Course : Araneology Lab
- Course Number
- BIOL 5743
- Section Number
- Spring 2023
- Bolin Hall, 207
- Dr. Roy C Vogtsberger
- Days & Times
- Final Exam Day/Time
- Thursday, May 04, 2023 5:30 pm - 7:50 pm
Objectives in the laboratory:
- Learn spider morphology
- Learn to identify spiders to species level
- Construct a properly curated spider collection
- Promotion of field experience
- Observe spider behavior
- Locate spiders in the variety of microenvironments they occupy
- Develop taxonomic skills in the use of dichotomous keys
- Become more exposed to primary scientific literature
- Hone skills in microscopy
Class Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of the instructor.
Class Requirements: This class contains both a lecture and lab component to it. Spider collection required. This collection constitutes the main focus of the laboratory. Field collection of live specimens will be made and will be subsequently preserved, brought to the lab, identified to the level of species, and properly curated for submission. Upon submission, your spider collection will be retained by the Department of Biology.
Paper Presentation: You will be required to give a 15-minute oral presentation over any arachnid-related paper (or collection of papers) on your choice of such topics as behavior, physiology, evolution, paleontology, taxonomy, biological control, etc. Please try to focus on more recent research to enlighten the class concerning more current topics in arachnology. A handout that includes an abstract of your presentation and citation of the article(s) that you are presenting should be prepared to give to your instructor and pass out to all class members on the day of your presentation. Make sure you are prepared to answer questions about your presentation topic. You are also expected to listen and ask questions when others give their presentations. In order to prevent duplications, please inform the instructor of your title as soon as you have decided on the topic/article that you want to use for your presentation.
Exams: There will be three lab exams and one lecture exam that collectively will comprise 50% of your overall grade for the class. The single lecture exam will be a comprehensive final exam over material primarily from the lecture textbook. This exam will consist of various types of testing formats (i.e. multiple choice, matching, true/false, fill in the blank, listing, drawing/labeling, and short answer). The three lab exams will consist of a spider anatomy exam, family identification exam and a final lab exam that involves keying down spider specimens to the species level. See “Course Grading” for a breakdown of what each testing component is worth. DO NOT MISS AN EXAM!!!! Academic honesty must be practiced at all times. Any instances of academic dishonesty may result in a zero being assigned for a test or assignment and repeated dishonesty can result in an F as a final course grade.
Spider Collection: Students will be awarded 5 points for the 1st representative of each correctly identified family, 3 points for the first representative of each correctly identified genus, and 4 points for each correctly identified species of spider. The total number of points possible is unlimited (on average, about 350 points will usually earn an A). Points will be deducted for improper curation. Grade assignment on collections will vary due to seasonal fluctuation that affects availability of specimens.
Course Grading: The following is a breakdown of your final course grade:
Anatomy Exam = 5%
Family Identification Exam =10%
Final Lab Exam (Key to Species) =20%
Spider Collection =40%
Lab Grade total =75%
Paper Presentation =10%
Lecture Final Exam =15%
Lecture Grade total =25%
Lab Grade (75%) + Lecture Grade (25%) totals = Total Course Grade 100%
The grading scale used to determine your letter grade for the course is as follows:
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = below 60%
Class Attendance: You are expected to attend all classes and utilize all of the scheduled time wisely. The majority of this class entails you working with spiders directly with the aid of a microscope. A lot of time is required and devoted to the identification of spiders that you will be collecting on your own and as a class.
Late submission of spider collection will result in a 25 point deduction per day. Make sure you turn in your collection on time!!
Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
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