Penn State Lehigh Valley BIOLOGY 110
BIOL 110:
Biology Concepts
and Biodiversity

* Course Materials

* Course Objectives

* Organization & Policies

* Evaluation Methods

* Class Syllabus

* Lab Syllabus

FALL 2008

Class Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Class Room: Room 124A
Laboratory Time:

Section 001 - Thursday, 9:20 AM - 11:20 PM
Section 002 - Thursday, 11:45 AM - 1:45 PM
Section 003 - Thursday, 1:55 PM - 3:55 PM

Laboratory Room: Room 121
Instructor: Jacqueline McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in Biology
Cell and Developmental Biologist
Office: Room 140
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM or by appointment
Office Phone: (610) 285-5109
Computer Resources: Independent Research Project
Botany Field Site  
Exploring Life  
Biology Place  

Teaching Assistant:

Foram Dave

2008 winner of the Penn State Lehigh Valley Biology Award

Laboratory Assistant and Class Tutor:

Soumy Immella

Show Class Tutoring Information

Credits, class periods, lab periods: 4, 3, 3

BIOL 110 is intended to be prerequisite to the three other majors' biology courses: BIOL 220W, 230W, and 240W offered within the Penn State system. It, itself, requires no previous knowledge of biology and can be considered the first part of an in-depth study of biology.

Course Materials

Textbook: Biology, Campbell and Reece (Eighth Edition)

Laboratory Manual: Investigating Biology -- A Laboratory Manual for Biology (Fifth Edition), Judith G. Morgan and M. Eloise Brown Carter

Required Supplemental Reading: Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, Lewis Thomas

Course Objectives

  1. To recognize and comprehend the unifying "themes" that pervade all of biology.

  2. Understand genetics, the scientific study of heredity and variation, at the chromosomal and molecular level. Delve into genomic organization and expression, and the advances of recombinant DNA technology.

  3. Introduce and evaluate the concept of evolution, and review Darwin's views of Descent with Modification and Natural Selection.

  4. Survey the diversity of contemporary life on earth and trace the evolution of the diversity, e.g., the origin of prokaryotes, evolution of the eukaryotic cell, the genesis of multicellular life, and the adaptive radiations of plants, fungi and animals.

  5. Appreciate the biosphere as an "intricate tapestry of interwoven life forms" and the concept of "biophilia" (E.O. Wilson, 1988).

  6. Delve into laboratory investigations as a contemporary researcher, following the scientific method with regard to experimentation itself and scientific writing.

  7. Foster technology in the classroom and laboratory by utilizing computer based modules, interactive software, and accredited resources available on the World Wide Web.

Organization and Policies

  1. Classroom Presentations: The course meets three times a week. Class topics are outlined in the attached schedule.

    An integral part of this course is the development of critical thinking skills. Biology is a dynamic science that requires more than mere acquisition and memorization of facts. It requires conceptualization of core concepts in order to understand the interrelationships of life from the subcellular level to the whole organism. It's my challenge to bring to my teaching the critical thinking, rigor, creativity, and spirit of experimentation that defines research itself. In short, you will not memorize, but instead will be practicing "real science" in my classroom. It is my goal that you, my students, emerge with a firm grasp of the nature of science so that you can appreciate basic research, think critically about real world issues, problems and situations, find your niche in the sciences (one based on passion), and sustain a lifelong curiosity about the world around you.

    I will assume you have read the assigned material before entering class. I strongly suggest that you participate in a study group, and use the group to assess your comprehension of the course material. I also urge you to utilize the Penn State Lehigh Valley Learning Center where our teaching assistant, Foram Dave, will be holding routine tutor sessions.

  2. Laboratories: Laboratories will commence on the third week of classes and will meet as scheduled. Check your schedule carefully before attending lab! The laboratory exercises are designed to give you an opportunity to learn through experimentation (inquiry and experience) and to use your critical thinking skills.

    I will provide instruction in the nuts and bolts of appropriate experimental methods. I also will provide guidance into how an effective experiment is designed. You , however, will perform your own experiments. You as the researcher must plan and carry out every step of your experimentation. What I am stressing is that you think about the experiments you are carrying out , plan ahead, and follow through with your results and write-ups.

    Each student will be required to write a scientific protocol. You will be required to follow the guidelines in the manual Writing in the Biology Curriculum (Dunski et al., 1994), which is on reserve in the library. For your protocol, you will have the opportunity to make two revisions prior to receiving your grade.

  3. Attendance and Make-up Exams: You will be responsible for all material. Please note the exam schedule. All of the exams will be used to assess your performance in this course; none will be dropped. Only those individuals with legitimate and verifiable excuses will be allowed to schedule a make-up exam. If you cannot take the exam at a scheduled time, you need to contact me as soon as possible. Documentation of reason for missing an exam is required before a grade will be released and recorded.

    Legitimate excuses are the following:

    1. illness, with a doctor's excuse and receipt
    2. a University-sponsored event (including religious holidays recognized by the University)
    3. a death in the family with documentation
    4. during Finals Week three or more exams in one day

    Family reunions, anniversaries and weddings are not legitimate excuses and make-up exams will not be given for those reasons. Check the exam schedule now to see if there are any conflicts between your academic and social calendar, and make adjustments or arrangements in your social calendar right away.

    * It is stressed that if you are late for class or miss class because of dangerous weather conditions, your safety is more important. Always drive safely.

  4. Missed Laboratories: Lab attendance is mandatory. If you miss a lab you must have a legitimate excuse (as above).

    If you fail to make up a missed lab you will lose 100 of your total laboratory points at the end of the semester. Missed labs will indeed affect your grade!

Evaluation Methods

Knowledge of class material will be evaluated by four semester exams, four readiness assessment tests (RATS), and a comprehensive final exam. The class exams will cover material presented in the class; the assigned text book readings, as well as interactive Web modules, Web Assignments, and handouts are a resource for class preparation and understanding of course content.

Each exam will consist of multiple choice, fill-ins, short answers, and essays. The final exam will test your comprehensive knowledge of the entire semester's material.

The lab component will be judged by lab protocols, group presentation on bacteria, herbarium project, lab exam, and of course, your overall lab preparation, organization and technique.

Class (60% of grade):
5 Semester Exams (100 points each; one will be dropped) = 400 points
4 Readiness Assessment Tests (RATS) (50 points each) = 200 points
1 Final Exam = 200 points
Total = 800 points

Laboratory (40% of grade):
Lab Protocol (bacteriology) = 100 points
Bacteriology Group Presentation = 300 points
Herbarium Project = 300 points
1 Lab Notebook including Lab Report = 400 points
Total = 1100 points

Class grades will be determined by a percentage scale based upon the total number of points available (900 points). Lab grades will be determined by a percentage scale based upon the total number of points available (1100 points). Class grade equals 60% of overall final grade; lab grade equals 40% of overall final grade.

Penn State University letter grade equivalents:
95-100 A
90-94 A-
87-89 B+
84-86 B
80-83 B-
75-79 C+
70-74 C
60-69 D
0-59 F


Segment I: General Principles and Properties of Life
Date Class Content
M 8/25 Introduction to Course
Chapter 1
W 8/27 Introduction to Course
Chapter 1
F 8/29 The Three B's of Biology: Biospheres, Biomes, and Biodiversity

 Chapter 52
Exploring Life:
Ch. 34 - The Biosphere

M 9/1 Labor Day - No Class


W 9/3 The Three B's of Biology: Biospheres, Biomes, and Biodiversity continued
F 9/5 The Chemistry of Life: Small Molecules
Chapters 2, 3 & 4
M 9/8 The Chemistry of Life: Large Molecules
W 9/10 The Chemistry of Life: Large Molecules
F 9/12 Biomembranes
M 9/15 The Cell
W 9/17 Energy, Enzymes and Catalysts
Chapter 8
F 9/19 EXAM #1
M 9/22 Glycolysis, Cellular Respiration & Fermentation
W 9/24

Glycolysis, Cellular Respiration & Fermentation continued

Chapter 9
F 9/26


Chapter 10
M 9/29 Photosynthesis continued
W 10/1 Photosynthesis continued
F 10/3 EXAM #2  

Segment II: Reproduction and Inheritance
M 10/6 The Cell Cycle
W 10/8


F 10/10 Meiosis
M 10/13

Mendel and Non-Mendelian Inheritance

W 10/15 Mendel and Non-Mendelian Inheritance continued
Chapters 14 & 15
  F 10/17 EXAM #3
M 10/20 Replication
W 10/22 From Gene to Protein: Transcription
F 10/24 From Gene to Protein: Transcription
M 10/27 From Gene to Protein: Translation
W 10/29 From Gene to Protein: Translation

Chapter 17
The Biology Place: Translation

  F 10/31 EXAM #4
M 11/3 Biotechnology
Chapter 20 

Segment III: Biodiversity and the Kingdoms of Life
W 11/5 Viruses and Bacteria
Chapter 19
F 11/7 Mechanisms of Evolution: Descent with Modification
M 11/10

Mechanisms of Evolution: The Origin of Species

W 11/12 The Origins of Life and Biodiversity
Chapters 26
F 11/14 Kingdom Fungi
M 11/17 Kingdom Fungi continued
W 11/19 Kingdom Fungi continued
F 11/21 Kingdom Protista  
M 11/24 No Class - Thanksgiving Break  
W 11/26 No Class - Thanksgiving Break  
F 11/28 No Class - Thanksgiving Break  
M 12/1 Kingdom Protista continued
W 12/3 Kingdom Plantae
F 12/5 EXAM #5
M 12/8 Kingdom Plantae continued
Chapters 29 & 30
W 12/10 Kingdom Animalia
Chapters 32
F 12/12 Kingdom Animalia
Chapters 32
Week of
Date And Time
to be Announced

Lab Syllabus

Date Topic Assignment
Th 9/11 Microscopes and Cells Lab Topic 2
Th 9/18 Microscopes and Cells continued  
Th 9/25 Bacteriology Lab Topic 13.1, 13.3 and 13.4
Th 10/2 Bacteriology: Data Collection and Analysis Lab Topic 13
Th 10/9 Bacteriology: Data Collection and Analysis
Bacteriology Protocol Due
Lab Topic 13
Th 10/16 NABT - No Lab  
2002 Hawk Mountain2002 Hawk Mountain
Th 10/23 Bacteriology Group Presentations; Review How to Write a Lab Report
Determination of Relative Sensitivity of Known Bacterial Species to Selected Antibiotics using Zone of Inhibition
by Clare Chiles and Lauren Coughlin

Experiment to Test the Antimicrobial Properties of Spices on the Growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
by Foram Dave, Hamzeh Abuyounis, and Patricia Karedeis

Bacteria Growth in Refrigerated vs. Non-Refrigerated Ground Beef
by Liz Ringler and Fouzia Abidi

The Study of Bacteria - Using Bacteria Morphology Characteristics to Study Bacterial Diversity
by Ellie Masserrat, Pian Lu, and John Taucher

The Study of Bacteria - The Examination of Bacterial Colonies in Selected Environments
by Lara Hartman and Daniel Arbeider
The Study of Bacteria - Bacteriology Lab
by Susan Hollingsworth and Aaron Kaiser
The Study of Bacteria - Type and Abundance in Our Environment
by Julie Wilson and Eva Kline
The Study of Bacteria - Abundance and Colony Diversity in Selected Environments
by Jennifer Gangi and Jose Serrano
Th 10/30 The Herbarium Project
* Trip to Hawk Mountain
Botany Field Day
Botany Field Site
Biodiversity of the Northeastern Deciduous Forest
Th 11/6 Plant Diversity Lap Topic 16
Th 11/13 Animal Diversity I Lab Topic 18
Th 11/20 Herbarium Project Due
Animal Diversity II
Lab Topic 19
Th 11/27 Thanksgiving Holiday - NO LAB  
Th 12/4 Power Point Presentations and Review of Lab Report Procedures
Th 12/11 Lab Report Review  
Th 12/18 Due: Lab Notebook - including Lab Report (Finals Week)  
* Class held at Hawk Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary

Back to Penn State Lehigh Valley This page was last modified April 8, 2009.
Send questions or comments to
Drawing courtesy of Andrea Reimer.

Go to the Penn State University website