BI490 Advanced Topics in Biology:

for S1J 2012

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BI 490 Advanced Topics in Biology: Animals and Society


S1J 2012 PV


Sarah Thompson, DVM


Adjunct Professor


Internship - Equine Field Services, The Ohio State University
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri - Columbia
Bachelor of Science (Biology), Park University

Office Location


Office Hours

Weekly, 30 minutes prior to class start. Available after class if needed, as well.


*use Gmail account email if urgent contact is necessary*

Semester Dates

January 16, 2012 - March 11, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 10:00 PM


Permission of Instructor

Credit Hours



Herzog, H.  (2011). Some we love, some we hate, some we eat: Why it’s so hard to think straight about animals. New York: Harper Collins.                           
 ISBN:  978-0061730856

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Additional resources will be provided in the form of internet sources and class handouts.

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.
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APA Style Guide:

Course Description:
BI490 Advanced Topics in Biology: Animals and Society.
A survey of topics studying the relationship of humans and domestic animal species. Selected topics may include the Human-Animal Bond, public health issues related to zoonotic disease, the history of domesticated animals, and animal use in food production and research. 
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. Credit: 3 hours.

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor believes that learning is most comprehensive when multiple teaching methods are used. To this end, there will be lectures, discussions, writing, and presentations required in this course to maximize understanding of the subject matter.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

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

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify key historical events in human-animal interaction and explain the significance of these events.
  2. Understand the concept of the Human-Animal Bond, the current research, and the various implications on individuals and society.
  3. Be able to discuss the ethical issues with food animal production, in contrast to the demands of maintaining a food supply.
  4. Describe the role of animals in research, the current standards of animal use, and the ethical implications involved.
  5. Identify the common zoonotic diseases of pets, farm animals, and wildlife and describe their respective modes of transmission, symptoms, prevention, and implications to society as a whole.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

This class will be taught leaning toward an independent study format. We will meet weekly for a condensed class period, but you will be expected to complete weekly reading and writing assignments to make up for the shortened class length.

Weekly Lecture: Readings
There will be weekly selected readings from your textbook and/or from provided links to online material. I will attempt to give the majority of your readings a week in advance so you can prepare in advance for the weekly lecture.

Weekly Lecture: PowerPoint Presentations
Weekly PowerPoint presentations will introduce the weekly subject matter and include insights relating to the instructor’s professional experience.

Weekly Opinion Essay
Each week, you are expected to prepare a 1-2 page (1 inch page margins, double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font) paper summarizing your thoughts of the selected readings and using citations to help represent your opinion.

Weekly Class Discussion
At the beginning of class each week, we will discuss your opinion papers and the reading material from the previous week. Be prepared to give a summary of your weekly paper and participate actively in the discussion. We will all learn more from each other if everyone contributes to their fullest.
Written Final Essay – DUE IN FINAL CLASS
You will compose a 3-5 page essay (1 inch page margins, double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font) answering the following question:     
How has taking this course affected your views on Animals and Society?

You must use AT LEAST three credible sources, one of which is not a source already provided in the course (i.e., you do your own research). Credible sources are those such as peer-reviewed journals, books, newspapers/periodicals, and government or scientific websites. Sources should be cited in APA style. Essays will be graded based on your ability to use your sources appropriately to explain and support your opinion, the strength of your sources, and your grammar/composition.
You will also present a summary of your essay, in addition to your weekly essay, during the final week of class.

Final Examination
The final examination administered the last day of class will be short answer and essay format and comprehensive of all course content.



Grade Point Allocation

Weekly Discussion Participation

(10 points/week)

80 points

Weekly Opinion Essay

(10 points/week)

70 points

Written Final Essay

100 points

Final Examination

100 points


350 points

Grades will be issued on a traditional scale:

Grading Scale










59% or less


Extra credit will not be offered.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late work will be accepted at the instructor’s discretion if the student encounters extenuating circumstances. However, the student must give the instructor notice BEFORE the deadline for this policy to be effective. The instructor reserves the right to deny late work submission.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Please be on time to class.
Treat others as you would like to be treated! Everybody’s opinion counts, even if it may not be your own. Topics to be covered in this course can be divisive, but those differences will allow us to learn from each other. Offensive remarks will not be tolerated.
Please silence your personal electronic devices before entering the classroom. If you have an urgent need to return a call or text message, please excuse yourself from the classroom. Disruptive use of electronic devices will not be tolerated.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Tentative Lecture Topic Schedule:
Week 1: Class Overview and History of Human-Animal Interactions

Week 2: Human-Animal Bond

Week 3: Food Animal Production Practices

Week 4: Zoonotic Disease

Week 5: Companion Animal Preventive Medicine and Public Health

Week 6: Animals and Research

Week 7: Unwanted Horse/Horse Slaughter, Misc. Topics

Week 8: Class Wrap-Up, Final Examination 

Class Time Management:
We will begin with a long discussion, have a lecture, and a end with a short discussion in each class. We will spend as much time on each part as needed with breaks included. We will likely end well before 9:50pm each week, but you should be prepared to be present as long as it is necessary to complete each week's topic.

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
Please reference for a review on plagiarism. All citations for class assignments should be in APA format which is the accepted citation style of the scientific community. Committing plagiarism will result in a ‘zero' for that particular assignment and repeated offenses will be reported to Park University administration.

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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: .

Additional Information:



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Last Updated:1/18/2012 12:20:28 PM