BI490 Advanced Topics in Biology:

for SP 2010

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BI 490 Advanced Topics in Biology:


SP 2010 HOZ


Williams, Donald L.


Associate Professor of Biology


Ed. D. in Science (Biology), Ball State Univ., Muncie, IN, Sum. '98
MS in Biology, Western State College, Gunnison, CO, Sum. '78
BA in Biology, Kansas Wesleyan Univ., Salina, KS, May '70

Office Location

SC 114B

Office Hours

T-R, 9-12, mornings & 2-4 afternoons

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

January 11-May 7, 2010

Class Days


Class Time



BI115, BI225, CH108, & CH108L

Credit Hours


Taiz, L. & Zeiger, E. 1991.  Plant Physiology.  The Benjamin/Cummings Pub. Co., Inc.

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Course Description:
BI490 Advanced Topics in Biology: Plant Physiology  

Plant Physiology is the study of how plants germinate, grow, develop, mature, reproduce and die; i.e. how and why, at the physiological level, a plant behaves in its own peculiar way, including metabolism (photosynthesis, respiration, mineral nutrition), water relations, gas exchange, response to environmental stresses, growth and development in response to environmental cues and biochemical control of growth.  It is the study of the organization and operation of the processes in the plant that order its development and behavior; i.e. the chemistry and physiology of how plants make a living.

Educational Philosophy:
  In this class, the instructor will attempt to create an interactive learning environment utilizing lectures, class discussions, homework, exams, quizzes, various technologies, laboratory activities, and guest speakers (when appropriate and available). Each student is strongly encouraged to participate within the structure of the course via discussion and debate of his/her views and personal beliefs. Critical thinking and skepticism are the cornerstones of science and the foundations to uncovering the truth about the natural world. Course topics will be presented and discussed with these foundations in mind. It is the belief of this instructor that everyone can understand and utilize scientific principles, and that science can be fun; therefore, this course will be taught from these premises.

This instructor has an “open door” policy towards students. Please feel free to come in or call if you have any questions concerning course items or college life in general.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Varies depending on topic (approved by the department)

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. 1) Describe what a plant is and what it is not.
  2. 2) Describe the major functions and processes occurring in plants.
  3. 3) Demonstrate the use of basic techniques for studying the physiology of plants.
  4. 4) Discuss areas of current research in plant physiology.
  5. 5) Discuss some practical applications of plant physiological research.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
When applicable for this independent study,  

Exams: Exams and final may consist of multiple choice, matching, labeling, short answer, and essay questions.

Quizzes: Lecture quizzes will not be announced; questions will be multiple choice or one-word answer and will test on material from the previous few classes and reading for the current class.

Assignments: Allpapers, lab write-ups, and any other out-of-class assignments must be typed (double-spaced, 12 point, left justified, in plain text) and stapled in the upper left corner unless the instructor explicitly states otherwise. Homework will have varying point values.

Make-ups: Lecture and lab quizzes and lab exams cannot be made up. Emergencies involving missed exams and assignments will be handled on a case-by-case basis (see attendance policies, above).

Extra credit: No extra credit is available for this course.


The following areas will be used in determining the student’s over-all grade for this course.

  • All work will be scored on a point basis with the student’s grade being calculated as a % of the total possible points assigned.
  • Grading Scale:

A = 90.0% and higher

B = 80.0%

C = 70.0%

D = 60.0%

F = less than 60.0%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
All assignments are due by the end of the class period on their due date. Late assignments will receive a grade of zero. An absence from the session at which an assignment is due does not exempt one from the assignment due date; it is the student’s responsibility to get assignments to the professor on or before the due date, especially in the case of excused absences as mentioned, above. Emergency situations that can be documented will be handled on a case by case basis with the instructor. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
The classroom is a place for learning and intellectual development for all in attendance; therefore,

  • CD players, cellular phones, beepers, and other communication devices are not welcome where they may disrupt the learning process. Please be respectful of the professor and your peers by turning off such devices or not bringing them to the class. 
  • Students suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be removed from the class and reported to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Smokeless tobacco is not to be used during class or laboratory sessions.
  • Disruptive behavior (as deemed by the instructor) during class time will result in removal of the student from the class for the day and the student will be considered absent. Multiple disruptions over the semester may lead to dismissal of the student from the class and a subsequent failing grade being given for the course.
  • Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive. Students must recognize, though, that technology can also cause problems. Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash. Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology. Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:




Introduction to Plant Physiology


The Plant Cell and its Components


Plant Enzymes


Plant Respiratory Metabolism


Plant Respiratory Metabolism (cont’d.)




Photosynthesis (cont’d.)


Plant Nutrition



Leaves and the Atmosphere


Leaves and the Atmosphere (cont’d.)


Phloem and Phloem Transport


Plant Defense


Plant Growth & Development


Plant Growth & Development (cont’d.)


Plant Dormancy, Vernalization, Senescence, Germination


TBD & Final Exam

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

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
It is the opinion of this instructor that class performance directly relates to class attendance.  Regular attendance at lectures and labs, therefore, is imperative.  The attendance policy as printed, above, will be followed as a minimum requirement.  

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: .


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Last Updated:12/28/2009 1:54:27 PM