Introduction to Evolution
(Biol 190)
Fall 2012

Dr. Ron Kaufmann
Office: Shiley Center 274; x5904; kaufmann@sandiego.edu or rkaufmann@gmail.com
Office Hours: Monday 12:30-1:30, Tuesday 2:30-5:00, Friday 12:30-2:00, or by appointment
Preceptorial Assistant: Bette Webster; elizabethwebster@sandiego.edu

 

WEEK TOPICS LECTURES  CHAPTERS


 
Sep 6 Introduction, Biological Systems Sep 6 1

Sep 11

Sep 13

Evolution, Scientific Method
Characteristics of Living Organisms*

Sep 11

Sep 13

1
5

Sep 18

Sep 20

Early Earth, Origins of Life
History of Evolutionary Thought

Sep 18

Sep 20

25
22  Miller  SOM

Sep 25

Sep 27

Evolutionary Theory
Cell Cycle, Mitosis

Sep 25

Sep 27

22
12

Oct 2
Oct 4

Cell Cycle, Meiosis
Principles of Inheritance

Oct 2

Oct 4

13

14

Oct 9
Oct 11

Midterm Exam #1
Mendelian Genetics

Review Sheet

Oct 11

1, 5, 12, 13, 14, 22, 25
14, 15

Oct 16

Oct 18

Linkage, Recombination
Population Genetics  Problem Sets   #1   #2   #3

Oct 16

Oct 18

15
23

Oct 23

Oct 25

Examining Variation
No Class

Oct 23

 

 Assignment
 

Oct 30

Nov 1

Microevolution
Describing Variation

Oct 30

Nov 1

23
 

Nov 6

Nov 8

Macroevolution
Macroevolution

Nov 6

Nov 8

24
24

Nov 13

Nov 15

Midterm Exam #2
Systematics

Review Sheet
Nov 15

14, 15, 23, 24
26

Nov 20

Nov 22

Scientific Literature
Thanksgiving - No Class
Nov 20  

Nov 27

Nov 29

Introduction to Ecology
Population Ecology

Nov 27

Nov 29

52
53;
Assignment

Dec 4

Dec 6

Population Ecology
Population Ecology

Dec 4

Dec 6

53
53

Dec 11

Dec 13

Community Ecology
Community Ecology

Dec 11

Dec 13

54
54

FINAL EXAM  Tuesday, December 18, 11:00-1:00    Review Sheet

Text:  Campbell Biology, Ninth Edition, Reece, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky and Jackson

*Visit from Amy Besnoy, Science Librarian, Copley Library

Additional, required readings may be assigned during the semester.

Grades
 
     Midterm Exams (2)
100 points
 each
     Final Exam (non-cumulative portion)
100 points

     Final Exam (cumulative portion)
50 points

     Homework
50 points

     Participation, LLC events, SSW's
100 points

     TOTAL
500 points

 

Course Objectives
    The goal of this course is to introduce you to the basic principles and processes of genetics, ecology and evolutionary biology.  For each topic we cover I will try to present you with the underlying theory as well as relevant terminology and specific examples that illustrate each theory. Many of the topics treated in this course relate directly to areas of current concern, including genetic engineering, human cloning, habitat degradation and loss, declining biodiversity, the discovery of new and important fossil species, and the ecological effects of climate change.  These issues are covered regularly by the media, and it is my hope that you will encounter stories that connect to the material we cover during the semester.  If you encounter an interesting story that connects well to the course material, I hope you'll share that information with the rest of the class.

    This course covers a lot of information, which can pile up quickly if you’re not careful.  If you attend lectures, follow the book, and pay attention in lecture, you should be able to keep up.  I expect that this class will be challenging; I hope you also find it to be interesting and fun.  If you are having trouble or are concerned about your performance in this course, please contact me as soon as possible.  I will try my best to answer your questions and help you succeed.  Besides coming to my office hours, the best way to reach me is by e-mail.

 

Learning Outcomes
    After taking this course, you should be able to

Exams
    There will be NO make-up exams in this course without prior approval from the instructor (me).  This means that if you give me enough advance notice and there is a compelling reason why you must miss a scheduled exam we can probably work something out.  If you wait until the last minute before telling me that you can't make it to an exam I'm likely to be much less forgiving.  Travel plans do NOT constitute a valid excuse for missing ANY exam.  If there is an emergency that prevents you from taking an exam, please contact me PRIOR to the exam time.  This policy includes the final exam.

Homework
    This class will include two graded homework assignments, each consisting of a set of problems designed to help you solidify your understanding of genetics and inheritance.  The assignments will cover some material for the second midterm; both will be returned to you with grades and comments before the second exam.

Participation
    Class attendance and participation are important components of the learning experience.  As a university student you are responsible for your own attendance and conduct.  I will not take attendance in class.  However, if you do not show up regularly or if you consistently arrive late, your final grade may suffer as a result.  Participation in class includes asking questions, being involved in discussions, and generally behaving like a real, live, interested, person.  If you tend to be shy by nature, don’t worry: I don’t expect each of you to ask three questions every day (that would be 60 questions a day!).  However, if you go the entire semester without ever uttering a word in class, you aren’t trying hard enough.  If I go over material too rapidly or too slowly, or if I explain something that doesn’t make sense or that you don’t understand, please raise your hand and bring the problem to my attention.

Student Success Workshops
    The SSW program consists of 25+ sessions designed to assist you with your transition to college.  Sessions cover a wide range of topics, including academic, social, and personal issues.  As part of this course, you each will be required to attend a minimum of three sessions during the course of the semester.  For each session you attend, please write a one-page summary (hard copy or by e-mail as an attached Word document or pdf) of each session, including (1) a brief description of the subject covered, (2) a brief critique of the session itself (possibly including organization, coverage, atmosphere, usefulness, etc.), and (3) how you feel the session connected to you personally.  Some reflection questions to help you with your summaries can be found at the SSW web site.  Each summary will be due within one week of the session on which it is based.  These summaries don't have to be literary masterpieces, but they should contain the results of thought and insight on your part about the session and topic.  A schedule of sessions will be available to you at the beginning of the semester and can be found on the SSW session web siteYou are required to attend at least one session by October 5 and another by November 5.

Living-Learning Community (LLC)
    Your preceptorial class is part of the Sustainability Living-Learning Community, which includes seven preceptorials from different disciplines: Biology, Engineering, Environmental Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science and Theology & Religious Studies.  The uniting theme among all of these classes is sustainability, the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of the future (this is one definition among many).  Although each of these classes will cover very different topics, students from all of the classes will share a dorm and participate in various LLC events.  These will be announced in class and posted on the Sustainability LLC web site.  You are expected to attend two major events that involve the entire LLC

            Sep 14 (Fri): 6-8:30 pm, Sustainability Dinner, La Gran Terraza

            Sep 22 (Sat): 8 am - 2 pm, Beach Blowout, Mission Point Park

             as well as one event related to your preceptorial class

             Sep 29 (Sat): 8 am - 2 pm, Hike in Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

    In addition, you may want (and be encouraged) to attend additional LLC events throughout the semester.  Most of these events are intended to be experiential and won't be graded.  The main point is for you to participate and learn.  We will have a discussion in class after the Elfin Forest hike, primarily to talk about your impression in relation to the themes of our class (evolution) and LLC (sustainability).

Extra Credit
    In addition to the 500 "mandatory" points, it will be possible to earn up to 25 extra credit points by successfully completing an additional assignment.  Select an article on a current topic not covered in class but related to the course content.  After having the article approved by me, you should research the topic and write a 4-6 page paper covering the subject.  This should be written as a research paper, including a reference list and either reference citations in the text or footnotes.  You may find some information on the internet, but don't use web sites exclusively as your references.  Completion of an extra credit paper is not sufficient to earn 25 points, and substandard assignments will earn fewer extra credit points.  Extra credit papers may be handed in until 11:59 pm on Sunday, December 9.  Papers received after that time will not be accepted.

Academic Integrity
    The use of information from published sources can create some confusion about proper use and referencing of material that you did not generate yourself.  Here are some guidelines to help you use but not misuse information produced by others.  The only substantial writing you are likely to do for this class is an extra credit paper, and the academic integrity concept applies to that paper just as it would to a more substantial paper for any class.  For writing assignments in general, it is expected that you will read publications and incorporate into your papers some of the findings and ideas contained in those published works.  When you refer to information generated by someone else, it is important to credit the source of that information.  Commonly, that credit comes in the form of a parenthetical citation.  For example:

    Global climate change has been implicated in the decline of zooplankton biomass in the eastern Pacific during the second half of the 20th century (Roemmich and McGowan, 1995).
    This sentence contains a conclusion described by Roemmich and McGowan in a paper published in 1995.  It could be appropriate for you to include a sentence like this in one of your papers, but since you didn’t perform the research that led to this conclusion you need to cite the people who did.
    Neglecting to properly cite another person’s work is a form of plagiarism, the practice of reporting someone else’s work as your own.  There are other forms of plagiarism as well, including: copying portions of text verbatim from published sources (including the internet), receiving unauthorized assistance on papers, and drawing material from similar papers written by other students.  Plagiarism constitutes a serious breach of professional ethics as well as a violation of the University of San Diego’s academic integrity policy.  If an instructor has reason to believe that an act of plagiarism has occurred, an academic integrity report must be filed with the dean of the college and an academic integrity hearing may be convened.  If the academic integrity hearing committee determines that plagiarism has occurred, disciplinary action may range from loss of points or a grade penalty to expulsion from the university.  Bottom line: do your own work and don’t copy the work of others.  Plagiarism is unethical, it’s way too easy to get caught, and being called before an academic integrity hearing committee is far more unpleasant than simply writing your own papers.
    Other areas in which academic integrity violations commonly occur include cheating on exams and unauthorized collaboration on assignments that are meant to be performed individually.  As with plagiarism, any form of cheating is unethical, and getting caught is much more likely than you might imagine.  Any questions about acceptable procedures for sharing of data, exchange of ideas, citation of sources, or any other academic integrity issues should be addressed to your instructor.  Better safe than sorry!

This page and all contents copyright 2005-2012 by Ron Kaufmann
All rights reserved
Last modified 30 Nov 2012 by Ron Kaufmann