SPRING, 2004

Welcome to NATS 104 - Life on Earth! In this course, you will learn about biological systems, from molecular to global. Our aim is provide you with a basic understanding of biological systems, how biological systems are studied, and how to understand and evaluate the changes that biological systems undergo on small and large scales.

  1. LEARN BIOLOGY! Attend all lectures and workshops on time, and do all the readings. Hand in all assignments on time.
  2. DON'T CHEAT! Read the University of Arizona Code of Academic Conduct (link) and the University Code of Academic Integrity (link). Copying material from any other source is cheating. This includes copying another person's homework, even if you worked out the problems together. Although we encourage you to study and work together, you must complete the work on your own. Cheating also includes giving your assignments to another person to copy. Cheating will result in a grade of zero for the assignment, a failing grade in the course, and/or referral to the Dean of Students for possible suspension or expulsion from the University.


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 of other 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. Alternatively, if your questions are not of a personal nature, and the answers will benefit other people in class, consider asking the question on the listserv.

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 textbook. The readings should be completed before lecture.


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. And, there are no makeups for lecture quizzes.

If you will miss a lecture or workshop - for any reason - you MUST notify us BEFORE class by email or phone message. It is YOUR responsibility to keep us informed. If you fail to notify us before class, you will not be eligible for make-up lecture exams. Read MORBYMORT

Late Materials will be assessed a penalty of 3 points per day, unless arrangements have been made prior to the due date.

Make-up Materials: all assignments are due on the day specified on the class schedule. At the discretion of the Professor or the Workshop G.T.A., make-ups may be made available for students (1) who have contacted the teacher in advance and (2) who have valid reasons related to health or academic conflicts for not completing assignments on time. There are no make-ups for quizzes and certain other materials, and make-ups for Lecture Exams, Field Trips, and certain other materials will have different requirements than the original ones. Only one make-up will be given for all students missing the original exercise, and there will be no other option to receive credit for that exercise.



Your grade will depend on how much biology you learn. 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, do all the extra-credit assignments, 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 course (CLEP). Your grade will be based on your performance in five areas:
Lecture Exams (100 pts. ea.) 300 pts.
Workshop Reports (20 - 50 pts. ea.) 270 pts.
Student Paper 50 pts.
Lecture Pop Quizzes (10 pts. best 8 of 10) 80 pts.
Field Trip Report (50 pts.)   50 pts.
TOTAL 750 pts.

A=100-90% B=89-80% C=79-70% D=69-60%

There will be NO CURVE, but "extra credit" points will be awarded for extra work during the course. This is not offered as a replacement or substitute for class or workshop material, but to reward those who go beyond the amount of material required, or who need to supplement poor performance through an opportunity to learn the material better. Please note that a total of only 75 extra credit points will be possible, but that is (75/750=10% of the class) enough to raise your grade one level. Ordinarily, extra credit assignments are worth 10 points each. Your total will be based on the best 8 assignments, if more than 8 are offered.
Deadlines: extra-credit material must be turned in on time. Late material will be assessed a penalty of 3 points per day after the due date & time. Also, see the statements on cheating elsewhere in this syllabus.

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.


The lecture exams will include 20 - 50 questions on each exam, for a total of 100 points on each. Each exam will cover the assigned readings, lectures, and workshops. During the exam period, no exam will be handed out after the first student to finish the exam has left the room. The final is not a comprehensive exam and covers the material in the last third of the course. There is no make-up for the third lecture exam.


Quizzes will be given during lecture. They will not be announced ahead of time. There will be a total of 10 quizzes, and your grade will be based on the 8 highest scores. There are NO make-up quizzes. If you miss a quiz FOR ANY REASON, including illness, sporting events, family emergencies, etc., your grade will be based on the remaining quizzes.



All students in NATS 104 attend lecture on MW 11-12:30, and in addition, a workshop on Thursdays. The workshops are designed to take the concepts you learn in lecture and expand on them. The workshops use a variety of approaches to address different types of information and scientific research methods, including analysis and compilation of data, library research, and scientific debates. You will be graded on your workshop reports (20-50 points each). Workshop reports must be handed in on time to receive full credit


LEC 5 (29701) Th 9:-9:50 GLD-S 209 TA: Melissa Trout
LEC 6 (29703) Th 10:-10:50 GLD-S 209 TA: Melissa Trout
LEC 7 (29705) Th 12:-12:50 GLD-S 209 TA: Jennifer Miller
LEC 8 (29707) Th 11:-11:50 GLD-S 209 TA: Jennifer Miller


There will be one REQUIRED field trip. The purpose of the field trip is to study the Santa Catalina Mountains Vegetation Zones. All trips depart at 8:00 AM sharp, from the north side of Gould-Simpson, and return before 5:00 PM. Sign-up sheets will be posted in the workshops, and will be first come-first served. The limit on each trip is 60 persons per day (4 15-passenger vans). You will complete a report that will be handed in at the end of the field trip. Attendance on the field trip and the report are worth 50 points.

Field trip dates:

        Sat. Apr. 13
        Sun. Apr. 14


Revised by OKD 3/8/02