Biology Labs

BIOL 2404 Laboratory Syllabus


Laboratory Instructor

Name: Email:
Office: SCIE. 2.326 Office Hr.: Tel.: 665-3547



  • To understand and apply method and appropriate technology to the study of natural sciences.
  • To recognize scientific and quantitative methods and the differences between these approaches and other methods of inquiry and to communicate findings, analyses, and interpretation both orally and in writing.
  • To identify and recognize the differences among competing scientific theories.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of the major issues and problems facing modern science, including issues that touch upon ethics, values, and public policies.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of the interdependence of science and technology and their influence on, and contribution to, modern culture.

Purpose of the Laboratory: Is to complement the lecture by presenting the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology in a “hands on” environment. The selected specimens, organs, models and the use of a microscope to look at tissue slides are designed to acquaint the student with visual and tactile knowledge of the human body at the end of the lab course.  The student will demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles and concepts of the human body and physiology of the following systems which include the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive.

Textbook: Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory Manual, Biology 2403 & 2404 2nd Edition by E. N. Marieb and S. J. Mitchell [(custom version) required].

Lab Materials: The following items are to be brought to every lab meeting; lab manual, lecture text (Human Anatomy & Physiology, 7th or 8th ed., by E. N. Marieb and S. J. Mitchell), pencils, color pencils (optional), and 1 pen. In addition, a lab coat and eye protection is required before entering the lab each week and disposable gloves is required only during dissections (see “Tentative Schedule”). The Biology Department will supply dissecting instruments (i.e. scalpels, probes, scissors, etc.).

Safety: Consumption of food or drink in lab is prohibited. You must be properly attired to participate in lab. Proper lab attire includes long pants/skirts and closed-toe and heel shoes. Shorts, short skirts, sandals, and open-toe and heel shoes are not allowed. Because this lab employs biological agents immersed in chemical solutions, state law requires that each student wear a lab coat and eye protection during every lab meeting. Students not in compliance with the lab dress code or other safety regulations will not enter the lab and this will be an unexcused absence. This is a zero-tolerance policy! It is advisable not to wear contact lenses to the lab because of the danger of trapping chemicals behind them, and the additional difficulty of ineffective flushing of the eyes with eyewash. Students pregnant are advised to immediately inform their instructor.


Mid-term Exam 25%
Final Exam 25%
Weekly Quizzes 25%
Participation 25%

The Participation grade is determined by your attendance, punctuality, preparedness, cooperation (i.e., group dissections and group quizzes designated by instructor), completion of lab activities, cleaning your work area and any other cleaning duties your lab instructor includes. Weekly Quizzes will consist of 10-15 questions, which will cover the previous exercise(s) material(s) as well as the upcoming exercise(s) (see “Tentative Schedule”) and a 10 point bonus (instructor’s discretion on the number of questions given) given at the beginning of the lab period. Therefore, you must read the upcoming exercise(s) in the lab manual before it is covered in class and only one quiz will be dropped at the end of the semester. There will be two exams as indicated on the schedule and the final exam is non-comprehensive.  The exams will consist of 67 questions all fill in the blank with no true/false and multiple choice questions plus 6 bonus questions. The exams test practical knowledge of the materials that ask you to identify, classify and/or name the function of a specific, labeled part/area on these items by using models, microscope slides, preserved cats and organs. Note: The handouts that are given or seen on the lab website are important, but do not cover everything that you need to know for that particular exercise(s). You are responsible for everything in the lab manual that is not covered in the handouts for the exercises that are listed in the tentative schedule. There will be no exam review sessions outside of the lab other than what is stated in the “tentative schedule”. Also, there will be no other bonus points or extra credit other than what is listed above or instructed by the Lab Coordinator.

At the end of the semester, the student’s lab grade will be combined with the lecture grade to derive a single course grade for Biology 2404. Typically, the lab grade will count for 33% of the course grade and the lecture grade will count for 67% of the course grade. The relative weights of each grade are set by the lecture professor.

Student Dishonesty and Conduct in the Laboratory: Cheating on quizzes and exams, or other forms of scholastic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students caught cheating will be referred to the Dean of Students for proper disciplinary action. This will usually mean receiving an “F” in the lab. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that helps maintain a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. To ensure that all students have the opportunity to gain from time spent in class; students are prohibited from engaging in any form of disruptive behavior. This includes eating or drinking in the laboratory, cellular phones and beepers, arriving late to class, leaving lecture early, talking while instructor is lecturing, demands for special treatment, challenges to your authority, making offensive remarks, prolonged chattering, sleeping, etc. Students displaying inappropriate or disruptive behavior in the classroom will be given a warning the first time, failure to comply will result in a request to leave the laboratory and will be referred to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action (HOP 5.5.2 & 5.5.3). For more information check your UTPA Student Guide and Handbook of Operating Procedure (HOP) or visit the Office of the Dean of Students.

Attendance: Attendance to each lab at the scheduled time is mandatory. You will not receive credit by continuously going to or transferring to another lab section to take quizzes, exams, and participate in lab activities/experiments without the approval of the laboratory coordinator which will be handled only on a case by case basis. A student who misses a lab for a legitimate reason or due to an emergency (e.g., a medical problem, accident, etc.) should contact their lab instructor immediately and provide documentation for the absence (e.g., a doctor’s note, accident report, etc.). For an unexcused absence, the student will receive a zero for all work missed that day, and no makeup work will be accepted. Students are responsible for all material covered in the course, even material missed during an excused absence. You must take the exam the week it is given and at your scheduled time. If you know you will miss an exam for a legitimate reason (e.g. sanctioned travel) and you notify your lab instructor at least one week in advance of the exam, arrangements may be made for you to take the exam at a different time. Make-ups will not be granted if an exam is missed and no prior arrangements were made before or the day of your exam, except under special circumstances which can only be approved by your lab instructor on a case by case basis.

Students with Disabilities: If you have a documented disability, which will make it difficult for you to complete the coursework or participate in lab activities as outlined in this syllabus and/or if you need special accommodations/assistance due to the disability or a temporary disability, please inform your instructor and immediately contact the Disability Services Office located at the University Center, Room 322, or e-mail them at Appropriate arrangements or accommodations can be arranged.

Student Questions/Concerns: Can be directed to the Laboratory Coordinator:
Liza B. Vela, Office: SCIE 1.306A, Office Tel.: (956) 665-7935; E-mail address: