Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Search Course IDs and descriptions for:

Find complete words only

Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | BIOL150 syllabus


This Course is designed around the basic principles of plant biology and the interrelationships of plants, humans and other organisms. In addition to the core principles of plant structure, growth, physiology, reproduction, evolution and genetics; the course will investigate, discuss and conduct experiments about the economic and ecological importance of plants to society. Integrated into the labs and lectures are topics such as medicinal plants, culinary plants, building and construction plants, plants used for bio-mass energy production, aromatic plants and the aesthetic value of plants. Class meets for 3 hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week.

Place into ENGL101 and MATH107.


The selected textbook not only offers extensive information in each chapter that connects Plant Science with our everyday lives, but also includes an extensive set of appendices on scientific names, biological controls, useful and poisonous plants, house plants and home gardening and conversion tables. These will be referenced throughout the course.

A lab is required for this course. Some sections will require a separate lab, while other sections will include the lab. I-clickers are utilized as an instruction tool for this course and required for lecture-dicussion. I-clicker can be purchased at the book store.

Biology 150 (Botany) is a non-major biology course that introduces students to plant science. The goals for the course are two-fold and upon completion of this course, students will be able to

Biological Principles:

  • Use the scientific method in class, labs and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Identify and list the organelles found in plant cells and their function.
  • Identify and list the core plant tissues.
  • Identify and describe the diverse anatomy and physiology of roots, stems and leaves.
  • Describe in detail photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration.
  • Describe the process of cell division by mitosis and meiosis.
  • Identify and describe gymnosperms and angiosperms.
  • Describe basic genetic techniques and plant reproduction.
  • Explain the basic plant classification system and be able to use plant identification books by that system.
  • List the essential nutrients required for plant growth and reproduction.

Personal and Societal Concepts:

  • Discuss the importance of plants in the balance of ecological practices.
  • Describe the significance of plants as producers.
  • Discuss the significance of plant research.
  • Identify poisonous plants.
  • List the differences between organic (heritage) and genetically modified plants.
  • Explain how herbicides affect plant cell structure.
  • Suggest herbs and spices to enhance food flavor
  • Recognize the quality and beauty of natural wood.
  • Discuss the use of bio-mass as an alternative energy source

Lecture Outline
  1. Introduction
    • Week One:
      • What is Plant biology? Chapter 1
      • Human and Animal Dependence on Plants.
      • The Nature of Life. Chapter 2
      • Chemical and Physical Bases of Life.
    • Week Two:
      • Plant Names and Classification. Chapter 16
      • How the system of Organism Identification developed over Centuries.
    • Week Three:
      • Principles of Ecology. Chapter 25
      • The Impact of Humans on Plant Communities
    • Week Four:
      • Major Biomes of North America. Chapter 26
      • Photosynthesis, Global Warming and Tropical Rain Forests
      • Exam I
  2. Plant Structure and Function
    • Week Five:
      • Plant Cells. Chapter 3
      • Plant Tissues. Chapter 4
      • The connection between types of cell tissue and function in the Plant.
    • Week Six:
      • Roots and Soil. Chapter 5
      • Chapter 6
    • Week Seven:
      • Leaves. Chapter 7
      • Photosynthesis and transpiration control.
      • Water in Plants. Chapter 9
      • Transpiration and nutrient supply.
    • Week Eight:
      • Plant Metabolism. Chapter 10
      • Photosynthesis and Respiration.
    • Week Nine:
      • Plant Growth. Chapter 11
      • Mitosis (explained in earlier chapter). Chapter 3
      • Exam II
  3. Plant Reproduction, Genetics, and Evolution
    • Week Ten:
      • Meiosis. Chapter 12
      • Alternations of generations.
      • Genetics. Chapter 13
    • Week Eleven:
      • Plant Breeding and Propagation. Chapter 14
      • Importance of improving techniques to feed the growing population.
    • Week Twelve:
      • Introduction to seed plants: Gymnosperms. Chapter 22
    • Week Thirteen:
      • Seed Plants: Angiosperms. Chapter 23
      • Flowers, Fruits and Seeds.
      • Exam III
  4. Diversity of Plants, Prokaryotes, Protists and Fungi
    • Week Fourteen:
      • Bacteria, Archaea and Viruses. Chapter 17
      • Protists and the Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. Chapter 18
    • Week Fifteen:
      • Fungi and Lichens. Chapter 19
      • Bryophytes. Chapter 20
      • Seedless vascular Plants: Ferns and their Relatives. Chapter 21
    • Week Sixteen:
      • Biological Evolution. Chapter 15
      • Flowering Plants and Civilization. Chapter 24
      • Final Exam
Lab Topical Outline
  • Lab#1 What are plants?
    • Take students outdoors to shady area.
    • Involve students in a discussion of what defines plants.
    • Move group to a new location.
    • Involve students in a discussion of plant uses and functions.
    • Assign a report with lab lecture-discussion as a basis for additional uses of plants, different types of plants, and interrelationship between plants and humans.
  • Lab#2 Naming and organizing plants:
    • Begin inside the lab with brief explanation of how to use tree identification guide books.
    • Move class outside to a close and familiar tree family ( Quercus)
    • Remove leaf and discuss taxonomy features: leaf edge, venation, palmate, pinnate, compound, singular, i.e
    • Proceed to next tree family and work with students in identifying.
    • Discuss different types of trees and wood. The primary uses, what types of trees can grow in different climate regions, time required to develop a shading canopy and/or a harvestable trunk.
    • By the end of lab, students will be able to use the guide and identify individual trees.
    • Assignment: Students will write up description and identification techniques of identified trees seen during the lab. Students will bring in six additional, different pressed tree leaves from their home or a natural park with a write up.
  • Lab #3 Principles of Ecology:
    • Take students to neighboring Meade Park. The park has a softball diamond, a shaded playground, soccer field and most important, and a small climatic Oak-Maple forest area with a creek.
    • The students will take a sling hygrometer, soil thermometer, anemometer, soil sample probe, light meter and a soil test kit.
    • The students will record data from each of the instruments from the soccer field, shaded playground and the climatic forest.
    • Students will construct a report about primary and secondary succession as evidenced from their data.
  • Lab#4 Introduction to microscopy: Dissecting microscopes, compound microscopes, electron microscope images.
    • Start students with dissecting microscopes and three dimensional colored thread slides.
    • Objective is for students to learn focus and depth perception.
    • Move slides to compound microscopes, first with thread slides, then with prepared slides of onion cells and white fish cells.
    • Present electron microscope images and discuss the degree of magnification.
    • Instruct students in the preparation of a slide mount. Have students make slide mounts from elodea.
    • Students then given the opportunity to view prepared slides selected by the instructor.
    • The students will develop a competence in using different microscopes which aid them in future exercises in the lab.
    • Students will be graded on microscope techniques of focusing, finding specific elements in the focused image and preparing their own slides.
    • Discuss the various careers that students may encounter which utilize microscopes.
  • Lab #5 Plant Cell Structure: The object of this lab is to introduce students to the basic cell structure and organelles in a plant cell. Students will also be able to recognize basic ground meristem cell tissues.
    • Set up models of plant and animal cells, showing organelles.
    • Display electron microscope images of plant cells.
    • Students view prepared slides of parenchyma, collenchyma and sclerenchyma cells.
    • Have students diagram these, label and write a brief description of the function(s) of each cell component and type of primary plant cell.
    • Discuss the importance to plant survival based on the organelles and types of plant cells. How can plants withstand a strong wind and yet stand tall and rigid? How do plants survive extreme heat and drought or cold and soil saturation? How do plants make their own food? (an introduction to photosynthesis)
  • Lab#6 Photosynthesis and Respiration: Objective: Students will prove to themselves that photosynthesis and respiration do occur in plants.
    • Two samples of elodea in test tubes; one under a grow light and the second completely covered to block out the light.
    • Using samples of viable new seed and old seed (or seed that the germ has been killed) perform a tetrazolium test.
    • Students will work with geranium leaves that have been placed in complete darkness for several days, and then put back in the light with stick on letters to block out the light to certain areas of the leaf. Students then perform a starch test on the leaves.
    • Watch a video on the Krebs Cycle.
    • Have students write expectations and results of each experiment and explain in scientific terminology.
    • Discuss how photosynthesis creates food resources for human and other organism nourishment. Discuss how plants replenish the oxygen supply in our atmosphere. Discuss how plants change stored energy into viable energy that they can use.
  • Lab#7 DNA and RNA; plant cell division: The object of the following experiments and exercises is to demonstrate the sequencing of DNA and RNA and to witness the DNA replication and mitotic division of plant cells.
    • Allow students to assemble DNA models as specifically described in a lab exercise. Then have the students rearrange the sequence as further described by the exercise to simulate DNA replication.
    • Discuss the process of RNA chains formed from DNA Maps. Have students use models and discover the process of DNA RNA protein.
    • With models and charts available, have students view prepared onion root tip slides with the microscope and identify the stages of mitosis and cytokinesis. By counting the number of cells in each phase, students will calculate by percentage the length of time in each phase.
    • Students will complete worksheets on DNA and data sheets on mitosis.
    • Discussion on number of gene pairs in various types of plants and the complexity of plants maintaining a uniform strain.
  • Lab#8 Plant Structure, Growth and Development: Object of this lab is to introduce students to the location, function and diversity of roots, stems and leaves.
    • Models, slides and charts of root tips.
    • Models, slides and charts of stem tissues.
    • Models, slides and charts of leaf tissues.
    • Students will recognize the difference between root, stem and leaf tissue. Students will diagram and write a report on each individual type of tissue encountered.
    • Start a discussion how the different types of roots stems and leaves are important to humans and other organisms.
  • Lab#9 Photosynthesis and transpiration: Objective of this lab is to understand the process of photosynthesis and transpiration.
    • Students will watch a series of videos on photosynthesis and the Calvin cycle.
    • These videos also discuss photosynthetic pathways C3, C4, and CAM.
    • A worksheet will be provided to the students before the videos are shown, with specific questions pertaining to the processes that must be completed and handed in at the end of the lab.
  • Lab#10 Reproduction, Meiosis and life cycles: The objective of this lab is to explain and demonstrate the process of meiosis.
    • Models and charts that outline the process of meiosis.
    • Colored pipe cleaner exercise to demonstrate chromosome modeling
    • Alternation of generations.
    • Genetic mutations; coding mistakes can occur during meiosis.
    • Students will outline the process of meiosis, explain how a single cell zygote is produced, discuss how mutations can occur and recognize the alternation of generations.
  • Lab#11 Gymnosperms, the first seed plants: the object of this lab is for students to learn and describe the characteristics, life cycles and importance of gymnosperms.
    • Powerpoint slides of ancient and extinct gymnosperms.
    • Slides of modern gymnosperms.
    • Discussion of seed plants that lack flowers.
    • Charts and microscope slides of the gymnosperm reproductive cycle.
    • Specimens of gymnosperm leaves, wood and seed pods.
    • Students fill in worksheets on gymnosperm information and are able to recognize gymnosperms from angiosperms.
  • Lab#12 Angiosperm Diversity and Reproduction: The object of this lab is to outline the flowering reproductive process and expose students to the diversity of angiosperms.
    • Charts and powerpoint presentation on seed formation in flowering plants.
    • Actual flowers to examine with dissecting microscope.
    • Collection of seeds, fruit and nuts produced by angiosperms.
    • The students will examine florets and seed bearing specimens; diagram them and explain in writing the reproductive process.
    • Powerpoint presentation of asexual reproduction techniques.
    • Discussion of inter-relationship of seed distribution and food resource for wildlife.
  • Lab#13 Genetics and Laws of Inheritance: Students will start with Mendels experiments and explore genetics.
    • Exercise sheets on Mendels work.
    • Monohybrid and dihybrid corn experiment
    • Worksheet exercises with the Punnet Square.
    • Terms: genotype, phenotype, dominant, recessive, heterozygous, homozygous, incomplete dominance, and hybridization.
    • Genetic engineering video.
    • Students will complete corn experiment data, worksheets on punnet square and bio engineering video.
    • Discuss the concept of Bio Engineering ( genetically Modified) and how it affects society and the ecosystem.
  • Lab#14 Prokaryotes: Students will learn the origin of life on earth.
    • Microscope slides and bacterium specimens.
    • Discussion of how prokaryotes are important to plants.
    • Protists:
    • Slides and specimens: algae and slime molds.
    • Discuss the human involvement with Prokaryotes. Bacterial spread of disease, mold problems in our homes and workplaces.
    • Heterotrophic
    • Importance of forming crude oil.
    • Food source for other aquatic organism.s
    • Students conclude lab by preparing slides of pond water.
    • Students make a written report of their findings and list additional concerns of humans.
  • Lab#15 Fungi and Lichens: Students will learn that fungi are eukaryotes with distinctive cell walls and bodies. Lichens are composed of fungal hyphae and autotrophic green algae.
    • Microscope slides and specimens.
    • Discussion human uses of fungi and lichens.
    • Function of fungi and lichens in nature.
    • Students will conclude lab with a written identification exercise.
  • Lab#16 Cumulative Lab Practical:
    • Microscope slides.
    • Unmarked models.
    • Unmarked charts.
    • Unidentified powe point slides.
    • Students will complete the lab practical and be given time for a question and answer session, reviewing for the written final exam.


Bidlack and Jansky, Stern’s Introductory Plant Biology, 12th edition, McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 978-0-07-304052-3

Stern, Bidlack, Jansky, Laboratory Manual to accompany Stern's Introductory Plant Biology, McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9780073040530

Lecture Exams
Lecture Quizzes
Final Exam
Laboratory Practical
Laboratory Exercises

Grade Scale:
A- 90% or above
B- 80-90%
C- 70-80%
D- 60-70%
F- Below 60%

  • Raven, Evert, and Eichhorn, Biology of Plants; 6th Edition, Worth Publishers, New York, 1992
  • Rost, Barbour, Stocking, Murphy, Plant Biology, 2nd Edition, 2006, Wadsworth Publishing.
  • Graham, Graham, Wilcox, Plant Biology, 2nd Edition, 2006, Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • Linda Berg, Introductory Botany Plants, People and the Environment, 2nd Edition, 2008, Brooks/Cole. ISBN: 9780534466695
Membership in the DACC community brings both rights and responsibility. As a student at DACC, you are expected to exhibit conduct compatible with the educational mission of the College. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, is not tolerated. A DACC student is also required to abide by the acceptable use policies of copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as contained in the DACC Student Handbook. The Student Handbook is available in the Information Office in Vermilion Hall and online at:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Testing & Academic Services Center at 217-443-8708 (TTY 217-443-8701) or stop by Cannon Hall Room 103. Please speak with your instructor privately to discuss your specific accommodation needs in this course.

Fall 2019

Upcoming Events