Syllabus

Week Begins Monday Wednesday Wednesday Lab Instructor
1 1/15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Intro to Course; What is Life?;& the Scientific Method. Survey of Student Background & Organization
Olsen,
Palmer,
Griffin.
2 1/22 What are the units of life? Species, and how we study them.
Reading: Chapters 1, 23, 25.
How is life organized and why? The hierarchy of life and how life adapts to the planet.
Reading: Haldane's essay "On Being the Right Size"; Hutchinson, 1957 (pdf).

Taxonomy and Systematics

CourseWorks

Olsen.
3 1/29 Early Life.
Reading: Chapters 4, 5, 27, 28.
Innovations and the Major Divisions of Life.
Reading: Chapters 30, 31.

Diversity of Life, Part 1.

AMNH

CourseWorks

Olsen.
4 2/5 Cambrian Revolution and Animal Organization.
Reading: review Chapter 31, esp. page 630; Hoffman et al (pdf).
The Paleozoic and the Rise of Plants.
Reading: Chapter 29, Ch. 34 from 683-702.

Diversity of Life, Part 2.

New York Botanical Garden.

CourseWorks

Olsen.
5 2/12 The Age of Dinosaurs and Major Crises in the History of Life.
Reading: pages 702-713, other TBA.
The Cenozoic, Origin of Humans, and Present Mass Extinction.
Reading: pages 714-727, other TBA.

History of Life

AMNH.

CourseWorks

Olsen.
6 2/19 In-class exam.
Sample in-class exam.
Mechanisms of Evolution I.
Reading: Chapters 21 and 22 (p. 433-470).

Pattern and Process in Evolution.

AMNH

CourseWorks

Palmer.
7 2/26 Mechanisms of Evolution II.
Reading: Chapters 23 and 24 (p. 471-508).
Behavioral Ecology.
Reading: Chapter 52 (p. 1105-1136).
TBD
Palmer.
8 3/5 Population Biology I.
Reading: Chapter 52 continued.
Population Biology II.
Reading: Chapter 53 (p. 1137-1160).

Population Viability Analysis.

CourseWorks

Palmer.
9 3/12 Spring Break  
10 3/19 Community Ecology I.
Reading: Chapter 54 (1161-1182).
Community Ecology II.
Reading: Chapter 54 continued.

Island Biogeography.

CourseWorks

Palmer.
11 3/26 Conservation Biology.
Reading: Chapter 57 (p. 1227-1250).
Exam 2. TBD
Palmer.
12 4/2 Thermodynamics.
Reading: Chapter 8, pp 143-156.
C3 Photosynthesis.
Reading: Chapter 10, pp 185-202.

Enzymes and Photosynthesis.

CourseWorks

Griffin.
13 4/9 C4 and CAM Photosynthesis. Reading: Chapter 10, pp 202-205.
Respiration.
Reading: Chapter 9, pp 159-183.

Respiration & Nutrition (pdf).

CourseWorks

Griffin.
14 4/16 Nutrients.
Reading: Chapter 38 & 43, pp 767-778, 781-793, 887-904.

Ecosystems.
Reading: Chapter 55, pp 1183-1201.

Ecosystem Studies.

CourseWorks

Griffin.
15 4/23 The Biosphere.
Reading: Chapter 56, pp 1203-1217.
The Future of the Biosphere.
Reading: Chapter 57, pp 1218-1248.
TBD
Griffin.
16 4/30 Exam 3.     Griffin.
17 5/7   Take Home Final Exam Due May 9th.    

Grading Policy

Basis of Grade Description Percent of Grade
3 in-class exams One mutiple choice and short-answer exam at the end of each of the 3 parts of the course 33 %
1 take-home exam An essay and/or problem-type exam at the end of the course 33 %
Labs Once a week labs, self guided field trips, or group field trips and associated homework 33 %

Required Text

The textbook for the course is: Raven, P. H. et al., 2005, Biology (7th ed.), McGraw-Hill, Boston, 1238 p., available at Labyrinth Books

Updated December 27, 2006
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