W.P. Armstrong Biology 100 Course Syllabus
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Biology 100 Course Syllabus

See Syllabus Addendum For W.P. Armstrong Biology 100 Classes


DATE REVISED: March 14, 1998


X___ Transfer course      X___ A.A. degree applicable course

(check all that apply)

COURSE NUMBER AND TITLE: Biology 100 - General Biology



BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENTS: Appropriate language and computational skills.






Basic principles of general biology as they relate to the cellular, organismic, and population levels of organization. Includes cell ultrastructure and function, energy transfer, reproduction, genetics, evolution, diversity of organisms, and ecology.

SPECIFIC COURSE OBJECTIVES: The successful student will:

1. demonstrate proper safety in the laboratory;
2. use metric units and readily convert between units;
3. properly use and maintain the compound microscope;
4. describe the difference between science and non-science;
5. discuss the characteristics of experimentation and observation;
6. design simple experiments;
7. describe the structure of an atom;
8. describe chemical bonds (covalent and ionic);
9. discuss the pH scale and the characteristics of acids and bases;
10. compare proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids;
11. compare procaryotic and eucaryotic cells;
12. discuss transport of materials across biological membranes;
13. discuss the Laws of Thermodynamics;
14. compare mitosis and meiosis;
15. predict patterns of inheritance based on Mendel's Laws;
16. discuss human genetic disorders;
17. compare DNA and RNA;
18. describe the process of protein synthesis;
19. compare gene regulation in eucaryotic and procaryotic cells;
20. compare aerobic cellular respiration and photosynthesis;
21. discuss mechanisms of evolution;
22. compare the five kingdoms in the Whittaker Classification System;
23. compare phylogenetic trends in the plant kingdom;
24. compare phylogenetic trends in the animal kingdom;
25. describe energy flow and nutrient cycling in ecosystems;
26. describe ecological succession;
27. compare aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems;
28. compare exponential and logistic growth;
29. discuss the impact of humans on ecosystems.


Lecture Component:

I. Introduction

A. Course Overview
B. Characteristics of Living Things
C. The Nature of Science Compared to Non-Science
D. Scientific Method
E. Experimental vs. Observational Science

II. Chemistry

A. Atomic Structure: Subatomic Particles, Electron Shells
B. Chemical Bonding: Covalent, Ionic, Hydrogen Bonds
C. Biologically Important Compounds and Molecules

    1. Properties of Water
    2. Acids, Bases, Buffers
    3. Macromolecules: Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins & Nucleic Acids

III. Cell Biology

A. Comparison of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Structures
B. Eukaryotic Cell Structure

    1. Functions of Organelles

      Endoplasmic Reticulum
      Golgi Complex
      Peroxisome (Microbody)

    2. Membrane Structure and Function
    3. Movement Across Membranes

      Facilitated Diffusion
      Active Transport
      Endocytosis and Exocytosis

C. Energy Conversion in Eykaryotic Cells

    1. Laws of Thermodynamics
    2. Energy Flow: Photosynthesis, Cell Respiration

      2a. Photosynthesis

        1. Structure of the Chloroplast
        2. Light Reaction of Photosynthesis

          aa. Location
          ab. Photosystems and Their Pigments
          ac. The Role of H2O
          ad. The Role of NADP
          ae. The Role of Electron Transport
          af. Chemiosmotic Phosphorulation

        3. Light Independent Reaction - Calvin Cycle

          aa. The Role of RuBP
          ab. The Role of CO2
          ac. The Role of NADPH2
          ad. The Role of Rubisco Enzyme
          ae. The Role of ATP

        4. How Are Cycles Dependent On One Another
        5. Overall Equation
        6. C3 and C4 Photosynthesis

      2b. Cellular Oxidation of Glucose

        1. Mitochondrion Structure
        2. Glycolysis

          aa. Where is ATP Required
          ab. Where is ATP Produced
          ac. What is Net Gain in ATP
          ad. Compare Aerobic and Anaerobic Glycolysis
          ae. What is the Role of NAD
          af. What is the Purpose of Anaerobic Glycolysis

        3. Conversion of Pyruvate to AcCoA.
        4. Krebs Cycle and the Role of AcCoA

          aa. Role of NAD
          ab. Role of FAD
          ac. Net Gain of ATP

        5. Electron Transport System

          aa. What is the Role of FADH2 and NADH
          ab. What are its Components
          ac. What is the Role of O2
          ad. How Much ATP is Produced per NADH, FADH2

        6. Overall Equation For Cellular Oxidation of Glucose
        7. Net ATP Production Per Glucose

IV. Genetics: Heredity

A. Mendel's Laws and Modern Genetic Terminology
B. Monohybrid Crosses and Dihybrid Crosses
C. Patterns of Inheritance

    1. Dominant/Recessive
    2. Sex-linked
    3. Incomplete Dominance
    4. Co-dominance
    5. Polygenic Inheritance
    6. Multiple Alleles

D. The Genetics of ABO and Rh Blood Groups

V. Genetics: Molecular

A. Structure and Replication of DNA
B. Structure of RNA
C. Transcription and Translation
D. Control of Expression
E. Techniques of Molecular Genetics

    1. DNA Fingerprint
    2. PCR
    3. Techniques For Inserting Genes Into Cells

VI. Origin of Life

A. Spontaneous Generation
B. Chemosynthetic Origin

    1. Inorganics to Organics
    2. Organics to Macromolecules
    3. Protocells
    4. Other Considerations (RNA World?) As Time Permits

VII. Evolution (Origin of Species)

A. History of Development of Evolutionary Principle

    1. Lamarck
    2. Cuvier
    3. Malthus
    4. Darwin
    5. Lyell

B. Mechanisms of Evolution

    1. Genetic change
    2. Natural selection
    3. Genetic drift

C. Other Evolutionary Topics

    1. Adaptation
    2. Fitness
    3. Co-evolution/Co-adaptation
    4. Convergent vs. Parallel Evolution

D. Evidence For a Common Ancestry of Organisms (Evolution)

E. Speciation

    1. Allopatric
    2. Sympatric
    3. Parapatric

F. Human Evolution

VIII. Diversity of Nature Survey

A. Kingdom Survey Monera
B. Kingdom Survey Protista
C. Kingdom Survey Fungi
D. Kingdom Survey Plantae
E. Kingdom Survey Animalia

IX. Population Dynamics

A. General Population Characteristics

    1. Linear Growth
    2. Exponential Growth
    3. Logistic Populations
    4. Carrying Capacity
    5. Limiting Factors

B. Human Population Dynamics

    1. Birth Rate, Death Rate, and Annual Percentage Growth Rate
    2. Comparison Between More Developed & Less Developed Countries
    3. Methods and Ethics of Human Population Control

X. Ecology

A. Ecosystem Structure

    1. Abiotic Factors
    2. Biotic Factors

B. The Flow of Energy in Ecosystems

    1. Food Chains
    2. Food Webs
    3. Energy Pyramids
    4. Symbiotic Relationships

      a. Communalism
      b. Mutualism
      c. Parasitism

C. Major Ecosystems

    1. Marine
    2. Aquatic
    3. Estuarine
    4. Terrestrial

D. Biogeochemical Cycles

    1. Nitrogen
    2. Phosphorus
    3. Carbon/Oxygen
    4. Soil
    5. Water

E. Succession

    1. Primary
    2. Secondary

F. Other Topics in Ecology

    1. Biological Magnification
    2. Feedback Loops

G. Controversies in Ecology

    1. Greenhouse Warming
    2. Ozone Depletion
    3. Endangered Species List

Laboratory Component:

I. Introduction

A. Laboratory Safety Procedures as per Departmental Safety Handout
B. Library Research Techniques
C. Metric Measurements and Conversions

II. Scientific Process

A. Process of Investigation
B. Data Analysis/Graphing

III. Light Microscopy

A. Microscope Handling and Operation
B. Investigating Cell Structure

IV. Enzymes

A. Nature of Enzymatic Reaction
B. Influences on Enzymatic Activity

V. Diffusion/Osmosis/Imbibition

VI. Energy

A. Photosynthesis
B. Aerobic Cell Respiration, Fermentation


A. Structure of DNA
B. DNA, RNA, and Protein Synthesis
C. DNA Extraction

VIII. Cell Division

A. Chromosomes, Ploidy
B. Cell Division Involving Mitosis

    1. Mitosis in Growth and in Reproduction
    2. Phases of Mitosis
    3. Cell Cycle

C. Cell Division Involving Meiosis

    1. Phases of Meiosis
    2. Cell Cycle

IX. Mendelian and Population Genetics

A. Garden Peas and Genetic Corn--Monohybrid & Dihybrid Crosses
B. Chi Square Test For Genetic Corn Dihybrid Ratio
C. Human A-B-O Blood Types and Rh Factor
D. Hardy-Weinberg Law, Selection and Genetic Drift

X. Taxonomy and Kingdom Survey

A. Monera
B. Protista
C. Plantae

    1. Morphology
    2. Life Cycles

D. Animalia

XI. Plant and Animal Adaptations and Animal Behavior

XII. Natural Selection



Campbell, N., Mitchell, L. & Reese, J. Biology Concepts and Connections. 2nd Edition. Menlo Park: Benjamin Cummings Publishing Company, 1997.


Mader, S.S. Biology. WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1998.

OR Similar text.

Laboratory Manual:

Sourbeer, D., and Thompson, S. General Biology Laboratory Manual. San Marcos: Self Published, 1995.


Armstrong, Wayne. BIOLOGY 10 LAB MANUAL. 5th Edition. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Burgess International Group, 1988.


Selected journal articles as identified by the instructor; WAYNE'S WORD: An On-Line Textbook of Natural History (https://www2.palomar.edu/users/warmstrong/index.htm).


During each unit of study, each student will answer a number of essay questions designed to promote critical thinking and to integrate concepts. Each student also completes genetics problems designed to use principles of genetics and problem solving skills. The responses typically range from one to several paragraphs. Each laboratory assignment requires writing. A minimum of ten pages will be written.


Students are expected to spend a minimum of three hours per unit per week in class and on outside assignments, prorated for short term classes.

Outside assignments may include readings, preparation for examinations, preparation of oral or written reports, problem solving assignments such as genetics problems, and preparation of laboratory write-ups.


A variety of instructional techniques may be used at different times such as: lectures, laboratory investigations, demonstrations, computer assisted instruction, 8mm and 16mm films, video cassettes, 35mm slides, overhead transparencies, models, handouts, guest lectures, and videodiscs.

Check all that apply:

____ lecture

____ laboratory

X___ lecture-laboratory combination

____ directed study

This course may be offered as a distance education course and meets Title 5 regulations 55370, 55372, 55374, 55376, 55378, and 55380.

Yes ___       No    X___

If yes, check all that apply. (See guidelines for preparation for definitions.)

____ telecourse

____ mediated instruction

____ computer assisted instruction

GRADING POLICY AND STANDARDS (include methods for determining whether the stated objectives have been met by students):

Evaluation of students may include quizzes, examinations, laboratory reports, and other assignments, such as oral and written reports and genetics problems. Three fourths of the course grade is determined by the lecture, and one fourth by the laboratory. In both the lecture and laboratory portions of the course, at least 70% of the grade is determined by examinations and quizzes, and up to 30% from other assignments.


Yes ___       No    X___

Number of times course may be taken for credit:    1

If yes, identify specific provision of Title 5 Division 2 section(s) 55761-55763 and 58161 which qualifies course as repeatable:

CONTACT PERSON: Daniel Sourbeer, x.2775 or Wayne P. Armstrong, x.2524


By signing this form, I certify that this course outline of record meets all the minimum requirements for associate degree credit courses as specified in Title 5 section 55002.

Prepared by (signature & date):

Department Chairperson/Director (signature & date):

Division Dean (signature & date):

Curriculum Committee Representative (signature & date):

Course outlines should be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary.

NOTE: Some revisions to course outlines of record require Curriculum Committee approval, others may not. Please consult your dean or the Instruction Office if you need assistance.

November 6, 1995


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