Spring 2009 - Test Page

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HON 3253.003 (CRN 24508) Honors Seminar: PLANTS and SOCIETY






Spring 2009

This seminar course is part of the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)


Class time and location: T. R. 11:00am
-
12:15pm in HSS 2.02.20


Instructor: Dr Valerie Sponsel.
Email
valerie.sponsel@utsa.edu

Tel: 458 5929

Office Hours: BSE 1.642.

Through Jan and Feb: T and R 12:30
-
1:30pm







From Mar 1 on: T and R 5:00
-
6:00pm, or by appointment

WAC Assistant: Jennifer Risk
e. Email
Jennifer.riske@utsa.edu

Tel: 458 5353

Office Hours: HSS 4.02.64

T and R 2:00
-
3:00


Plants give us our food, animal feed, fiber, pharmaceuticals and fuel. This class
examines how we use plants a
nd plant products. We will consider both classical and
contemporary methods of “improving” plants, through plant breeding and
biotechnology respectively, and the biological principles on which crop
improvements are based. We will also examine some contemp
orary issues, such as
global food security in the 21
st

century, the use of biotechnology in food production,
and the use of plant material to generate biofuels
.


Text : “Plants, Genes and Crop Biotechnology.” Second edition

By M. Chrispeels and D. Sadova.

Published by Jones and Bartlett in partnership with
the American Society of Plant Biologists. Copyright 2003

All students will do two projects during the semester, one on a genetically modified plant
(powerpoint presentation to class and paper), and one
on any relevant subject as approved
by Dr Sponsel (presentation of abstract to class, and paper). See details on next page.

You will be expected to do literature searches especially to find source material for your
GMO paper. Other reading material will
be placed on 2
-
hour reserve in the library to
give you ideas for your final paper. These books include “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by
M. Pollan (2006), “Green Inheritance: Saving the Plants of the World” by Anthony
Huxley (2005) and “Sustainable Ethanol” by A

and J Goettemoeller (2007).


This course is part of
Writing Across the Curriculum.
The aim of the WAC project is
to use writing as a tool to help you master the knowledge and skills relevant to this
course. You will have the opportunity to get advice and

feedback from our WAC
Assistant (Jennifer Riske) who will help you edit written material.


Outline of the semester’s work:

Date:


Topic:








Chapter(s)

Jan 13



Genetic basis of plant growth and development


8

Jan 15


Seeds








9

Jan 20


Photosynth
esis and crop yield





10

Jan 22


Plant nutrition







11



Jan 27


Mol basis of genetic modification of crops



6


Jan 29


Improving human diet thru crop improvement


7

Feb 3



Case study: cassava


Feb 5

TEST 1



Feb 10


Return Test 1. Discussion of GMO

projects


Feb 12


Global considerations, demographics

,



1, 2

Feb 17


Global considerations etc. cont.




3, 4, 5

Feb 19


10,000 yrs of crop evolution





13

Feb 24


From classical pl breeding to modern crop improvement.

14



Feb 26


Guest lecture. Gwe
ndolyn Emanuels
-
Smith, Amazon Conservation

Team.
Last date for selection of GMO topics




March 3

Towards a greener agriculture




18

Mar 5


Urban myths and real concerns




20

SPRING BREAK

Mar17


Case reports, oral presentations
-
GMO

Mar 19


Case reports

-
GMO.

Mar 24

Case reports “
-
GMO


Mar 26


Case reports “
-
GMO

Mar 31

Case reports “

GMO.
GMO papers due from everyone


Apr 2


Plants as sources of phytochemicals




19

Apr 7


Drugs from plants


for treating pain

Apr 9


Plant
-
derived

drugs for treating cancer

Apr 14


Fiber (cotton) Paper, wood and rubber

Apr 16


Fuel from plants.
Last day to have chosen topic for final term paper.

Apr 21


More on fuel

Apr 23


Summing up of semester. Student discussion of final papers

Apr 28


Student

discussion of final papers


Final paper must be turned in NO later than the day of the Final exam

MAY 6
th

FINAL EXAM 10:30 am



Grading procedure
:

There will be
Test 1
worth 25% of your semester grade, and a
Final

exam worth 30%
each of the seme
ster grade.

Both Test 1 and the Final will comprise some multiple
-
choice questions, some short
answers and essays.

Test 1 covers material from Jan 13 through Feb 3

Final exam covers LECTURE/CHAPTER material from Feb 12 to the end of the
semester

There wi
ll be two assignments based on your own literature research
.

(1) A “
case report
” on a genetically modified organism (GMO), which will comprise a
10
-
15 min oral presentation to the class and a written paper. The paper will be edited by
our WAC Assistant f
or writing style (students will submit their drafts to her according to
a schedule set up in March), and submitted for a final grade based on scientific content
and writing style. This is worth 30% of the semester grade

(2) There will also be a
final term
paper

due no later than May 5 that will be worth 15%
of the semester grade. The topic for this paper can be any subject matter relevant to the
course. Your topic must be pre
-
approved by Dr. Sponsel, and the paper must include a
300 word abstract that outli
nes the paper and is the basis for classroom discussion. This
paper can also be edited in consultation with Jennifer Riske prior to submission.


A final semester letter grade will be assigned on the following basis (A= 90
-
100%, B=
80
-
89%, C= 70
-
79%, D=60
-
6
9%, F=less than 60%).


Make
-
up test 1 will only be given only to those students who were sick or had a death in
the family and who notify me within TWO days of the scheduled test date. All excuses
for missed tests must be substantiated in writing (doctors

note etc). Make
-
up tests (which
will contain
additional

short answer/essay questions) must be taken within 5 days of the
scheduled test. There will be no make
-
up for the FINAL EXAM.


The last day to drop this course and receive an automatic grade of W is

March 23.


Attendance:

Students
are

expected

to attend class. Material will be discussed in class that is
additional to that in the assigned text. In addition, student participation in discussions is
strongly encouraged.


Course objectives
:

Students a
re expected to gain a broad understanding of the importance of plants and
plant
-
derived products to human health and well
-
being. They will become aware of
importance of global food security, and how plant scientists and others can work to
achieve this. The

emphasis on writing is to assist you in learning and understanding the
course material, and to help you improve your writing skills.



Scholastic Dishonesty
:

The University expects every student to maintain a high standard of individual work
done. Scholas
tic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test or other
class work, plagiarism and collusion. Of particular importance to this course is
plagiarism, a term defined as the appropriation of another’s work and the incorrect,
unacknowledged

incorporation of it in one’s own written work. If you have any questions
about the guidelines for documentation, talk to me immediately. Instances of scholastic
dishonesty/plagiarism will incur major, serious consequences. All instances will be dealt
with

following the Guidelines of the Office of Student Life.