BISC 111/113

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BISC 111/113: Introductory Organismal Biology

Introduction to Organismal Biology Lab        Calendar and Assignments       

Statistics and Graphing        Science Writing Guidelines       

Lab 1: Biodiversity        Lab 2: Population Growth        Labs 3-6: Plant Biology        Labs 7-9: Animal Biology       
       Lab 10: Laboratory Exam        Lab 11: Population Growth 2        Lab 12: Beetle Presentations       

Welcome to BISC 111/113 Introductory Organismal Biology Laboratory, Fall 2012!

Location: SCI316

Laboratory Instructors: Fall 2012: Jocelyne Dolce, Simone Helluy, Jeff Hughes, Janet McDonough, Christa Skow. Spring 2013: Jocelyne Dolce, Simone Helluy, Jeff Hughes, Heather Mattila

Labs: M 1:30-5 Helluy; T 12:30-4 Dolce; W 8:30-12:00 McDonough; W 2:15-5:45 Hughes; Th 1-4:30 Skow; F 1-4:30 Helluy

Laboratory Responsibilities
The lectures for BISC 111 will focus on the structural and functional relationships in plants and animals, evolution and ecology. Although the information in the laboratories will not always coincide with the lectures, the laboratories and the lectures form a complementary package. The labs are an integral part of the learning experience in this course and your attendance is required. In order to pass BISC 111 you must pass both the lecture and the lab section of the course. If you have unexcused absences, you will not pass the lab.


Please see the Calendar and Assignments link above for specific assignments and descriptions.

Your performance in the laboratory will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Preparation: Students who prepare for the laboratory sessions ultimately have a better performance record in the course. Prepare for each session by reading the lab exercise and supporting material from the text carefully before coming to lab.

Assignments: Many labs have assignments. Assignment instructions are found at the end of each lab. Your specific lab instructor may sometimes modify the assignments. Please review the information below concerning the Honor Code and Laboratory Work:

The Honor Code, described in the General Judiciary Handbook, defines the rules governing independent work, acknowledgment of sources, and collaboration on assignments. All students are expected to be aware of the Honor Code and to adhere to the following rules unless their instructor gives them other guidelines.

Each individual must do calculations and write-ups of results, even when a group performed the experiment, unless otherwise specified by the instructor. Consultation and discussion with other members of one's laboratory section is encouraged; you may also consult with other students taking the same course or anyone you think can help you learn. However, any work submitted for grading must have been completed by the student submitting it, and proper acknowledgment of "sources of information, ideas, opinions, or theories not the students' own must be indicated clearly" [from Wellesley College General Judiciary Handbook].

The use of assignments or reports of students who have completed a given experiment or taken the course at an earlier time is not allowed prior to the writing of an individual's own report. After a student has completed an experiment, written it up and had it graded, she should feel free, unless instructed otherwise, to refer to another student's report to see a different perspective on the experiment or as an aid to understanding how a well-written report is designed. It is important to recognize that both parties (borrower and lender) violate the Honor Code when they fail to observe these guidelines.

Research papers and Oral Presentations: Guidelines for scientific writing and oral presentations are presented within this Wiki. Your lab instructor may also give more specific instructions.

Lab Practicals: These are in-class, hands-on tests that cover material such as lab skills, computer skills, and dissections not specifically covered in the lab reports.

In-Laboratory Performance: Part of your overall laboratory grade will be based on how you conduct yourself in the laboratory.

Tardiness: Directions and explanations for each lab will be given at the beginning of lab. Therefore PROMPT attendance is imperative. Repeated tardiness is grounds for loss of performance points.

Makeups: Laboratories are a REQUIRED and ESSENTIAL part of the course. There will be no opportunity to make up a missed laboratory except for illness. In this case the laboratory should be made up by attending the same lab with another section.

Equipment:You are responsible for the compound microscope and the dissecting microscope. Please use them carefully and report any defect as soon as you are aware of it. Turn off the light, put the low power lens in position, cover the microscope, and return it to its cabinet each time you finish with it. Place any computer files you want to save in the lab folder for your section.

Dept. of Biological Sciences Organism Use Policy and IACUC Policy for Reporting Deficiencies in Animal Care or Use: Please read through the following documents concerning the use of organisms in the BISC 111 laboratory. Media:Department_of_Biological_Sciences_Organism_Use_Policy_and_IACUC_Report_Form_S11.doc

General Lab Safety Information

Campus police: 2120; Emergency: 5555

1. Note the position of fire extinguisher, fire blanket, eyewash, first aid kit in each laboratory (and shower if present).

2. In case of fire, exit to rear of the lab.

3. No drinking, eating, or smoking in the laboratory.

4. Keep the lab aisles clear and your desktop uncluttered.

5. Hang coats on hooks in the hall and put unneeded books in the lockable cabinets outside the laboratory before entering. Shoes are required in the lab (no sandals).

6. In case of personal accidents such as cuts, spilling living cultures, etc., report immediately to the instructor.

7. Clean desks of all apparatus, cultures, etc. at the end of each laboratory period. Leave each laboratory as you found it. Your help in the clean up at the end of each lab is expected.

8. Label all material you wish to save with your name, date, lab section, and identify the material.

9. Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.

10. Read and sign the Informed Consent form prior to Lab 8.


Finally, we want your experience in the laboratory to be enjoyable. If you arrive prepared, you should find the material both stimulating and exciting. Share your excitement with students at your bench. Never hesitate to ask questions of your lab instructor and have a great semester!
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