Biology I for Science Majors


  2. A. Course Title: Biology I for Science Majors
    B. Course Number: BI 134 - 30384
    C. Semester: Fall 2019
    D. Days/Time: M W F 9:00:00 AM - 9:50:00 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: 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST); 12:00:00 PM-1:30:00 PM (MST);
    Tuesday: 9:30:00 AM-1:30:00 PM (MST);
    Wednesday: 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST); 12:00:00 PM-1:30:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (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. Office hours begin January 13th.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): none
    M. Corequisite(s): BI 134L
    N. Class Location: HH103

    This course provides a background for students majoring in science or entering into healthcare fields such as pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, or pre-pharmacy. It will emphasize scientific inquiry into the basic biochemistry of living cells, cellular structures and functions, processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration, cell cycle, molecular genetics, and gene regulation. Concurrent enrollment in BI 134L (laboratory) is required. This is a four credit hour course.


    Biology 134 is a laboratory life science course that will transfer to most two and four-year colleges and is geared for science majors and individuals interested in pursuing healthcare careers. Information concerning articulation agreements with regional colleges and universities can be obtained through 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.



    Required TEXTBOOK: Biology 2e. 2018 OpenStax Rice University ISBN 978-1-947172-51-7. Cost is approx. $52.00. The URL to purchase the book is:

    Required LAB MANUAL: Mader, Sylvia, Biology Manual. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company 978-1-259-29851-6 13th ed. (2018)Lab Manual MUST be UNUSED


    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 Mansur Hall.

    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

    Grades will be determined using the following percentages:

    55% - Exams (there will be 6 anticipated exams including the comprehensive lecture/lab finals and the genetics problems turned in with exam 4)
    10% - Outside Assignments (portfolios, group presentation, pre-test, and post-test)
    10% - Literature Review
    20% - Lab Quizzes
    5% - Attendance
    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/Finals
    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, IF permission to take the exam late is granted. Permission is only granted in extreme circumstances.

    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.

    Genetic Problems - Take home genetic problems are due per the course schedule with exam 4. Late submitted genetic problems will be NOT accepted for credit.

    The comprehensive final lecture exam will be administered on the date/time per NMJC’s final exam schedule which is Monday December 11th at 10:00am. NO EARLY administering of the final is permitted except in an emergency AND permission from the Dean must be granted.

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

    Outside Assignments
    Portfolio - 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 thirty (30) points. Points will be deducted for the lack of neatness and completeness. Portfolios MUST be handwritten, typed portfolios will NOT be accepted for credit. 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.

    Group Presentation - you will be required to complete and submit a powerpoint presentation over a chromosomal abnormality with a partner and present it to the class

    Pre & Post Test Assessment (20 pts) - Twenty (20) points may be earned by taking BOTH the pre & post-course assessment tests (10 points each). 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. Actual scores will NOT count for or against the course grade. Students are simply asked to do their best.

    Literature Review (100 pts) - This is an original 8-10 page research paper over the approved topic of your choice. See instructor for rubric and due date. The papers will be submitted through turnitin and plagiarism will not be tolerated. Papers submitted after Sunday November 19th will not be accepted for credit.

    Laboratory Points
    Quizzes/Handouts - Weekly a 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 handouts. Lab quizzes will be given the week after the lab is completed during the first 15 minutes of that lab and will cover material from the lab itself as well as any handouts given. Students who arrive late will only have what time is left from that 15 minutes to complete the quiz. They will be taken individually.

    Lecture/Lab Attendance
    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 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.

    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 BI 134 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. Compare and contrast organisms within the three domains & four kingdoms.
    2. Recognize components of and design an experiment using the scientific method.
    3. Distinguish between the different types of chemical bonds.
    4. Categorize and identify functions of major organic molecules.
    5. Discuss the properties of water that benefit organisms.
    6. Compare and contrast prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
    7. Identify plant and animal cellular organelles and their functions.
    8. Distinguish between the different types of cellular transport mechanisms.
    9. Identify factors that affect the rate of enzyme reactions.
    10. Compare and contrast the light-dependent and light-independent stages of photosynthesis.
    11. Differentiate between cellular respiration and fermentation.
    12. Describe the major events associated with the cell cycle.
    13. Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis.
    14. Compare and contrast mitosis in plant and animal cells.
    15. Explain and apply Mendel’s laws of genetics.
    16. Recognize and solve genetic problems involving monohybrid and dihybrid crosses.
    17. Statistically analyze genetic problems results with Chi Square.
    18. Correlate chromosomal variations to its effects.
    19. Explain the structure, function, and replication of DNA.
    20. Describe how genes are expressed via transcription and translation.
    21. Discuss gene regulation in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
    22. Describe the processes used to produce recombinant DNA and its uses in biotechnology.

  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. Important course information will also be available via Canvas

    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. If you are consistently late to class or consistently leave early you will be dropped from the class in order to stay fair to everyone.

    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. Ear buds are not allowed and cell phone use during lecture (unless instructed to do so) will NOT be tolerated.

    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.

    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. With the exception of quizzes and 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.








    Aug. 19

    Introduction BI 134

    1 The Study of Life

    Lab Safety & Course Information Quiz


    Aug. 26

    2 The Chemical Foundation of Life

    LAB 1: Scientific Method

    Sept. 2

    3 Biological Macromolecules

     No Classes Monday - Labor Day


    Sept. 9

    4  Cell Structure

    LAB 3: Chemical Composition of Cells

    Sept. 16

    5 Structure and Function of Plasma Membranes

    Exam #1 (Chp. 1-3) & Portfolio Due

    Sept. 23

    6 Metabolism

    LAB 4: Cell Structure and Function

    Sept. 30

    7  Cellular Respiration

    No morning classes Wednesday October 2

    LAB 5: How Enzymes Function

    Oct. 7

    8 Photosynthesis

    LAB 6: Photosynthesis

    Oct. 14

    10 Cell Reproduction

    Exam #2 (Chp. 4-7) & Portfolio Due

    Oct. 21

     11 Meiosis and Sexual Reproduction              

    Lab 8: Mitosis: Cellular Reproduction

    (Critical Thinking Assignment)

    Oct. 28

    12 Mendel’s Experiments and Heredity

    Lab 9: Meiosis: Sexual Reproduction

    Nov. 4

    13 Modern Understandings of Inheritance

    No Day Classes Thursday November 7

    Exam #3 (Chp. 8, 10, 11) & Portfolio Due

    Nov. 11

    Chromosomal Disorders – Team Presentations

    Literature Review Due Sunday November 17 (Communications Assignment)

    LAB 11: Human Genetics

    Give out take home Genetic Problems

    Nov. 18

    14 DNA Structure and Function

    15 Genes and Proteins

    Nov 19 -  Last Day to Withdraw

    Exam #4 (Chp. 12, 13) & Portfolio Due

    Take home Genetics Problems Due

    Nov. 25

    15 Genes and Proteins

    No Classes Wednesday, Thursday or Friday Thanksgiving Holiday 



    LAB 12: DNA Biology and Technology

    Handout I (see Canvas)

    Dec. 2

    17 Biotechnology and Genomics              



    Dec. 9 - 11


    Wednesday December 11th 10:00 – 11:45 am