Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | BIOL103 syllabus

COURSE TITLE: Principles of Biology II
IAI CODE(S): L1 910L BIO 910

This is the continuation of Principles of Biology I, this course is designed for those individuals pursuing a major in biology. Topics covered will include mechanisms of evolution, diversity of life, basic plant and animal physiology, and ecology. Class meets 3 lecture hours per week, and 2 lab hours. This class is the second semester in a sequence (including BIOL102) that can be used to transfer as a biology majors introductory course.

Completion of BIOL102 with a C or better.

NOTES: A lab is required for this course.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Write using scientific format, correctly present and analyze data as measured in a lab report
  • Explain the criteria needed for the Linnaean system of classification and relate the organization to evolutionary relationships among organisms
  • Compare and contrast physiological, organizational, and structural basics of the different domains/kingdoms/phyla
  • Describe the diversity of prokaryotes and fungi in terms of structure and function
  • Clearly define life and explain why a virus does not meet that criteria
  • Describe the basic anatomy of plant structures (root systems, stems, leaves) and physiological process (water transport versus nutrient transport)
  • Compare the functioning of major organ systems among vertebrate groups
  • Define and draw the different types of population growth and explain how life strategies play a role in the production of the growth curve
  • Compare and contrast diversity and richness of an environment and explain how these criteria are determined
  • Explain how organismal/environmental interactions play a role in the use of resources in a given environment
  • Describe how energy moves through an ecosystem and the limitation this places on the trophic organization; explain how this differs from the movement of nutrients through an ecosystem through biogeochemical cycling

  • Mechanisms of Evolution (12% of class time)
    • This topic will familiarize students with how the process of evolution impacts populations and brings about speciation; will include a discussion on Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium.
  • Microscopic Life (15% of class time)
    • This topic will familiarize students with the diversity of microscopic life.
    • Lecture will include viruses, prokaryotes, and protists.
  • Fungi (12% of class time)
    • This topic will familiarize students with the diversity of fungi and their basic characteristics.
  • Plants (22% of class time)
    • This topic will familiarize students with plant diversity from bryophytes & ferns to gymnosperms & angiosperms.
    • It will also include the basics of cell type and function, tissue organization, and basic physiological processes.
  • Animals (22% of class time)
    • This topic will familiarize students with the diversity of animal life.
    • It will include lecture on the major phyla (Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nemotoda, Molluscs, Annelida, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, Chordata), as well as some basic physiological processes.
  • Ecology (17% of class time)
    • This topic will familiarize students with the basic principles governing ecology.
    • We will cover population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology.
  • Mechanisms of Evolution
    • This lab will allow students to explore how different evolutionary mechanisms impact gene frequencies in a population.
    • Students will use a computer simulation to model the effects on populations of violating the requirements of Hardy-Weinberg.
  • Bacteria
    • This lab will show students the major groups of bacteria, as well as how to culture them.
    • Students will examine prepared slides of bacteria under oil immersion to better understand the morphological differences among different types.
    • Students will use sterile techniques to investigate the bacterial contamination of milk samples, they will learn basic gram staining techniques, and explore growth differential growth patterns of bacterial they extract from soil samples.
  • Protists
    • This lab will allow students to explore the diversity of protozoans.
    • Students will look at prepared slides and live specimen of representative protist groups, such as: euglena, paramecium, vorticella, amoeba, and Stentor, etc.
    • Students will also explore the complicated lifecycles of protists such as trypanosomes and dinoflagellates.
    • Students will also gain an understanding of the evolutionary relationships among protists, fungi, plants, and animals.
  • Plant Diversity
    • A two part lab that will explore the diversity of plant type and how they are organized, the first lab will explore seedless plants and the second lab will explore angiosperms and gymnosperms.
    • The seedless plant lab will focus on the body plan, life cycles, and terrestrial adaptations of plants such as liverworts, mosses, and ferns.
    • The second part will again focus on life cycles and adaptations of gymnosperms and angiosperms, but will add reproductive structures associated with seed production.
  • Plant organization and physiology
    • These labs will explore how plants are organized from the tissue level to the organismal level, and how certain processes work (water uptake, transport, and reproduction) – lab report option
      • Lab 1
        • using prepared slides of plant tissues students will learn to identify different types of vascular tissue (xylem and phloem), dermal tissue, ground tissue (parenchyma, sclerenchyma, and collenchyma), and meristematic tissue.
        • Students will also learn the function and location of the tissues.
        • Students will also use plant materials (stems, fruits, etc) to gain a better understanding of the structural arrangement of these plant features.
      • Lab 2
        • using prepared slides of plant structures students will learn the general layout of different plant organs (stems, leaves, roots).
        • Students will also explore primary and secondary growth and use leaves from a Brassica to explore transpiration.
      • Lab 3
        • students will research and design their own experiment to explore how hormones impact the development of flowering plants.
        • The lab will be introduced during the first lab in the plant lab series and the initial research project data will be due at the beginning of this lab.
        • The lab will be dedicated to determining what materials are needed and finding spaces for students to carry out their projects.
        • The students will have a period of several weeks to carry out and complete their experiments.
  • Animal physiology
    • A two part lab that will explore how animals work to maintain homeostasis
      • Lab 1
        • using a live arthropod (crayfish) and a fetal pig, students will explore the anatomy and physiology of the heart to gain a better understanding of the functioning of the circularity system.
        • Students will also look at prepared blood slides to identify the different cells that make up blood and prepared slides of capillaries, as well as take blood pressure and associate it with the functioning of the heart.
      • Lab 2
        • using several different specimens (insect, fish, and fetal pig) and prepared slides of lung histology, students will explore the anatomy of the respiratory system.
        • Students will also use spirometer to measure inhalation volume under different conditions and draw conclusions about the functioning of lungs.
  • Animal Biotechnology
    • A two part lab in which students will insert a gene from a jellyfish into a plasmid, culture the resulting genetically transformed bacteria and then check for success.
    • Students will use techniques learned previously (sterile techniques, DNA extraction, etc.) to isolate DNA that will allow for antibiotic resistance along with the addition of green fluorescent protein and insert it into a prokaryotic cell (E. coli).
    • Students will measure growth and use the outcome to determine whether the genetic transformation was successful and to calculate the frequency and efficiency of the transformation process.
  • Population Ecology
    • This lab will allow the students to explore different ways of sampling population and/or ecosystems.
    • Using a “model organism” (beads) students will explore various methods (mark recapture and quadrant sampling) of estimating population size and discuss the benefits and limitation of them.
    • Students will also use real life data to explore logistic and exponential growth and investigate how density dependent factors play a role in population growth; nearest neighbor measurements will be used to identify dispersal patterns.
  • Ecological Principles
    • This lab will allow students to explore what happens to an ecosystem when the principles that govern that ecosystem are altered.
    • Students will use milk samples exposed to various environmental conditions over different periods of time to investigate the characteristics of succession.
    • They will record types of bacteria observed, general amounts of bacteria present, environmental conditions (pH, odor, temperature, color, etc) and link those observation to the successional changes they observe in the sample.


Mader, 11th edition – Custom for DACC
Lab Manual, Mader – Custom for DACC

See bookstore website for current book(s) at

Tests 500 points 50%
Final Exam 150 points15%
Lab Report100 points 10%
Quizzes100 points 10%
Lab Assignments100 points 10%
Homework50 points 5%

Grading Scale:
A= 90%-100%
B= 80%-89%
C= 70%-79%
D= 60%-69%
F= 59% and below


Membership in the DACC community brings both rights and responsibility. As a student at DACC, you are expected to exhibit conduct compatible with the educational mission of the College. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, is not tolerated. A DACC student is also required to abide by the acceptable use policies of copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as contained in the DACC Student Handbook. The Student Handbook is available in the Information Office in Vermilion Hall and online at:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Testing & Academic Services Center at 217-443-8708 (TTY 217-443-8701) or stop by Cannon Hall Room 103. Please speak with your instructor privately to discuss your specific accommodation needs in this course.

Spring 2019

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