Fall 2019 Syllabus for Bios 10 and Bios 90

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Faculty Coordinators and Instructors


Dr. Vassic C. Ware
Professor of Molecular Biology
Department of Biological Sciences
Co-Director, HHMI Undergraduate Program at Lehigh
Director of HHMI SEA_PHAGES Program at Lehigh
B-222 Iacocca Hall, Mountaintop Campus
Emails:  vcw0@lehigh.edu
Office Hours:  by appointment

Dr. Ann E. Fink
Professor of Practice, Neuroscience
Department of Biological Sciences
STEPS 444 (Asa Packer Campus)
Email:  aef318@lehigh.edu
Office Hours:  email for appointment

Pronouns:  she / her

Teaching Assistant:

Matthew Mottau, Graduate Student, Department of Bioengineering
Email:  mam719@lehigh.edu


Course Meeting Times and Locations

BioS 010 (3 credits):  Bioscience in the 21st Century
MWF 8:10 - 09:10 a.m., Whitaker 303
(Co-coordinators and Instructors:  Vassie Ware, Ph.D., Ann Fink, Ph.D.)

BioS 090-011 (4 credits):  Biology of Learning and Memory
Thursday 12:10 - 1:25 p.m., Chandler-Ullmann Hall 116
(Section instructor:  Ann Fink, Ph.D.)

BioS 090-012 (4 credits):  Biodiversity in a Changing Planet
Monday 3:00 - 4:15 p.m., Packard 503
(Section Instructor:  Santiago Herrera, Ph.D.)


Course Description and Objectives

A major goal of this course is to communicate to students seeking training in a biologically-based discipline the importance of a systems-driven, multidisciplinary approach in bioscience. Several contemporary bioscience-related issues (e.g., cancer, neuroscience-related topics, physiological basis of disease, advances in engineered biomedical systems, genomics and advances in genome-based medicine, bioinformatics, stem cell biology, infectious diseases,  microbiology, social/bioethical considerations) will be discussed by faculty from different disciplines in order to highlight cross-disciplinary perspectives on fundamental problems and potential solutions in bioscience. This course is now an established tool in the curriculum for shaping an intellectual approach to bioscience that routinely values interconnections among disciplines and reduces/eliminates the tendency to compartmentalize learning “by subject.”  

By the end of this course :

  • Students will be able to explain basic bioscience principles related to course topics. 
  • Students will be able to relate course principles across multiple disciplines.
  • Another goal of this course is to provide scientific literacy for non-majors and the public. Students will become better equipped to communicate with others about scientific data and their implications.

Students who are not formally registered are encouraged to attend lectures based on their interests.  Course materials including the syllabus and all lectures are available at bios10.lehigh.edu with full access for the entire Lehigh community and interested members of the public.

Course Format, Attendance and Grading

Lectures will be presented on MWF at the regularly scheduled class time for both BioS 10 and BioS 90 students.  ALL Students enrolled in BioS 010 (Bioscience in the 21st century) as well as BioS 090 courses, “Biology of Learning and Memory” and “Biodiversity” must attend BioS 010 lectures.

Lecture-based exams will satisfy ALL 3 credits for BioS 010 students and 3 of the 4 credits for BioS 090 students (see points assignments below).

BioS 090 students, who need to complete 1 extra credit of coursework, will meet with their section instructor at an additional time outside of the BioS 10 lecture time. This section will satisfy 1 of their 4 credits. Section-specific assignments will be determined and evaluated by each section instructor (noted above) and will be worth 25% of the total course grade.

The Course Grade is based on a points system as defined below:

**One out of the first three exams will be dropped.


BioS 010 Bios 090
Two highest exam scores** @ 2x225 points 450 Two highest exam scores** @ 2x225 points 450
Final Exam 300 Final Exam 300
    Bios 090 Section grade 250
Total 750 Total 1000

Extra Credit oppportunities may be offered throughout the semester at the instructors' discretion.

The final grading scale will be:

Grade Minimum points required grade minimum points required
A 930 (93%) C 730 (73%)
A- 900 (90%) C- 700 (70%)
B+ 870 (87%) D+ 670 (67%)
B 830 (83%) D 630 (63%)
B- 800 (80%) D- 600 (60%)
C+ 770 (77%)    


Exams - Policies

FOUR (4) multiple-choice exams are scheduled (see schedule and below). **NOTE that the LOWEST SCORE from among the first three exams WILL BE DROPPED.**  All students must take EXAM 4 (during the final exam period).

EXAM schedule:
(1) Monday, September 23, 2019
(2) Friday, October 18, 2019
(3) Monday, November 11, 2019
(4) Scheduled during final exam period by the Registrar (Date, time, location determined by the Registrar)

Please note: changes in the exam schedule may be required if a lecture(s) needs to be re-scheduled. The 4th exam may NOT be rescheduled to accommodate student schedules except within University guidelines if multiple final exams are scheduled on a single day. 

For EXAM 4 (final), ~50% of the test will be based on lecture content from previous exams (1, 2, and 3), based on the content examined from previous exams.  This format will encourage you to re-visit content throughout the course from previous exams to be assured of your competency in these areas.  The remaining ~50% of the exam will be based on new material from lectures given after EXAM 3.

Exams will be based on lecture content, lecturer-provided materials, and assigned videos.  Exams 1, 2, and 3 will not be cumulative throughout the semester.  Approximately 50% of EXAM 4 will be cumulative, as stated above.

NO cell phone or electronic device with internet accessibility may be used during any exam period. Violation of this rule will be considered a violation of academic standards and will be handled according to guidelines in the University Conduct System.

Make-up Examination Policy: 
Since the lowest exam score (from exams 1-3) will be dropped (and not counted in the final course grade), no make-up exams will be given except in exceptional circumstances, requiring written documentation from medical or administrative personnel.  There are no exceptions to this requirement. 

Course Resources and Materials

No texts are required for the lecture portion of the course.

Any additional reading materials, notes, and study resources will be available only for official course registrants through Course Site (www.coursesite.lehigh.edu). Course Site is accessible using your Lehigh ID and password.

Several websites are available as resources for the course, as follows:

  • All Bioscience (BioS 010) lectures are videotaped and some additional lecture resources (e.g., PowerPoint presentations) will be available through the Bios 10 course web site. All students will use this site to access lecture videos.
  • Any optional reading assignments will be posted on the Bios 10 Course Site (choose BioS 10 under courses).  All BioS 90 and BioS 10 students will have access to the BioS 10 Course Site. The BioS 10 Course Site will also have LECTURE STUDY GUIDES, prepared by Professor Ware or Professor Fink, and posted after each lecture.
  • Bios 090 instructors maintain separate Course Sites ONLY for unique assignments associated with their discussion sections only.  Go to www.coursesite.lehigh.edu (choose the relevant BioS 090 course under “Courses”).

In Summary:


Course Expectations and Requirements

Lecturers in this course include Lehigh faculty as well as members from outside the Lehigh community.  It is expected that all course participants will extend typical courtesies to lecturers and class participants for the entire class period. Students share the responsibility for maintaining a mature and respectful environment in the classroom. Please do not use your electronic devices for non-class-related activities, hold disruptive conversations, or make premature exits and noise in anticipation of the end of a lecture, etc. Please try to arrive on time for seminars, and give the speaker your undivided attention.

Your regular attendance is important.  While all course materials and lectures are accessible on the web, there will be opportunities to participate in discussions with faculty lecturers and/or to have questions answered.  Active participation in discussions is only possible if you are present in class.  Periodic attendance checks will occur, and most extra credit opportunities will be presented only in class sessions.


Academic Integrity

By enrolling in this course, you agree to uphold the highest ethical standards of academic scholarship throughout the semester, to maintain intellectual honesty and to value intellectual property. Acts of academic misconduct are taken very seriously: these include but are not limited to cheating, plagiarism, creating hazards or disruptions, unfairly exploiting the efforts of others, etc.   Details of expectations in the Lehigh community are available on the Lehigh Academic Integrity site.  It is expected that students will abide by these standards in all course endeavors (e.g., exams, written work, online discussion assignments). Violations of academic integrity standards will not be tolerated and will be handled according to guidelines in the University Conduct System.

Student Senate Statement on Academic Integrity:

We, the Lehigh University Student Senate, as the standing representative body of all undergraduates, reaffirm the duty and obligation of students to meet and uphold the highest principles and values of personal, moral and ethical conduct. As partners in our educational community, both students and faculty share the responsibility for promoting and helping to ensure an environment of academic integrity. As such, each student is expected to complete all academic course work in accordance to the standards set forth by the faculty and in compliance with the University's Code of Conduct.


Accomodations for Students with Disabilities

Lehigh University is committed to maintaining an equitable and inclusive community and welcomes students with disabilities into all of the University’s educational programs.  In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability must contact Disability Support Services (DSS), provide documentation, and participate in an interactive review process.  If the documentation supports a request for reasonable accommodations, DSS will provide students with a Letter of Accommodations. Students who are approved for accommodations at Lehigh should share this letter and discuss their accommodations and learning needs with instructors as early in the semester as possible.  For more information or to request services, please contact Disability Support Services in person in Williams Hall, Suite 301, via phone at 610-758-4152, via email at indss@lehigh.edu, or online.


"The Principles of our Equitable Community"

We expect each member of this class to acknowledge and practice these Principles.  Respect for each other and for differing viewpoints is a vital component of the learning environment inside and outside the classroom.


Lehigh University Policy on Harassment and Non-Discrimination

Lehigh University is committed to providing an educational, working, co-curricular, social, and living environment for all students, staff, faculty, trustees, contract workers, and visitors that is free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital or familial status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Such harassment or discrimination is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. The University strongly encourages (and, depending upon the circumstances, may require) students, faculty, staff or visitors who experience or witness harassment or discrimination, or have information about harassment or discrimination in University programs or activities, to immediately report such conduct. If you have questions about Lehigh’s Policy on Harassment and Non-Discrimination or need to report harassment or discrimination, contact the Equal Opportunity Compliance Coordinator (Alumni Memorial Building / 610.758.3535 / eocc@lehigh.edu)


Course Lecture and Exam Schedule

See schedule located at bios10.lehigh.edu