| Dr. Kaci Thompson
office: 1313 Symons Hall
office hours: by appointment
OverviewThe goal of this course is to introduce students to the biology of the class Mammalia. The first portion of the course examines how they evolved, their distributions, and their their phylogenetic relationships. The middle section of the course focuses on diagnostic features and broad biological concepts as they relate to mammals (e.g., temperature regulation, reproduction, and locomotion). The last portion of the course is a survey of the living mammalian orders: their diagnostic features, life history characteristics and physiological and behavioral specializations.
Class meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-1:45pm in 0215 ESJ
Google Drive for in class assignments: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1EOztuVM244kSlGamYx_C_eioJV6ynBvh?usp=sharing
The Mammalogy website has extensive supplemental material for the course, including lecture outlines, exam study questions, and an image archive of living mammals. In addition, we will be using ELMS for announcements, written assignments, recorded videos, tracking grades and asking questions of general relevance to the class. ELMS can be accessed at http://www.elms.umd.edu.
Text (optional): Feldhamer, G.A., Drickamer, L.C., Vessey, S.H., Merritt, J.F., and Krajewski, C. 2015. Mammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity and Ecology, 4th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press.
For the past several years, I have made the text optional. Only 11% of students in previous years thought it was necessary to require the textbook. This text provides additional detail on the topics we will cover in class, as well as photos and diagrams. It is up to you whether you want to purchase the text to have access to these materials.
Course-related communications: I will send out time-sensitive information via ELMS announcements. If you need to contact me, you can email me directly at the address above or send a message through ELMS. You can also call my office phone and leave a message if I am not there, although in most cases email is the fastest way to reach me.
Course structure: The course is organized as a series of modules. Each module spans 1-2 weeks and consists of
Activities, learning assessments and expectations for students
Assignment due dates were chosen to best facilitate your understanding of the material, therefore I expect you to submit them on time. Late assignments will be accepted, but will accrue a penalty of 10% for each day (or fraction of a day) that the assignment is late unless previous arrangement have been made with me for a different due date.
Here is our plan for the semester. Be advised that the timing of topics might shift a bit, depending on how quickly we are able to move through the material. The dates of the exams will still occur on the dates scheduled.
Your final grade in the class will be based on a total of 750 points. The breakdown of points is shown in the table above. You will have a quizz at the end of most modules. There will also be two in class exams and a final exam. You'll find more detailed information about the modules and graded assignments in ELMS.
In most years, I have not curved the grades, but I reserve the right to do so if the distribution of grades warrants. Any curves will be based upon final point totals only, and will always be in favor of the student (i.e., a student earning 90% of the total points for the course will receive no less than an A-). Plus/minus grading will be used.
It is our shared responsibility to know and abide by the University of Maryland's policies that relate to all courses, which include topics such as:
Please visit www.ugst.umd.edu/courserelatedpolicies.html for the Office of Undergraduate Studies' full list of campus-wide policies and don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions about how those policies pertain to our class.