NATURAL SCIENCES 104
LIFE ON EARTH
Professor Davis, Office Hrs MW 2:00,
Welcome to NATS 104 - Life on Earth!
In this course, you will learn about biological systems, from molecular to global.
You will gain firsthand knowledge about the processes of scientific investigation and
communication. You will gain a basic understanding of biological systems, how biological
systems are studied and how biological systems change. Our goal is to prepare you to
understand and evaluate the continuing developments and controversies in biological
that effect your life.
- LEARN BIOLOGY! Attend all lectures and workshops on time, complete the readings
before lecture, complete all assignments on time.
DON'T CHEAT! Your grade must reflect your understanding of biology.
Cheating defeats that requirement for yourself or for others.
Read University Code of Academic Integrity
Copying material from any other source is cheating.
The materials you submit must be your own work, not handed in any other class by you
or anyone else. Your workshop reports must not be copied in any way from the internet
or any other source, it must be entirely your own words.
Cheating also includes giving your assignments to another person to copy,
because it causes that student's grade not to reflect their understanding of
biology. Cheating will result in a grade of zero for the assignment, a failing grade
for this course, and/or referral to the Dean of Students,
Melissa Vito email@example.com, and
Associate Dean Carol Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
for possible suspension or expulsion from the University.
RESPECT: honorable and appropriate behavior.
Respect for students is shown through good manners, sympathy and impartiality.
The Professor and G.T.A.s will be on time, prepared, and polite.
They will be flexible and sympathetic of the demands on students' lives as long as
accommodations do not violate impartiality, or prevent the learning of biology.
No favoritism will be shown. Students needing special accommodations must register
with Professor Davis in the first week of class.
Respect for the Professor and G.T.A.s is shown in classroom manners: by showing up on time
for all classes and by not leaving early, by being quiet during class (all cell phones off),
and by following instructions.
Cheating is disrespectful to both the instructors and to fellow students.
The examples under "respect" include the responsible behavior expected of every student.
Each student is expected never to disrupt class
and never to behave in a threatening manner
Each student is responsible for all of the information included on this syllabus,
on the class schedule, on the class home page, and all announcements made in class.
(This section [responsibility] added 11/4/07)
Every student in this class has the same opportunities and obligations. "Dean's excuses"
issued for sporting events do not provide special privilege. For example, if you fail
to submit a D2L quiz on time or are absent for a pop quiz,
that quiz score will be dropped as a low-score, just as for every student in this class.
If your coach asks for a current grade, you must bring that request to my office where I
can look-up your grade on the official grade list, just as for every student in this class.
LAPTOPS & CELL-PHONES:
Beginning Nov. 5, laptop computers are no longer allowed in NATS 104 lectures,
because they are very disruptive. Like other universities, the UA allowed laptops
in lectures and provided wireless links in classrooms, due to their successful use
in Engineering, Law, and Business classes.
However, laptops in non-professional classes, particularly Tier One classes,
have had very negative results (see Chronical of Higher Education 1/27/07
Laptops distract students from the lecture. Students check email and surf the
web during lecture. They routinely show animations to students sitting near them.
The classroom environment is better if they are prohibited.
The GTAs in NATS 104 have not been able to enforce appropriate use of laptops.
On Sept. 12, 2007,
NATS104 bagan the policy of sending students from class who were using their
laptops inappropriately. Beginning Nov. 5, laptops are not permitted in lecture.
Laptops have the potential for use as an educational tool during lecture,
particularly students with vision and hearing special needs: for example,
taking notes in one window, while viewing the online lecture in another.
Any student who genuinely needs or can demonstrate they have benefited from
the use a laptop can schedule a meeting with Prof. Davis.
Students who can document a valid need for their laptop, and who read the NATS104 "current
anouncement" archive for Sept. 12, 2007,
and read http://fp.arizona.edu/geog695c/PDFs/wireless.classroom.pdf
and can discuss these readings will be given seating at the tables in the back of the classroom,
reserved for use of laptops.
(This section [laptops] added 11/4/07)
CLASS WEB PAGE, AND READINGS
This course has a web page:
On this web page are IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, lecture notes, supplemental material
for the lectures, the schedule of classes, policies (including this document),
and a lot more information that you will find useful for this class.
It is YOUR responsibility to check this web page frequently for
any new information.
You may communicate with any of us at any time by email
and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We strongly encourage you to use this avenue to ask for clarification about the course material,
make appointments, or for any other reason relating to class.
The online schedule of classes
outlines the topics that we will cover in lecture and in the workshops, and provides the reading assignments from
your readings. The assigned readings should be completed before
Although we will not take attendance formally, you should anticipate
a lower grade if you miss classes - for the average student, about 1/5 letter
grade for every class you miss. The lecture notes are posted on the class web page,
and the readings cover the material presented in lecture, but neither gives
the emphasis and explanation provided in the lecture. You are responsible for
all of the content of the lectures, including material not in the readings. By missing
lectures, you will miss any corrections and explanations that are made in class.
If you will miss a lecture or workshop - for any reason - you MUST
notify us BEFORE class or workshop by email or phone message. It is YOUR
responsibility to keep us informed. If you fail to notify us before class or workshop,
you will not be eligible for make-up lecture exams. Read
Make-up Materials: all workshop/homework assignments and the term paper
are due on the day and time specified on the
or during lecture, and will be assessed a 10% per day late penalty
beginning as soon as the materials have been picked-up in class
unless (1) the student has contacted the GTA more than 2 hours
in advance and
(2) the student has a valid excuse related to health or academic conflicts.
There are no make-ups for quizzes. Only one
lecture-exam make-up will be given for all the students missing the original exam,
and then only if (1) the student has contacted Prof. Davis in advance and
(2) the student has a valid excuse related to health or academic conflicts.
There will be no other option to receive credit for that exam. Due to its date at
the end of the semester, there is no make-up for the third lecture exam.
Tardiness: No lecture exams will be handed out after the first person
to finish the exam has handed in their exam. No quizzes will be handed
out five minutes after the quiz has begun.
Our goal is to give grades that indicate how much biology you have learned.
The level and amount of material has been selected so that an average student
can get a "C" if they do an average amount of work, and an "A" if
they work hard: spend 9 hrs/week outside class reading and reviewing,
read assigned material before class and workshop, review the notes
before and after class, miss no classes, be on time, hand assignments
in on time, attend and participate
in review sessions. Students who already know the material covered
in NATS 104 should contact Prof. Davis, regarding testing-out of the
There will be NO CURVE, the grades will be awarded strictly on the basis of
the percentages given in the table above. See the statements on cheating
elsewhere in this syllabus. Extra-credit exercises may be given under exceptional
circumstances, but only to the entire class, never to one student of a select group
Note that there are policies with implications for your grade in other sections
in this syllabus. Here we explain procedures and policies for this class.
Please read the following material carefully.
Our emphasis is on learning, not on testing. The exams and quizzes are a
means to an end, not the goal itself. The purpose of the exams is to evaluate each student's
understanding of all material presented in NATS 104, not to reward students for
memorizing a portion of this material. Our philosophy is that all of the material
is important, not just one or two figures or tables; this important material includes
the assigned readings, the lectures and the workshop/homeworks. Each of the three lecture
exams will include 20 - 50 questions, for a total of 100 points on each exam.
During the exam period, no exam will be handed out after the first student to finish
the exam has handed in their exam. The third exam is scheduled for one hour during the final
exam time scheduled by the registrar for this class. It is not a comprehensive exam,
it covers the material in the last third of the course. There is no make-up for the third
A D2L quiz is associated with each lecture. To receive up to 5 points credit, each quiz
must be completed within one week of the lecture date. There are no make-ups, regardless of
academic or other excuses. Any missed opportunities will dropped as a lowest score.
Un-announced ten-point quizzes will be given at various times during several lectures or
workshops. The purpose of the quiz is to evaluate students' understanding of the material,
assigned readings, or the workshop.
There will be a total of at least 5 quizzes, and your grade will be based on your 5 highest scores.
There are NO make-up quizzes. If you miss a pop quiz FOR ANY REASON, including
illness, sporting events, family emergencies, etc., your grade will be based on the best
The workshop/homework exercises will include both in-class exercises and online D2L exercises.
Both will provide an opportunity to learn in a "hands-on" way the major themes of NATS 104,
and to expand on these themes. The workshops offer exposure to the scientific process,
including research methods, analysis and compilation of data, library research, scientific debate,
and the writing of research reports and papers. Your workshop exercises are worth a total of 100
points. They must be submitted on time to receive full credit. Any missed opportunities will
dropped as a lowest score.
The term paper is designed to simulate the peer-review process of scientific journals.
Particular attention is given to scientific format (NO, NOT MLA!!!) and to
the peer review process. Specific topics will be assigned, and once assigned, these cannot
be changed later in the class. The term paper will be due soon after the second exam.
Changes may be made to this syllabus, and marked as revisions.
This syllabus conforms with UA Policy
Revised by OKD 11/4/07