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Course Description Syllabus Lecture Slides Discussion Sections, Labs
& Assignments
Weekly Problem Sets Practice Exam Exam

BioG 1440 - Introduction to Comparative Physiology - Spring 2014
116 Kennedy Hall, Call Auditorium 2:30PM-3:20PM

  Office Email Office Hours
Dr. Ronald Booker W141 Seeley G. Mudd Hall M - May 6; 1:00, W - May 8; 2:00;
M - May 13; 1:00
Dr. Cole Gilbert 6136 Comstock Hall W,R, F - 11:00-12:00
Frederick Jones 101 Stimson Hall 607-255-5746
  Office Email Office Hours


Faculty and Teaching Assistants will hold weekly office hours throughout the semester. If you have questions concerning the course material, we urge you to come and discuss your questions during these office hours. Office hours are indicated above.
Saundra Anderson (W111 Seeley G. Mudd Hall; phone: 254-4389; email: is the administrative assistant who handles record keeping, assignment to sections and many of the other administrative details of this course. She will be available 8AM-4PM Monday through Thursday and 8AM-3:30PM Fridays. Please contact Saundra for questions concerning any administrative aspects of this course.
Introduction to Comparative Physiology (BioG 1440) is a one-semester, 3-credit course.  The course is designed for undergraduates who want to better understand the inner workings of organisms, i.e., their physiology.

Principal Learning Goals:
1.  To gain understanding of the principles of how animals work at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels.   This understanding will come not by memorizing a large body of facts, but by developing mental models of the various physiological processes (e.g. transport processes, cell-cell signaling, metabolism, thermoregulation, circulation, respiration…) that underlie life.
2.  To gain skill in thinking like a physiologist.   This requires both asking and answering questions about physiology, and so involves observing phenomena, generating hypotheses about the underlying mechanisms, and devising tests of your hypotheses.
3.  To appreciate the physiological similarities and differences between the physiologies of humans and other organisms, and so to understand how the study of physiology is relevant to your life and to the world around you.

18 discussion sections are available. Discussion sections will meet for 50 minutes weekly.

Discussion sections are not designed to serve as question/answer sessions for materials presented in the lectures. The weekly office hours offered by the faculty and teaching assistants serve that purpose.

This course has one textbook, Animal Physiology (3rd edition) by Hill, Anderson, and Wyse, which is sold at the Cornell Campus Bookstore.   Be sure to get the current (3rd) edition of the book.   A number of additional reading are required for the discussion sections.   All additional reading are linked to the BioG 1440 homepage (see below).
The PowerPoint presentation for each lecture will be posted under "Lecture Presentations" on the course website.
All relevant course information can be found here.

To get on the BioG 1440 homepage, open your Internet browser and type in the address:

You will need to sign in and present a password for various portions of the website. The USERNAME & PASSWORD WILL BE EMAILED TO YOU AND GIVEN IN LECTURE.


There will be two preliminary examinations and one final examination.  The “prelims” will be 50 minutes in duration and will be held on February 28 and March 28, during the regular class time (2:30-3:20PM).  The final examination date is TBD.   Both preliminary exams will cover only material that has been presented since the previous exam.  The final exam will cover both materials presented since the second prelim and the contents of the entire course.  The first prelim will be worth 100 points, the second prelim will be worth 100 points, and the final exam will be worth 200 points.

Correct answers to the exams will be posted on the web page.   We will attempt to return your graded examination within seven days of the exam date.   If necessary, we will schedule a makeup exam for each prelim and the final exam.  

Nobody will be given a makeup exam without a suitable written excuse, signed by the appropriate authority (coach, doctor, academic advisor, TA or instructor from other course).   Excuses must be presented to your TA by the time of the lecture prior to the scheduled exam.

Grades will be assigned based on the total of your scores on the three exams (400 points possible) plus your performance in the discussion sections/laboratories (100 points possible) and weekly problem sets (50 points possible). You can earn a total of 550 points for this semester. 
Prelim Re-Grade Policy
• Requests should be submitted to Saundra Anderson in W111 Seeley G. Mudd Hall
• The request must include:
– A typed explanation for each question you want re-graded
– Your original exam
– Your signature
• Email requests will not receive a response
Laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices must be turned off before the start of each lecture.   We have this firm policy for two reasons.   First, in the past we have received many complaints from students who found it distracting to have a nearby student doing email, shopping, or some other non-class activity on his/her computer.   Second, and more important, physiology is a subject for which taking good notes involves drawing graphs, diagrams, and structures, not simply writing down words.   This is because the key to really understanding physiology is developing mental models of the processes that support life.  If you try to master the material in this class by just making lists or writing down equations, you are apt to do poorly.   A notebook and a pencil or pen are by far the best tools for taking notes in this class.
If you are experiencing undue personal or academic stress at any time during the semester or need to talk with someone about a personal problem or situation, we encourage you to seek support as soon as possible. The course director or any of the course faculty is available to talk with you about stresses related to your work in this class. Additionally, we can assist you in reaching out to any one of a wide range of campus resources, including:

Your college's Academic Advising or Student Services Office

Cornell Learning Strategies Center at 255-6310, http:/

Gannett Health Services at 255-5155,

Let's Talk Drop-In Consultation and Support,' sTalk

Peer Support provided by Empathy Assistance and Referral Service at 255-EARS

Student Disability Concerns: Students with either an ongoing or short-term disability are encouraged to contact Student Disability Services (SDS) for a confidential discussion of their need for academic accommodations. SDS is located in 420 CCC building, phone number is 254-4545.

Allen MacNeill's hours for "academic coaching" for BIOG 1440 / Physiology

General office hours:
• Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:20
• Tuesdays from 1:00 to 4:30

Office hours for "academic coaching" for BIOG 1440 / Physiology:
• Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:30
• Fridays from 1:00 to 2:30

All of these will be held in G-24 Stimson Hall / The Biology Learning Strategies Center

Allen D. MacNeill, Senior Lecturer
The Biology Learning Strategies Center
G-24 Stimson Hall, Cornell University
204 East Avenue
Ithaca, New York 14853-7101
Chat: amacneill12 (AIM/iChat)
Fax: 607-255-0470
Phone: 607-255-3357 (Allen's office/voicemail)