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BI 350 Microbiology
Burns, Douglas M.

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


BI 350 Microbiology


FA 2008 HO


Dr. Douglas M. Burns


Associate Professor of Biology


--   Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt
--   B.A. (Honors) in Biological Sciences, MU-Columbia

Office Location

101A Science Hall

Office Hours

11-12, Monday; 10-12 & 2-3, Wednesday, and 9-10 & 1-2, Thursday

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Access this course at the E-companion site ( for postings & messages.

Semester Dates

18 August  -- 12 December, 2008

Class Days

11:35-12:50, T & R, with Lab at 2:10 - 5:15, R

Class Time



Chemistry 105 or the equivalent

Credit Hours



   Foundations in Microbiology by Kathleen Park Talaro, 6th edition, McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-07-299489-6).  This textbook will provide the basis for most of the material covered in lecture and much of what is covered in the laboratory.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
    Additional information, informational links, and any suggested readings will be presented in class as they become available.

   All class notes, laboratory notes, and announcements will be posted on-line at the "Park E-Companion" website. It is therefore crucial that each student find and learn how to use this important website  ( It is the responsibility of each student to find and use all posted materials.  

       Postings will usually be in the form of PowerPoint or Word files. Please check out the print page in either application to note the print-out options available to you. 

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:

   A study of the major groups of microorganisms, including their morphology, physiology, taxonomy, ecology, and any associated pathologies.  Research skills are stressed in the laboratory where staining, culturing, standard identification methods, and sterilization/preventive procedures are featured.   

        Prerequisite: BI 231 & CH 317 or permission of the instructor. 3:3:4

   Course goals:  Microbiology is the intensive study of biological entities too small to be seen with the naked eye. The student in this course will have the opportunity to study the morphology, physiology, taxonomy, ecology, and associated pathology of viruses, bacteria, protists, and fungi. Laboratory exercises will stress common techniques for  research with and classification of these major groups.

Educational Philosophy:

    Learning is an active and interactive process. Ideally, it would best be promoted by a combination of questioning and feedback that involves each student. Within the requirements of this course, the instructor will emphasize an organized interactive consideration of lecture material, readings, quizzes, projects, research papers, problem sets, examinations, internet websites, and similar exercises. Each student should strive to participate in class and answer any questions directed to them.
     In addition, course material will be applied in laboratory exercises, and it is crucial that students attend and participate throughout each laboratory session. This hands-on laboratory work will expand and reinforce many of the major concepts from lecture so that you remember them in future career situations.
    Take these laboratory sessions seriously. Any of the microbes we use in our laboratories should be treated with extreme care. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT STUDENTS WEAR APPROPRIATE ATTIRE to each of these laboratory meetings:  For your own safety, please do not wear sandals, open-toed shoes, shorts, open-cut tops, or shirts and blouses fitted with large loose sleeves to one of these labs. In addition, do not bring any food or drink into these laboratory sessions; it is NOT safe to drink or eat in the vicinity of any of our reagents or infectious agents. Be certain to wear safety glasses and gloves when they are supplied. You should seriously consider buying a laboratory coat/jacket. Be certain to wash your hands before you leave. Failure to follow these guidelines could result in you being removed from the laboratory for noncompliance to safety regulations. (For completeness, a copy of the Laboratory Rules will be distributed during your first lab meeting.)

    Learning requires actual work; it is a real job. Rigor leads to achievement, and practice familiarizes you with course materials. Thus, each student should expect to spend approximately 3 hours of study outside of class for each credit hour of class. That's 12 hours/week for this class! Doing less will get you less.

    True knowledge apparently results from active construction/reformulation and repeated cross-referencing of new material on top of older (stored) information. This can only be done by the learner, and it is my job to entice you into doing this. Do not expect to succeed by simple memorization. Building conceptual frameworks and internalizing new detail are essential skills in all college-level science course. In a science class, it is important that students transform main elements, themes, and concepts into their own words and thoughts.  (If you don't own it; you don't really know it.) This requires extra time. There is no known substitute for study, review, and practice.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Compare the major groups of microbes and microbial particles.
  2. Explain the interactions between microbe and host that contribute to infectious disease.
  3. Describe and illustrate how physical and chemical agents are used to control the growth and proliferation of microbes.
  4. Evaluate the industrial importance of microbes.
  5. Culture and identify common bacteria, protists, viruses, fungi and infectious animals.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. 6. Understand the environmental role of microbes.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:


    There will be four (4) major lecture examinations, covering the 4 main units of this class (see class schedule and grading details). The first four exams will constitute 57% of the points possible in this course (approximately 570 points out of 1000 total points). These 4 exams will be composed of multiple-choice, matching, and long answer/essay questions.

    In addition, there is a university-mandated comprehensive Final Exam in this course, and it will be designed around a reconsideration of 3-4 case studies previously considered in class that cover a sampling of the major topics we have encountered (including those in the last Unit). This exam must, by University policy, constitute at least 20% of your course grade, and it is worth approximately 200 points.

       This year formal Laboratory Notebooks will be kept for the laboratory portion of the class; these notebooks and any accompanying reports or project write-ups will constitute approximately 18% of the points that you can earn in this course. Details as to notebook requirements will be discussed during the first meeting of our laboratory section. 

     It is vital that you keep up with the reading and review class material BEFORE each class meeting; therefore, at least 5% of your point jeopardy will come in the form of homework preview assignments or unannounced lecture quizzes.

      There will never ever be any extra-credit assignments in this class.


   The Unit I - IV Exams will consist of approximately 140 points each (for a total of 570 points).
   The Final Exam will consist of at least 200 points.
   Accumulated Lab Book and Lab Assessments will constitute 180 points total.
   An additional 50-points will be earned through additional assignments, homework, and quizzes.
                                                                                 Total points possible = approximately 1000 points.

       Final grades will be assigned according to the composite cumulative percentage you earn in this course from all assignments. Your composite cumulative percentage in the class is simply your accumulated points from all lecture and laboratory exams and quizzes divided by the points that were possible and then multiplied by 100%. 
           It is not anticipated that this class will be graded on a curve. Instead, a traditional grading scale will be followed with: greater than 89.9% being an A, greater than 79.9% being a B, greater than 69.9% for a C, greater than 59.9% for a D, and less than 59.9% being an F.

          Do not anticipate any extra-credit work in this class.


Late Submission of Course Materials:


   Homework is due at the start of an assigned class period. Work will not be accepted after the stated deadline without penalty -- except under only the most severe of extenuating circumstances or prior arrangements recorded in writing. Any such emergency must be documented by specific written evidence -- which will then be judged by the instructor as to its acceptability. Nothing else will work as an excuse.

   Late homework and assignments (including lab notebooks when called in or lab projects) will be reduced in credit by 20% for each day that the work is late. Students missing class due to participation in atheletic or other university-sponsored events must turn in all due assignments PRIOR to their expected absence (see below).

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

    All students must follow the common rules of acceptable and courteous behavior while within class. There can be no disruptive or crude behavior during class, and students should be careful not to attend under the influence of an intoxicant of any sort. Students should prepare in advance of each class and expect to be called on from time to time to make the class more interactive.

      Disruptive or intoxicated behavior will result in removal of the student from the class and a recorded absence. Notable problems will be reported to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs so that suitable discipline can be officially determined.

      All cell phones, CD players, iPODs, beepers, bells, whistles, and video devices should be turned off during classtime. do not bring a laptop computer, cell phone, or commication device into class during any examination or quiz.

       ENROLLMENT STATUS OF THE STUDENT:  This is solely the responsibility of the student. Be certain to file the appropriate paperwork with the Registrar if you seek to change your status in this course. If you decide to drop, be careful to file the appropriate forms before the deadline; otherwise, not finishing the course, or inadequate attendance will result in an F. 

       You should learn to take responsibility for competing assignments and turning them in on time. For this reason especially, there is no extra-credit work in this course.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
This schedule is TENTATIVE and may still be changed by the instructor.  



Main Topic/Main Assignments

READ Book               Chapters


Main Themes of Microbiology  (Students should also review Chpt-2.)



Prokaryotic Profiles



Eukaryotic Profiles/the Viruses



Exam-I;  Microbial Genetics  (primarily Bacteria & Viruses)
from 9


Microbial Nutrition, Ecology, & Growth



Microbial Metabolism



Physical and Chemical Agents for Microbial Control



Drugs, Microbes, & hosts;    Exam-II


 No classes; enjoy the time off.


Environmental and Applied Microbiology



Microbe-Host Interactions



Innate and Specific Adaptive Host Defenses & Immunity



Exam III; Cocci and Gram-positive bacteria of Medical Importance

18, 19


Gram-negative and other Bacteria of Medical Importance

20, 21


DNA viruses/RNA viruses

24, 25


RNA viruses/ the Fungi


25, 22


Comprehensive Final based on 3-4 case-studies (previously covered in this class). Cases will be addressed with new multiple-choice, matching, and essay-type questions.
12-11-08, from 10:15 until 12:15



Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
   Please do not share or copy answers for any assignment, including lab write-ups, exam answers, and lab projects. Students should never copy verbatim from books, manuals, or internet sources (see below). Do not  copy from someone else's exam paper or whisper answers to each other during exams. (Both students will receive a 0 for that exam.)

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Please be careful not to plagiarize; we have programs that will detect such behavior within the patterns of your written work.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
It is MANDATORY that you attend all class meetings and all scheduled laboratories. Part of a university education is preparation for professional conduct in your future life. Attendance at work or graduate/professional school is mandatory -- if you wish to remain employed or enrolled. In addition, education is a cooperative effort, and you are as responsible for furthering the education of your fellow classmates and the instructor as the instructor is for educating you. Get in the habit of being here on time, for this is a behavior you will need to cultivate if you wish to succeed.

    Be advised that a student is always responsible for any class material, whether they are present in a particular class session -- or not. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain notes and any notice of assignments due or announcements made on their own.

     There are no excused absences in this course for any reason (medical, personal, job-related, mechanical failure, death in the family, death of a beloved pet, death of ambition, and so forth). However, since personal emergencies may occur during the semester, your first four (4) absences (lecture and/or lab)are free and will draw you no penalty.
    HOWEVER, with each additional absence after the first four, 5% will be deducted from the student's final grade for the course. Furthermore, eight (8) absences in a twice-a-week semester class is an excessive number, and you will automatically be given an F after you miss eight (8) lecture or lab sessions (for ANY reason).

    TARDINESS or LEAVING:  If you are more than 10 minutes late by my watch or just happen not to be present when the attendance sheet is passed around, you will be counted tardy even if you do attend the remainder of class. If you decide to leave class before we are finished, this will also count the same as a tardy. Two tardies constitute one absence, and this will count towards your limit of four.

      EXCEPTION FOR SCHOOL ACTIVITIES:  Athelets who miss class for an atheletic event or contest or students who miss class due to a other school sponsored events will not be penalized IF AND ONLY IF THE INSTRUCTOR IS GIVEN TWO LECTURE MEETINGS (ONE WEEK) PRIOR NOTICE IN WRITING -- AND -- BOTH WORK ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAMS ARE TAKEN BEFORE THE CLASS IS ACTUALLY MISSED! This is the rule; please follow it.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .
Although you have the right to keep all conditions private, my desire is to help anyone who has any sort of trouble taking the class. If you come and talk with me about known problems, we can make certain that you are getting the help you deserve.


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Last Updated:8/10/2008 5:22:23 PM