Syllabus

Course Description:

This is an introductory (Bio Sci 197, Bio Sci 198A-B-C) and advanced (Bio Sci 199) course in experimental ecology and evolutionary biology designed for biology majors, but open to all students at the school who have met the prerequisites outlined in later sections. Bio Sci 197 students are a separate group outside of the wet lab who have an aptitude for and/or are interested in honing their data analysis skills using specialized computer software.

This research program is intended for students to learn how cutting-edge experimental methods are used for in-depth studies of the mechanisms that drive evolution and ecology including: natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, speciation, life history patterns, age-specific selection, sexual selection, and population dynamics. Students will have the opportunity to work with Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism as they learn essential laboratory skills that complement their higher education curriculum.

Coupled with the educational component will be the opportunity to add research experience to students’ resumes, learn valuable teamwork and leadership skills, and potentially earn a letter of recommendation toward advanced degree programs (graduate or health professional schools). Undergraduates who demonstrate a strong understanding of the culture, methods, and theories in the lab will have a chance to participate in the Excellence in Research Program (publication, poster presentation, and oral presentation) and/or the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Symposium (poster and/or oral presentation).

Text (optional):

The optional text to this course is Evolution and Ecology of the Organism, by Rose and Mueller. The material you will be learning throughout this course will reflect topics covered in this book. Copies are on reserve at the Science Library.

Prerequisite Policy:

The prerequisite to Bio Sci 198A-B-C and Bio Sci 199 is a passing grade (P) in Bio Sci 194S and completion of Bio Sci 94. Students new to the lab will be required to enroll under Bio Sci 198A-B-C until further promotion to Bio Sci 199 is earned at the discretion of Drs. Rose, Mueller, or Greer and/or a graduate student. Continuation in the lab will be determined by students’ conduct, efficiency, attitude, and reliability during the first quarter as a Bio Sci 198 student. These policies are strictly enforced and no exceptions will be made.

Grading Policy:

Students will be graded based on the quality and quantity of work completed throughout each quarter. Students are also expected to attend all assigned shifts on time. Students are expected to notify their respective experiment leaders (Bio Sci 199) or graduate student(s) at least 48 hours in advanced if they cannot make it to a shift to reschedule makeup hours. Each unexcused absence will result in a half letter grade reduction (i.e. A to A-, B+ to B, etc.). All absences/tardies without 48 hour notice will need to be cleared with your immediate supervising graduate student for it not to affect your grade.

Other Related Courses:

E106: Processes in Ecology and Evolution (Rose)
E115L: Evolution Laboratory (Long, Mueller)

Criteria for promotion to Bio Sci 199:

Students may request to enroll in Bio Sci 199 in the Rose Lab if they meet the following criteria:

ü  OBSERVATION: Student must be able to observe training demonstrations and participate in group tasks such as: egg collections, data collection, sexing flies, etc.

ü  COMMUNICATION: Students must be able to effectively and efficiently communicate with their fellow lab mate(s), graduate student(s), and principal investigator(s).

ü  QUALITATIVE ABILITIES: Student must be able to comprehend, measure, calculate, analyze, and reference information over different channels. They must also be able to formulate and test hypotheses in the laboratory environment.

ü  SOCIAL ATRIBUTES: Students must demonstrate maturity and emotional stability required for efficient conduct in the lab. They must be able to collaborate with peers from the same age cohort, adapt to the wide variety of cutting edge tasks within the lab, and accept constructive criticism from others.

ü  EXAMINATION: Students who request to transition from Bio Sci 198A-B-C to Bio Sci 199 will need to complete a comprehensive, multiple-choice, examination and oral interview of laboratory protocols and required Bio Sci 198A-B-C fundamental topics (See Page 3: genetics, selection, macro and microevolution).

Students who request to enroll in Bio Sci 199 will be individually evaluated by their supervising graduate student(s) and principal investigator(s) if the above criteria are met. Students enrolling in Bio Sci 199 must be able to commit 20 hours (5 units) to research per week.

Holiday Policy:

Our official policy is that holidays do not exempt a student from their research shift; all days in a quarter are in play. For example, if you are scheduled for Thursdays in fall quarter, then you must show up to your shift for all Thursdays in the quarter including Thanksgiving. Any non-academic week is considered volunteering where a student may make up hours or earn more hours to go towards the following quarter. Finals week is also mandatory for students enrolled in Bio Sci 198 and Bio Sci 199. Though we understand that finals week is very stressful and do our best to avoid it, we are not always able to.

Letter of Referral Policy:

A majority of our students are conducting research with the hopes of earning a letter of recommendation to a secondary institution, whether it be medical, graduate, business, or whatnot. We understand that research is no their primary interests. We are looking to endorse hardworking individuals in the lab who show a desire to learn as well as lead. Our lab is designed in such a way that only a conscientious, intelligent, and diligent-working student may prosper. A letter of referral that these students earn certifies that they in fact have the qualities outlined above as well as character. A more straight to the point summary of our policy is that you are essentially determining the content of your letter. If you display the qualities we describe, we will include that in your letter. If you do nothing and manage to get by, we will include that as well.

Secondary schools look for 5 essential things: G.P.A., Extracurricular Activities, Entrance Exam Scores, Letters of Referral, and Personal Statement(s). G.P.A. is not a measure of intelligence, but more of work ethic. Extracurriculars demonstrate interest and passions. Entrance exams survey intelligence, more or less. Letters of referral references character. Personal statement(s) are a vehicle, means, and platform to pull all five things in a narrative. Excellent participation in our lab will cover demonstrate that you have two of the five essentials: extracurriculars and letter of referral.

Letter of Referral Procedure & Guidelines:

  1. Both the supervising principal investigator (professor) and graduate student with write a student’s letter.
  2. Students requesting a letter must complete a minimum of 3 quarters of research. They may request a letter as soon as the start of their second quarter in the event that you need it by the completion of the third quarter. We reserve the right to rescind, retract your letter should you fail to complete three quarters of research.
  3. A request for a letter of referral should be sent directly to the principal investigator with the following information:
    1. Full name,
    2. Program/position for which you need a letter,
    3. Supervising graduate student,
    4. The quarter and year you joined the lab,
    5. What your current role is (Bio Sci 198/199).
    6. As a courtesy, please request your letter at least 6 weeks in advanced to when you need it submitted.
    7. The principal investigator will then forward the request to your graduate student to begin drafting the letter.
    8. If this is an electronic submission, use your immediate principal investigator’s name and email address.
    9. If the letter needs to be mailed, please include stamped and self-addressed envelopes for us to mail it directly. This is not necessary if you are using UCI Bio Sci’s Health Affair’s LOR Service.

Although we are happy to write a letter for any student who has earned one, remember that the more painless you make this process for you the more our appreciation will show in your letter.

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