California Plants & Animals
Plants and Animals
Biology 014-Section 24575
55H Phone: 408-741-2416
Office Hours: TTH
10:00-10:50am (SM58);M 2-3or 4-5pm as scheduled(SM55H); or by appt.
55A Phone: 408-741-2572
M4:10-5:10pm, Th9-11am; or by appt.
There are no prerequisites
for this course. However, students are expected to read and write at
the college level and know sufficient mathematics to use and understand
graphs and charts.
Texts & Publications:
* A Natural History of California. 1992.
Schoenherr, Allan A. University of California Press. Berkeley,
* A Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers. 1998. Niehaus, Theodore.
Charles L. Ripper. Peterson Field Guide.
*Introduction to Trees of the San Francisco Bay Region. 2003. Keator,
Glenn. California Natural History guides ISBN:
*The Laws Pocket Guide Set San Francisco Bay Area. 2010. Laws, John
Muir. Heyday Books. ISBN:
* Hand Lens (Loupe)
Example may viewed on amazon.com
3 ring binder 5.5” X 8.5” OR 6 “X 9.5”
Lined filler paper
*California Wildlife: A Practical Guide. 2000. Stienstra, Tom. Avalon
Travel Publishers. ISBN: 9781573540872
Overheads, pictures, visuals, etc. as needed for
Requirement: Students responsible for
transportation to field trips
General Course Description:
Welcome to California Plants & Animals – Bio 14! You are about to
begin an exciting and wondrous adventure into the diversity of plants
and animals found in California. It will undoubtedly be a journey
filled with amazing observations. There will be much to learn with a
lot of time, energy and effort expended in this process. For many of
you this course will begin building the foundation for your careers. As
such, the material will need to be learned,
not merely memorized. Learning requires a high level of understanding
and will allow you to not only know information but be able to apply
your knowledge. The ability to do so will extend the value of this
course far beyond the boundaries of your transcript and into your
careers and lives. In this syllabus you will find descriptions of what
you can expect from this course, from me as your instructor, and
perhaps most importantly, what is expected of you. Please read through
the following information carefully. Transfer: CSU
Student Learning Outcomes:
*Upon completion of this course the student should
be able to:
*Explain the life histories and identify the most
common California trees, flowering plants, insects, amphibians,
birds, and mammals.
*Analyze the major bioregions in the state of
California in terms of climate and geographical distribution of
different plant and animal
*Deduce ecological interactions between different
species in a community.
This biology course meets for 5 hours per
week, 2 hours scheduled of lecture & 3 hours scheduled of lab. In
addition to the scheduled class meetings, plan on spending additional
research time in the library. To get the most out of this class you
should expect to devote study time outside of class. The amount of time
you spend in and outside of class will, in a large part, determine how
well you do in the course. Students are expected to attend and
participate in all lectures and labs. Any student absent from 4 or more
class sessions (lecture or lab) may be dropped from the course by the
instructor. Students are encouraged to remain active participants in
class. Class involvement will not only make the course more
interesting, but will also facilitate student understanding, learning
and retention. All students are expected to arrive to class on time,
having read the related material relevant to lectures. If you do arrive
late please sit in the back or side of the room so as not to disrupt
the class (your peers or instructor)
Lecture Format: Lectures will be used to
present, clarify, and expand on information which is presented in your
book. Although we will follow a typical lecture format, class
participation and involvement is encouraged. If, during lecture, you
have a question raise your hand and I will try to answer when
appropriate. Otherwise please do not talk during lecture– it is
disruptive to me and your fellow students! You do not need to bring
your text to class, however, it will be to your benefit to have it
available. You are required to know all of the information presented in
the class lectures whether the material is in the text or not.
Lab is an extremely important component of this course. Your
hands-on exposure to materials is an invaluable experience that many of
you would not get anywhere else! Plan on spending the entire assigned
lab time in lab each week (minimum of 3 hours per week). Working with a
group or as an individual you will explore California plant and animal
communities through the use of models, preserved animals, activities
and field trips. Your experience will depend on your involvement and
participation, the more prepared you arrive to lab the more you will
gain from the experience. You will be held accountable for all
information covered in the laboratory.
At the end of each lab, it is your
responsibility to be sure that all materials are clean and returned to
their correct location. The tables should be wiped down following each
lab. You should leave the laboratory should be cleaner than when you
In the event of an emergency student safety in the class is a primary
concern. Please use your best judgment! Instructions for laboratory
safety will be outlined during the first laboratory section. Students
who miss this review are responsible for contacting the instructor for
this information. In order to maximize safety students should be
familiar with their surroundings. You should know the location of the
first aid kit, fire extinguisher, eye wash, the nearest emergency
phone, and emergency exit and procedures. In the event of an emergency
which requires the evacuation of the building (earthquake or fire),
once safety of exit has been evaluated, we will exit the building
through the outside door and walk to parking lot #2. In this event you
MUST follow the instructor’s directions and remain with the instructor
until you are dismissed.
There are several field trips for the course. Students are
responsible for attending and participating on field trips. Field trips
are considered lab activities (i.e. worth points) that are an integral
part of the class. Students are responsible for making appropriate
plans. This includes scheduling and transportation. Students are
responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the
field study sites. While at the study sites students should consider
themselves “In Class” and should behave accordingly. Guests and pets
cannot be accommodated
Use of Animals in the Lab: Part of the
course includes California animals. In order to achieve this, there are
several labs that require preserved animal and animal skins. If you
have strong objections to these procedures see me after the first class
If you have a learning or physical need that will require special
accommodations in this class you will need to notify me in writing of
your accommodation needs. Please notify me following the first class if
you require any special accommodations for learning or physical
impairments. This will allow me to best meet your needs and allow us
ample opportunity to provide suitable accommodations. West Valley
College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with documented
disabilities. College materials will be available in alternate formats
(Braille, audio, electronic format, or large print) upon request.
Please contact the Disability and Educational Support Program at (408)
741-2010 (voice) or (408) 741-2658 (TTY) for assistance.
Homework assignments will be assigned throughout the semester. Reading
and studying the text/ handouts, reviewing lecture powerpoints, and
coming to class prepared are considered weekly homework.
Attendance is mandatory for student success. It is the student’s
responsibility to attend ALL classes, classes will start on time and
will run the entire time; schedule doctor appointments, dental
appointments, baby sitters etc. accordingly. If you are absent for any
reason, please notify me as soon as possible. If a student misses a
lecture, it is his/her responsibility to obtain any handouts and
information provided. Again, if a student is absent from more than four
class sessions he/she will be DROPPED from the course. A portion of
your grade will be determined by your participation, so it is important
that you attend all class sessions to earn all possible points.
from the Course: Anyone not present in the beginning of the
semester will be dropped. After the first class it is the
responsibility of the student who registered to withdraw, even if
he/she has stopped attending class. Do not assume that if you
stop coming to class that you will automatically be dropped. Students
who fail to attend but do not inform the instructor and officially drop
the course will receive a failing grade.
Conduct: Disruptive conduct in
lecture and lab is unacceptable. This includes late arrivals,
disruptive talk, passing notes, ringing cell phones, pagers and ipod
use. Disruptive students will be asked to leave and will lose
participation points. Continued disruptive behavior will result in
This course will have an active website page which can be used
to review lecture schedule and general class policies throughout the
semester. This lecture section also has a webpage designed to provide
students information relevant to this section only. Instructor’s
syllabus with polices and lecture powerpoint presentations will be made
available to students weekly. These materials are highly beneficial to
focusing your study time and if used properly will aid in your success
in this course.
and drug use violate West Valley
College policies and will not be allowed on the field trips
*Weapons including firearms are not
allowed on field trip
*Safety is critical for the success of
this course. Students will be responsible for following the safety
guidelines provided by the instructor. Failure to do so will result in
dismissal from the class with a failing grade
*Respect. Be respectful of the
environment and of your classmates.
Academic Integrity: Academic
integrity is MANDATORY. The college policy on cheating is clearly
spelled out in the college catalogue and will be strictly
enforced. Use of any method other than your knowledge and memory
(such as notes, looking on other students papers, communication between
students etc.) to answer questions on an exam or quiz constitutes
cheating and will result in failure of that exam or quiz. Dishonest
behavior also includes: cheating, tampering, fabrication, plagiarism,
and assisting (see course webpage “handout” folder for more details).
Therefore be proactive; keep your work to yourself and be sure that all
work (papers and presentations) is in your own and in your own words-
this includes group activities. Summaries and reports must be completed
individually. Any student caught exhibiting dishonest behavior will be
appropriately reprimanded. All dishonest behavior will be reported to
the Vice president of Student Services and will undergo review by the
Disciplinary Action Committee. Resulting disciplinary action may
include one or more of the following; academic probation, suspension,
expulsion from the district colleges, and academic dishonesty
Make-Up Policy: NO make up exams
are given. Be sure to show up!
Assignments (50): Lab assignments will be assigned to reinforce
concepts. Students will be allocated points for lab work & field
trips. Students will also be tested on lab material.
Quizzes (80p): Quizzes will cover lecture &/or lab material covered
during the class period. Quizzes will be administered at the ending of
class. Make-up quizzes are not available, so be sure to attend class.
Field notebook (100p): A field notebook will be required for the field
component of the course. Points will be allocated based on format,
content, and completion of assignments.
Exams (450p): Students are responsible for all material presented in
lecture & lab whether it can be found in the text or not.
Attendance of scheduled exams is mandatory. There are NO make-up exams.
Failure to attend an exam may result failing grade for the course.
Exams scores will not be dropped or substituted. Exams will begin
promptly at the beginning of class. Please arrive on time and note that
you will not receive extra time to compensate a late arrival. Note:
Please write legibly- my standard policy is if I can’t read it, it’s
There will be two non-comprehensive exams and one comprehensive final
exam. The dates of these exams are listed in the course schedule. The
exams will consist of a combination of matching, true/false, fill in
the blank, short answer.
Paper & Presentation (100p): As part of your course grade you will
be required to write a paper and give a class presentation. The purpose
of this assignment is to provide you the opportunity to reinforce the
material you have learned in class and apply the concepts to a
topic/subject we did not cover. For this assignment you will choose a
topic that relates to a California plant community or animal species
that interests you. You may choose any topic or study organism that
interests you. This is a REQUIREMENT! You must find a topic that you
want to learn more about and would like to share with your classmates.
Periodically we will post your grades. This gives you the opportunity
to confirm where you stand in the course, if you are missing any work
or if I have made any errors recording your grades. Be sure to look it
over. If you have any questions regarding any grade you receive and/or
the grading method please feel free to talk to us.
You are not in competition with other students. Your course
grade will be determined by the total number of points you earn.
Exams (3 @ 150 points
each) 450 pts
Total Points Possible:
Grade Calculation :
(pts. earned / pts. possible) x 100 = %
*If complications in assigned point
allocation arise, the percent scale of the remaining points will be
used to calculate grades
course grade will be based on the following scale:
(90-100%), B (80-89%), C (65-79%), D (55-65%),
F (below 55%)
Periodically I will
post your grades. This gives you the opportunity to confirm where you
stand in the course, if you are missing any work or if I have made any
errors recording your grades. Be sure to look it over. If you have any
questions regarding any grade you receive and/or the grading method
please feel free to talk to me.
Miscellaneous Notes: Due to the
disruptive nature of cell phones and pagers all cell phones and pagers
must be completely turned off while in lecture and lab. If for some
reason you must leave your cell phone or pager on please switch it to
silent mode and leave the room before answering it. Ringing cell phones
and/or pagers during exams may result in failure of the exam. If you
must leave your phone on during an exam please switch it to silent
mode. If, for any reason, you answer a cell phone or pager during an
exam you must turn in your exam and forfeit your remaining time.
Disruptions of this nature will also result in the loss of
to seek Additional Help:
Hours:TTH10-10:50(SM58);M2-3 OR 4-5pm(SM55H) as scheduled; by appt.
Geary Office Hours: M 4:10-5:10pm, Th9-11am; or by appt.
study groups: Your fellow classmates are a valuable resource
Services: Please take advantage of the support services on
campus- They are here to help you! Services contact information is
Services: All students are eligible for free on campus
tutoring. If you wish to get help you MUST make the commitment to
attend any scheduled tutorial sessions. If any student misses 2
un-cancelled tutorial sessions they will be dropped from the program.
Important Phone Numbers:
threatening emergency- Campus phone………………………………………………..9-911
Student Health Services on campus………
Safety Escort Service (Campus Police)
Science and Math Division office
Extended Opportunity Programs &
Disability & Educational Support
Last day to Add……………………………….…Feb 10
President’s Day…………..………Feb 15-18
Last day to drop without a “W” …….. Feb 10
Last day to drop with a “W”…………... Apr 26
Cesar Chavez……………………….Apr 1
Grades Available…………………………………Jun 4