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Algae - Botany 330Link to department of botany

Botany 330

Course Information--Books and Grading

We aim to provide a basic background of information and training that should serve the needs of course clients in general. In addition, we will provide opportunities for specialized learning in accordance with individual student interest. Please let instructors know if accommodation to individual learning style is needed.


1) Algae 3rd edition 2016—Graham, Graham, Wilcox, and Cook. The digital text is essential for completing Comm. B writing assignments, and is also meant to be used in the lab. You will purchase the digital text at http://www.ljlmpress.com/algae.html, and bring the text to class on your mobile device. Laptops and tablets work better than phones for enlarging images.

2) How to Know the Freshwater Algae - Prescott

This is the taxonomic key that we will use in the lab for algal identifications to genus. We have enough copies for each two persons to use, but these books cannot be removed from the classroom. You may want to purchase your own copy.

Exams and other Course Requirements:

To substitute for lectures, students will each individually complete 12 worksheets from 13 offered (we will delete the lowest score, or one can be missed without penalty). Worksheets must be completed by the deadlines specified. Each completed worksheet will earn up to 50 points, for a total of 600 points. Because these worksheets will be peer-graded (though instructor-checked), there can be no make-ups (much as lectures would not be made-up). Your digital textbook is the only source of information for completing worksheets; other sources are not considered suitable in terms of currency or accuracy.

Lecture exams--There will be two exams on lecture material--a mid-term and a final exam. Both exams will consist of 5 or 6, 2-4 page essays, and will be take-home exams to be completed without collaboration.

Undergraduates will answer 5 questions from a number of choices. Graduate students will be required to answer one additional question. Please consult the course document “Botany 330 – Editorial Issues” before you begin writing. Pre-grading of exams is required. For pre-grading, receipt of a preliminary draft will be required at specified times prior to final submission deadline. Preliminary drafts will be examined by Dr. Graham, who will provide suggestions for improvement of both scientific content and English expression, if needed, then returned for revision a week prior to the exam due date. Each lecture exam will be worth 100 points. Additional information is available on the exams posted at the course website.

Lab exams--Two 50 point mid-term lab exams will evaluate ability to identify on sight algal genera that were presented in lab, without the use of an identification key. Twenty or so stations will be set up in the lab; these will most often consist of a microscope with specimen on a slide, but could also consist of fossils, macroalgae or herbarium sheets. Stations will not be timed. In addition, students will be asked to use the Prescott key to identify two "unknown" microalgae. Plenty of time is available for completion of both parts of the lab exams.

Lab exercises--Five brief written reports related to class lab or field exercises will be worth 40 points each for a total of 200 points. These will be evaluated for both scientific content and English expression. An additional week beyond the first due date will be given to revise reports, if this is recommended.

Lab notebooks—Each student will keep a lab notebook of a form specified in class. Notebook content will be evaluated early in the semester, with recommendation for improvement. Notebooks will be graded at the end of the semester: 50 points total.

Project reports--A written report describing the results of individual or team field, lab, or library projects will be due at the final exam. Projects will be chosen in consultation with instructors. It is highly desirable for projects to coordinate with other work that students are doing (in research or other coursework). It is fine to submit the same report in Botany 330 and in a concurrent course, if there is substantial algal content, and with instructor approval. Examples of previous reports will be available as models. During the final lab period students will be expected to present a brief oral report (10 min or so) on their project (to be considered as part of the project grade). Pre-grading of final project reports is available and we encourage you to take advantage of this option. Drafts for pre-grading are due at least one week prior to the final exam date, and will be returned for revision no less than three days prior to the final exam date. The project report is due at the time and date of the final exam.

Other oral presentations--At least two additional oral presentations will be required and written feedback will be provided (though not graded). Please refer to the course document “Oral presentations in Botany 330”.



Lecture exams (2) 200 points (100 each)

Midterm lab exams (2) 100 points

Worksheets (13, drop lowest score) 600 points (50 each)

5 exercise reports 200 points (40 points each)

Lab notebook 50 points

Project report 100 points


1250 points

There is no limit to the number of A, B, etc. grades given. 92-100% =A; 88-91% = AB; 80-87% = B

Regardless of point totals, because Botany 330 is a Comm. B course, all Comm. B-required components (essay exams, lab reports, and individual project presentations) must be submitted in order to achieve a passing grade.


These materials were authored by Linda E. Graham circa 1976.