General Biology I


  2. A. Course Title: General Biology I
    B. Course Number: BI 114 - 30196
    C. Semester: Fall 2019
    D. Days/Time: M W F 11:00:00 AM - 11:50:00 AM
    E. Credit Hours: 4
    F. Instructor: Thompson, Sandra
    G. Office: Heidel Hall (HH) 215
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2816
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Wednesday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST); 1:15:00 PM-3:45:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST); 12:00:00 PM-3:00:00 PM (MST);
    I will answer messages and emails within 24 hours Monday thru Friday and within 48 hours on weekends. I will be online at least once a day for my online students as well. I am also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 - 3:00 by appointment.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): none
    M. Corequisite(s): BI 114L (General Biology Laboratory)
    N. Class Location: HH203

    General Biology I stresses the concepts, characteristics, and diversities of life. Emphasis is placed upon the scientific method, the chemistry of living organisms, cell structure and function, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, cell reproduction, inheritance, molecular genetics, and biotechnology. Concurrent enrollment in BI114L (laboratory) is required. This is a four credit hour course.


    Biology 114 (General Biology) is a laboratory life science course geared for non-science majors. Biology 114 will transfer to most two and four-year colleges. Information concerning articulation agreements with regional colleges and universities can be obtained at the NMJC’s Counseling Office. It is important to check with the institution to which you are planning to transfer to determine transferability. Planning for course credit transfer is ultimately the student’s responsibility. All students are encouraged to keep a copy of the course syllabus, as it will help determine the transferability of this course credit to another institution.




    1. TEXTBOOK:Concepts of Biology (2016). OpenStax Rice University
    URL link
    While free downloads are available, students are strongly encouraged to purchase a hardbound copy (ISBN 978-1938168116). Cost is approximately $29.

    2. LABORATORY MANUAL: Inquiry into Life. 16th ed. (2019). Sylvia S. Mader. Publisher McGraw Hill. (ISBN: 978-1260482577)Mandatory hard copy needed.

    3. SCANTRONS: Each student will provide his/her necessary “scantron” sheets when needed. The desired form is No. 882-E and may be purchased in the NMJC bookstore.


    The following supplemental study aids are suggested:
    1. INTERNET: Mader Online Learning Center provides resources for studying individual chapters and links to other websites. Website ( may require a password. See your text for log on information.
    2. TUTORIAL SERVICES: Students may sign up for free personal tutoring at the NMJC Academic Success Center located in the first floor of the Library.

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    The following percentages will apply to each category of assignments as part of your total grade:

    55% - Exams (6 exams are anticipated including a comprehensive lecture and lab final, and genetics problems)
    20% - Outside Assignments (pre and post assessment tests, portfolios, essay)
    20% - Labs (weekly quizzes/handouts)
    5% - Attendance (lecture and lab)
    100% Total

    FINAL GRADES WILL NOT BE CURVED. Normal rules of math will be followed. This means that if you have a 59.4, 69.4, 79.4, or 89.4 you will not be rounded to the next higher grade; however, if you have a 59.5, 69.5 , 79.5, or 89.5 you will be rounded to the next higher grade. No exceptions!

    Lecture Exams/Final
    Students are required to take the chapter exams during specified times which will be announced the week prior (see course outline). If tests are not computerized, students will provide their scantron for the exam. No late tests will be administered unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. Points will be deducted on exams taken late.

    Lecture exams will be administered during the students' regularly scheduled laboratory session. To keep disruptions to a minimum during testing, students are required to be on time and remain in the testing area until their test has been submitted (e.g. no bathroom breaks). Additionally, no electronic devices are allowed in the testing area. Students violating this policy will receive a “0” for that exam. No exceptions.

    One lecture exam grade (EXCLUDING THE FINAL) will be dropped if the student meets ALL of the following conditions:
    1. Has three (3) or less class absences in MWF sections; two (2) absences or less in TR sections; and, one (1) absence or less in night sections. School-related absences must be documented by both the student and the NMJC sponsor.
    2. Attempts all five lecture exams. (No zeros will be dropped.)
    3. Takes both the pre/post assessment tests.
    4. Submits all outside class assignment(s).
    NOTE: A student’s final grade average will not be raised by more than five (5) percentage points as a result of dropping an exam.

    The comprehensive final lecture exam will be administered on the date/time per NMJC’s final exam schedule. NO EARLY administering of the final is permitted except in an emergency AND permission from the Dean must be granted.

    Outside Assignments
    Portfolio (80 pts) - Four times during the semester, students are to submit a portfolio that will contain responses to address the specific course objectives in section VII of the course syllabus along with other materials related to course content (e.g. syllabus, article summaries, written reports, etc.). Each time the folder is checked, students may earn up to twenty (20) points. Points will be deducted for the lack of neatness and completeness. For students to receive credit, portfolios MUST be submitted at the same time of the exam. CAUTION: Original, individual work must be submitted. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in a zero for the assignment along with other possible sanctions. No xeroxed or computer generated copies will be accepted for credit.

    Pre & Post Test Assessment (20 pts) - Twenty (20) points may be earned by taking BOTH the pre & post-course assessment tests. The pre/post-course assessment tests are computerized and will be available during the first & last weeks of the semester. The pre/post-tests are for NMJC course assessment purposes only. Scores will NOT count for or against the course grade. Students are simply asked to do their best.

    Genetic Problems (25 pts) - Take home genetic problems are due per the course schedule. Late submitted genetic problems will be NOT accepted for credit.

    Position Paper (100 pts) - This is an original 5-paragraph essay. See instructor for rubric and due date. Late papers will not be accepted for credit.

    Lecture/Lab Participation
    Lecture - Students will earn one (1) point for each hour of classroom participation. A roll sheet will be passed during each lecture session. When present, it is the student’s sole responsibility to sign-in. Signing of another student’s name will be considered academic dishonesty. Students arriving late or leaving early forfeit these points for that lab session (e.g. counts as a class absence).

    Laboratory - Students will earn three (3) points per lab session by completing their assignment(s). Students who do not have their lab manual, are late, or do not remain in lab a sufficient time period to complete their assignment forfeit their participation points for that week.

    NOTE: Students violating NMJCs Food and Drink policy and/or Cell Phone policy will forfeit lab/lecture participation points for that class session.

    Laboratory Points
    Quizzes/Handouts (160 pts) - Weekly, a short quiz, handout, or written assignment will be given over laboratory exercises (see course outline). Students who do not attend lab or leave prior to the completion of laboratory exercises will forfeit the points earned from laboratory quizzes/handouts.

    Final - A 100 point comprehensive, computerized laboratory final will be administered during the last lab session of the semester.

    NOTE: See Section VIII of course syllabus for additional information concerning lecture/laboratory policies and procedures.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    New Mexico Junior College's broad range of science courses provides students with an opportunity to achieve their academic goals by fostering higher order thinking skills, basic academic success skills, discipline-specific knowledge and skills, and scientific and academic values.

    The course content of general biology (BI 114) supports NMJC’s mission which is “promoting success through learning” by encouraging students to accomplish the following:
    1. Describe the process of scientific inquiry.
    2. Solve problems scientifically.
    3. Communicate scientific information.
    4. Apply quantitative analysis to scientific problems.
    5. Apply scientific thinking to real world problems.


    Upon completion of this course, the students should be able to:
    1. Distinguish between living and nonliving things using the basic characteristics of life.
    2. Compare and contrast organisms within the three domains & four kingdoms.
    3. Construct a hierarchy of biological organization.
    4. Design an experiment using the scientific method and distinguish between hypotheses and theories.
    5. List in order the 8 taxonomic categories used for identifying organs. AND define “binomial nomenclature”.
    6. Draw an atom and label the subatomic particles.
    7. Distinguish between the different types of chemical bonds.
    8. List the four properties of water that benefit organisms.
    9. Define the terms: pH, acid, base, and buffer.
    10. Identify the structures and functions of the major organic molecules & give examples of each.
    11. Distinguish between dehydration synthesis & hydrolysis reactions.
    12. State the tenets of the cell theory.
    13. Distinguish between prokaryotic & eukaryotic cells.
    14. Identify plant and animal cellular organelles and state their functions.
    15. Identify the components and state the functions of the plasma membrane.
    16. Distinguish between the different types of cellular transport mechanisms.
    17. State the two energy laws important for living things.
    18. Identify the role that enzymes and substrates play in chemical reactions AND identify factors that affect the rate of product being formed.
    19. Draw a molecule of ATP and explain its function.
    20. Draw a chloroplast and labels its structures. State the function of chloroplasts.
    21. Write the chemical formula for photosynthesis & state examples of organisms capable of this process.
    22. Compare and contrast the light-dependent and Calvin cycle reactions that are associated with photosynthesis.
    23. Briefly explain the three stages of the Calvin cycle.
    24. Draw a mitochondrion and labels its structures. State the function of mitochondria.
    25. Write and explain the chemical formula for cellular respiration.
    26. Distinguish between aerobic and anaerobic cellular respiration.
    27. Calculate the yield of ATPs produced per glucose molecule during cellular respiration and denote where each process is occurring in the cell.
    28. Determine the inputs and outputs for the four stages associated with cellular respiration.
    29. Differentiate between anabolism and catabolism.
    30. Contrast the following by defining the terms: daughter & parent cell, haploid & diploid, sexual & asexual reproduction
    31. List the stages of the cell cycle and describe what events occur during each.
    32. Briefly discuss the characteristics of a cancer cell and how cancer can be prevented.
    33. Describe the events that occur during mitosis & meiosis.
    34. Compare and contrast mitosis & cytokinesis in plant and animal cells.
    35. Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis.
    36. Contrast the following by defining the terms: autosomes & sex chromosomes, meiosis & fertilization, interkinesis & interphase
    37. Define and give examples of polyploidy and aneuploidy.
    38. Define karyotype and denote how it can be used to identify genetic disorders.
    39. Explain Mendel’s laws of genetics.
    40. Recognize and solve genetic problems that involve monohybrid, dihybrid, & sex-linked traits.
    41. Define the following terms: heterozygous, homozygous, genotype, phenotype, co-dominance, incomplete dominance, dominant alleles, recessive alleles, and testcross.
    42. State examples and give a brief description of autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, and sex-linked recessive disorders.
    43. Discuss and give examples of the following: multiple alleles, pleiotropy, polygenic inheritance, and multifactorial traits.
    44. Recognize autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and sex-linked disorders using pedigree charts.
    45. Explain the structure and function of DNA.
    46. Discuss the semi-conservative model of DNA replication.
    47. Explain how genes are expressed thru the processes of transcription and translation.
    48. Define genetic mutation and describe point, frameshift, and triplet repeat expansion mutations.
    49. Discuss four types of chromosomal mutations: deletion, duplication: inversion, and translocation

  11. I. New Student Orientation Video Transcript

    II. Basic Computer Skills: How to use an email account, how to attach, upload, and download files. How to view, save, rename, and print files. Have basic word processing skills and are familiar with using different web browsers

    III. Canvas Technical Requirements

    IV. Technology Requirements for Students: A Desktop or Laptop that is no more than five years old, has at least Windows 7 or MAC OSX 10.6 with 1 GB of memory, 2.4 GHz Processor, has a webcam and a microphone. The Internet speed is between 5 to 10 Mbps per second.

    V. Technical and Academic Support

    Call the 24/7 Canvas Help Desk at (575) 399-2199 for assistance and have your course CRN (ex. 10023) and your Username available.

    If you have not already received login information for Canvas/T-BirdWeb Portal/E-mail, you will need to contact the Enrollment Management office at (575) 492-2546.


    Method of Instruction:
    Lecture: Traditional, utilization of audio-visual materials; question/answer interaction with students.

    Attendance Policy: To encourage attendance, a roll sheet will be passed during each lecture session. When present, it is the student’s sole responsibility to sign-in. Signing of another student’s name will be considered academic dishonesty. Students will earn one (1) point for each hour of classroom participation. Points will not be awarded if they violate NMJCs Food and Drink policy and/or Cell Phone policy (e.g. counts as a class absence).

    Make up Policy: Prior arrangements are expected to be made and (when possible) the work completed before the absence. If advance notice is not given and late work is accepted, points will be deducted for lateness. If the absence is college sponsored, BOTH the student and college sponsor are required to notify the instructor prior to his/her absence.

    Behavior Policy: Disruptive behavior may result in a student being requested to leave the lecture or laboratory session for that day. Disruptive behavior will be documented and if continues WILL be reported to the appropriate administrative personnel with sanctions requested using the guidelines set by NMJC policies and procedures. Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to the following: coming to class late, leaving class early, eating in class, using cell phones/pagers, wearing ear buds, and conversing while the professor is instructing.

    Laboratory: Heavy utilization of laboratory manual, models, live & preserved specimens, 2 X 2 slides, microscopy, computer models, and individualized exercises. Weekly testing of laboratory objectives.

    Attendance: Attendance is required at all scheduled laboratory sessions. Team participation is strongly encouraged. Students are requested to form groups of four and remain with the same group unless reassigned by the instructor. Each group will select a group leader who will be responsible for coordinating group studies. Each student/team is expected to remain in the laboratory for a time sufficient to perform the exercise(s) assigned. At the completion of the laboratory exercise, each team is requested to put away any extra materials/apparatus obtained for the performance of the exercise, clean the area, and check out with the instructor.

    Students will earn three (3) points for participating/completing each lab session. Points will not be awarded if they leave early or violate NMJCs Food and Drink policy and/or Cell Phone policy. Students who miss their regularly scheduled lab may make up lab during another lab session. However, students MUST obtain prior permission from the instructor AND there must be space available. Students arriving more than 15 minutes late for lab will be asked to attend another laboratory session. Additionally, students leaving early forfeit their lab attendance points.

    Laboratory sessions available for make-up are the following:
    Tuesday 8:00 - 10:50 an and 1:30 – 4:30 pm
    Wednesday 1:30 – 4:30 pm
    Thursday 8:00 - 10:50 am and 1:30 – 4:30 pm
    NOTE: Laboratories must be made up during the week of the absence.

    Lab Quizzes/Handouts/Assignments: Weekly a short quiz, handout, and/or written assignment will be given over laboratory exercises. Students who leave prior to the completion of the laboratory exercise will forfeit all points available for that week's laboratory, including attendance points. Handouts will be administered per the lab schedule and are CLOSED BOOK. The weekly lab handout points recorded for each student will be that of the team. Unless otherwise directed, written assignments are due by the end of that laboratory session.

    Lab Final: A 100 point comprehensive, computerized laboratory final will be administered during the last lab session of the semester.

    Lab Safety: ALL students are required to attend a lab safety lecture and pass the safety quiz prior to performing any laboratory exercises. Laboratory safety guidelines are included in the laboratory manual. ALL accidents and injuries that occur during lab are to be reported IMMEDIATELY to the professor - - - no matter how slight. Students are expected to observe all safety rules and precautions, which include (but not limited) to the following:

    1. No horseplay.
    2. Pay attention to what is being done.
    3. Do not point test tubes, etc. that are being heated at the face.
    4. Always wash hands before leaving the lab.
    5. Do not use any broken or cracked glassware.
    6. Discard all sharp instruments and/or broken glassware in designated waste containers.
    7. Do not inhale volatile materials or splash acids/bases.
    8. No eating, drinking, or use of tobacco products.

    For safety purposes all hats, books, or other materials not required for the performance of the exercise(s) should be placed in or under the desks---NOT ON THE FLOOR IN THE AISLES.

    Visitors are NOT PERMITTED in the lab without first obtaining permission from the lab instructor.


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy
    Attendance is required at every session of each course for which the student is enrolled. When unavoidable circumstances make attendance impossible, students must provide a satisfactory explanation of their absences to their professors. College-sponsored activities are considered excused absences and the appropriate sponsor of those students who will be absent from class will notify professors. Students having absences due to college-sponsored activities will need to make arrangements with the affected classes / professor to take care of required work; however, arrangements for make-ups should be made within a reasonable time frame, usually within one week of the absence. Regarding make-up work, absences due to late registration are considered the same as regular absences.

    Cell Phones/Pagers
    All cell phones and pagers must be turned off when the student is participating in any lecture, laboratory, or other learning activity.

    Classroom Conduct
    The professor is responsible for maintaining a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class.

    Food and Drink Policy
    Food items and soft drinks may not be consumed in NMJC classrooms. Students are also discouraged from bringing food and drink items into the classroom even though these items remain in sealed packaging. Bottled water is permissible.

    No Children in the Classroom
    In order to adhere to instructional procedures as well as maintain the safety of children, NMJC’s policy of no children in the classrooms (lecture, lab, etc.) will be followed.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Smoking/Use of Tobacco
    New Mexico Junior College is cognizant of the health hazards associated with smoking / use of tobacco for the smoker, as well as the non-smoker. In an effort to provide a healthy environment for students, employees, and others who may frequent the campus, NMJC prohibits smoking / use of tobacco inside any campus building or facility.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located at the Pannell Library on the 1st floor.

    Withdrawal Policy
    Regular, punctual attendance is required for all classes at NMJC. Although the professor has the right to drop any student who has missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of instruction (based on a 16 week semester) whether it’s a face to face, online, or a hybrid course, it is not guaranteed that the professor will drop the student. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    The following course outline is tentative and subject to change.

    Fall 2019 (F2F)







    Aug. 19

    1 Introduction to Biology


    Aug. 26

    2 Chemistry of Life

    Lab Safety & Course Information Quiz.

    Pre-Assessment Due

    Sept. 2

    (Continue chapter 2)

    (No Classes Monday - Labor Day)

    LAB 1: Scientific Method

    Handout Lab 1

    Sept. 9

    3 Cell Structure & Function

    LAB 4: Chemical Composition of Cells

    Handout Lab 4

    Sept. 16

    (Continue chapter 3)

    Exam #1 (Chp. 1-2) & Portfolio Due

    Sept. 23

    4 How Cells Obtain Energy

    LAB 5: Cell Structure and Function

    Handout Lab 5

    Sept. 30

    (Continue chapter 4)

    (Wednesday – Discover NMJC)

    LAB 8: How Enzymes Function

    Handout Lab 8

    Oct. 7

    5 Photosynthesis

    LAB 10: Photosynthesis

    Handout Lab 10

    Oct. 14

    6 Reproduction at the Cell Level

    Exam #2 (Chp. 3-4) & Portfolio Due

    Oct. 21

    7 Cellular Basis of Inheritance

    Position Essay Due

    (Communications Assignment)

    LAB 6: Mitosis: Cellular Reproduction

    Handout Lab 6

    Oct. 28

    8 Patterns of Inheritance

    LAB 7: Meiosis: Sexual Reproduction

    Handout Lab 7

    Nov. 4

    (Continue chapter 8)

    Start Team Presentations

    (Thursday In-service)

    Exam #3 (Chp. 5-7) & Portfolio Due

    Students in Thursday’s Lab need to make arrangements to take their exam

    Nov. 11

    Chromosomal Disorders

    Team Presentations

    LAB 23: Human Genetics

    Handout Lab 23

    Give out take home Genetic Problems

    Nov. 18

    9 Molecular Biology

    Exam #4 (Chp. 8) & Portfolio Due

    Take home Genetic Problems Due

    Nov. 25

    (Continue chapter 9)

    No Classes Wednesday, Thursday or Friday Thanksgiving Holiday 

    LAB 24: DNA Biology and Technology

    Handout Lab 24: Out-of-lab Canvas assignment


    Dec. 2

    10 Biotechnology


    Post-Assessment in Testing Center.

    Dec. 9 – 11

    Finals Week

    COMPREHENSIVE LECTURE FINAL will be given according to NMJCs final’s schedule. No early finals will be given without the permission of the Dean.

    MWF 11 AM Class:   Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 8 AM

    TTh 11 AM Class:     Monday, December 9, 2019 at 12 noon