University of Minnesota Duluth

Biology 1001: Biology and Society

Fall 2007

Lecture meets MWF 9-9:50am in LSci 175

Lab meets in LSci 354. Attendance in lab is mandatory for passing this course.

Instructor: Dr. Amanda (Mandy) Little:
Phone: 726-8446
Office: 319 Life Sciences
Office Hours: W 11:30-10:30am, Th 9-10am or by appointment
Course webpage:   


Teaching Assistants

Valerie Gamble (Lab Sec 4, 5, 6, 9):, 726-7963, Office: LSci 339

Dennis Hansen (Lab Sec 3, 8):, 726-8387, Office: Swenson 154 alcove

Bethany Nelson (Lab Sec 2, 7):, 726-7705, Office: LSci 354



1) Biology: Science for Life with Physiology (2006) by C.M. Belk and V.M. Borden. Prentice Hall Publishers Inc. (ISBN: 0-13-225770-X)


2) Custom Lab Manual (2007) available in the UMD Bookstore.


3) You must have a valid email address registered with UMD that I can use to contact you.


Prerequisites: for non-majors


Goals:  You will…

1.       Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

2.       Learn how our relationships with the natural world have shaped societal development and vice versa.

3.       Be able to apply biological knowledge to current issues facing society.

4.       Develop an interest in biology.


Objectives:  At the end of this class, you should be able to…

1.      Construct and test a hypothesis.

2.      Propose a valid definition of life.

3.      Explain how your body transforms energy.

4.      Explain the roles of photosynthesis and respiration in global climate change.

5.      Describe how genetic engineers use the mechanism of gene expression.

6.      Explain the use and controversy of stem cells.

7.      Describe the pattern and process of genetic inheritance.

8.      Describe biological systems in terms of positive and negative feedbacks.

9.      Provide some examples of the evidence for evolution.

10.  Describe evolution by natural selection.

11.  Define biological species and races.

12.  Describe primary factors leading to species extinction.

13.  Describe the origins and consequences of agricultural development on Earth.

14.  Describe the role of environmental factors in shaping global societal development.


Plan for the semester (subject to change, which is why you should come to class)


Material for Exam I: Friday, Oct 5

            Chapter 1: What is science?

            Chapter 2: Life on Earth (in part)

            Chapter 3: Cells and metabolism (in part)

            Chapter 4: Respiration, photosynthesis, and global change


Material for Exam II: Friday, Oct 26

Chapter 8: Gene expression and genetic engineering

Chapter 5: Cancer and mitosis


Material for Exam III: Monday, Nov 19

Chapter 5: Meiosis

Chapter 6: Genetics

Chapter 7: More genetics (in part)

Chapter 10: Natural selection


New material for cumulative Final Exam IV: Tuesday, Dec 18 from 12:00-1:55 pm

            Chapter 9: Evolution

            Chapter 11: Speciation

            Chapter 14: Extinction

            Guns, Germs, & Steel (if time allows)


Grade: Grades are determined using in-class assignments, 4 exams, and laboratory points.


In-class assignments are unscheduled, and are given in order to encourage involvement and assess attendance in lecture. They will consist of a variety of worksheets, problems, opinion statements, etc… Each in-class assignment is worth 5 pts. You can earn up to 50 pts, for a total of 10 assignments. However, I will be giving at least 13 assignments in order to provide opportunities for those of you who may have to miss a given lecture. That is, you will have at least 13 chances to complete 10 assignments. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure that we have received your assignment during or after class. Any contest to in-class assignment recording, must be made to your TA via email within 1 week of grade posting on egradebook (, otherwise we will not change your score.


Exams are not cumulative (except for cumulative final), and will consist of multiple choice, true/false, and short answer type questions. Material presented in both lecture and laboratory may be included. You are not responsible for material from the textbook that is not covered in lecture or lab. Any contest to exam grades must be made via email within 1 week of the date on which exams were handed back in class. I will not change your score after this 1 week period, no matter what. Exam dates are given below (except for the final, all exam dates are subject to change, so read your email and come to class!):


Exam I:  Friday, Oct 5                                                   50 points

Exam II:  Friday, Oct 26                                                50 points

Exam III:  Monday, Nov 19                                           50 points

Final exam IV: Tuesday, Dec 18th 12:00-1:55 pm            75 points


Laboratory points (100 pts total) will be assigned by your lab instructor.


Grades will be determined as a percentage of total points:


10 in-class assignments (5 pts each)                   50 points

4 exams (50 pts, 50 pts, 50 pts, 75 pts)                225 points

Lab points                                                         100 points

Total points                                                      375 points


Letter grades will be assigned by comparing your point total to the mean point total of the top 10 students in the class. We will use the following grade scale:


% of mean point total of top 5 students


Letter Grade

>93 %























Make-up policies: 

Because there are extra in-class assignments, there are no make-up in-class assignments, even if you have a good excuse. 


Make-up exams will only be given for unavoidable emergencies or for university-approved absences that you inform me of during the first 2 weeks of class. Events that do NOT qualify as unavoidable emergencies and will not be accommodated include: Twins games, family vacations and weddings, or trips that your mother has already purchased plane tickets for. This policy includes the final exam, which is on Tuesday, Dec 18. All other unexcused absences will receive a grade of 0.


Laboratory attendance is essential in this course and mandated by the university in order to fulfill the LE4 requirement. If you must miss a lab, contact your lab instructor to determine whether you can attend a different lab that week. Missing more than 1 lab is grounds for failing the course. If you do miss a lab, it is your responsibility to find out whether you can make up the points. Your lab instructor is not required to accommodate you, but will be able to inform you of assigned homework. If you fail to contact your lab instructor, you cannot make up the work. Refer to the lab syllabus for more information.


Access for students with disabilities: Individuals with any disability, either temporary or permanent, which might affect their ability to perform in this class, are encouraged to inform me at the start of the quarter.  Adaptation of methods, materials and/or testing may be modified as required to provide for equitable participation. 


Academic dishonesty: Academic dishonesty is a serious offense that tarnishes UMD's reputation and discredits the accomplishments of students. This course will adhere to UMD's Student Academic Integrity Policy, which can be found at This policy sanctions students with penalties up to and including expulsion from the university.


Student Conduct: The instructor will enforce and students are expected to follow the University's Student Conduct Code ( Disruptive classroom behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor's ability to teach, or student learning, is prohibited. Examples include ringing cell phones, text-messaging, watching videos, playing computer games, doing email, or surfing the Internet on your computer instead of note-taking or other instructor-sanctioned activities. Although you may think that you are not affecting others, these activities are a distraction to your peers.


Promotion of bias-free instruction: The University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all of its students shall have equal educational opportunities.  The University expressly forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran’s status, ethnicity, religion, creed, national origin or marital status.  If you believe that your instructor has not followed this policy, you are invited to bring this to the attention of the Biology Department Head (207 Swenson Science Building, 726-7263) or to the Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering (140 Engineering, 726-7585).  Your conference will be kept confidential.



Reading Guides and Supplemental Material are posted here:

Material highlighted in red is most recent posting.


Lecture Outline (Print out and fill in during lecture)

Reading Guide (Use as a guide to reading your textbook)

Practice Problems (Old exam questions)


Reading Guide

Lecture Outline, Part I

Extra links: Cells Alive!

Video from lecture

Lecture Outline, Part II

Extra links:

More on Trans Fats

Practice Problems


Reading Guide

Lecture Outline, Part I

Lecture Outline, Part II

Extra links: Greenhouse effect animation

BBC website on climate change

Bush policy

Some graphs from lecture

Extra links: Overview of beer brewing

Overview of wine making

Practice Problems

Extra Credit: Incovenient Truth

Exam 1 Review Questions (from lecture)



Reading Guide

Lecture Outline, Part I

Extra link: DNA interactive website

Lecture Outline, Part II

Extra links: Gene therapy

Bt corn

Monsanto website - pro rBGH

Other website - anti rBGH

Lecture Outline, Part III

Extra links:    Cloning

Stem cells

US stem cell policy

International stem cell policy

Practice Problems


Reading Guide

Lecture Outline

Extra links: American Cancer Society


Book website: Mitosis

Practice Problems

Some lecture slides from today You need free Adobe reader to open this: Get it here

NOTE: Only the material that we actually got through in lecture will be on this exam. We will begin the material for cancer causes and treatments next Monday.



Remaining Cancer Reading Guide

Remaining Cancer Lecture Outline

Meiosis Reading Guide

Meiosis Lecture Outline

Extra links: Meiosis practice

Textbook meiosis demo

Meiosis movie shown in lecture

Meiosis Practice Problems

Extra Credit Opportunity: Meiosis Song


Reading Guide

Lecture Outline

Practice Problems


Reading Guide

Lecture Outline

Extra links: Info on AIDS from the NIH


UNAIDS - United Nations page

Article on Darwin's life

AVERT info on US AIDS policy

President's AIDS page

Practice Problems


CHAPTER 9: Evolution

Reading Guide

Lecture Outline 1

Extra links: PBS evolution website


Public perceptions of evolution

Lecture Outline 2: Human Evolution

Extra links: Becoming Human documentary (great site!)

Chimps and bonobos (short, censored version)

Practice Problems

Powerpoint slides You need free Adobe reader to open this: Get it here

Review Questions for Cumulative Final (if you can correctly answer all of these from memory, you are set!)

CHAPTER 11: Species and Races

Reading Guide

Lecture Outline 1: Sexual Selection

Extra links: Peacock video

More on Bowerbirds

Lecture Outline 2: Speciation

Extra links: More on the concept of human "race"

Practice Problems

Powerpoint slides

CHAPTER 14: Biodiversity Crisis

Lecture Outline 1: Extinction

Extra Links: Ivory-billed woodpecker

PBS Extinction site

Current extinction crisis - lots of links on current headlines

Practice Problems

Powerpoint slides




Summary article by Diamond