OVERVIEW: The laboratory component of Biology 190 addresses form and function in organisms, with particular focus on plants and animals. The labs present a mix of experimental and descriptive work, and along the way you will learn a variety of skills (techniques, scientific writing, and quantitation), needed for working effectively as a scientist. Labs are carried out in collaborative groups of three students, although the work handed in varies from that completed individually to work completed in total collaboration. Our goal is that you learn to see and think critically about patterns in nature that reflect how function follows form in the varied solutions to problems all species face.

 Laboratory Sessions

Lab attendance is not optional.
You are expected to be settled in lab promptly at 1:05 PM or 8:00 AM. Expect to remain in lab for the full three-hour period or until you have completed all the required work that day. Do not schedule appointments during lab time.

Lab sessions: Laboratory sections will be offered on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday afternoons (1-4 pm), and Thursday mornings (8-11 am). Lab sections are separate from lecture sessions. You may register for any of these sections; however, you must remain in the section and room you choose on the first day of lab.

Excused absences: Students are responsible for providing their 190 instructor(s) with excuses for absences. The only excuses accepted for absence from lab are those issued by the Dean of Students or Bates' Health Center. Failure to obtain a Dean's excuse results in forfeiting all points awarded for that lab day's work, or any work resulting from that day. Athletes are expected to make arrangements with their lab instructors by the end of the first week of classes for labs they will miss due to scheduled, away games. Athletes should notify their lab instructors immediately when playoff game schedules are made. Excused absences can be made up (see below) in another lab section with the prior notification and assent of that lab section's instructor. Excuses for missed labs should be forwarded to your lab and lecture instructors.

Lab make ups: Make ups for labs are allowed only with excused absences, and whenever possible, we ask that attend one of the other sessions the same week. Make ups for labs must be completed within one week (five week days) of the missed lab, unless an excused illness prevents meeting this time frame. In cases where lab cannot be made up within five week days, an alternative exercise may be assigned by your instructor due to the difficulty in keeping lab equipment set up, maintaining live specimens, the availability of dissection specimens, etc.

Lab groups: Students will be assigned to lab groups in the first week of class. Lab group assignments may be changed as enrollment changes and may be changed mid-semester at the discretion of the lab instructor.
Group vs. Individual Work: Some assignments, such as report for the plant hormones lab, require close collaboration and will be completed as a group effort, and the group will share the same grade. Other work may allow some collaboration in discussing potential answers to lab questions or calculations, but will require that each student independently complete the lab report, while other work will be done completely in groups. For individual work, the cautions against plagiarism fully apply as stated at the beginning of this manual.

Lab safety lecture: All Bio 190 students must attend the laboratory safety lecture, and sign an attendance form indicating their understanding and acceptance of Bio 101 lab safety practices. It is the responsibility of each student to READ the section on lab safety that follows.

Lab assignments: All laboratory assignments must be completed and handed in to receive a grade for the course. A Grade Deficiency Report will be filed with the Dean of Students Office for any student falling behind in completion of lab assignments in a timely fashion. Due dates for all assignments are noted on the Lab Schedule.

Writing Assignment: There will be one formal writing assignment associated with the plant hormones lab; each group will write the Methods and Results section needed to report the outcome of the samara (winged seed) experiment. The document must follow the conventions of a journal-style research article. In the process of writing this document, you will receive training from the staff and have an opportunity to work with our Technical Writing Assistants. To learn more about this style and format of writing, you are required to read appropriate sections of the on-line scientific writing guide:


Tables and Figures: We will place particular emphasis on your learning to produce properly formatted Figures and Tables this semester. The conventions (rules) for making tables and figures are simple, and examples of each are given in the How to Write Guide section on Making Tables and Figures. To that end, for any and all lab assignments requiring you to produce a table or figure you should assume that we want the conventions strictly adhered to and will grade them accordingly. Please do not hesitate to ask questions about proper format or suggestions for formatting to make your efforts as effective as possible.


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