Spring 2011

Instructor:  Ms. Linda McNally
Office:   288 Watson
Phone: 704-894-2886
Office hours:  You are welcome to stop by any time my door is open or to make an appointment to fit your schedule.  My "scheduled" office hours are Mondays & Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00 PM, I will make every effort to be in my office during these times.

Class Meeting Times:   

T R   8:15 - 9:30 AM (Dana 146)
Section A: W  1:30-4:20 PM (Watson 140)
Section B: R 1:40-4:20 PM (Watson 140)

Course Description:  Human Biology is a non-majors course designed to give you an introduction to the science of biology by exploring human health, physiology, and disease. My goal is to provide you with information to enable you to understand the functioning of your body, the effects of disease, risk factors for disease, and disease prevention. We will also examine human genetics and genetic diseases and we'll explore how humans develop in the womb, from conception to birth. During the semester, we will focus on many of the issues that you are likely to encounter at some time in your life. This course will provide you with a solid information base on which to make informed and intelligent decisions concerning the various issues you may face in the future.

Human Biology - Concepts and Current Issues, 5th edition by Michael Johnson (available at the bookstore or online as an e-book at

Blackboard:  Students enrolled in this course will receive announcements and can access assignments through the Blackboard course web site ( This site will also provide access to PowerPoint lectures, the course syllabus, and other course materials.  I may also periodically send email announcments so you should check your email regularly too!

Laboratory Fee:  Students are required to pay a laboratory fee of $10.00 to cover the cost of laboratory handouts (which take the place of a "lab manual") and supplies. Payment will be collected during the first week of classes and can be made by cash or check made out to Davidson College.  In most cases, laboratory handouts for each exercise will be distributed prior to the meeting of lab.

Grades:  Your final grade in this course will be calculated as follows:
3 lecture reviews (100 pts. each)
Cumulative Final Exam
2 lab tests (100 pts. each)

Lab & Homework Assignments


Participation/Clicker Questions

Grade Scale:
A   92-100 A-   90-91 B+   88-89 B   82-87
B-   80-81 C+   78-79 C   72-77 C-   70-71
D+   68-69 D   60-67 F   < 60

Attendance Policy:     You are expected to attend all lectures and labs. Attendance will be taken regularly. Your class participation grade will be affected if you miss more than 2 lectures without a legitimate reason (illness, death in the family, college-sponsored event, etc.) In keeping with College policy, missing more than 25% of scheduled lectures may result in failure of the course. This applies regardless of other grades! (If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to make sure you get any missed material or new assignments. Any assignments that are turned in late will be penalized.)

Attendance in lab is mandatory!  Do not schedule other activities during lab time. Missed labs can only be made up if you have a valid excuse (illness requiring medical care, accident involving injury, death in the family, etc.) AND notify me PRIOR to your scheduled lab time or as soon as physically possible.

A Note About Tardiness:  You are also expected to be ON TIME to all lectures and labs. Coming to class late is disruptive and disrespectful of others - DO NOT MAKE IT A HABIT. Excessive tardiness will be noted and will reduce your overall course grade accordingly.

Scheduled Lecture Reviews & Lab Tests:    You must be present for ALL scheduled lecture reviews and lab tests. These tests will be given in class or lab during the scheduled meeting times on the dates in the syllabu and lab schedule. No make-up tests will be allowed except in cases of emergency and if I am notified in advance or as soon as physically possible.  Note: Emergency refers to illness requiring medical care, accident involving injury or death in the family. Papers due, exams in other classes, social or sporting events, theatrical productions or similar events are NOT acceptable reasons for missing or postponing tests!

Final Exam:  The final exam will be cumulative and will be given during the self-scheduled exam period.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I do not allow students to use "spots" (old tests) for studying.  It is considered an Honor Code violation to use old tests from this course in your studies.  I will provide information on my testing style (and examples/study questions) to make you feel comfortable with the types of questions that will be asked.  If you have questions or concerns regarding what to expect from my tests, please ask me - I will gladly discuss these matters in more detail.

Honor Code:  Unless otherwise noted, all of your work in this course is covered under the College Honor Code and must be pledged with your signature.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Full accommodations are the legal right of students with all kinds of disabilities, whether learning disabilities or physical disabilities. If you are a student with a learning disability documented by Davidson College who might need accommodations, please identify yourself to me within the first week or two of class so that I can learn from you as early as possible how to best work with your learning style. Students with other disabilities are also encouraged to self-identify if there is any way in which I can make accommodations that will enhance your learning experience. All such discussions will be fully confidential unless you otherwise stipulate.

Important Resource: The Math & Science Center (MSC) offers free assistance to students in all areas of math and science, with a focus on the introductory level courses. Trained and highly qualified peers are available on a drop-in basis or by appointment. The MSC is located on the lower level of Belk, just down the hall from the student computer lab. Drop-in hours are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 9:00 PM-12:00 Midnight. Appointments can be made for other times. For more information visit or contact Dr. Mark Barsoum at or 704-894-2796.

Lecture Review/Exam Dates: (see lab schedule for dates of lab practicals)
Review 1 Tuesday, Feb. 8
Review 2 Tuesday, Mar. 15
Review 3 Tuesday, Apr. 12
Self-Scheduled Cumulative Final Exam

May 6-11(Seniors: May 6-9)

Lecture Topics: The following is an outline of topics we will cover this semester in the order shown. I did not set a time schedule for lectures so we can remain flexible according to class interests. I will keep you informed of reading assignments throughout the semester and will provide detailed outlines to accompany those chapters we cover as an "overview." Additional reading assignments (from the text or on the web) that are relevent to the topics we are covering will be included as needed.

The Chemistry of Living Things

Ch. 2
Structure and Function of Cells
Ch. 3
From Cells to Organ Systems

Ch. 4 (overview)

Diabetes and Its Effects on the Body:
  • The Pancreas
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Current issue: Dealing with Diabetes


  • Sect. 13.4, p. 305-306
  • Sect. 13.10, p. 313 and 316
  • p. 314-315
The Digestive System & Nutrition
Ch. 14
Blood Ch. 7 (overview)
Heart and Blood Vessels Ch. 8
The Respiratory System: Exchange of Gases
Ch. 10

Reproductive Systems

Ch. 16
Ch. 21 (through p. 497)
Cell Reproduction and Differentiation Ch. 17
Genetics and Inheritance Ch. 19
Cancer: Uncontrolled Cell Division and Differentiation Ch. 18 (overview)

Return to Davidson College Biology Department Home Page
Return To McNally's Human Biology Home Page

© Copyright 2011 Department of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035
Send comments, questions, and suggestions to: