BI 101: General Biology (Ecology & Evolution Focus)


This course focuses on principles of Biology related to evolution, ecology, and diversity of life. We will be learning how living things function on the most basic level. Our focus in Biology 102 is on these key concepts- what we know- and also on key scientific practices- how we know what we know. As we learn new content, we'll also be asking ourselves essential scientific questions: Why do we think this? How do we know? What is the evidence?

Frequently Asked Questions about Bi 101:
What is the textbook?
How can I find out my grade?
What do I need to do to pass this course?
How can I get help with Biology?
What if I miss a class?
What is the schedule?

What is the textbook?

The text for this course is WOU Bi 101 custom version of of Biology: Life on Earth (9e) by Audesirk, Audesirk, & Byers. ISBN: 0558805558. This affordable book aligned directly to Bi 101 is available only at the WOU bookstore. We have a custom version that is specific to each Bi 100 series course available, or if you'll be taking all three courses, you can buy the full text through an online outlet.

How can I find out my grade?

Your grade is calculated based on the percentage of points you've earned out of the total possible. You can keep up with both the number of points you have earned, and the number of possible points by adding together your assignments as you receive them back or by visiting the grade update site. Federal Law requires that you give your permission for me to post your grades (associated with a code number), so if you choose not to have your grades posted, you can come to office hours to check on your grade.

Bi 101 Grades Update Spring 2012

What do I need to do to pass this course?

First, you need to be aware of the Course Learning Outcomes. These are the expectations that you must meet to earn a passing grade.
Upon completion of Biology 101, students will:
1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding about biological principles of evolution, ecology, and diversity of life.
2. Demonstrate understanding of the nature of scientific thought and process of knowledge generation through scientific investigation
3. Demonstrate independent and self-directed learning

Demonstration of these outcomes at an average level (you can identify concepts) will earn you an average grade (C). A higher grade demands that you be able to synthesize information and apply it to different real-world situations.

You will want to make sure you prepare yourself to demonstrate your mastery of our learning outcomes by visiting the course website (on Moodle) on a regular basis, downloading (and using) the study guides and lecture notes, reading the assigned text (before class), and studying. I recommend that you study every day, reviewing what we've covered in class that day, making note of any questions you still have and identifying connections to ideas we've previously covered. There is a definite correlation between attendance rate and exam score, not to mention that if you miss class, you may miss assignments or quizzes along with important discussion, so regularly attending class is essential!

Be aware that many students find college level work to be much more challenging than high school, and you may need to adjust your study habits to help you succeed. You may find these suggestions for making the transition to college helpful

Transitioning from High School to College

How can I get help with Biology?

There are many options. The first is to visit office hours. These are posted on my home page and are on your syllabus. I strongly recommend you see me as early as possible if you feel you are struggling.

Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL) is a student led, no-credit course that is offered to students in Bi 101. PLTL is led by a student has previously succeeded in the course and provides an opportunity for additional examination and in-depth learning and review of the course material. If you would like to register for PLTL, see me to complete your Add form.

WOU offers tutoring and you can access the services of a tutor through Student Services.

I wasn't in class- Did I miss anything?

Yup. We've got something going on every day and that doesn't stop if you're not here. If you are not in class, you don't need to let me know. You cannot make up work that you missed for credit, but your lowest score on class work (assignments/quizzes) will be dropped. You will have access to weekly study guides and PowerPoint slides via our course site on Moodle, but if you are not in class you won't have the opportunity to engage in the activities and discussion to help you make sense of the information. It is your responsibility to catch up on information you may have missed by contacting a classmate and reviewing the notes with them.

Make sure you do not miss laboratory! If you have three or more absences, this constitutes an automatic failure of the course. Makeup labs are only permitted in the event of excused absence and must be confirmed and arranged ahead of time with the Bi 100 series coordinator, Dr. Erin Baumgartner (NS 117; 503-838-8348;

What is the schedule for this term?

Week 1 Lecture Topic Reading (Text) Lab

Introduction- Nature of Science
Living Things & Evolution

1.1-1.4; 14.1 Skills Lab
2 Classification of Living Things 18.1-18.4; 19.4; 19.1; 20.1; 21.1; 22.1; 23.1 Leaf packs & Hypothesis formation
3 Diversity & Speciation 16.1-16.3 Hypothesis testing: fish populations
4 Natural Selection 14.1-14.4 Modeling: evolution
5 Population Genetics & Change 15.1-15.3 Estimating populations
6 Populations, Communities & Competition
26.1-26.3; 27.1-27.2 Communities & Adaptations
7 Communities & Ecosystems
Energy, Climate, & Trophics
27.3-27.7; 20.1-29.2; 28.1-28.2 Data Collection & Analysis: Leaf packs & pond jars
8 Biogeochemical cycles & Disruptions 28.2-28.4 Water quality
9 Human Impacts,Biodiversity, & Extinction 26.4, 16.4, 30.2-30.6 NO LAB
10 Conservation Biology & Sustainability 30.2-30.6 Fisheries management
Finals Week Cumulative FInal Exam
Tuesday, December 4, 2-3:50 pm

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