Life/Earth Science

Course Details

Course Number: GNSC1104  Section Number: 1

Fall 2010

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 127

Days & Times:

Monday - Wednesday - Friday 12:00 - 12:50

Course Attachments

Class Schedule  Life_Earth_Science_daily_schedule-20120402-124834.doc


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Rebecca L Dodge   
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Course Objectives


Course Objective:To learn about the foundations of Earth and Biological Sciences.  Students will be able to 

  • Explain the current theories concerning the origin of the Universe and of the Solar System
  • Explain the place of Earth in the Solar System and its interactions with other bodies in the Solar System
  • Relate the origin and evolution of the Earth to its resulting geologic systems
  • Explain the operation of Earth’s geologic systems the relationships among the atmosphere, the lithosphere, and the hydrosphere
  • Recognize ecosystem dynamics including energy and productivity
  • Explain the history of the Earth including the evolution of geologic systems and life forms
  • Recognize the cellular nature of life forms and the functions and structures of cells
  • Relate structures and functions of living organisms to exchange of energy and materials
  • Understand reproduction at the cellular and organ level
  • Explain how genetic variability occurs and the processes of genetic inheritance
  • Observe and report on the environment like a scientist, using established inquiry methods and protocols to ensure accuracy

Course Expectations

 Course Format:Textbook readings, content lectures, content videos, and laboratory activities will be the foundation of the class.   Summary course notes will be delivered during lectures.  Your notes, together with the text, will be the basis for in-class tests.  Laboratory tests will be based on laboratory activities.  

This course is on WebCT and the syllabus for both class and lab, along with summary lecture notes, will be posted. 


  • Threetests will be given; each test will cover only the new material presented since the previous test.  Tests comprise multiple choice and true/false questions. Bring a #2 pencil to the exams, and know your student ID#.  Grades will be given during office hours – they will not be posted.  Make-up exams will only be given when a written excuse is provided.  In order to take a make-up, a written excuse must be provided before or within class session following the scheduled exam. (60% of class grade)
  • Three DVDs will be shown during class; a quiz will be given on each.  (15% of class grade)
  • The laboratory grade will be based on quizzes, a lab midterm test, and a lab final test. (25%)

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

 In order to take a make-up exam, a written excuse must be provided before or within one class period of the scheduled exam.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

 Attendance is required; be on time and do not leave early.  Students with 3 or more unexcused absences will be dropped from the course.  All students should refer to the MSU Student Handbook for university policies related to student responsibilities, rights, and activities.

Other Policies

This syllabus is subject to change.  All changes will be announced in class and posted on WebCT.  Students are responsible for keeping up with the syllabus.

 Grades will be posted on WebCT.  Students are responsible for keeping track of their grades.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.