BIOL 1125 General Biology for Majors, Fall 2014


INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Jerry Skinner; Capwell Hall 211; 945-8404. email:;   In the event of an emergency, please contact Wanda Howell at 570-945-8412.


Section 1 M-F 1230-145 pm Dr. Jerry Skinner
Section 2 MF 8-915 am Dr. Tammy Barette
Section 3 MF 930-1045 am Dr. Tammy Barette

Lab:  Do not go to a different lab unless you have made arrangements with the instructor beforehand---there are only so many chairs in the room. 

Section 1 W 8-11 am Mr. Joseph Lick
Section 2 T 2 - 5 pm Mr. Joseph Lick
Section 3 W 11 am-2 pm Mr. Joseph Lick
Section 4 T 6-9 pm Mr. Joseph Lick
Section 5 W 2-5 pm Mr. Joseph Lick
Section 7 TH 6-9 pm Mr. Joe Iacovazzi
Section 8 W 6-9 pm Ms. Barbara Moss

Lab Safety Information:  Due to federal regulations, no shorts, skirts, or open footwear of any kind (flips, sandals, etc.) are permitted in the lab.  A lab coat and goggles are REQUIRED for entry into the room.  Any knee-length lab coat is acceptable.  Goggles MUST be chemical splash safety goggles that bear the ANSI Z87.1 standard number imprinted on them.  The EcoClub has both items available or you can purchase your own anywhere you'd like.  Ask your instructor.


  • Raven, P., G. Johnson, K. Mason, J. Losos and S. Singer.  2014.  Biology, 10th ed.  McGraw-Hill, Boston.  1279+ pages. ISBN-9780073383071.  
  • Vodopich, D. and R. Moore.  2014  Biology Laboratory, 10th ed. McGraw-Hill, Boston.  ISBN 9780073532257.
  • Publisher's course website
  • Note about using other editions:  I know textbooks are very expensive.  Sometimes I'm asked if an earlier or international edition would work.  They are usually very close or even identical in content.  You may use these if you wish at your own risk.  It will be your responsibility to check to see how the current edition differs from older ones.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION:  Introduces science majors to topics such as the nature of science, basic chemistry, the origin of life, cell structure and function, reproduction, genetics, population, evolution, energy relationships, and the diversity of animals.

I reserve the right to make changes to the syllabus as needed, and you are responsible for keeping up with those changes.

Week    Topic


Lecture Assignment

Lab Chapters
AUG 25 The Science of Biology; Human Genealogy

Labs do not meet this week.


Returning students only

Graph Interpretation (5 pts)Pseudoscience (15 pts)

No lab this week

No class Monday (Labor Day)  The Evidence for Evolution

21 First reading due Friday Handouts provided in lab
  8 The Nature of Molecules & Properties of Water

Extra Credit-Dr. Margaret Brittingham presentation.  Thursday 730 pm

2 Scientific Hero (15 pts) 3, 4
  15 The Chemical Building Blocks of Life 3 Symbols Quiz 6

Cell Structure

4 Cytology PPT (25 pts) 9


5   14, 15

No Class Monday; Energy & Metabolism

6   Midterm practical exam
  13 How Cells Harvest Chemical Energy 7   26, 36
  20 Spring Break 10   37
  27 How Cells Divide 11   38
NOV 3 Sexual Reproduction and Meiosis 12   39, 40
  10 Patterns of Inheritance 13   42, 43, 47
  17 DNA:  The Genetic Material     48, 49
  24 No Class Friday (Thanksgiving Break) 14   No lab his week
DEC 1 Biotechnology 17   Final practical exam
  8 Finals Week:  Time and date TBA      

Occasionally you may be assigned readings outside of your textbook. These will be available on this webpage.

About labs:  Your lab average is reported to the lecture instructor at the end of the term and is weighted to be about 30% of the total points in the course.  Lecture and lab grades are combined into one overall course grade.

Grading Policy
3 Exams 3 @100 pts 300
10 Weekly quizzes @10 100
Final comprehensive Exam 100 100
Lecture Assignments 200 200
Laboratory ~30% of total grade 250
TOTAL   900
Final Exam exemption:  If you have a 96% average in all aspects of the course (lecture and lab) and have no missing assignments, you will be exempt from the final exam and awarded a grade of A.
    Fall 2010
A 93-100% 2  
A- 90-92.99 4 6
B+ 87-89.99 5  
B 83-86.99 6 21
B- 80-82.99 10  
C+ 77-79.99 8  
C 73-76.99 7 22
C- 70-72.99 7  
D+ 67-69.99 5  
D 60-66.99 13 18
F <60.0 4 4
  Total   71

In class participation:  If  you exhibit superior participation in class (as determined solely by the instructor) you will be awarded a 25 point participation bonus.  Superior participation is defined as frequent (at least once per class) and constructive  (offering something to improve the classroom discussion).  You must apply for this bonus.

Attendance and due dates: Just as you expect professionalism from me, so do I expect it from you.  Therefore, your presence is expected at EVERY lecture and lab. You will notice that attendance is not included in the grading scale. You do not gain points by carrying out your responsibility in showing up. There will be no makeup tests without a verifiable excuse of a very serious nature. Any makeup will be at my convenience and will be an oral test. Late assignments will not be accepted for any reason. Assignments are due AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS on the due date. If they come in after that time, they are late and will not be accepted.

The Fine Print:

Keystone College does not discriminate in any of its programs on the basis of disability. While there is not a deadline for the disclosure of a disability by a student, in order to facilitate the documentation and accommodation processes, students are encouraged to voluntarily and confidentially disclose and disability requiring an accommodation prior to the beginning of class. This disclosure should be made to the College Counselor & Coordinator of Disability Services.  Students who disclose a disability, and who are seeking an accommodation, ultimately will be expected to provide documentation verifying the disability.

Academic Honesty – Division of Natural Science and Mathematics
All students are subject to the College's policy and procedure on academic dishonesty;  see the current Keystone College catalog. 
The Natural Science and Mathematics Division recognizes that any form or degree of academic dishonesty challenges the principles of truth and honesty which are among the most important founding principles of science and mathematics discovery.  Keystone College treats academic dishonesty as a serious violation of academic trust.  It penalizes all students found to have engaged in such behavior.
Academic honesty within the College and the Natural Science and Mathematics Division must be a cooperative enterprise of faculty, students and administrators. Acts of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to the following:

  1. The illegitimate use of study materials or electronic devices in any form during a quiz or examination.
  2. Copying answers from the quiz or examination paper of another student.
  3. Plagiarizing or falsifying materials or information used in the completion of any assignment which is graded or evaluated as the student's individual effort. Plagiarism includes submitting as one's own the ideas or work of another, including the laboratory data, written materials or the computer files of another, regardless of whether that information is used verbatim or in paraphrased form.  The same applies to anything derived from the Internet, including research papers purchased online. 
  4. Obtaining, through theft, bribery, or collusion, or otherwise improperly securing an examination paper prior to the time and date for the administration of the examination. Also, use of an examination paper previously administered (e.g., during an earlier term) without the consent of the instructor who authored the examination.
  5. Impersonating a candidate at an examination or availing oneself of such an impersonation in any traditional or online class. 
  6. Intentionally interfering with any person's scholastic work, for example, by damaging or stealing laboratory experiments, computer data files or library materials.
  7. It is presumed that material submitted by a student for an assignment is original to that assignment and, therefore, submitting the same work for more than one course without the consent of the instructors of each course in which the work is submitted is considered dishonest.  Submission of previously graded work from prior assignments is considered dishonest. 
  8. Aiding or abetting any act of academic dishonesty including but not limited to such offenses as described above.

Any student caught cheating, or using someone’s work as their own, will be reported to the Academic Dean of the College.  A grade of zero will be recorded for that assignment/test/quiz. For more information on dishonest acts including plagiarism, cheating, and fraud, consult your Student Information Guide.

Keystone College states that all official student email correspondence be sent only to a student’s Keystone email address and that faculty and staff consider email from students official only if it originates from a Keystone account. This allows the College to maintain a high degree of confidence in the identity of all individuals and the security of transmitted information.  Keystone College furnishes each student with a free email account that is to be used in all communication with College personnel

The College has set deadlines for withdrawing from courses. These dates and times are published in the course catalog and on the Academic Calendar. It is the student's responsibility to handle withdrawal requirements from any class. The proper paperwork must be completed to ensure that you will not receive a final grade of "F" in a course if you choose not to attend once you are enrolled. If you are considering withdrawing from a class, consult your Advisor and refer to the College Catalog.

An “I” (Incomplete) will only be given under extenuating circumstances.  It will not be given to students who simply fail to do the work or miss an exam.  If an “I” is given, students must complete the work within four weeks into the following semester, or receive a grade of “F” for the course.

Keystone College offers tutoring assistance for many of its courses. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, consult the Tutoring webpage.