BIO 374                                                                        GENETICS                                                            FALL 2004
Instructor: Jeff Dahlseid, Ph.D.                                                                                                    Class: MTWF 10:30-11:20
Office: Nobel 221C, Phone: x6129                                                                                                       Classroom: Nobel 222
E-mail:                                                   Class URL:
Office hours: M 11:30, W 12:30, F 1:30
Text: Principles of Genetics, Snustad and Simmons, 3rd Edition, 2003, John Wiley & Sons

Course Description and Objectives:
        Genetics is a fascinating and broad field of biology. It encompasses all aspects of the study of heredity, including classical, cytological, molecular/biochemical and population and quantitative genetic approaches. You have seen each of these approaches in the core courses for the biology major. Here we will build on this foundation. The central objectives for this course are that you will broaden and deepen knowledge and understanding of genetics and genetic principles, develop independent and critical thinking skills, and strengthen communication skills. I hope that you also come to appreciate how genetics and related fields influence and permeate one another. More specifically, my objectives are that you:

Teaching approach:
        I will primarily use class to present and discuss with you course material, to work problems, and to hold discussions of the primary literature (journal club). It is my hope that together we can cultivate an environment of active learning (really!). The content of genetics includes facts as well as principles and their application, which makes it challenging. Not only should you read the text material for each class meeting ahead of time and prepare your questions, but it will be important to work a sufficient number of problems to become proficient and confident in solving genetic problems and making genetic predictions. You are required to attend class, both physically and mentally. Doing so will allow you to take full advantage of the class opportunities to learn the material. Should you miss a class, you are responsible for understanding the material from class, including handouts, etc.
        I welcome and encourage your participation in classroom learning. Genetics is a rigorous topic and I expect everyone to work hard, but if you are having problems with the course please let me know. I am here to help you learn.

Course Activities and Requirements:

Grading breakdown:
Attendance/Participation                         60
Article summaries     (3 @ 20 pts)             60
Journal Club                                                 100
Exams (4 @ 100 pts)                                    400
Total                                                                620
90-100% = A
80 - 89% = B
70 - 79% = C
60 - 69% = D
Students with disabilities: Appropriate accommodations will be made for students with specific, documented disabilities of a physical, psychiatric or learning nature. Related information will be kept strictly confidential. Please contact either me or Laurie Bickett (x6286) in Academic Advising if this applies to you.

Feedback: I am very enthusiastic about being and becoming an outstanding educator, both for you and future students. I welcome constructive suggestions about how to improve class, my teaching, and the course. I expect to learn from you this semester how I might teach better. I invite you to discuss your suggestions with me in my office at any time.

Academic honesty: It is my expectation and policy that you will participate in this class in an honest and honorable way. This means that, while I encourage you to work together to learn genetics, the work you submit on behalf of an assignment must be your own. I will not tolerate academic dishonesty. Dishonesty includes plagiarism, which is presenting some else's ideas or words as your own. Thus, it is your responsibility in written work to credit sources from which you draw ideas and language (quotes are rare here) with proper referencing. Gustavus Adolphus College has an Honor Code, and you will be asked to print and sign the following statement at the end of major assignments: "On my honor, I pledge that I have not given, received, nor tolerated others' use of unauthorized aid in completing this work." Honorable work is assumed for ALL assignments. If you have questions about academic dishonesty, please see me. Documented dishonesty can result in failure of the course and will be reported to the Dean's office.

Class e-mail policy: I use e-mail to help manage the course and field questions about the material, so I require all that you use your e-mail Gustavus account. The advantages to this system include speed, avoided trips to Nobel Hall for simple questions, and a generally smoother running course. Here's the protocol. When you have questions, e mail them to me. If your question is very specific, I will reply directly. If the question seems potentially interesting to the entire class, I will forward the question (anonymously) and my reply to the class. I will assume you do not object to sharing your question unless you specifically state so. I also encourage you to use the f-bio-374 class alias to ask each other questions. As I may refer to e-mail questions in class and I use e mail for general class announcements, I encourage you to check your e-mail before class. Campus rules for alias use apply and abuse will not be tolerated.

Note this syllabus and schedule are subject to change at the instructor's discretion.