BIOL 114 Ecosystem Biology

Section Number 71679

Catalog Description:

Basic principles of general biology as they relate to the cellular, organismic, and population levels of organization. Includes cell ultrastructure and function, energy transfer, reproduction, genetics, evolution, diversity of organisms, and ecology. Not open to students with prior credit in BIOL 100. CSU; UC*; BIOL 101 plus 101L equals CAN BIOL 2. Closed Captioned


Sourbeer, D.

Class Meetings (Orientation for this online class):

On Saturday, August 28th
Room: NS-138

Options for Viewing Video Lectures
  1. Cable Television: Cox Cable North – CH 16, Time Warner Cable North – CH 16, and AT&T U-verse CH – 99 See airtimes and specific channel info at: BIOL 114 PDF (Right Click "Save as")
  2. Webcast online at:

    See the webcast and channel lineup at:
  3. Watch lessons online by logging into Blackboard. See log-in instructions below.
  4. Check out DVDs from the libraries on the San Marcos main campus and the Escondido Education Center.
  5. For more information go to:
Class Outline

Course materials are available the Friday prior to when classes begin. Access your course outline, assignments, handouts and announcements, as well as view video lessons in Blackboard. Log in Blackboard instructions:

PASSWORD: Palomar eServices Password

To log in go to:

Textbook and Other Required Materials:

Required resources: I authored a lecture outline that serves as the script for the videos.  The lecture outline is entitled “Biology: The Fabric of Life (Biology 100/101) Lecture Outline and Study Guide.”   I wrote it, I lectured from it in the videos, and I used it to prepare the course assignments and exams.  You must have the lecture outline to be successful in the class.  Because the lecture outline (and video series) contains graphics from Pearson Publishing, I am required to post the lecture outline on a Pearson Publishing Blackboard website called Course Compass.  You must purchase access to Course Compass.

So, to access the lecture outline you must purchase the text for the course, or access to the publisher’s website, called Course Compass.  Course Compass is a Blackboard webpage for the class hosted by the publisher.  When you go to the bookstore or look online you have these choices:

If you choose the $98.75 option, you will get a password to access to Course Compass; and a hard copy of a college level textbook (Biology: Concepts and Connections) with ebook access. 

If you choose the $30.00 option you will only get the access code to Course Compass, which in turn gets you to the lecture outline.

To register you need to provide the following information in addition to the Course Compass Access Code: Course ID = sourbeer84754; Palomar College zip code = 92069.  You will also be asked to submit a password of your own: be aware that the password you submit must be a minimum of 8 characters, and at least one of the characters must be a number.

Video Series:

Biology: The Fabric of Life

Video Lesson Titles:

1) The Nature of Science
Module 1 describes the dual nature of science; an overview of the process of science; characteristics of a controlled study; the products of science including theory; characteristics of quality science and how it differs from pseudoscience or religion; and the public’s skepticism with science.

1.1) Supplement
This supplement to module 1 focuses on anecdotal science (testimonials) and why it is not credible compared to controlled studies; as well as blind studies, double blind studies, and accounting for placebo effect.

2) Basic Chemistry: Atomic Structure
Module 2 discusses states of mater; atomic structure and the subatomic particles that form them; atomic number and mass; nuclear structure; electron distribution; atomic diagrams; predicting chemical reactivity based on electron distributions; and using the Periodic Table of the Elements.

3) Basic Chemistry: Chemical Bonding and Reactions
Module 3 discusses characteristics of ionic and covalent bonds; how to diagram ionic and covalent bonds; polar and nonpolar covalent bonds; looking at compatibility and electronegativity to predict bonding; valence; and chemical equations—what they represent and how to recognize whether they are written correctly or not.

4) Biochemistry: General Concepts and Important Inorganics
Module 4 describes organic and inorganic molecules; how monomers form polymers via dehydration synthesis; hydrolysis reactions; important organic groups; characteristics of water; acids, bases, pH, and buffers; and how carbonic acid buffers the effects of added acid or base.

4.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 4 further explores how carbonic acid buffers the effects of added acid or base.

5) Biochemistry: Carbohydrates and Proteins
Module 5 examines the shorthand structural formulas for common carbohydrates; discusses the structure and function of several mono, di, and polysaccharides; the role of dehydration and hydrolysis reactions; amino acid structure; peptide bonds; complete and incomplete proteins; primary through quaternary protein structure; and the relationship of DNA to protein structure.

6) Biochemistry: Proteins and Lipids
Module 6 examines the many functions of proteins such as enzymes, transport proteins, carrier proteins, etc.; lipid structure and function; structure, function, and health effects of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids; cis and trans fatty acids; triglycerides; phospholipids; other lipids also discussed; defining the calorie and kilocalorie; and energy value of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and alcohol.

7) Plasma Membranes and Solutions
Module 7 discusses plasma membrane structure and permeability; characteristics and composition of aqueous solutions; diffusion, osmosis, and dialysis; osmotic pressure; hypertonic, hypotonic, and isotonic solutions; predicting diffusion of solute and solvent across the plasma membrane; active and passive processes; facilitated and active transport; endocytosis and exocytosis; and factors that affect the rate of diffusion.

8) Cells and Their Structures
Module 8 discusses the relationship between surface area and volume; types of microscope; magnification vs. resolving power; characteristics of prokaryotic cells and their structures; characteristics of eukaryotic cells and their structures, contrasting plant and animal cells; cell fractionation; cellular organization in nature from cells to organism; and a summary of cell theory.

9) Energetics: An Overview
Module 9 introduces energetics with a discussion of the laws of energy; structure and characteristics of ATP; exergonic and endergonic reactions; the flow of energy through nature including fusion, the electromagnetic spectrum, a brief overview of photosynthesis and the cellular oxidation of glucose, producers and consumers, food chains and food webs; ecological roles of organisms in the food web; energy pyramids; and contrasting matter recycling with energy flow.

10) Energetics: Pieces of the Energy Puzzle
Module 10 looks at portions of energy metabolism to lay a foundation for the discussion of photosynthesis and the cellular oxidation of glucose in later modules. This module discusses oxidation and reduction reactions; the electron carriers NAD+, FAD, and NADP+ and their reduced versions; enzymatic pathways and cycles; substrate level phosphorylation; chemiosmotic/oxidative phosphorylation looking at electron transport systems and ATP synthase functioning in detail; and photosystems.

11) Photosynthesis
Module 11 is a detailed look at the light and dark reactions of photosynthesis: Chloroplast structure; photosystems, accessory pigments, and resonance transfer; initiation of photosynthesis and the role of chlorophyll-a and water; photosytem II and photsystem I; ATP production; the Calvin Cycle; the role of glucose; guard cells, stomata, and carbon dioxide; C4 and CAM plants.

12) The Cellular Oxidation of Glucose
Module 12 revisits C4 and CAM plants before beginning a detailed look at glycolysis and cellular respiration: aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis; mitochondrial structure; pyruvate to acetyl CoA; Kreb’s Cycle; mitochondrial electron transport system; ATP production; the role of oxygen; the metabolic relationship between carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids.

13) DNA Structure and Replication
Module 13 looks at the historical debate between proteins and DNA as genetic material and the relevant experiments; DNA structure including nucleotide structure, purines and pyrimidines, strand structure and complementary strands, and 3’ vs 5’ ends; and a detailed look at chromosomal replication.

14) Protein Synthesis: Transcription and Translation
Module 14 compares the structure, functions, and relationships of DNA vs. RNA; looks at the types of RNA; explains the central dogma; and takes a detailed look at transcription and translation ending with transcribing and translating a portion of a chromosome into the amino acid sequence it encodes.

15) Mutation and Control of Gene Expression
Module 15 examines the types (various point and frame shift mutations), causes and mechanisms responsible, and the downstream consequences of mutation; the module also looks at pre and post transcriptional control of gene expression (primarily in eukaryotes).

16) Mitosis
Module 16 discusses ploidy; the cell cycle; subphases of interphase; prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase in plants and animals; cytokinesis; the role of mitosis in nature; and karyotypes.

17) Meiosis and Sexual Reproduction
Module 17 looks at the roles of mitosis and meiosis in sexual reproduction; phases of meiosis I and meiosis II; crossing over and independent assortment; chromosomal abnormalities (translocation, inversion, nondisjunction events); and the value of genetic diversity.

18) Mendel and Single Trait Inheritance
Module 18 defines many of the terms to be used in the discussion of inheritance; looks at Gregor Mendel; describes how Mendel tested the blending hypothesis, and Mendel’s discovery of the segregation of alleles before moving on to the six Mendelian single trait crosses and their phenotypic and genotypic ratios; and concludes with a look at the testcross.

19) Solving Problems
Module 19 solves several single trait genetics word problems; discusses and determines genotypes in pedigrees; considers and looks at examples of complete and incomplete dominance; defines multiple alleles; and solves a pedigree involving Landsteiner blood types.

19.1 ) Supplement
In this supplement to Module 19 Landsteiner blood groups are revisited; and additional word problems are solved.

20) Multiple Trait Inheritance
Module 20 looks at Mendel’s discovery of independent assortment. A number of problems involving multiple genes are presented and solved.

21) Exceptions to Expected Outcomes
Module 21 looks at problems and inheritance where one does not see the typical expected phenotypic outcomes. These include Epistasis; X-linked inheritance; Lyonization and Calico cats; polygenic inheritance.

21.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 21 looks at maternal and paternal imprinting and its effect on phenotypic outcomes.

22) Genetic Technology
Module 22 describes DNA fingerprinting technology including restriction enzymes; RFLP’s; VNTR’s; gel electrophoresis; blotting; probes; reading fingerprints; and uses of DNA fingerprinting.

23) More Genetic Technology
Module 23 describes the process and uses of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR); gene cloning; recombinant technology as it relates to genetic modification; stem cells; and cloning of plants and animals.

23.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 23 discusses problems and societal concerns related to organismal cloning and embryonic stem cells.

24) Evolution of a Theory
Module 24 begins with a review of characteristics of science; then continues by defining biological evolution; examines the history of evolutionary theory including Charles Darwin; and along the way discusses relevant terminology such as fitness, homology, and analogy.

24.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 24 examines the chemosynthetic theory of the origin of life.

25) Modern Evolutionary Theory Continued
Module 25 begins a discussion of some of the forces that drive evolution including inheritance, random genetic change, and natural selection. Examples and evidence for these evolutionary forces are emphasized throughout.

25.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 25 reexamines the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium.

26) Modern Theory and Speciation
Module 26 continues to look at more forces and evidence of evolution in the form of genetic drift and migration. Genetic drift and natural selection are compared by looking at founder effect and bottlenecks. It also discusses speciation including isolating mechanisms, types of speciation, and examples of speciation.

27) More Evidence and Human Evolution
Module 27 looks at additional evidence of evolution such as the fossil record and intermediate fossils, including human evolution; punctuated equilibrium and adaptive radiation; "evo-devo" i.e. developmental genes and epigenetic controls on development and their relationship to evolution; and homology in its many forms.

28) Systematics and the Prokaryotic Domains
Module 28 defines systematics; examines how organisms are classified comparing traditional and cladistic approaches; lays out the Linnaean hierarchy; defines characteristics of the three major Domains of life; and begins a closer examination of the Eubacteria and Archaea.

28.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 28 looks at how prions and viruses reproduce and cause disease.

29) Excavates and Other Protists
Module 29 actually revisits the Eubacteria and Archaea describing reproduction and discussing examples, before discussing Protist characteristics; next defining the four Superkingdoms; and then discussing the Superkingdom Excavata and the Superkingdom SAR, as well as examples of each.

30) Fungi and Primitive Plants
Module 30 describes the Superkingdom Unikonta, focusing on fungal life cycles of the Chytrids, Zygomycota, Basidiomycota, and Ascomycota; it then moves on to Algal members of the Superkingdom Plantae; discusses Lichens; and describes plant alternation of generations, vascular tissues, and the Moss life cycle.

31) Ferns and Conifers`
Module 31 moves on to primitive vascular plants; the Fern life cycle; seeds; and Gymnosperms, focusing on the Conifer life cycle.

32) Flowering Plants & Animal Introduction
Module 32 begins with flower structure; dicusses the Angiosperm life cycle; compares Monocots and Dicots; looks at the relationship between flower, fruit, and seed; and then makes an abrupt change by describing animal characteristics and development.

33) Animal Diversity Part 1
Module 33 looks at animal systematics (classification, characteristics, life cycles, etc.) of Parazoa and some Eumetazoa (Radiata, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Rotifera, and Arthropoda).

34) Animal Diversity Part 2
Module 34 continues to look at members of the animal kingdom such as the Mollusca, Annelida, Brachiopoda, Echinodermata, and Vertebrata (Agnatha, Placodermii, Chondrichthyes, Osteichthyes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia).

34.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 34 discusses some Mammalian Orders, their evolution, and how plate tectonics influenced their modern day global distribution.

35) Poplulation Dynamics
Module 35 looks at the dynamics in human and nonhuman populations such as exponential growth; population curves; biotic potential; limiting factors; carrying capacity; the calculation of birth rate, death rate, growth rate, doubling time, and net migration in human populations; the module then examines TFR, age structure diagrams and other factors in human predicting human population growth; and concludes by looking at factors that slow human population growth.

35.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 35 looks at types of disease and its role in human and nonhuman populations; the supplement also looks at methods to control nonhuman population, before concluding with methods of birth control.

36) Ecosystems
Module 36 looks at biotic and abiotic factors; ecosystem structure; and marine and aquatic zones; and then discusses a number of ecosystems such as wetlands, estuaries, riparian ecosystems, coniferous and deciduous forests, chaparral, desert, tundra, temperate and tropical grasslands, and tropical rain forests.

36.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 36 describes net primary productivity and biomass.

37) Ecosystem Dynamics
Module 37 discusses succession; feedback mechanisms; synergy; biological magnification; population cycles; and techniques for monitoring and evaluating ecosystems.

38) Cycling and Species Management
Module 38 looks at the major biogeochemical cycles: Nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon-oxygen, and water cycles; it then examines the Endangered Species Act; before concluding by looking at island ecosystems, corridors, edge effects, alien species, and trophic cascade.

38.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 38 describes the major Federal agencies responsible for our national lands.

39) Extinction and Global Concerns
Module 39 examines the causes of extinction; before describing ozone depletion, greenhouse warming, and other global concerns.

39.1) Supplement
This supplement to Module 39 discusses the "green" alternative energy sources; and the lecture outline also includes information on air and water pollution, and depletion of resources.

39.2) Supplement
This supplement to Module 39 discusses the types of water pollution and air pollution, paying particular attention to smog.

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