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 | | BIOL104 syllabus

COURSE TITLE:Animals & Society
IAI CODE(S): L1 902L

Animals and Society is a general course in which the process of scientific inquiry is explored using animals as a model system. The exploration of the animal kingdom will include a discussion on cellular structure/function, homeostasis, evolutionary theory, ecological relationships, reproductive strategies (sexual and asexual), basic heredity principles (DNA, RNA, Mendelian genetics), and a basic introduction to classification within the animal kingdom. An emphasis will be placed on economic, environmental, and symbiotic relationships with a focus on human interactions.

Place into ENGL101 and MATH107.

NOTES: A lab is required for this course.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate the ability to use the scientific method to solve problems.
  • Identify principles uniting the animal kingdom at a molecular level (cell structure, function, reproduction, etc.), an organismal level, and an evolutionary level.
  • Explain ways animals reproduce and pass on genetic information Identify specific examples of how homeostasis is maintained based on cellular function and interaction.
  • Discuss the impact humans are having on biodiversity through environmental changes Identify the basic principles of evolutionary theory and indicate how those principles have influenced modern day populations.
  • Identify ecological concepts that demonstrate the balance that exists between animals and their environment.
  • Describe the current struggles facing animal populations and methods taken to help/prevent loss of biodiversity.

Lecture Outline
  1. Introduction (4%)
    • The scientific process and how it works.
    • The features and characteristics of life.
  2. Cells (20%)
    • Prokaryotic vs Eukaryotic cells
      • Compare and contrast features
    • Characteristics of cells
      • Shared characteristics of animal cells
      • Features unique to some animal cells using real world examples
    • Homeostasis at the cellular level
      • Cell transport, cell communication, etc.
      • How and why homeostasis is essential to life
    • Colonial vs multicellularity
  3. Reproduction (18%)
    • Cellular – mitosis vs meiosis
      • Events of mitosis
      • Events of meiosis
      • Comparison of mitosis and meiosis
    • Organismal - Asexual vs sexual
      • The role of mitosis in asexual reproduction
      • The role of meiosis in sexual reproduction
      • Benefits and downsides to both asexual and sexual reproduction
      • How mitosis and meiosis can be used for medical purposes - reproductive and therapeutic cloning
      • Development of cancers from uncontrolled cell division
    • Flow of information in a cell
      • Central dogman - DNA á RNA á Protein
      • A brief survey of biotechnology and its beneficial applications and potential
    • Basic inheritance
      • Mendelian genetics
      • The inheritance of diseases and disorders
  4. Evolution (12%)
    • Development of the current Theory of Evolution
      • History of evolutionary theory
      • Darwin's role and the development of his ideas
      • Current applications of evolutionary theory
    • Evidence supporting evolutionary theory
      • Microevolution versus macroevolution
      • Understanding phylogenetic relationships
    • Evolutionary processes resulting in modern biodiversity
      • Hardy-Weinberg Theorem
      • Genetic drift
      • Natural selection vs Artificial selection
        • Nature guided selection or man guided selection
      • Sexual selection
      • Effect on modern gene pools
    • How deleterious genetic diseases and disorders remain in the population even through natural selection places pressure against them - carriers and heterozygous advantage
  5. A Look through the Animal Kingdom (10%)
    • Developmental patterns within the animal kingdom
      • Cleavage patterns
      • Deutrostome versus protostome
      • Body cavity differences
      • Germ level differentiation
      • Use of stem cells, reproductive cloning, therapeutic cloning, etc.
    • A survey of the major phyla compromising the animal kingdom
      • A walk through the 8 major phyla
      • Major features that define each phyla
      • A look at representative animals from each
    • The ecological significance of each of the phyla
  6. Ecology (15%)
    • Basic principles governing ecology
    • Biotic vs abiotic
    • Interspecific interactions
    • Interconnectedness of communities
    • Current ecological concerns
    • Conservation of biodiversity
  • Lab #1 Taxonomy
    • The student becomes familiar with the functioning of a dichotomous key and the importance to taxonomy.
  • Lab #2 Microscopes
    • Students will learn the proper use of a compound light microscope and a dissecting microscope; the rules for caring for a microscopes, the proper names and functions for the parts of the microscopes.
  • Lab #3 Cells and Cell Transport
    • Students will observe single-celled organisms and multicellular organisms (primarily colonial) both live and prepared specimens will be available (specimens will include protozoa, Porifera, Cnidarian).
    • They will also explore some of the transport mechanisms discussed during lecture.
    • An experiment will be done exploring homeostasis using Daphnia and exposing it to different environmental conditions and forming conclusions about how they use cellular transport mechanism to maintain their internal environment.
    • Students should be able to identify a cell and label its basic components as well as explain how a cell works to maintain consistent internal conditions.
  • Lab #4 Organization of Vertebrate Tissues
    • The student reviews the finer points of using a compound light microscope by surveying the major types of tissues they will be observing this semester.
    • Students should be able to identify individual cells within a tissue and explain how they work together as well as give examples of different tissue types, function, and location.
  • Lab #5 Mitosis
    • Students will examine slides depicting various stages of mitosis.
    • Students should be able to identify different stages of mitosis and calculate rates of mitosis and relate it to both normal and abnormal growth and development of organisms.
  • Lab #6 Genetics
    • Students will explore how Mendelian genetics results in the inheritance of traits and will use their own phenotypic characters to explore inheritance in humans.
  • Lab # 7 Evolution
    • Students will participate in an activity that simulates evolution in a population due to several different factors: genetic drift, founder’s effect, and natural selection.
    • Students will gain a more thorough understanding of the process of evolution and use that understanding to evaluate common misconceptions regarding evolution.
  • Lab #8 Animalia I and II
    • Students will look at sponges, jellyfish, corals, flatworms, and nematodes using microscope slides and preserved specimens.
    • Students will identify the major characters for each group and become familiar with common examples of the major classes.
    • Students will also make comparisons between the groups to identify similarities that evolutionary link the groups, discuss the evolution of multicellularity using sponges as an example, and identify major features that indicate an organism as a parasite.
    • Students will also discuss the ecological importance of the phyla.
  • Lab #9 Animalia III
    • Students will look at segmented worms and mollusks using microscopes and preserved specimens.
    • Students will look at representative organisms from the major groups of the phyla.
    • Students will draw comparisons about the anatomy of the segmented worms and mollusks to better understand their evolutionary relationship.
    • Students will also discuss the ecological importance of the phyla.
  • Lab # 10 Animalia IV & V
    • Students will look at crustaceans, spiders, insects, sea stars, urchins, and vertebrates using microscopes and preserved specimens.
    • Students will look at representative organisms from the major groups of the phyla.
    • Students will draw comparisons among crustaceans, spiders, and insects in terms of internal and external morphology and discuss the role that evolution has played in their development.
    • Students will draw comparisons among sea stars, urchins, and non-chordate vertebrates.
  • Lab #11 Ecology
    • Students will explore the impact that climate change is having on the environment.
    • Students will use real climate data to analyze the impact that carbon emissions are having on our planet.
    • Students will discuss the role that industrialization and human population growth has had on the planet, the role that adaptation must play to allow biodiversity continue, and a carbon footprint and ways that we can help to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Lab #12 – 14 Ecology in action
    • Students will design a project to benefit either a local animal group or habitat.
    • Their design will be incorporated into the sustainability farm.
    • In addition to the microscopic slides and preserved specimens there will also be live specimens provided for viewing and behavioral experiments, many models, charts, films, etc. aid the students during their studies in their laboratory period.


Required Texts:
Custom book created through McGraw-Hill Create from various non-majors biology text books

Laboratory Manual:
Custom Lab Manual created through McGraw-Hill Create from various majors/non-majors/zoology lab manuals

See bookstore website for current book(s) at


The student will be tested on the material covered through the semester in lecture and lab. The lecture quizzes will be done on Blackboard (an online learning platform). There will also be a project based on the development of a conservation plan for a currently threatened species of animal. Student will be evaluated on the following point system:

Post Lab Assignments
4 Lecture Exams
10 Lecture Quizzes
Final Project
Final Exam

Grading Scale:
A- 765 and above
B- 680-764
C- 595-679
D- 510-594
F- Below 510


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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