Lecture: MWF 10-11am; Labs: W 1-3 and 3-5; TH 1-3
Purpose of the Course
The science of botany includes the study of plants and their relationships to their environments. Four core concepts will be emphasized:
Although listed separately, these topics overlap considerably, and you should therefore make every effort to synthesize the material that is covered. If you are having trouble with a concept, please come see me as soon as possible to avoid problems that may negatively affect your grade.
Based on the recommendations of the American Society of Plant biologists (ASPB) and the Botanical Society of America (BSA), by the end of the course, students should be able to:
Skills and Assessment
In this course, students will refine their critical thinking skills through laboratory exercises, small group research projects, case studies (as presented through the published literature), and in-class discussions. Through these activities, students will explore how plants interact with other organisms (plant, animal, and microorganismal) and the abiotic environment. Students will be assessed for their critical thinking, quantitative, empirical, communicative, and teamwork skills, especially in the laboratory.
College Realities 101: What is TRULY Expected of the Student
Strategies for Success
Within the first 2 weeks of class, lecture students will be assigned to small lecture groups for the duration of the semester. There will be 2 formal group projects during the semester, briefly described below, and you are encouraged to get to know your group-mates for the purposes of forming study groups, doing peer teaching, and even helping each out in lab. Your ability to formulate the ability to work well in group settings is a fundamentally important part of your educational experience and must be assessed. Project sheets will be handed out for both projects. The group projects are:
The Field Project will be an individual student project that requires you, the student, to go outside and hunt down a flower. A project sheet will be provided with rules and requirements. Some internet research will be required to identify your captured flower. The Flower Hunt will be due towards the end of the semester; however, as fewer flowers bloom in the fall than in the spring, you will not want to leave this project until the last minute.
Final Grade Assessment
Final grades will be calculated using the following distributions:
Lecture portion of the course: 75% of final grade
Lab portion of the course: 25% of final grade (normalized)
The lecture grade will be assessed based off of straight points. Points can be earned as follows:
Overall, the lecture is worth 625 points. On a straight point scale, therefore, you will need to earn 90% of these available points (i.e., 563 points) to earn an A in the lecture (representing 75% of you final grade in the course). At any given time, you can take the points you have earned in the lecture and divide them by the points available at that point to determine your running percentage in the lecture.
Overall, final course grades will be based on the following scale: A (90% or higher); B (80-89.9%); C (70-79.9%); D (60-69.9%); F (59.9% or less). An A percentage-wise in the lecture and an A percentage-wise in the lab will give you an A in the course. If you do not get 90% or better on every assignment, you should not expect to get an A in the course.
NOTE: For student-athletes, students on scholarship, or students who need specific grades to enter a student organization, academic program, keep financial aid, or graduate, you must start earning your minimum grade requirement starting on the first day of class. Students whose academic careers are dependent on a minimum GPA should be even more motivated than the general student population to earn the grades that will keep them in school. Grades cannot and will not be adjusted at the end of the semester to help you “make” the needed grade just to keep you in school. If you wish to continue at MSU or any other school, you must earn the right to do so. Do NOT dig yourself a hole with poor grades and then expect someone to save you.
See actual assignments.
Late Assignment Policies
Assignments will either be posted on D2L or will be handed out in class. Due dates will be announced, but students will not be constantly reminded to turn in their assignments. Assignments should be stapled (if necessary) BEFORE they are turned in to the instructor.
Lecture Attendance Policies
To monitor attendance, a seating chart and attendance sign-in sheet will be kept. Students who sign-in for students that are not present will be referred to the Dean of Students. Because quizzes and assignments cannot be made-up and because exams are written off of my lectures, attendance of the lecture is critical. If you need to leave class early, it must be for a good reason and you must tell be before class begins or you will be marked absent. Do not email me regarding lecture absences or bring doctor’s notes, etc. if you miss lecture. It does not matter why you miss, you were still absent and no make-ups will be given; nor will you be “excused” so as to maintain perfect attendance. If you miss lecture, it is up to you to find out from another student what was missed and obtain notes from other students. For further information on Class Attendance policies, see the MSU Student Handbook, available online through the Student Life section of the MSU website.
Laboratory Attendance Policies
Excusable reasons for missing an exam include the following:
Students MUST notify me, the instructor, PRIOR to the start of the exam to receive consideration for an excused absence. If you are physically unable to notify me, then have a friend or family member notify me. Notifying me after the fact will result in an unexcused absence and a zero for the exam.
Inexcusable reasons for missing an exam include the following:
In general, none of these excuses will be accepted for missed exams as all of them stem from a lack of responsibility on the part of the student to maintain control over their own schedules. You know exactly when your exams are scheduled, and you should make every effort to take them.
Absolutely no electronic devices of any kind may be used during exams. All exams are closed book and will be monitored for cheating. If you are caught doing anything suspicious, your exam will be taken away from you and you will receive an automatic zero for the exam.
University-Sponsored Teams and Organizations
All members of in-season sports teams or other campus organizations who will be missing class because of university sanctioned events MUST present to me a written statement on university letterhead and signed by a university official indicating those dates that will be missed because of travel or participation in the university-sponsored event. Athletics documentation must be presented to me within the first 2 weeks of the beginning of the semester. Other documentation (such as for theater, etc.) must be presented to me at least one week prior to the time that will be missed.
Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities are required to register with Disability Support Services (DSS) before classroom accommodations can be provided. The instructor then needs to be notified by the student of the nature of these accommodations. This notification will take the form of an official letter obtained from DSS by the student and given to the instructor. Every effort should be made to provide me with this documentation within the first 2 weeks of the semester to avoid losing accommodations because you failed to provide proper notification in a timely manner. It is always the responsibility of the student to arrange accommodations with DSS. Students with disabilities must still take their exams on the same day as the rest of the class.
Course Policies Regarding Disruptive Behavior
Out of general courtesy to everyone, please observe the following policies:
Disruptive students will be given one (1) verbal warning to improve their behavior. Second offenders will be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Dean of Students. Abusive students will be dismissed from the class permanently.
Policy on Electronic Devices [READ THIS TWICE]
University Code of Conduct
For university standards of conduct please refer to the MSU Student Handbook. In general, students are to attend all meetings of all classes; instructors may drop students for excessive absences, indifference, disruptive behavior, or failure to complete class assignments; students are prohibited from cheating, plagiarizing, or colluding. Students are expected to have read the Student Handbook.
Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion (as well as several other forms of conduct) are all strictly prohibited at MSU. The following definitions and prohibitions regarding Academic Dishonesty are taken from the 2012-2013 MSU Student Handbook, p. 83-84:
“The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the university faculty or staff.
The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
The term “collusion” means collaboration with another person in preparing work offered for credit if that collaboration is not authorized by the faculty member in charge.”
If you are unclear on what may count as cheating, plagiarism, or collusion, please see the instructor or the Dean of Students.
The following is quoted from the 2012-2013 MSU Student Handbook, “Instructor Drops”, p. 47:
“An instructor may drop a student any time during the semester for excessive absences, for consistently failing to meet class assignments, for an indifferent attitude, or for disruptive conduct. The instructor must give the student a verbal or written warning prior to being dropped from the class. An instructor’s drop of a student takes precedence over the student-initiated course drop of a later date. The instructor will assign a grade of either WF or F through the 8th week of a long semester, the 6th week of a 10 week summer term, or the 11th class day of a 4 or 5 week summer term consisting of 20 days. After these periods the grade will be an F. The date the instructor drop form is received in the Office of the Registrar is the official drop date.
A student dropped from a class by a faculty member for disruptive behavior has the right of appeal to the Student Conduct Committee through the Dean of Students office. Although the student will be retained on the class roll, class attendance will be the decision of the instructor.”
Note to students: for the purposes of this course, “consistently failing to meet class assignments” includes consistently not turning in assigned work or turning in work that consistently receives a failing grade.
By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course. The “limited right” shall include but shall not be limited to the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.