participation:  Students will be graded on lecture participation through the use of personal response systems (clickers).  There will be three to five timed clicker questions asked each lecture.  Attendance will also be assessed via clickers.  Clicker enrollment into the system will take place during the third lecture and clicker questions will begin the fourth lecture.  The lowest three lectures will be dropped from the student’s participation score. 

Clickers may be purchased at the bookstore.  Be aware that between spring 2012 and fall 2012 Ithaca College changed clicker vendors (see above).  Students are responsible for maintaining their clickers in working condition.  To that effect, do not come to Dr. Hopple to complain that your clicker isn’t working.   Again, clicker maintenance is the responsibility of the student.  Also do not come to Dr. Hopple to complain that you forgot to bring your clicker to class.  It is the student’s responsibility to bring their clicker to class.  Lastly, do not attempt to share clickers. 

Behavior:  As this is a large class it is critically important that talk between students during class be kept to a minimum unless otherwise encouraged by the professor.  Cell phones and iPods (and other music players) may not be used during lecture, labs, or exams.  You may bring a laptop or iPad-like device to lecture to take notes but neither should be used for other reasons during class.  Inappropriate behavior during class could be cause for dismissal!

Laboratory:  Laboratory attendance is mandatory (see Laboratory Schedule.pdf).  If you miss your lab, please arrange to attend another lab section during the same week.  You must notify both your regular lab instructor and the instructor of the make-up lab section (see above).  Lab absences will result in a loss of 20 points per missed lab if labs are not made up.  Students will be dropped from the course if they miss two labs.

Lab assessment:  In addition to your lab exercises, ten quizzes will be given during regular lab

time.  Quizzes will occur at the beginning of the lab period and will cover material from the previous lab(s).  Quizzes will be made up of short answer questions.  The last two laboratories will be assessed from a lab practical quiz based on actual specimens from labs ten and eleven.  In addition there will be five short assignments worth a total of ten points during the semester.


Dissection policy:  We will dissect a fetal pig during the last two lab periods.  The pigs are a by-product of the meat industry and are not bred specifically for our dissection.  If a student has a compelling, valid reason for not performing the pig dissection (ethical, religious, medical) they must inform us in writing within the first two weeks of classes and arrange a meeting with the course instructor.  In the letter the student should explain the exact reasons for requesting an exemption.  Requests will be evaluated and an alternative exercise with testing will be assigned. 


Overall Course Assessment:  There are a total of 600 points to be earned in this class. Your lab grade accounts for 20% of your overall grade.

Points Summary 
Grading Scale
examination I
=   50 pts 93-100% A
73-76% C

A- 70-72% C-
examination II 
= 100 pts. 87-89% B+
67-69% D+
examination III
= 100 pts. 83-86% B
examination IV = 200 pts 80-82% B-
60-62% D-
lecture participation 
=   30 pts.
below 60%
lab = 120 pts.

600 pts.



There will be no extra-credit assignments in this course!

Academic Conduct:  Familiarize yourself with Ithaca College’s Standards of Academic Conduct (visit the Division of Legal Affairs web site (


Academic conduct:  As is stated in the Standards of Academic Conduct Academic honesty is a cornerstone of the mission of the College. Unless it is otherwise stipulated, students may submit for evaluation only that work that is their own and that is submitted originally for a specific course.” Please make yourself aware of the College’s definition of plagiarism.  Further “According to traditions of higher education, forms of conduct that will be considered evidence of academic misconduct include but are not limited to the following: conversations between students during an examination; reviewing, without authorization, material during an examination (e.g., personal notes, another student's exam); unauthorized collaboration; submission of a paper also submitted for credit in another course; reference to written material related to the course brought into an examination room during a closed-book, written examination; and submission without proper acknowledgment of work that is based partially or entirely on the ideas or writings of others. Only when a faculty member gives prior approval for such actions can they be acceptable.”  Academic dishonesty can result in a grade of zero on an assignment or test, academic code probation, suspension, or expulsion from the college depending on the outcome of a judicial hearing by the academic conduct review board


Course Evaluation:  At the end of the term, you will be asked to provide feedback evaluating both your experiences in lecture and in lab.  Student input is highly valued and is important in maintaining high quality instruction.  As a department, we are moving to online course evaluations.  At the end of the term, we will provide you with the website link.  It is the department policy that the online course evaluations are mandatory and must be completed by the date indicated by your instructor.  An incomplete may appear on your transcript if it is not submitted by that time.  The evaluation will be submitted to the Department Assistant.  She will verify that you have submitted the form.  Once that has been checked, your identification will be removed and will not be printed with the comments.


Students with Disabilities:  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 the Office of Academic Support Services (607-274-1005, TDD 607274-7319, and schedule an appointment with their instructors as soon as possible to discuss their needs.

Last updated 8/2010

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