BSCI 124 - SECTION 2001

Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics

Lecture Syllabus Information

General Information  Grading Scale
 Textbook  Study Suggestions
 Exam Make-up Policy  Instructor information

           Dr. Angela Caines
           Office: 3105 H. J. Patterson Hall
           Phone: (301) 405-1638
           Office hours:  Tuesdays 12:30 - 1:30 pm or by appointment

LectureTuesdays and Thursdays, 11 am Ė 12:15 pm in 0226 HJ Patterson.

Course DescriptionWelcome to BSCI 124, a three-credit course in plant biology specifically designed for the non-science student.  The primary objectives of this course are to gain an understanding of the fundamental concepts and processes involving plants; to examine the diversity of plants and their role in the biosphere; to develop an appreciation of the importance of plants to humans; and to provide information needed for intelligent management of the natural world.

CORE: This course has CORE approval in the science/math area as a lab science only when taken in conjunction with BSCI 125 (Laboratory in Plant Biology, 1 credit hour) during the same semester.

TextbookThe required textbook for this course is Plant Biology (1st edition) by Graham & Wilcox, 2003. Prentice Hall Publishers.  Readings from the text are listed on the lecture schedule.  Reading the text both before and after lecture is strongly suggested.  Other readings (as handouts) may be assigned.

Course Web Site:  General lecture outlines will be handed out in class and are intended to guide you through the lectures and to provide illustrations. The outlines will only be posted on this web site after the lecture is given.  A significant amount of additional material will be covered in lecture and will not appear on this web site or in the textbook.  Thus, attendance will enable you to fill in the important gaps in these general outlines in preparation for an exam.

Email: Email allows increased communication between you and your professor.  Everyone is expected to have an email account.  You can obtain a WAM account at no cost in Room 1400 in the Computer Science Building.  The phone number is (301) 405-1500 and their hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  A WAM account will allow full access to electronic mail and the World Wide Web.  If you use an email account which is not on the registrarís list (e.g. AOL instead of WAM), or was changed recently, please email the address to Dr. Caines so that the list can be updated.

Lecture Preparation and Attendance:
    1. Attend every lecture meeting.  Attendance is strongly correlated with your grade!  Many announcements will be made only in lecture and all students will be held responsible for these announcements.
        Additionally, a significant amount of material is covered only during the lecture.  Lecture sessions are designed to optimize your learning process and to help you prepare for exams.

    2. Arrive to class on time and do not leave class early.  If you cannot make it to class within the first 10 minutes of lecture or have an engagement during class time, please do not enter the classroom.

    3. Complete assigned readings prior to their discussion in lecture.  The material presented in the course can be difficult.  It will appear even more difficult if you are seeing it for the first time in lecture.

    4. Early completion of this course is not an option.  You are required to attend lectures for the entire semester.

Make-up Exams:
    1. Do not miss an exam for any reason other than a serious illness or official university excuse.  No make up exams will be granted unless you have an official, university-approved excuse accompanied by
        appropriate written and verifiable documentation for missing the in-class exam.  Please refer to the current edition of the UMCP Undergraduate Catalog for additional general policies and
        procedures. These regulations (including the requirement for written documentation) will be strictly enforced.

     * A note on proper documentation:  The only acceptable form of documentation for an illness will be a written doctorís note explicitly stating that the student was unable to attend class on the date of
        the missed exam.  The generic time-stamped visit verification slips from the Student University Health Center will NOT be accepted.  We check all medical excuses with your physicians, so
        please inform them that we will be calling to verify any specified illness.

    2. Students should notify Dr. Caines of the need for a make-up exam within 24 hours of the in-class exam date.  This notification should take the form of an e-mail or phone message or an office visit.  If
        you are too sick to contact Dr. Caines, have someone do it for you.  Dr. Cainesí email address, phone number, office hours, and office location are listed on the first page of this syllabus.  Students who
        contact Dr. Caines for the first time more than 24 hours after the in-class exam date WILL NOT be eligible to take a make-up exam and will receive a zero on that exam.

    3. Religious observances:  It is the studentís responsibility to inform Dr. Caines in advance of any intended absences for religious observances.  Notice should be provided as soon as possible, but no
        later than the end of the schedule adjustment period (February 10, 2003).

    4. Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: students with disabilities should bring documentation outlining their needs to Dr. Caines as soon as possible, but no later than February 10, 2003.

Academic Honesty and Classroom Conduct:
    1. By enrolling in this course you agree to abide by the Universityís Code of Academic Integrity.  The Code prohibits students from cheating on exams, plagiarizing papers, submitting fraudulent documents,
        and forging signatures.  See Chapter 4 of the Undergraduate Catalog for additional details.

    2. Eating and drinking are not permitted during lecture.

    3. Please refrain from talking during lecture.  Even quiet conversations become disruptive when multiplied by the large number of students in class.  Students who disrupt the ability of others to
        concentrate will be asked to leave the lecture room.


    1. All exams will be held on the days given on the lecture schedule.  Three exams and a final exam will be given, each worth 100 points.

    2. All exams are non-cumulative and will focus on material presented in lecture.

    3. All exams start on time.  Anyone who arrives late will not be permitted to take an exam if any other student has already completed the exam and left the room.

    4. Refer to the make-up exam policy on page 2 of this syllabus.

Re-grade Policy:
    1. The request for re-grading must be submitted in writing and submitted within one week after the return of the exam.

    2. We will not consider answers that were misinterpreted by the grader due to a studentís sloppy handwriting, poor organization, or incorrect terminology.  Your answers must be clear and concise the first

Final Grade:
Exam #1 100 
Exam #2 100 
Exam #3 100 
Final Exam 100 
Total exam points possible 
400 points
Extra Credit: The Life of a Plant:   
                    Exam #1 extra credit questions    5 
                    Exam #2 extra credit questions    5 
                    Exam #3 extra credit questions    5 
Final Exam  extra credit questions
                    Plant Journal  10
Total points possible
430 points

              The University has scheduled the Final Exam for: Friday, May 16th from from 8:00 am Ė 10:00 am.

Final Course Letter Grade:

387-400 A+ 346-359 B+ 306-319 C+  266-279 D+ 
373-386 A 332-345 B 292-305 C 252-265 D
360-372 A- 320-331 B- 280-291 C- 240-251 D-
      < 240      F

Your continued enrollment in this course constitutes a binding contract.  Therefore, all course participants hereby
agree to this grading system.  There will be no competition among participants and final course grades will not be
discussed or negotiated.  You either have the points or you do not.

See suggestions list

last modifiied; 1/15/03 by Dr. Caines