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 T 9:30-11:00, 12:40-1:00, Th 9:30-11:00, 12:40-1:40; W 4:00-6:00PM or by appointment. 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 notes are published only by a copy store off campus. They are not sold in the Bookstore. More information on purchasing the lecture notes is provided at the first class meeting. Be sure to ask for the Biology 121 lecture notes when requesting the notes. YOU MUST HAVE THE NOTES BY THE SECOND WEEK OF CLASS. It is best to keep a notebook of the standard 3 ring loose-leaf type. There will be hand-outs to be included with your lecture notes throughout the semester. You may also download the notes from the web site (above). You may also download the notes from my web site.

Attendance : Attendance is recorded daily. IF YOU FIND IT NECESSARY TO DROP THIS CLASS - IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO SO FOLLOWING THE REGULAR ADMISSIONS AND RECORDS PROCEDURES. 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.

Examinations : A total of three exams will be given. The examinations are based on the lecture material. The first two exams are worth 125 points; the last is worth 135 points. The approximate exam dates are listed in the course outline. Additionally assigned narratives of course notes will be collected during the semester,and analyses of published articles. 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 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.

Biology Grading Methodology (click link)

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

Field Studies: Field studies are not a part of this course but are the subject of Biology 122 (Lab and Field Studies in Marine Biology), Biology 11A , Biology 11B , Biology 11C (short field study courses), and Biology 123 (summer session - Marine Biology in Bahia de los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico). 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.