Biology for Non-Science Majors II Syllabus for 2021-2022
Return to Syllabus List

Instructor Information

Office Location

Science Laboratory Building 203F

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday: 2:00-3:00 pm           

Friday: By Appointment

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

Disability Statement

If you have a disability (learning, mental, physical) that affects your ability to participate effectively and have access to any program or service at Amarillo College please contact Disability Services at (806) 345-5639 . Our offices are located in the Student Service Center office 112. More information may be found at
Disability Services facilitates access to all programs and services according to the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as other federal and state laws.

Amarillo College Web Accessibility Policy Statement

Amarillo College is committed to providing equal access to all programs and services, including all working, learning, and service environments that affect equal access for persons with disabilities. This commitment to provide equal access and opportunity for persons with disabilities is in compliance with federal and state law. Amarillo College also strives to provide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) that are accessible to all authorized users.

If you find you are unable to access material in an accessible format please contact the Disability Services Office at (806) 345-5639 . This office will work in conjunction with other campus resources to address and accommodate your issue in a timely manner.

Statement for Mental Health and Advocacy & Resource Center:

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is

Amarillo College Tutoring for Success Policy:

The Tutoring for Success policy applies to any student whose grade or performance in the course falls below a departmentally determined minimum threshold. In either of those cases, the instructor will direct the student to the appropriate tutoring service, which may be faculty-led, discipline-specific, and/or general. Under this policy, the instructor will follow specific departmental guidelines governing the use, duration, and grade component of the tutoring need.

Administrative Drop Policy

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped. Effective Fall, 2016

Student Withdrawal Procedures

Students who wish to withdraw from a course must complete all steps indicated on the Academic Withdrawal Request form by the course withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: Students who are attending Texas institutions of higher education, for the first time fall 2007 and later, may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic career. This withdrawal limitation does not include dual credit or developmental classes (Senate Bill 1231 Rule 4.10.) For more information on Drop and Withdrawal Policies, please visit the Registrar's Office Web site.

Privacy Statement

The Amarillo College Privacy Policy is found at , and applies to all Amarillo College students.  If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent, send email to .


BIOL-1409-001 Biology for Non-Science Majors II


Course Description

This course will provide a survey of biological principles with an emphasis on humans, including evolution, ecology, plant and animal diversity and physiology. Laboratory activities will reinforce lecture content.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(4 sem hrs; 3 lec, 2 lab)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Lecture Book

 Shuster, M. Vigan, J., Tontonoz, M. 2018. Biology for a Changing World: with Physiology. 3rd ed.  W. h. Freeman Macmillan Learning, New York

        You will not need to have an access code for this class.

Laboratory book:

Moore, B., Porter, D. Schwarzlose, S and Price, J.  2015. Life Science 2. Lab Manual, BIOL 1409 Non-science Majors.


You will need to have reliable access to the internet. If you do not have a reliable connection, you are advised to use the computers in the library for access to all class materials. You must have access to all the materials uploaded into your unit folder on Blackboard. All assignments will be available to you through Google Docs. You may use Microsoft Office to complete assignments as well. A video on using class materials has been supplied.

Programs such as Shockwave, Acrobat Reader, Adobe QuickTime may be needed. These can be downloaded for free if required.
Any and all other materials outlined by your instructor including; a calculator, three-ring binder, map colors, pencils, and pens.

Student Performance


Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

1. Apply scientific reasoning to investigate questions and utilize scientific tools such as
microscopes and laboratory equipment to collect and analyze data.
2. Use critical thinking and scientific problem-solving to make informed decisions in the
3. Communicate effectively the results of scientific investigations.
4. Define modern evolutionary synthesis, natural selection, population genetics, micro and
macroevolution, and speciation.
5. Describe phylogenetic relationships and classification schemes.
6. Identify the major phyla of life with an emphasis on plants and animals, including the basis
for classification, structural and physiological adaptations, evolutionary history, and
ecological significance.
7. Describe basic animal physiology and homeostasis as maintained by organ systems.
8. Compare different sexual and asexual life cycles noting their adaptive advantages.
9. Illustrate the relationship between major geologic change, extinctions, and evolutionary


Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Every student will take personal responsibility for his/her learning in this course. To succeed, each
student must...
1. Be respectful of others in the class
2. Attend all lecture and lab meetings. This includes online lectures.
3. Design and implement a study schedule as advised by our instructor.
4. Complete all before class reading assignments or videos before coming to class
5. Participate in lecture and lab by asking questions and being active in the lab
6. Demonstrate college-level effort and behavior
7. Complete all assignments when due.
8. You are responsible for printing your notes off of Blackboard and bringing them to class. Class preparedness is key to the successful completion of the class. 
9. Access to your grades and average will be obtained through Blackboard.
10. Students may only use their cell phones to gather information when authorized by the instructor. If a student uses their cell phone for any other reason, the student can be asked to leave class.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE: If a student is having a problem with the course policies or the instructor, he or she should first try and resolve any such problems with the instructor. If the problem is not resolved, the student may proceed to the Department of Biological Sciences Chairperson (Dr. Richard Hobbs), the Dean of Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Math, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the College President IN THAT ORDER.

Safety: Material Safety Datasheets (MSDS) are stored in SCIE 110.

WITHDRAW: A grade of "W" will be given for drops or withdraws on or before the published official withdrawal date. You may not drop or withdraw after that date.

FINAL GRADE CHANGES: The final grade turned into the registrar's office will not be changed unless approved by the full-time Biology Faculty Committee. The request must be in writing.

Bad Weather
If classes are canceled due to inclement weather, you are responsible for reading and learning the material that would have been covered. If an exam was scheduled and classes are canceled, the exam time will not be extended unless classes are canceled on the last day of an Exam. If this happens, the Instructor will set a new end date for that exam. (BE PREPARED) If this class is canceled on the last day of the semester and an exam was scheduled, then the exam will be added to the Final Exam, and the questions will count as the exam and as the final exam. If this class is canceled during finals week, check the AC website for new exam times. Cancellations will be announced on the radio by 6:30 AM or by 3:00 PM for evening classes. Also, check the AC website.

Grading Criteria

EVALUATION: Exams will count for 65%, Quizzes 10%, Assignments will count for 5%, and Lab Tests and Assignments will count 20%of the course grade.

GRADING: Grades will not be curved, and there will be NO EXTRA CREDIT.
89.5 - 100 = A
79.5 - 89.4 = B
69.5 - 79.4 = C
59.5 - 69.4 = D
00.0 - 59.4 = F


Exams are worth 65% of the overall grade for the course. There will be a minimum of 4 exams, 5 total, including the final. Exams will consist of approximately 50 questions (multiple-choice, fill in the blank, and short answers). The exam material will come from the lecture outlines, textbook readings, web readings, and other assignments. One exam grade will be dropped (See Final Exam Option). If you MISS the due date and time for an exam for any reason, a grade of zero will be assigned for that exam, and that will be your drop for the semester. NO MAKE-UPS or extra time will be given for any reason on any EXAM.

Online Exams- Department policy states that all exams, excluding take-home exams and final exams, will be taken in the Science Testing Center during days scheduled by the teacher and during normal Science Testing Center hours. Tests will be taken outside of class lecture/lab time. Your exams will be online. A computer will be supplied to you at the testing center. You must not open any other web pages during the exam. A password will be given to you by the Science Testing Center personnel to open the exam. You will have only 1 attempt to take the exam, and it must be completed in one sitting. Do not forget to submit your exam after completion, or the grade will be a zero. Please note: No test may be started less than one and a half hours before the Science Testing Center closes. Students are responsible for knowing the times and days that the testing center is open for testing. When using the Science Testing Center students will scan in and out with their Amarillo College student I.D.

There will be online and in-class quizzes daily/weekly during the semester. The quizzes will be fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, labeling, and/or short answer. IMPORTANT!! If you MISS the DUE DATE and TIME for any quiz or assignment, a grade of zero will be assigned for that quiz or assignment, and that will be your drop for the semester. If you are late to class and the quiz has already begun, you may not participate in the quiz, and you will receive a zero. You are allowed 2 dropped quizzes. NO MAKE-UPS or extra time will be given for any reason on any quiz or assignment, so please DO NOT ASK.

Assignments- 5%
Assignments will be given daily. You must be in class to complete the assignment. If you miss class and the assignment, a zero will be given for that assignment grade. You are allowed 2 dropped assignments. NO MAKE-UPS or extra time will be given for any reason on any quiz or assignment, so please DO NOT ASK.

ONLINE QUIZZES - Online quizzes will be taken at home. You will get two attempts on online quizzes unless otherwise stated. The best score will be recorded. If a problem occurs during a quiz (for example, loss of internet connection, computer lock up, accidentally open it prematurely, or you forgot to submit it), you will have only one attempt. If the instructor decides to resets the quiz, you will have only one attempt. You will get only one reset on a quiz per semester for any reason. Also, you must finish within the allotted time frame.

IN-CLASS QUIZZES- in-class quizzes will be given at the instructor's discretion. You will more than likely have a daily in-class quiz. If you are late for the class and miss the quiz, a zero will be given for that quiz. Do not be late for class.

One assignment may be given as a class project.  The project will count as 3 quiz grades and is an exception to the drop rule.  Class projects will not be dropped.

FINAL EXAM OPTION: If you take all four (4) lecture exams and are satisfied with your grade before the final exam, you can elect to use your final exam grade as the lecture's dropped grade INSTEAD of one lecture exam. (Remember NO MAKE-UPS on exams).


Laboratory assignments and Lab practicals will determine your Lab grade.  You will have a minimum of one lab practical during the semester to cover all material in the previous laboratories.  Lab practicals will identify laboratory specimens, questions about experimental and lab procedures, and findings from lab exercises and assignments.  Questions can consist of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, and essay questions.  The Lab grade counts for 20% of your overall grade.


Mandatory Tutoring: Science Tutoring and Success Center (STSC)
To increase retention in Biology courses, any student who scores below a 70 on any exam (excluding the Final Exam week) must complete a mandatory 1-hour tutoring session in the Science Tutoring and Success Center (STSC) before taking the next exam. Before getting mandatory tutoring, students must first make a tutoring session appointment with the STSC by either calling or visiting. The STSC will do its best to accommodate a student’s schedule within the STSC hours of operation. This may require plenty of advanced notice by the student as time slots fill quickly.

Upon arrival in the STSC, students must inform STSC staff that they are there for mandatory tutoring. Mandatory tutoring will not require remediation over a failed test.

Students are responsible for knowing the hours and days of the Science Tutoring and Success Center.

Peer tutors are available at the Science Enrichment Center.


Attendance: Regular attendance is necessary for satisfactory achievement. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the student to attend class. Absences result in zeros for any missed quizzes, exams, presentations, or participation grades. If you stop attending class and do not officially drop the course, you will receive an “F” for the course. A grade of “W” will be given for student-initiated drops or withdrawals. Texas law now mandates that students may only drop or withdraw 6 times in their entire college careers, excluding drops prior to the census date. Before a student can drop a class, they must first meet with the instructor.

Students must Scan in at the beginning of class- All students must bring their student ID with them to every class. When students enter the class, you must scan in. Smartphones can also be used by downloading “Ellucian Go”, which will contain their virtual ID. When students miss (2) consecutive absences, a retention alert case will be generated, and a text and an email message will be sent to the student at 7 am the next morning. Three total absences during the semester will result in another retention alert. Student academic affairs are notified of all retention alerts.



BIOL  1409  Biology for Non-Majors 2 Tentative SCHEDULE 




Week 1

Ch. 15 Evidence for Evolution

Ch. 16 Life on Earth

Ch. 19 Human Evolution

Evolution video

Lab 1 Evolution and Natural selection

Week 2

Ch. 18 Eukaryotic Diversity- Tree of life

Ch. 17 Prokaryotic Diversity

Ch. 24 Plant Growth

Lab 2: Evolution/Classification and Phylogeny

Lab 3: Viruses and Disease Epidemiology

Week 3

Ch. 25 Plant Physiology

Ch. 18 Eukaryotic Diversity

Ch 20 population ecology

Lab 4- Microbial life

Lab 12- Plant Cells and Simple Tissues

Lab 13- Plant Complex tissues

Week 4

Ch. 21- Community Ecology

Ch. 22- Ecosystem Ecology

Ch. 26 Overview of Physiology

Lab 13- Plant Complex tissues

Lab 5- invertebrates

Week 5

Ch. 28 Cardiovascular system

Ch. 29 Respiratory System

Lab 5- invertebrates

Lab 6- vertebrates

Week 6

Catch up on Lecture

Lab 10- special senses

Lab 8- Respiratory System

Lab 7- cardiovascular system

Important Dates

 Final Exam- Aug. 11th. 

Last Day to Drop- Aug. 4th. 

Additional Information

Science Testing Center (STC) Contract for Success

Initial each statement to confirm understanding!

_______I fully understand that if I cheat or attempt to cheat on any test, I will receive an automatic “F” in the course. This grade will go on my permanent transcript and cannot be removed. Cheating includes but is not limited to: the illegal use of books, notes, copying or photographing any test material, leaving the Science Testing Center with a test, and the use of any electronic devices such as unapproved calculators, cell phones, smartwatches, laptops, tablets, etc. Cheating also includes helping or attempting to help other students cheat or gain an advantage on a test either inside or outside the testing center by sharing information from the test.

_______Please Note: Cell phones, fitbits, or any other electronic devices are NOT allowed in the testing room at any time for any reason. If we see any unapproved material or devices out AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON, while in the testing room, your test WILL be taken up immediately and may result in an “F” for the course.

_______I understand all testing will be done outside of the class time, except for the final exam.

_______I understand if I score below a 70 on any exam, I must complete a mandatory tutoring session with my instructor or the Science Tutoring and Success Center before requesting the next exam (excluding the Final Exams week). I also understand that I must present a completed Record of Tutoring form to the Science Testing Center staff when requesting my next exam.

_______ I understand a PICTURE ID IS REQUIRED to receive and take a test. An AC ID card is preferred

Science Testing Center RULES

  • Please, be kind and respectful to all STC staff.
  • Books, personal items, watches, phones/devices, drinks, and snacks must be placed on the bookshelf BEFORE you take your test. Amarillo College is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Items are better left at home or at another safe location.
  • No unapproved scratch paper is allowed for testing. Once you have begun work on a test that is considered one attempt. You cannot leave the STC and return to finish that test at a later time or even for bathroom breaks.
  • Scratch paper and calculators are provided by the STC per instructor instruction.
  • The STC will not give any tests out later than 1.5 hours before closing.
  • The STC up your test five (5) minutes prior to closing time.
  • Tests may not be taken during class/lab time unless arranged by the instructor.
  • Tests may not be taken out of the STC with the exception of documented disability needs.
  • The STC schedule is on the outside door and Science Tutoring and Success Center (STSC). 
  • Children may not accompany students into the testing room or be left unattended anywhere on campus.
  • Animals may not accompany students into the testing room except service animals.
  • Cell phones/Smartphones placed on the bookshelf must be turned off.
  • Students will have to wait for their test results from their instructor.
  • All online exams must be taken using the Respondus Lockdown Browser.

I have read and understand all the above rules and requirements. Any violation of any of the above outlined rules or requirements will result in an immediate seizure of my test by the Science Testing Center staff, which may result in further disciplinary actions and possible “F” for the course.

Course and Section #:_________________________ Instructor Name _________________________

Phone/Texting Number ________________________Student ID Number _________________

Signature: _________________________________ Print Name: _________________________________

Biology Laboratory Safety Rules

1.     Never work alone in the laboratory without permission and prior knowledge of the instructor.

2.     Do not engage in rowdy, playful, or unprofessional activities in the laboratory. This includes not being disrespectful of your instructor or classmates.

3.     Students should wash their hands thoroughly after first entering the lab.

4.     Students are allowed to have a drink with a lid during lectures and computer labs.  Otherwise, they should never ever eat or drink anything in the laboratory without explicit permission from the instructor.

5.    Wear appropriate clothing at all times in the laboratory. Wear closed-toe shoes that cover the top of the foot unless permission otherwise is given by the instructor.

6.     Wear examination gloves and safety glasses when dissecting or handling cadavers, caustic chemicals, bacterial broth cultures, or as otherwise advised by your instructor.

7.   Wear gloves when handling any microorganisms. Wear lab aprons or lab coats as advised by your instructor.

8.     Keep hands away from your face, eyes, and mouth when working with cadavers, chemicals, preserved specimens, microorganisms, or body fluids. This includes not applying cosmetics, not adjusting contact lenses, and not biting your fingernails.

9.    If any chemicals or other agents splash into your eyes, immediately go to the nearest sink and flush your eyes with water.

10.  Report ANY and ALL accidents, spills, BREAKAGES, or injuries to the instructor, no matter how trivial they appear.

11.  Scalpels and other sharp objects can be used only if authorized by the instructor and only after given proper handling instructions. Use small trays to carry all sharp objects. When handling sharp objects, point their tips down and away from other people.

12. While wearing examination gloves, students must not leave the laboratory and must not touch any equipment such as microscopes, any personal items such as cell phones, or any doorknobs.

13.  Do not use any lab equipment without instruction and authorization from the instructor.   Report any damaged or broken equipment to your instructor immediately.

14.  Lab benches should be kept free of extraneous items while conducting experiments. This includes unnecessary books, backpacks, cell phones, and other personal items.

15. Any pregnant or immunocompromised student must notify the instructor of the course. Pregnant students will not be allowed to do dissections or work with any body fluids without having a doctor’s note for permission. A pregnant student is required to wear safety glasses and 2 sets of examination gloves when handling any bacterial broths or cultures.

Universal Precautions for Students Working With Urine or Saliva

1.     Before lab, wash hands thoroughly and line the work area with clean paper towels.

2.     Students must wear gloves and may only handle their own body fluids.

3.     Students must wear lab aprons, safety glasses, and surgical masks.

4.     Rinse and dispose of all supplies that may have come into contact with urine or saliva in the appropriate biohazard container.

5.     Dispose of urine in the bathroom toilet and saliva in the sink.

6.     After the lab, wipe down the work area with disinfectant and wash hands thoroughly.

Disposal Policies

1.     Dispose of broken glassware in the marked cardboard box container. Broken glass containers are ONLY to be used for broken glass. Always use a broom and dust pan if asked to clean up broken glassware.

2.     Dispose of used slides in the glass, or plastic, container labeled “Used Slides”.

3.     Biohazardous wastes must be disposed of in a biohazard waste container. Preserved materials (e.g., cat tissues) are not considered biohazardous waste and can be disposed of in regular trash. Your instructor will inform you which disposal containers are to be used with which type of biohazardous waste (metal sharps, glass, and non-sharps).

4.   Uncontaminated gloves can be disposed of in the regular trash. Contaminated gloves must be disposed of in a biohazard waste container. Examination gloves used in dissections are not considered to be biohazard waste and can be disposed of in regular trash.


1.     Each student will leave the laboratory clean and organized for the next lab section. Leave your work area as clean or cleaner than you found it, and return lab items to the designated locations in the drawers or cabinets. Make sure waste and trash are placed in the appropriate receptacles. Be sure to collect all personal belongings before leaving for the day.

2.   Each student is required to affirm at the end of the online safety quiz the following statement: “I have reviewed, and I understand the laboratory safety rules for this course. I understand that I can be dismissed from that day’s lab activity for not wearing proper shoes and clothing or for not following proper safety procedures. I understand that repeated safety violations may result in dismissal from the rest of the laboratory exercises without the option to make up any missed laboratory grades”. Out of safety concerns, a student will not be allowed to participate in any laboratories if s/he cannot agree to this statement.


Syllabus Created on:

07/04/22 12:23 PM

Last Edited on:

07/04/22 12:43 PM