Autumn.wmf (12088 bytes) Concepts of Biology (BIOL116) - Dr's. P. Chu & S.G. Saupe; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321

An Introduction to Plants, Animals & Ecology

LECTURE INSTRUCTORS:  There are 7 lecture sections of this course.  Our section will be team-taught by:

Dr. Stephen G. Saupe

Office: 335 PENGL
Phone: 363-2782
Fax:  363-3202

Dr. Phil Chu

Office: 307 PENGL
Phone:  363-3561
Fax:  363-3202

In general, Dr. Chu will be responsible for the zoological portions of the course while Dr. Saupe will be responsible for the botanical and ecological material.  Other lecture instructors for the course include:  Dr. M Reagan (3110), Dr. DG Brown (3175), Dr. W Lamberts (3160), and Dr. S Toering (3994).  Feel free to contact any of these individuals if you have questions.  Dr. Reagan is the Course Coordinator.

: This course is designed to investigate the basic principles operating in all living things at levels of organization from the cell to an organism. Emphasis is placed on theories underlying our current understanding of biological processes such as energy capture and utilization, internal regulation, growth and change. Another aim of the course is to enhance the students' understanding and knowledge of living organisms, and to provide her/him with a foundation for continued studies in the biological and health sciences.

COURSE THEMES: This course will focus on the biology of plants and animals and ecology. Evolution and the integration of the form and function will be two major themes running through our discussions.

AUDIENCE:  This course is the second-half of a two-semester introductory biology sequence. This course is required for students majoring in biology.  This course does not fulfill the Core guidelines for Natural Science for non-science majors.

OBJECTIVES:  Upon completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. describe the essential theories and concepts of plant and animal biology and ecology
  2. be familiar with the resources and methods for acquiring scientific information
  3. demonstrate an orderly approach to the solution of a problem
  4. apply problem solving procedures to practical situations
  5. relate past knowledge to an understanding of modern biology
  6. have acquired an openness to new scientific developments and an awareness of their possible implications.

This class meets days 2-4-6.  Section  02A meets from 8:00 - 9:10 and Section 04A meets from 9:40 - 10:50. You will also attend a laboratory session once per cycle that you have separately scheduled.  Lab starts the first cycle (CYCLE 1)!


This course consists of three lectures and one laboratory session per cycle. You must attend the section of lecture and lab in which you registered. In addition to our regular meetings, special lectures and films may be scheduled through the academic year. These are often sponsored by the Biology Club. Use of the library is an essential part of your education and you are encouraged to use its facilities. Also, you are invited to pursue research under the direction of an appropriate faculty member.

There will be a review session held every cycle.  The time/date will be scheduled in advance.  These sessions are optional, but students who earn less than 70% on exams are EXPECTED to attend these sessions.  There are many ways to effectively study for this course. Check out the Study Strategies cited in Concepts web site, the Three Dozen Tips, and the text book (p. xiii).  If you need assistance or have questions, please come and see us.  Also, be sure to visit the textbook website ( and we especially encourage you to complete the on-line quizzes.  

Grades will be determined on the basis of your performance on:

    1. Lecture Exams (70%)
    2. Laboratory Work (25%)
    3. Assignments (5%)

1. Lecture Exams (70%) - there will be five exams. These will be a mixture of subjective (i.e., short answer, definition) and objective (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank) questions. Sample questions will be provided (click here).  Questions will be taken directly from homework assignments and material that we cover in class. Anything we do in class is "fair game" for an exam. The first four exams are each worth 14% of your final grade. The fifth (and final) exam is worth 16% of your final grade; it is worth more than the others because it has a comprehensive component.

2. Laboratory Work (25%) - Your laboratory instructor will submit to me at the end of the semester a grade (from 0 - 100) that reflects your performance in lab. Please note that this grade is worth one-quarter (25%) of your final grade in the course!  Take lab very seriously - it can make or break your grade.

3. Assignments (5%) - This component of your final grade will reflect your performance on any assignments and your participation in class.

: Grades will be assigned based upon the percentage of total points accumulated according to the following scale: 100 - 90% = A; 89 - 87% = AB; 86 - 82% = B; 81 - 79% = BC; 78 - 72% = C; 71 - 69% = CD; 68 - 60% = D; below 59% = F

    Getting good grades is very important. Work hard and you will succeed! Remember, the review sessions, on-line quizzes, study guides, and textbook are your secret weapons for success.

   Achievement on exams and assignments will be recognized by stars on your exams.  Stamped stars will be given to everyone in recognition that the course is not easy and that we appreciate the hard efforts that everyone is making to succeed in the course. In addition, the top scorer earns a gold foil star, silver = 2nd highest, red = 3rd, green = 4th, blue = 5th.  We will applaud when the name of the student earning the top score on the exam is announced. 

    To determine your approximate grade at any time during the semester, simply divide the total number of points you have accumulated by the total possible. This information will always be provided. In addition, we will periodically provide you with a grade report. You should check this report for accuracy and to give you an indication of your progress. Keep all of your graded work, including lab work, for your records.

    Never hesitate to come and talk to us about your grade, or any aspect of the course, at any time during the semester!

:  As stated above, the laboratory is a very important component of your final grade.  There are 10 lab sections.  You must attend the section for which you have registered.  Lab begins the first cycle.  The lab coordinator is Ms. Carol Jansky (NewSC 218; 363 - 3178).  You should contact Ms. Jansky if you have any general questions or lab concerns.

You will have the opportunity to earn bonus points by attending lectures and other activities.  If you attend a biology department seminar, obtain a "Bio-Bonus Card." Complete the card and turn it in no later than noon on Study Day.  For activities other than biology department seminars contact us to see if it is acceptable to earn extra credit.

As a general rule of thumb, you should study at least 2 hours for every hour in class. Thus, at a minimum you should be studying at least six hour per cycle for lecture exams. Note that this doesn't include lab work or completing assignments. Imagine that you are an academic athlete working on the mental practice field.  For more information about studying for this course, click here.

You will have a file folder in a file in the Botany Lab, SC 342. You may use it to store papers/notes/etc. In addition, we will place in this file any assignments not returned to you personally, extra copies (if any) of handouts, and course readings. When in doubt or need, check here.

We run this class on the Honor Code system; in other words, we trust you to do your own work at all times. If you violate our trust, the consequences will be severe. If you have even the slightest doubt that an activity violates the Honor Code - don't do it. For more information, consult our institutional policies on Academic Honesty in the  (CSB Every Woman's Guide or SJU J Book) and the Library web site on plagarism.

We expect you to attend class - and especially scheduled EXAMS! Being absent does not excuse you from completing assignments on time (i.e., turning in any that are due and getting the assignment for the next class). In general, you will not be able to make up anything missed in lecture or lab.

Visitors to our classroom are welcome. Please introduce your visitors to us. They should plan to participate (as best they can) in class activities.

: Assignments completed on paper torn out of a spiral notebook will be penalized 20% of the total possible points. If you like to use a spiral notebook that’s no problem - simply remove the frayed edges before turning in your work.

: We expect that assignments will be turned in on time. We reserve the right to accept/refuse late assignments.

We believe that the appearance of an assignment is a reflection of the quality of the work and the degree of respect it deserves. Thus, for your benefit we require that written assignments must be typed. There will be obvious exceptions. If in question about whether an assignment should be typed, please ask. Assignments not typed will be penalized 50% of the total possible points. Also, invest in a small stapler.

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Last updated: January 05, 2004        � Copyright by SG Saupe