Course Information
Course title
Biology around the Corner 
Designated for
Curriculum Number
Curriculum Identity Number
Thursday 6,7,8(13:20~16:20) 
The upper limit of the number of students: 20. 
Ceiba Web Server 
Course introduction video
Table of Core Capabilities and Curriculum Planning
Association has not been established
Course Syllabus
Please respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not copy any of the course information without permission
Course Description

Biology is all about studying life and organisms. We are and we eat living organisms. Thus, understanding the interaction between humanity and the world paves the way for discoveries that improve the quality of life. This course is designed for non-biology majors to know what’s going on all around us. The lectures provide students with a contemporary and coherent understanding of the concepts explaining what may impact our daily life through looking into some issues of immediate concerns to our survival. In the end of lectures, it would be a rewarding experience for both students and teacher. I shall start with a background introduction to walk students through what biology is, and how science works. Followed by delivering five seemly independent, yet of vital importance to our daily life issues, namely, biodiversity, conservation biology, pollution, genetic testing, and genetic modified organisms. As biology takes place outside the classroom, two substantial field trips will be arranged to give students a real world exposure to organisms. In addition, I will be showing you three videos concerning issues of overfishing, pollution, and genetic testing. I shall systematically dissect the video, noting a variety of key points, and lead the discussion afterwards.  

Course Objective
The primary goal of this course is to build a coherent foundation of knowledge in biology. The basic concepts discussed include the scientific methods by which we come to know things in a scientific way. They help you to know and appreciate the precision and complexity of living processes. Upon completing this course, students should be able to develop critical thinking skills for development of reasoned thought and for evaluation of life experiences.
Course Requirement
There will be two student presentations on weeks 11, and 17. Depending on the class size, oral presentation can be working alone or in groups. Each presentation should be 8 minutes long, followed by 2 minutes of questions, and will be worth 25 % of the total grade. There will be no make-up oral presentation for unexcused absences. Make-up exams will likely be in an essay form when you have an official excuse or a documented medical emergency. You will also write one term paper from what you have learned from this lecture. It should be at least 10 pages long, with at least 25 references. This will count for 50% of your total grade. You will be able to earn bonus grades (up to 10%) which will be added on top of the final grade by coming to the class and turn in your feedback. 
Student Workload (expected study time outside of class per week)
Office Hours
Designated reading
No textbook required. Readings from the following web resources are required before each lecture.
Weeks 1 & 2 Biology: Life on earth, 2014. E. O. Wilson Biodiversity foundation.
Week 4 Humans, Biodiversity, and Habitat Loss by Elizabeth A. Hadly
Week 7 The end of the line by Charles Clover (
Kearns, C. Conservation of biodiversity. 2010. Conservation of
Biodiversity. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):7
Week 12 Norrgard, K. 2008. Genetic counseling: genetic testing, family history and
psychosocial evaluation. Nature Education 1(1):36
Week 15 Freedman, D. A. 2013. The truth about genetically modified food.
Scientific American 309
Week 1
9/15  Holiday  
Week 2
9/22  Introduction/ What is Life? 
Week 3
9/29  How science works? 
Week 4
10/6  Biological molecules 
Week 5
10/13  Cell structure and functions 
Week 6
10/20  inheritance 
Week 7
10/27  Biotechnology

Week 8
11/3  Principe of evolution 
Week 9
11/10  Midterm 
Week 10
11/17  The history of life 
Week 11
11/24  Systematics: seeking order amid diversity 
Week 12
12/1  Animal behavior (guest lecture)
Week 13
12/8  Environmental protection 
Week 14
12/15  Genetic modified organisms 
Week 15
12/22  Human evolution  
Week 16
12/29  Bionics 
Week 17
1/5  Oral report 
Week 18
1/12  Final