BIO 320L  ECOLOGY LABORATORY            Spring Semester 2011

 

 

 

Laboratory Manual may be downloaded at:

www.morehouse.edu/facstaff/lblumer/BIO320L/manual

Thursday, 1-5pm, Room 311 Hope Hall

 

INSTRUCTORS: 

            Lawrence Blumer, 302 Hope Hall, lblumer@morehouse.edu

telephone:  (404) 653-7873

Office Hours: MWF 1-2 pm and by appointment

                                   

 

LABORATORY SCHEDULE

 

Date

Experiment

Activity and Assignments

 

 

 

 

20-Jan

TH

 

Introduction to course

 

 

 #1

Host-Shift Adaptation (design and start experiment)

 

 

 #2

Competition in Bean Beetles I (design and start experiment)

 

 

 

 

27-Jan

TH

 #1

Host-Shift Adaptation (measure founders)

 

 

 #2

Competition in Bean Beetles I (collect results and discuss)

 

 

 #3

Competition in Bean Beetles II (teams develop protocols)

 

 

 

 

3-Feb

TH

 #2

Competition in Bean Beetles I (measure emerging adults)

 

 

 #3

Competition in Bean Beetles II (start experiment)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion on evaluating posters – Review Research Posters

 

 

 

 

10-Feb

TH

 #2

Competition in Bean Beetles I (measure emerging adults)

 

 

 #3

Competition in Bean Beetles II (collect results and discuss)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Library Research tools.

 

 

 

Woodruff Library, Main Level, Room 215, 3:30-5:00 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research Poster due noon Wednesday, 16-Feb by e-mail

 

 

 

(PowerPoint template will be distributed via e-mail)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-Semester Seminar Papers Assigned

 

 

 

 

17-Feb

TH

#1

Host-Shift Adaptation (collect data and discuss)

 

 

 

 

24-Feb

TH

#1

Host-Shift Adaptation (collect data and discuss)

 

 

 

Mid-Semester Seminar Presentations

 

Date

Experiment

Activity and Assignments

 

 

 

 

3-Mar

TH

#4

Secondary Chemical Defenses (bioassay undamaged plants)

4-Mar

F

 

Collect results of bioassay

 

 

 

 

10-Mar

TH

 

Spring Break – No Classes

 

 

 

 

17-Mar

TH

#5

Induction of Secondary Chemical Defenses

 

 

 

(design experiment and conduct damage treatments)

 

 

#6-7

Forest ecology and diversity (design study)

 

 

 

 

24-Mar

TH

#5

Induction of Secondary Chemical Defenses (start bioassays)

25-Mar

F

 

Induction of Secondary Chemical Defenses (collect results)

 

 

 

Research Poster due noon Wednesday, 30-Mar by e-mail

 

 

 

 

31-Mar

TH

#6

Forest Ecology 1, mixed hardwood forest (Field Trip)

 

 

 

Assignments for Final Laboratory Seminar distributed

 

 

 

 

7-Apr

TH

#7

Forest Ecology 2, coniferous forest (Field Trip)

 

 

 

 

14-Apr

TH

 

Final Laboratory Seminar Presentations

 

 

 

View video on Global Climate Change and Discuss.

 

 

 

 

21-Apr

TH

 

Final Laboratory Seminar Presentations

 

 

Laboratory Manual

 

               The laboratory book for this course, Laboratory Studies in Ecology, is available on-line at www.morehouse.edu/facstaff/lblumer/BIO320L/manual  Download and read the upcoming laboratory protocol before the laboratory meeting.  In addition to the laboratory book, you will need a hardbound composition book, pens, pencils, and USB 32MB (or larger) flash-memory “Disk-on-Key”.  You will only need one USB flash-drive for use in both laboratory and lecture.

 

Laboratory Notebook

 

               Your hardbound laboratory notebook is the repository for all your laboratory notes, raw data records, calculations, data analysis results, and preliminary figures and tables.  This notebook must be brought to every laboratory meeting and every field trip.  Many of the experiments we perform required the pooling of data to create a class data set.  Your classmates will be counting on you to keep neat, accurate, and up-to-date data records on each of the studies you perform.

 


Course Grading

 

Laboratory Attendance (12 x 10 points each)

120 points

Two Research Posters (110 points each)

220 points

Library visit and two Friday meetings (20 pts each)

60 points

Mid-Semester Seminar

100 points

Final Laboratory Seminar

100 points

Total =

600 points

                                                                                                                                               

Letter grades will be assigned as described below:

 

A  

=

90

to

100%

A-

=

88

to

89%

B+

=

86

to

87%

B

=

80

to

85%

B-

=

78

to

79%

C+

=

76

to

77%

C

=

70

to

75%

C-

=

68

to

69%

D+

=

66

to

67%

D

=

60

to

65%

D-

=

58

to

59%

F

=

57% and less

 

 

Laboratory Attendance

 

               The most important work we will do this semester is the actual design and conduct of ecological experiments.  Therefore, your attendance and participation in our weekly meetings will constitute 20% of your grade in this course.  It is virtually impossible to make-up laboratory exercises.  The first excused absence (for an unscheduled absence with a note from the Academic Dean or Dean of Students) from a laboratory meeting will simply excuse you from the work conducted in that laboratory period.  No make-up will be given.  A second excused absence from a laboratory meeting will result in an Incomplete.  All laboratory work that was excused must be completed in the following semester to remove the grade of Incomplete.  Scheduled absences for such activities as athletic teams, attending an interview, or studying for another course will result in the loss of 10 points for each absence (even with a valid excuse).  Class will begin promptly at 1:00 pm and late arrivals will not be permitted (the door will be locked). We will leave for field trips without waiting for late individuals.  Attendance at the Library session (during class time) and bioassay data collection on two Fridays, (see schedule) will each be worth an additional 20 points.  Absence from these activities will not be excused. All students in this course are expected to be present for the entire scheduled class time.  If you have a scheduling conflict, you will be unable to complete this course.  Schedule your appointments for times other than laboratory time.

 Laboratory Safety

 

Š  No food or drink is to be brought into the laboratory under any circumstances.

Š  No cell phone use in the laboratory (turn your cell phone off).

Š  Dress appropriately!  Fancy clothes invariably get stained in a laboratory, and ruined in the field.  Closed toe shoes must be worn at all times.

Š  Clean-up spills when they occur.  At the end of the laboratory, clean your area, and put equipment and supplies away as instructed.  Laboratory clean-up is necessary at the end of each class.  Sinks are not to be left containing any waste or glassware.  We always leave our laboratory cleaner than we found it.

 

Research Posters

 

Two Research Posters will be due the week after you complete specific laboratory studies.  The posters you will prepare are to be organized in much the same manner as a Research Report.  Each poster must have a descriptive title and your name should be given under the title.  There should be an Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Literature Cited. 

Each Research Poster should be organized as follows:

 

a.   Title (give your poster a descriptive title) and include your name after the title line.

b.     Introduction (statement of purpose and introduction to the phenomenon being investigated)

c.     Methods (a concise description of the treatments performed and the manner in which data were collected)

d.     Results  (prose description of data, and in tables or figures) 

e.   Discussion and Conclusions  (specific discussion-interpretation of the observed results)

f.    Literature Cited  (a minimum of five references must be cited)

 

Unlike a Research Report, the text in a poster is best kept to a minimum and may be presented as bulleted phrases.  Use graphs, tables and other illustrations to show your findings and make the poster visually interesting.  A sample poster may be put on display to give you an example to emulate.  The evaluation rubric for the Research Poster is given at the end of this syllabus.  A part of your poster grade is based on your responses to poster interview questions that are at the end of this syllabus.

 

Disability Accommodation

 

Morehouse College is committed to equal opportunity in education for all students, including those with documented disabilities. Students with disabilities or those who suspect they have a disability must register with the Office of Disability Services (“ODS”) in order to receive accommodations.  Students currently registered with the ODS are required to present their Disability Services Accommodation Letter to faculty immediately upon receiving the accommodation.  If you have any questions, contact the Office of Disability Services, 104 Sale Hall Annex, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Dr. S.W., Atlanta, GA 30314, (404) 215-2636, FAX: (404) 215-2749.

 

Disclaimer

 

This syllabus is not a contract.  The instructors reserve the right to modify it at their discretion.

 Academic Honesty

 

Although much of the work we do in this course will require that we pool data and construct a single class data set, each of you is expected to do your own work on all assignments, quizzes, and posters.  You will be expected to make your own figures and tables and write your own prose for these assignments.  Copying or paraphrasing someone else’s prose (from a fellow student or a published reference), using someone else’s figure or table (even if it is based on the same data as a figure or table you could make) or submitting someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism.  Simply copying and pasting the statistical analysis output that I send to you for each experiment is not acceptable for presentation in either your poster or your seminar presentation.  Giving a literature citation is not sufficient.  I require that you submit work that you have written yourself in your own words.  Writing with long quotations (even if fully referenced) will not be accepted.  Leaving your work on a laboratory computer hard-drive so other students may freely copy that work is not advised, as it will result in accusations of plagiarism against both you and dishonest students who submit your work as their own.  At a minimum, plagiarism will result in a grade of zero for the assignment in question and a report to the Dean of Students.

 

 

Mid-Semester and Final Laboratory Seminar

 

Each of you will prepare and present a brief (10 minutes) review of the purpose, results, and conclusions of a published research paper (Mid-Semester) and one of the studies (or a part of one of the studies) we conduct during the semester (Final Laboratory Seminar).  You will be required to prepare a PowerPoint presentation and present your seminar from a computer projector. You should be prepared to answer questions about the study you present.  You must be able to discussion the meaning of the results and how the results address the question and hypotheses posed in the study you are presenting.  The Final Laboratory Seminars are meant to help us review the work we have done the semester and put it all into a larger context.  Think about how different studies are interrelated.

 

Your seminars will be evaluated for clarity, organization, and accuracy.  Each presentation will count for 100 pts.  My laboratory seminar evaluation form is attached.  I will be happy to discuss the format and content of your seminars prior to your presentations.  Please dress as you normally would for the laboratory.  If necessary, I will conduct a demonstration of the PowerPoint Presentation program in class.

 

The published research papers from which you will prepare your Mid-Semester Seminar will be assigned two weeks prior to the presentation date.  Final Laboratory Seminar assignments also will be distributed in class two weeks prior to the presentation times in the last two class meetings.  Seminars will be presented in Room 311 Hope Hall. We will begin promptly at the start of the scheduled time and late arrivals will result in a 25-point penalty.

 

 


ECOLOGY LABORATORY, BIOLOGY 320L                     Name______________________________

Morehouse College

 

 

 

Laboratory Seminar Evaluation (100 points possible)

 

 

Introduction (20 points)                                  _____

 

 

 

 

Results (20 points)                                          _____

 

 

 

 

Discussion and Conclusions (20 points)         _____

 

 

 

 

Format, Audience, Clarity (20 points)  _____

 

 

 

 

 

Quality of Visual Aids  (20 points)                 _____

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class Participation

(1 extra point for each thoughtful question, 10 pts. maximum)            ________

 

 

 


BIO 320L Ecology Laboratory, Research Poster Evaluation (110 points possible)

 

Poster Title _____________________________

 

Poster Author  ______________________ Score (_____ 110 points possible)

                                                                   Poster (80 pts possible) _______

                                                                  Interview (30 pts possible) _______

 

Title (______ out of 5 points possible)

 

Title describes both the question and the system being studied:  5 points

Title describes either the question or the system:        2 points

Title not descriptive, such as “Experiment #1” or missing:  no points

 

Introduction (______ out of 15 points possible)

 

Statement of question addressed, statement of hypotheses to be tested, and context for the current study provided:  15 points

Statement of question and alternative hypotheses given, but context missing:  7 points

Statement of alternative hypotheses missing:  5 points

Statement of question missing:  no points

 

Methods (______ out of 5 points possible)

 

Description of the treatments including the control and a summary of the study protocol:  5 points

Description of treatments and summary of protocol, but control not identified:  3 points

Descriptive summary of protocol given but treatments not described:  2 points

Description of methods limited to a list of materials: 1 point

Methods missing:  no points

 

Results (______ out of 20 points possible)

 

Statistical summary of findings (average values, total counts for each treatment) in prose and in the form of graphs or tables, and a prose description of the findings:  20 points

Statistical summary of findings (average values, total counts for each treatment) in prose and in the form of graphs or tables, but no prose description of the findings:  10 points

Statistical findings only in the form of graphs or tables:  5 points

Raw data presented without statistical summaries:  no points

 

Discussion (______ out of 20 points possible)

 

Interpretation of results to reject hypotheses and address the question posed in the Introduction, and provide a broader context on the meaning of the findings:  20 points

Interpretation of results to reject hypotheses and address the question posed in the Introduction, but no context on the meaning of the findings provided:  10 points

Interpretation of results to reject hypotheses provided but the question posed in the Introduction not addressed:  5 points

Interpretation of results to reject hypotheses and address the question posed in the Introduction not provided:  no points

 


Literature Cited (______ out of 5 points possible)

 

Scientific literature (minimum of five books or journal articles, government or university researcher websites) cited in both the Introduction and the Discussion to provide context.  In text, citations use Author, year method and full citation provided in Literature Cited:  5 points

Scientific literature cited in both the Introduction and the Discussion to provide context.  In text, citations use Author,year method, but Literature Cited missing or contains references not cited in the prose of the Poster:  4 points

Scientific literature cited in either the Introduction or the Discussion but not both.  In text, citations use Author,year method:  3 points

Scientific literature not cited in prose of Poster, but a Literature Cited or References list provided:  2 point

Scientific literature not cited and Literature Cited or References missing:  no points

 

Format (______ out of 10 points possible)

 

Poster is appropriately organized with Introduction, Results, Discussion, and Literature Cited sections.  Writing is for an informed external audience:  10 points

Poster is appropriately organized with Introduction, Results, Discussion, and Literature Cited sections.  Audience inappropriately focused on the instructor or the class context:  5 points

Poster is organized with Results and Discussion confused or one section of Poster format missing:  2 point

Poster is not organized with Introduction, Results, Discussion, and Literature Cited sections:  no points

 

Academic Honesty

 

If any one of the following is true, the score for the entire assignment is zero.

 

Direct quotations from another student or a published source without quotations marks or without attribution.

Direct quotations (with minor editing) presented without quotation marks or without attribution.

Extensive use (more than one sentence) of direct quotations with quotation marks and attribution.

Reprinting graphs or tables prepared by another student.

Reprinting graphs or tables from published source without attribution.


BIO 320L Ecology Laboratory, Research Poster Interview (30 points possible)

 

Poster Title _____________________________

 

Poster Author  _________________________ Score (_____ 30 points possible)

 

What question did your experiment address?

         5 points:  Concisely stated the experimental question.

            3 points:  Correctly stated the experimental topic but stated a question not addressed by the experiment conducted.

            1 point:  Only stated the general topic of the experiment.

            0 points:  Could not state the experimental topic.

 

What was the null hypothesis?

         5 points:  Clearly stated the null hypothesis.

            3 points:  Stated an alternative hypothesis.

            1 point:  Stated an hypothesis not addressed by the experiment.

            0 points:  Could not state an hypothesis.

 

What were the treatments in the experiment?  What was (were) the control treatment(s)?

         5 points:  Clearly stated the experimental and control treatments.

            3 points:  Clearly stated either the experimental or control treatments but not both.

            1 point:  Incorrectly described the treatments.

            0 points:  Could not state any treatments.

 

Summarize the results of your experiment and the statistical tests of our results.

         5 points:  Described a) data means or total outcomes b) comparing controls to treatments and c) noted whether differences were statistically significant.

            3 points:  Described two of the above.

            1 point:  Described one of the above.

            0 points:  Could not describe any of the above.

 

What is the main conclusion from your study?

            5 points:  Clearly and concisely stated conclusions.

            3 points:  Conveyed the main conclusion, but lacked clarity

            1 point:  Only restated the results.

            0 points:  Response addressed neither results nor conclusions.

 

Based on your conclusions, what future experiment(s) would you propose?

         5 points:  Clearly stated at least one potential future experiment related to the conclusions.

            3 points:  Stated at least one future experiment related to the topic but not related to the conclusions.

            1 point:  Stated at least one experiment but not related to the current experimental topic.

            0 points:  Could not propose any future experiments.