Course Requirements: Marine Biology - Biology 121
(On line at - click on my name for homepage)

Instructor: Dr. Raymond Wells. I received my B.S. and M.S. in Biology from California State University, Northridge and my Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of Southern California. My teaching and research emphases include the ecology or kelp forests, the rocky intertidal zone, Caribbean coral reefs, the Gulf of the Gulf of California in Mexico, and human ecology of the Veracruz, Mexico estuary. I have taught at Pierce College since 1983. We are proud at Pierce College to offer the most extensive marine biology and oceanography field program of any community college in California.

Office Hours: My office is CFS 91073, office hours are M-Th 10:0-11:00; T 12:40-1:00; W 4:10-6:10; Th 12:40-1:40; W 4:10-4:45. I can be reached by email at I encourage you to come see me for help or discussion. If you are having difficulty please come see me before you fall behind.

Books (required): Castro, Marine Biology, Any edition starting with the 4th.

Lecture and Lecture Outline:The lecture outline "Biology 121 Course Guide" is published and is available either as a PDF download the notes from my web site or they may be purchased at Copies Plus at 19911 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana, CA - Hrs. M-F 9:00AM-6:00PM; Sat. 10:00AM-5:00PM; 818 346-1919. Be sure to ask for the Biology 3 Course Guide when requesting the notes. YOU MUST HAVE THE COURSE GUIDE THE SECOND WEEK OF CLASS. Keep the Course Guide in a standard 3 ring loose-leaf notebook. There will be hand-outs to be included with your lecture notes throughout the semester. Bring the Course Guide to very lecture session.

Attendance : Attendance is recorded daily. You are expected to be on time and to keep up with the class regardless of absence, excused or otherwise. After the number of hours of non-excused absences exeeds that of the hours the class meets per week that student may be excluded from the class. IF YOU FIND IT NECESSARY TO DROP THIS CLASS - IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO SO FOLLOWING THE REGULAR ADMISSIONS AND RECORDS PROCEDURES.

Examinations : A total of three exams will be given. The examinations are based on the lecture material. The first two exams are worth 120 points; the last is worth 130 points. The approximate dates are weeks 6, 12 and the scheduled final exam. Additionally assigned narratives of course notes, each worth 5 points will be collected randomly during the semester. Click this link for an example of a narrative. All grading criteria defined on the link Exam and Grading Methodology.

A minimum point value for each letter grade will be determined for each of the three exams. Your final grade will be based on your cumulative points. The cut-off point values for final grades will be determined by adding the minimum point values from the grading curve for the individual exams. *THERE ARE NO MAKE-UP EXAMS WITHOUT PRIOR ARRANGEMENT* An exam review will be posted on the website one week prior to the examination date. Exams will be given on week 6 and 11 of the semester and on the final date.

Reading : Reading assignments for each subject are listed in the Course Outline . You are expected to read all of the assignments.

Field Study Courses: Field studies are not a part of this course but are the subject of Biology 122 (Lab and Field Studies in Marine Biology), along with the two-weekend short field course to Catalina Island and the Estero de Punta Banda area of Baja, Biology 11A, Biology 11B, and Biology 11C (Spring semester)field study courses).If you are interested in these courses please see me.

Students with Disabilities. Students with disabilities, whether physical, learning, of psychological, who believe that they need accommodations in this class, are encouraged to contact Special Services as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Authorization, based on verification of disability, is required before any accommodation can be made. The phone number for Special Services is (818) 719-6430 and they are located in the new Student Services Building #4800.
Academic Dishonesty Policy. The college may impose disciplinary sanctions against a student who commits, attempts to commit, aids, abets, incites, encourages, or assists another person to commit, an act(s) of misconduct which include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Academic dishonesty. Any act of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication.
a. Cheating includes using or any attempt to use, give or obtain unauthorized assistance relating to the completion of an academic assignment.
b. Plagiarism includes taking and using as one's own, without proper attribution, the ideas, writings, or work of another person in completing an academic assignment. Plagiarism may also include the unauthorized submission for credit of academic work that has been submitted for credit in another course.
c. Fabrication includes falsifying data, information, or citations in completing an academic assignment and also includes providing false or deceptive information to an instructor concerning the completion of an assignment.
d. No student shall be allowed to withdraw from a course or from the college to avoid the consequences of academic dishonesty.

Rules of Student Conduct: College Catalogue

List of the approved Student Learning Outcomes for this course.

1. Explain the relationship between the ocean physical factors, nutrient availability and the marine productivity.

2. Describe the symmetry of the external structure of select taxa of marine invertebrates and explain the relationship to their feeding types and habitats.

3. Describe and the adaptations that allow marine mammals to exist in an aquatic environment.

4. Explain how the first and second laws of thermodynamics determine the structure of the marine trophic structures and their secondary effect on the biological magnification of toxins.