General Biology II


  2. A. Course Title: General Biology II
    B. Course Number: BI 124 - 10008
    C. Semester: Spring 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: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Wednesday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST); 1:15:00 PM-02:15:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST); 12:00:00 PM-3:00:00 PM (MST);
    Virtual Thursday: 1:15:00 PM-02:15:00 PM (MST);
    I will answer messages and emails within 24 hours Monday thru Friday and within 48 hours on weekends. I will also have virtual appointments on Thursdays from 1:15 until 2:15 or whenever necessary.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): None
    M. Corequisite(s): BI 124L - General Biology Laboratory
    N. Class Location: HH103

    General Biology II stresses the origins of life, the diversity of viruses, bacteria, protists, and fungi; the diversity of plants, plant structure and function; animal diversity, animal structure and function; as well as evolution, animal behavior, ecology of populations, ecosystems, and environmental concerns. Concurrent enrollment in BI124L (laboratory) is required. This is a four credit hour course.


    Biology 124 (General Biology) is a laboratory life science course geared for non-science majors. Biology 124 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. Concepts of Biology. 3rd ed. (2014), Sylvia S. Mader, Wm. C. Brown Publisher ISBN: 978-0-07-352553-2
    2. LABORATORY MANUAL: Concepts of Biology. 3rd ed. (2014), Sylvia S. Mader, Wm. C Brown Publisher 978-0-07-751158-6
    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 ( 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 Mansur Hall.
    3. WRITING REFERENCE BOOK: Glenn, C. (2015). Harbrace Essentials With Resources for Writers In... (2nd ed). Cengage Learning.

    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 a part of your total grade:

    55% - Exams(6 Exams are anticipated including a comprehensive lecture/lab final)
    20% - Outside Assignments(eg. portfolios, essay)
    20% - Labs(weekly quizzes/handouts)
    5% - Attendance
    100% Total

    Keep in mind that your grade can NOT be calculated by simply adding up all of your points and dividing by the total number of points as this is a weighted scale using percentages. Canvas will automatically calculate your grade for you so that is what you want to look at.

    Final grades will NOT be rounded up or curved. I follow the normal rounding rules of math so if you have a 59.5, 69.5, 79.5, or 89.5 you will be rounded up to the next higher grade. However if you have a 59.4, 69.4, 79.4, or 89.4 you will not be rounded up to the next higher grade. No extra credit will be offered at the end of the semester to raise your grade so please do not ask. Work hard during the semester and you will not have to worry about your grade at the end.

    Lecture Exams/Final
    Students are required to take 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. Late exams MUST be taken during the same week that the exam was given, no exceptions.

    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 to 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 or less class absences in MWF sections; two absences or less in TR sections; and, one 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. Completes 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 in HH 103 on the date/time as stated in NMJC’s spring course 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. 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 their 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. Portfolios MUST be handwritten, typed copies will not 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 administered during the first/last laboratory sessions. 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.

    Waste Water Treatment Plant Report (50 pts) - This is an original 5-paragraph essay. See instructor for rubric and due dates. Five points per day will be deducted for lateness. Students will be responsible for obtaining their own transportation to the Waste Water Treatment Plant and signing a HOLD HARMLESS contract prior to participating in the tour. Students must attend the tour in order to submit a paper.

    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.
    Laboratory - Students will earn three (3) points per lab session by completing their assignment(s). Students who do not remain in lab a sufficient time period (determined by instructor) to complete their assignment forfeits 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 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:

    • Communication
      • Comprehend information to summarize, analyze, evaluate, and apply to a specific situation.
      • Communicate in an accurate, correct, and understandable manner.
    • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
      • Define a problem and arrive at a logical solution.
      • Use appropriate technology and information systems to collect, analyze, and organize information.
      • Apply critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving to data.
    • Self and Community
      • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and / or scientific issues.
      • Communicate an awareness of a variety of perspectives of ethical issues.
      • Interact with individuals and within groups with integrity and awareness of others’ opinions, feelings and values.


    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 124) 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 (but not limited to) the following:
    Unit One:
    1. Describe the scientific name used for classifying organisms and explain its importance.
    2. List the 8 taxons used in the taxonomic classification system AND demonstrate its use.
    3. Compare and contrast organisms found in the different domains/kingdoms and cite examples.
    4. Describe the general structure & replication cycles of viruses.
    5. Name the general shapes of bacteria and correlate their cellular structures with their functions.
    6. Discuss how bacteria reproduce and the three mechanisms that genetic variations are generated.
    7. Explain how prokaryotes differ with respect to acquiring nutrition & needing oxygen.
    8. Discuss the environmental importance of prokaryotes.
    9. List examples of diseases caused by microbes & discuss methods that are used to control outbreaks.
    10. Discuss the basic characteristics of organisms found in the kingdom Protista.
    11. Name AND give examples organisms found in the three different groups of Protista.
    Unit Two:
    12. Discuss the basic characteristics of Fungi.
    13. Differentiate fungi based on their spore-producing sexual reproductive structures and give examples of each.
    14. Discuss the ecological, economic, and medical importance of fungi.
    15. List the basic characteristics of plants.
    16. Compare and contrast the life cycles of non-vascular plants, seedless vascular plants, and seed vascular plants.
    17. Contrast the following: sporophyte & gametophyte generations, meiosis & fertilization, bryophyte & tracheophyte, and angiosperm & gymnosperms.
    18. Discuss the basic differences used to distinguish monocots from dicots (eudicots).
    19. List the three major vegetative organs found in plants and state the basic functions of each.
    20. Discuss the basic function(s) of the following tissues: ground, vascular, epidermal, & meristem
    21. Draw a non-woody dicot root & stem cross-section and label the following: vascular bundle, vascular cylinder, endodermis, epidermis, cortex, pith, xylem, & phloem
    22. Draw a monocot root & stem cross-section and label the following: vascular bundle, vascular cylinder, endodermis, epidermis, cortex, pith, xylem, & phloem
    23. Draw a cross-section of a young woody stem and label the following: pith, wood, bark, cork, primary xylem & phloem
    24. Draw a longitudinal section of a root tip and label the different zones of plant growth.
    25. Draw a typical leaf cross-section and label the following: upper and lower epidermis, cuticle, stoma, palisade and spongy mesophyll, vein, xylem, and phloem
    26. Briefly explain the mechanism of water transport according to the cohesion-tension model.
    27. Briefly explain the flow of phloem according to the pressure-flow model.
    28. Define the terms girdling and guttation and denote what process is responsible for each.
    29. Draw/label a flower and differentiate between the female and male parts.
    30. Distinguish between pollination and fertilization.
    31. Differentiate between the seed germination and growth of a monocot and eudicot.
    Unit Three:
    32. Discuss the general characteristics of animals.
    33. Compare the 8 phyla of invertebrate organisms in terms of the following: body plan, symmetry, number of germ tissue layers, level of organization, and presence of coelom.
    34. Describe the basic characteristics of the 9 phyla of animals studied and give examples of each.
    35. Define the following terms: protostomes & deuterostomes, open & closed circulatory system, complete vs. incomplete digestive system, radial & bilateral symmetry, cephalization
    36. Describe the amniote egg and discuss its importance from an evolutionary standpoint.
    37. Discuss how birds are adapted for flight.
    Unit Four:
    38. State the two body systems that are responsible for controlling behavior.
    39. Distinguish between innate and learned behaviors and give examples of each.
    40. Discuss social interactions/constructs used to reduce aggression within a society.
    41. List examples of the different types of communication and state advantages/disadvantages of each.
    42. Define the terms: population, society, community, ecosystem, and biosphere
    43. Apply the Competitive Exclusion Principle as it relates to the niche and habitat of organisms.
    44. Define mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. Give examples of each
    45. Discuss various defense mechanisms used by prey to avoid predation. Give examples of each.
    46. Distinguish between primary & secondary succession and pioneer & climax communities.
    47. Contrast the flow of energy versus nutrients through an ecosystem and discuss the role of decomposers.
    48. Draw an ecological pyramid and denote which trophic level represents the following: producers (autotrophs), primary consumers (herbivores), secondary consumers (primary carnivores), tertiary consumers (top carnivores)
    49. Describe the function of the reservoir, exchange pool, and biotic community in biogeochemical cycles and state three examples.
    50. Briefly discuss the cause of the following ecological concerns: eutrophication, acid deposition, global warming, ozone depletion, photochemical smog. and organic chemicals along with possible biological magnification.
    Unit Five:
    51. List the four basic tissue types found in animals and give a general function of each.
    52. Explain the concept of homeostasis and give examples.
    53. Distinguish between tissues, organs, and systems.
    54. List the systems of the human body, the major organs of each, and the major functions of each.


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

    Attendance Policy: Students who miss the equivalent of two weeks of class (6 classes) may be withdrawn by the instructor; however withdrawal by the instructor is not guaranteed. It is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor on the day of the absence with a reason for the absence and to see what was missed. 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. The class room door will be closed 5 minutes after class begins. Do not knock on the door to get in as that is disruptive to the class. Please be in class on time to avoid this issue.

    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 the 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, texting, wearing earbuds, 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 over 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 permission from the instructor AND there MUST be space available. Students arriving more than 15 minutes late for lab will be requested to attend another laboratory session.
    Times for alternative laboratory sessions include the following (subject to change):
    Tuesday 1:30 – 4:30 pm
    Wednesday 1:30 – 4:30 pm
    Thursday 8:00 - 11:00 am
    Thursday 1:30 – 4:30 pm
    NOTE: Laboratories must be made up within 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 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 a safety quiz prior to performing any laboratory exercises. Laboratory safety guidelines are included in your laboratory manual. ALL accidents and injuries that occur during the lab are to be reported IMMEDIATELY to the professor - - - no matter how slight. Students are expected to observe all safety rules and precautions which includes (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.
    9. During dissections, protective eyewear shall be worn along with disposable gloves and apron.

    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 Thursday, April 18, 2019. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    Course schedule is tentative and subject to change.

    Week of

    Lecture Schedule


    Laboratory Schedule


    Jan. 14

    Introduction BI 124

    16 History of Life on Earth­­­­



    (Jan. 21)

    Jan. 22


    17 Evolution of Microbial Life

    Introduction to Laboratory Safety

    General Information & Lab Safety Quizzes

    Jan. 28

    18 Evolution of Protists

    EX #15 Bacteria, Protists, & Fungi

    HANDOUT Lab 15

    Feb. 4

    19 Evolution of Plants & Fungi

    EX #16a Diversity: Seedless Plants

    HANDOUT Lab 16a

    Feb. 11

    25 Reproduction in Plants

    Test #1 (Chp. 16 - 18)

     Portfolio Due

    Feb. 18

    22 Plant Organization & Homeostasis

    EX #16b Diversity: Seed Plants

    HANDOUT Lab 16b

    Feb. 25

    23 Transport & Nutrition in Plants

    EX #8 Organization of Flowering Plants

    HANDOUT Lab 8

    Mar. 4

    20 Evolution of Animals

    Test #2 (Chp. 19, 22, 23, 25)

    Portfolio Due

    Mar. 11

    20 Evolution of Animals

    Class Presentations

    (Communication Assignment)

    EX #17 Early Invert Evolution

    HANDOUT Lab 17

    Mar. 18

    20 Evolution of Animals

    Class Presentations Continued

    EX #18 Later Invert & Vertebrate Evolution

    HANDOUT Lab 18

    Mar. 25




    Apr. 1

    38 Behavioral Ecology

    Critical Thinking Assignment

    Test #3 (Chp. 20) 
    Portfolio Due

    Tour Sign-ups

    Apr. 8

    39 Community & Ecosystem Ecology

    TRIP Waste Water Treatment Plant

    Students will be responsible for their own transportation to the WWTP

    Apr. 15

    40 Ecosystems of the Biosphere

    Last Day to “W” Thursday, April 18th

    WWTP PAPER DUE Apr. 18th (by 11:59 pm) (Self & Community Assignment)


    FILM: Symbiosis – Trials of Life: Living Together


    Apr. 22

    26 Animal Organization & Homeostasis

    Survey of Body Systems

    Test #4 (Chp. 38, 39, 40)

    Portfolio Due

      Apr. 29

    Survey of Body Systems (con’t)




    May 6-8


    Final Exam is administered as per stated in NMJC’s spring course schedule.

    NO early administering of final is permitted except in an emergency AND permission from the Dean must be granted.