Biology 020

Plants, People and the Environment

Spring Semester 2001

Lectures:                               TR 6:00-07:15PM, 105 Osmond

Instructor:                            Dr. Carolyn Jensen

Office:                                   10 Mueller Building

Office Hours:                       MF 1:00 to 2:00 PM and by appointment.

Phone:                                   863-7436



Mailbox:                                208 Mueller

Text:                                       Plants and Society (2nd Edition, Levetin and McMahon)


Course Objectives:

This course is designed to introduce you the discipline of plant biology and increase your awareness and appreciation of the impact of plants on your daily lives.  The first part of the course will present the fundamentals of botany to provide you with a basic understanding of plant form and function.  The rest of the course will be devoted to a survey of historical, cultural, and economic aspects of botany and related fields.  We will finish up with an examination of the role of plants as an integral part of the world’s ecosystem.

Exams, Assignments and Grades:

There are three midterms in this class, each worth 100 points.  The exams are part multiple choice and part short answer/essay.  The final exam is not comprehensive and worth 100 points.  You will also prepare a brief (3 to 5 page) term paper on a plant species or product of your choice and give a presentation (15 to 20 minutes) to the class during the last week of classes or at an appropriate point in the lecture schedule (if you want to get it out of the way earlier).  The presentation and paper are worth 100 points total.  In addition, through the semester, you will be given 7 short in-class assignments worth 15 points each.  There are no makeups for missed in-class assignments but you may drop your lowest two scores.  These in-class exercises are worth 75 points total.  Finally, there are 25 points for class participation.  If you consistently attend class, participate in class activities and demonstrate that you have prepared for class, you will receive full credit.  After missing two class periods, missing class without a documented legitimate reason results in a 5-point deduction from your total class points per missed class period.

Total maximum points:  600.

Grading scale:

A             600 - 558 (93.0% and above)

A-           557 - 540 (90.0% to 92.9%)

B+           539 - 522 (87.0% to 89.9%)

B             521 - 498 (83.0% to 86.9%)

B-            497 - 480 (80.0% to 82.9%)

C+           479 - 462 (77.0% to 79.9%)

C             461 - 420 (70.0% to 76.9%)

D             419 - 360 (60.0% to 69.9%)

F              Below 360              (below 60%)

Course Policies and Code of Conduct: 

*There are no makeup exams without a compelling legitimate reason such as illness, University sponsored event or a death in the family.  You must provide documentation of your excuse for missing the exam.  The makeup exams will be essay type and must be taken in the Continuing Education Office.  You must give notice that you intend to take the makeup exam within three days of the missed exam.  During finals week, if you have three or more exams on one day, you may schedule a makeup exam.  The deadline for filing for a conflict exam is March 30.

*Cheating will not be tolerated.  If you are caught cheating on a test you will receive a 0 for that exam.  The University’s policy on Academic Integrity can be viewed at the following website:  These guidelines will be strictly enforced.

*Be courteous to your fellow students.  If you are late, please come in quietly and confine your personal conversations to times outside of class.  Please focus on the material being presented.  If you have a question about the class material, raise your hand and ask (often, if you are confused, so are others).  If I cannot answer your question on the spot, I will be happy to discuss it with you later.

Biology 20:  Plants, People and the Environment

Spring 2001 Lecture Schedule*





Reference Chapter

Jan 9

Introduction:  The Amazing Plant Kingdom

Chapter 1

Jan 11

Plant Chemistry:  Useful Products

Chapter 1

Jan 16

The Plant Cell

Chapter 2

Jan 18

Plant Anatomy:  Fine Structures

Chapter 3

Jan 23

Plant Anatomy: Supermarket Botany

Chapter 3

Jan 25

Diversity of Plant Life:  The Phyla of True Plants

Chapter 8 and 9

Jan 30

Diversity of Plant Life:  Greenhouse Tour

Chapter 8 and 9

Feb 1

Diversity of Plant Life:  Conclusion

Chapter 8 and 9

Feb 6

Exam #1

Chapters 1-3 and 8 and 9

Feb 8

Plant Physiology:  Transport and Metabolism

Chapter 4

Feb 13

Plant Hormones:  Regulating Growth

pg.  88 to 89

Feb 15

Flowers, Fruits and Seeds

Chapter 5 and 6

Feb 20

Fruit Identification and Festive Fruits

Chapter 6

Feb 22

Plants and Human Nutrition

Chapter 10

Feb 27

Complementary Protein Potluck

Chapter 10

March 1

Exam #2

Chapter 4 through 6 and 10

March 5 through 9

Spring Break


March 13

Origins of Agriculture

Chapter 11

March 15

Cultural Uses of Plants:  You Are What You Eat


March 20

Grains and Grasses and Legumes

Chapter 12 and 13

March 22

Starchy Staples

Chapter 14

March 27

The Green Revolution and Alternative Crops

Chapter 15

March 29b

Exam #3

Chapter 11 through 15

April 3

Herbs and Spices

Chapter 17

April 5c

Plants and Human Health:  Beneficial and Harmful Plants

Chapter 20 and 21

April 10

Plant Fibers

Chapter 18

April 12

A foray into fungi:  Uses and Abuses

Chapter 23 and 24

April 17d

Ecology: The Interconnectedness of Living Things

Chapter 25

April 19

Ecology (continued)

Chapter 25

April 24

Student Presentation and Concluding Remarks


April 26

Student Presentation and Concluding Remarks


Tuesday, May 1, 6:50-8:40 p.m.

Final Exam

Chapter 17-21 and 23-25

a Schedule subject to change

Important Dates:  bDeadline to file for conflict exam (March 30) cLate Drop Deadline dTerm papers due