College of Southern Maryland Logo

| Home | Biology Department | Student Support Services | Instructor Email|

BIO 2030L-70197

Marine Biology Laboratory Syllabus

Spring Semester 2009

Content Links

General Education Course Information
Course Description
Course Objectives
Important Dates
Student Responsibilities
Student Honesty
Examination Information
Grading Scale and Policy
Out-of-Class Assistance
Disabled Student Policy
College Classroom and Laboratory Use
Class Schedule Changes
Cell Phones and Pagers
Weather and Emergency Closing Information
Marine Biology Lab Outline
Field Trips
Organism Collection
Withdrawal or Incomplete Grades
Faculty Statement
General Education
Preserved Specimens Information Sheet
Instructor:  Tom Poe  Office:  Room 212

Phones:  (443) 550-6000 PRIN Administrative Office
  (443) 550-6131 Office
  (301) 884-4530 Home 
  (301) 481-2269 Cell 
Web site:

Office Hours:  Monday  12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
 Wednesday  12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
 Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday  By Appointment

Class Days and Time:  Monday  4:30 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.

Credits:  Lecture - 3
Prerequisites: BIO 2030 lecture must be taken in the same or a previous semester.



Field and Laboratory Investigations in Marine Biology
(9th Edition) by Sumich and Dudley

Chesapeake Bay:  A Field Guide by White
Life in the Chesapeake Bay (2nd Edition) by Lippson and Lippson

return to top of page image

General Education Course Information: 

This course may be used to fulfill one (1) General Education laboratory credit in Biological and Physical Sciences   required for students enrolled in an AA or AS program.  See pages 59-62 of the 2008-2010 College Catalog or an academic advisor for details.

return to top of page image

Course Description: 

Marine Biology is a visual science.  In order to appreciate that fully, you need to learn how to observe organisms from as many different perspectives as possible.  The exercise in this laboratory are designed to develop your powers of accurate critical observation and analysis to complement the material presented in the lecture portion of this course.  Both laboratory and field exercises will provide you the opportunity to examine, in detail, a wide variety of marine and estuarine organisms in their natural habitat as well as in the laboratory.  You will learn to identify marine organisms and relate their morphological adaptations to habitat and niche.  You will also be exposed to a few of the quantitative methods that are used to describe species composition of marine communities.  

return to top of page image

Course Objectives: 

After you have completed this course you should be able to:

  1. Use both compound and dissecting microscopes to examine both microscopic and macroscopic organisms; collect, preserve, and mount herbarium quality specimens of seaweeds and plants; and express measurements of distance, area, volume, mass, and temperature in metric units.
  2. Use both the experimental and descriptive approaches to problem solving in both laboratory and field situations.
  3. Measure critical physical and chemical properties, such as salinity, temperature, pH, oxygen, etc., of sea water using standard wet chemical methods and portable and laboratory instruments.
  4. Identify marine organisms using standard taxonomic guides.
  5. Collect, preserve, and identify common phytoplankton, attached algaes, rooted plants, and zooplankton of the Chesapeake Bay and the Delmarva sea coast.
  6. Recognize the major morphological characteristics of the phylum and class of selected groups of marine invertebrates.
  7. Recognize the basic external and internal morphology of fishes representing the classes Condrichthyes and Osteichthyes.
  8. Summarize natural history information for selected groups of marine invertebrates and vertebrates.
Additionally, there is another objective - one that is possibly more important than the study of marine biology itself.  That objective is developing an understanding of WHAT science is and HOW it works!

Science is much more than an accumulation of facts to be read from textbooks.  It is a PROCESS; a method of dealing with problems and looking for answers to questions.

Regardless of your background, major, or future plans, the ability to think clearly will always serve you well.  By carefully studying science - any science - a person can become a better observer, a more careful and precise thinker, and a more deliberate problem solver.  To a large measure, it is for these reasons that people pursue a college education.  I welcome you to this course and urge you to work hard and get as much as you possibly can from it.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Important Dates: 

The last date to withdraw from a class with a full or partial refund varies from course to course.  Information on credit and continuing education course refunds can be obtained from the college website.  Go to the college homepage and click on Admissions, then under Admissions Links click on Tuition and Fees, then click on Tuition Refund Policy.

Students officially withdrawing from a credit or continuing education course during the published period are eligible for a refund. Students withdrawing after the normal refund period will not receive a refund.

In extreme circumstances, when the student is forced to withdraw after the normal refund period, the college will consider granting a partial refund of tuition and fees.  To be eligible for consideration, the student must meet the criteria described in the Involuntary Withdrawal Policy and must submit a written request and any and all documentation to the Registrar's Office.

The last day to withdraw from a class without a grade, or to change an audit to credit, or credit to audit is Friday, April 3, 2009.

The last day to make up incomplete grades from the Fall 2008 semester is Friday, March 13, 2009 or the date specified on your Incomplete Grade Contract.

All missed exams must be taken and any due projects or papers must be submitted by 6:20 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2009.  After that time and date the grade for all outstanding exams, projects,  or papers will automatically become zero.

The last day to apply for May 2009 graduation is Friday, March 13, 2009.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Audit Requirements:

A student may request to audit any class other than a science lab. Students receive no credit for an audited class. One may change from credit to audit or audit to credit, with the instructor's permission, at any time before the end of the withdrawal period. Failure to complete the instructor's outlined requirements will result in a grade of WD for the course.

Audited courses require the same tuition and fees as regular courses. Audited courses do not meet prerequisite requirements. Audited courses are noted on the transcript as having a grade of AU. The AU grade is not calculated in the GPA.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Read the preface and forward of the lab guide.
  2. Browse each lab BEFORE coming to class.  Be familiar with the problem to be solved in each exercise.
  4. In many cases you will find it helpful (if not necessary) to devote some extra time (outside of class) to the study of problems presented during the lab periods.  The schedule of class use of room 218 will be posted near the door.  You are encouraged to come to the lab for individual or group study during your free time.
  5. You are responsible for proper care of microscopes, keeping the lab clean, and returning materials to their proper place.  Your cooperation in this matter will be helpful to me, the lab assistants, and other students who use this lab.
  6. If you miss a lab, you are responsible for making up the work or exam, see the Missed Exams section of this syllabus.
  7. If you have problems with certain topics or get confused on certain points, please come to see me for assistance in my office.
  8. Bring your lecture textbook and lab manual to every class.
top.gif (227 bytes)


Student failure in a course is usually due to a number of causes.  One of the most common causes is poor attendance.   Attendance is fundamental to understanding the material presented.  Avoid unnecessary cuts and be ON TIME for class.  If you miss a class, you are responsible for any work assigned during that class period, for scheduling and taking make-up exams, and/or turning in any work scheduled for the next class period.   Attendance will be taken during each class session, and a record of your attendance will be kept by the Biology Department.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Student Honesty:

All forms of dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, will not be tolerated.  A grade of zero (0) will be given for any exam, project, etc. on which the student cheated or used plagiarized material.  The instructor, if s/he so chooses, may give the student a grade of "F" for the course.  In addition, the student shall be subject to disciplinary action, as set forth under "Judicial Procedure" in the CSM Student Handbook, which may result in his/her dismissal from the college.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Examination Information:

  • Exam Information 

    Your final grade in this course will be based on a series of exams that will be given at intervals of approximately one every three weeks.  The exact examination dates will be announced in class and posted on the Science Information Board in room 217.  The grade itself will be the average of these exams.  If you miss an exam due to extraordinary circumstances (i.e., hospital stay, job related travel, illness, etc.) follow the procedure outlined below under "Missed Exams."

  • Exam Format

    The exam will be a mixture of multiple choice, matching, true-false, and fill-in-the-blank type questions.

  • Exam Content

    The material used to construct examination questions will come primarily from your laboratory manual and the information covered in the questions contained in each exercise. 

    Your final grade in Bio 2030 lab will be based on:

    • A written exam on Chapters 1 and 2, and
      Appendices A, B, and E.
    • A written exam on Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, and 12.
    • A written exam on Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11.
    • A written exam on Chapters 13, 14, and 15.
  • Missed Exams 

    An exam with your name on it will be placed in the Testing Center.  Students must make an appointment with the Testing Center to take the exam.  The exam may only be taken during normal Testing Center hours.  Call (443) 550-6040 to obtain their hours of operation and to make an appointment.  Allow yourself enough time to finish the exam by Testing Center closing time.  The exam will be collected at closing time by the Testing Center staff.  YOU MAY NOT RETURN AT A LATER TIME TO FINISH THE EXAM!

    You will have six (6) Testing Center working days (not counting the day of the exam) to take the missed exam or you will receive a zero (0) for that exam.  If it is impossible  for you to take the exam during the six (6) day grace period, you must notify the instructor by phone or in writing.  The six (6) day grace period does NOT apply to the final exam because final grades are due several days after the  end of classes.  Students who miss the final exam and want to take this exam must contact the instructor the DAY the final exam is given. The instructor will inform the student of the room and time of the make up final exam. No make up final exams will be placed in the Testing Center. Make up final exams can only be scheduled through the instructor. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC ZERO (0) ON THE MISSED EXAM. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THESE RULES.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Grading Scale and Policy:

Grading Scale 
If the average of all exams, quizzes, and papers is computed to be:

90%  - 100%    = A 

80%  -   89%    = B 

70%  -   79%    = C 

60%  -   69%    = D 

Less than 60% = F 

Borderline Grading Policy 

The instructor reserves the right to adjust a borderline grade up or down one or more percentage points based on a students overall performance in the classroom or laboratory.   Overall performance will be based on attendance, behavior, skills development, class participation, and academic progression.  For example, an 89.99 is till a B unless the instructor determines that it should be raised to an A.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Out-of-Class Assistance:

The instructor will be available before and after class and during regular office hours to help students with questions they have concerning course material.  Students are strongly urged to ask the instructor any questions they have concerning course material either before, during, or after the class period.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Disabled Student Policy:

If you have a learning or other disability, which might affect your performance in this class, please inform the instructor or contact the Disabled Student Services Office at the La Plata campus.  As soon as a Disabled Student Services representative verifies the status of your disability, appropriate assistance or accommodations will be provided.  Prompt notification of a disability to either your instructor or the Disabled Student Services Office is essential in order for the college to provide you with the assistance you need.  A Disabled Student Services representative visits the Prince Frederick and Leonardtown campuses several times a week.  Check with the Administrative Office for the dates and times of these visits.

top.gif (227 bytes)

College Classroom and Laboratory Use:

Due to insurance regulations only students officially registered for classes at the college are permitted in classrooms and laboratories.  This policy is in effect at all times.  Spouses, friends, children, etc. may not accompany a student to class, laboratory session, or out of class session.  This policy is strictly enforced and there will be no exceptions.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Cell Phones:

Cell phones must be turned OFF before coming into the classroom.  Use of cell phones to send or receive calls, receive or transmit text messages, and check voice mails during class is NOT permitted.  This policy is also in effect BEFORE and AFTER class so that students who want to use the classroom to study have a quiet environment in which to work.  Cell phone use in the classroom or leaving the class to make or answer calls or text messages is extremely disruptive to both the instructor and your fellow students.  In situations when you are expecting a call or text message concerning the health or welfare of a family member the phone may be left on but in silent alert mode.  The instructor must be notified before class starts if such a situation exists.

return to top of page image

Class Schedule Changes:

"The instructor reserves the right to make any necessary modifications to the syllabus during the course of the semester."

top.gif (227 bytes)

Weather and Emergency Closing Information:

If it becomes necessary to close the college or delay opening due to severe weather, adverse road conditions, or other emergencies, an announcement will be made regarding the closing of each campus on the emergency closing hotline.  This announcement will also be posted on the college web site (

(301) 369-1999 or (800) 650-4023

This announcement will be updated as soon as that decision is made.  Please do not call the college switchboard.  Telephone lines become congested and communication is hampered.

Media Contacts

In addition to the emergency closing hotline, the college will also contact designated radio and TV stations.   However, the emergency closing hotline is the official announcement of college closings.

Radio Stations

WMAL 630 AM WKIK 102.9 FM
WTOP 1500 AM/107.7 FM WRQX 107.3 FM
WHFS 99.1 FM WWZZ 104.1 FM

Television Stations

WMAL-TV Channel 7 WTTG-TV Fox Channel 5
WRC-TV Channel 4 WUSA-TV Channel 9

College Closing Hotline: (301) 369-1999
  (800) 650-4023

top.gif (227 bytes)

Marine Biology Laboratory Outline

Spring  2009 


BIO 2030L - 70197

Week of


Jan. 19
Metric System

Appendix A
Appendix B

Jan. 26
Analyzing Data
Asking Questions

Appendix E
Exercise 1

Feb. 2

Physical and Chemical Properties of Seawater 

Exercise 2

Feb. 9
Physical and Chemical Properties of Seawater 

Exercise 2

Feb. 16
Taxonomic Classification and Identification
Marine Bacteria

Exercise 3
Exercise 4

Feb. 23

Attached Marine Algae - Seaweeds

Exercise 4
Exercise 5
Exercise 12

Mar. 2 Lower Marine Invertebrates

Exercise 8

Mar. 9 Marine Mollusks Exercise 9
Mar. 23 Marine Arthropods Exercise 10
Mar. 30 Echinoderms Exercise 11
Apr. 6 Cartilaginous Fishes Exercise 13
Apr. 13 Bony Fishes Exercise 14
Apr. 20 Marine Mammals Exercise 15
Apr. 27 FINAL EXAM*  
NOTE: *All other examination dates will be announced in class     and the dates posted on the Science Information Board in room 217 of the Prince Frederick campus.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Field Trips:

There are two (2) class field trips that interested students can complete to earn extra credit.  These are entirely optional activities.  You can earn an "A" in the course even if you do not go on any of the field trips, but, I strongly urge you to participate, if possible.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Organism Collection:

Students may earn extra credit (up to ten (10) percentage points added to their final class average) by collecting, preserving, and classifying thirty (30) marine organisms.  A handout with further instructions will be supplied to those students who wish to do the collection.  The collection is due April 27, 2009.  NO COLLECTIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THIS DATE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!!  Early collections are welcome.  Collections submitted by April 20, 2009 will earn an extra 10% bonus points added to the grade you earn for the organism collection.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Withdrawal and Incomplete Grades:

If you are not able to complete your classes, do not just stop attending.

Receiving poor grades?
Immediately ask for assistance from your instructor, the Learning Assistance Center, or an academic advisor.  If, after receiving assistance, you continue to be in danger of failing the course, discuss with your instructor the advisability of withdrawing from the course and do so immediately.  (Be sure to check the schedule of classes for the last day to withdraw without a grade.)  No tuition refund will be granted.

Have an extended illness, accident, or personal crisis? 
Immediately notify your instructor or, if necessary, the appropriate department chair.  If you have satisfactorily completed most of the course requirements, discuss with your instructor the advisability of negotiating a contract for a grade of "incomplete."  (See the college catalog for information of a grade of "incomplete," and be sure to negotiate the contract before the final examination period.)  You may, of course, decide to withdraw from the course.  (Be sure to check the schedule of classes for the last day to withdraw without a grade.)  No tuition refund will be granted.

Receive military orders to transfer or travel?
Notify your instructor immediately.  If your instructor agrees, you may make up the work or negotiate a contract for a grade of "incomplete."  Otherwise, immediately withdraw from the course.  No tuition refund will be granted.

If you just stop attending classes, you should expect to receive a failing grade.

top.gif (227 bytes)

Faculty Statement on General Education in Associate's
   Degree Programs

The faculty considersgeneral education to be a common body of skills and knowledge to which all graduates with associate's degrees should be exposed and for which the college may determine certain levels of competency.

The faculty has developed a list of skills and categories of knowledge which shape the development of general education courses. (See pages 63-64 of the CSM 2008-2010 catalog.) The faculty believes that the knowledge gained from these courses should be common among all CSM degree holders. As students take these courses, they will see described on the course syllabi the particular skills and categories of knowledge to be learned. Students are graded on the extent to which they have mastered these.

top.gif (227 bytes)

General Education Values Addressed in this Course:

Upon completion of this course students should be able to:


  • read college-level material
  • define or interpret unfamiliar words
  • use features such as a table of contents, index, appendix, glossary, and subtitles
  • evaluate written material to reach conclusions
  • synthesize information and concepts gained from reading


  • conduct careful, thoughtful observations of objects and phenomena in nature, society, science, and art
  • select and use appropriate instruments to measure and observe objects and phenomena
  • describe their observations and measurements accurately using appropriate terms and units
  • interpret and draw appropriate conclusions based on their observations and measurements
  • evaluate the significance of the conclusions reached


  • set study goals and priorities to attain stated course objectives
  • plan for completion of both long-term and short-term assignments
  • prepare for different types of examinations or evaluations
  • adapt to a variety of methods of instruction
  • ask pertinent questions


  • interpret, analyze, and evaluate spoken messages
  • identify the main and subordinate ideas in spoken messages
  • follow spoken instructions

Interpersonal Communication

  • engage in constructive discussion


  • recognize valid and invalid reasoning
  • draw reasonable conclusions from information found in various sources
  • identify, define, evaluate, and solve problems
  • compare, contrast, and classify information and concepts
  • recognize cause and effect


  • understand methodologies of natural science

return to top of page image

Preserved Specimen Information Sheet:


TO:        Biology/Physical Science Lab Students

FROM:   Bill Montgomery, Chair, Biological and Physical Sciences

DATE:   January 19, 2009

RE:        In class specimen information sheet.

There is some exposure to preserved specimens in the lab for BIO 2030.  Two main preservatives are used to preserve specimens.  One is a 5% to 8% solution of formalin and the second is a solution of 50% isopropyl alcohol with less than 1% glycerin.   The student is expected to take precautions when handling the specimen by wearing protective gloves, which are provided, not eating in labs which may result in ingestion of fluids, and rinsing their eyes at the eyewash stations if a splash occurs, and always washing hands before leaving the lab.

If you are pregnant, have allergies to chemicals or have any respiratory disorder consult with your doctor about working with preserved specimens.  IF THERE IS ANY MEDICAL REASON WHY YOU SHOULD NOT BE EXPOSED TO PRESERVATIVES USED IN THIS LAB, LET YOUR INSTRUCTOR KNOW IMMEDIATELY.  In this case an alternative to working with the specimens will be worked out.

I_____________________________________________ have read the above statement and agree to the use of preserved specimens in the lab.

Signature _________________________     Date _______


I ____________________________________________ have read the above statement and because of medical reasons am requesting an alternative to using preserved specimens.

Signature _________________________     Date _______

return to top of page image

Last updated: January 09, 2009 03:16 PM
Copyright© 2006 by the College of Southern Maryland 
All rights reserved.

return to top of page image