Files from my courses at New Mexico Tech

Course files include syllabi, handouts, problem sets, exams, etc.  All these files are CC (BY-SA-NC) by Kevin L. Kirk.

Introductory Biology I
Introductory Biology II
Ecology
Environmental Toxicology
Evolution

My screencast videos for Introductory Biology I are available here.

Bio 344, Ecology (spring 2016)

Evaluations of the 2nd group talks are available from the Biology secretary (Vanessa Q.).  Course grades are available from the Registrar (but not directly from me).

Quote of the semester:
"Ecological balance is too important for sentiment.  It requires science.  The health of natural infrastructure is too compromised for passivity.  It requires engineering."
Stewart Brand, from "Whole Earth Discipline: An ecopragmatist manifesto"

Required handouts (date assigned):
Syllabus (20 Jan),  First day questions (20 Jan),  Thermal ecology (22 Jan),  How to read a paper (22 Jan),  Discussion of paper #1 (27 Jan),  Photosynthesis (5 Jan),  Problem set (8 Feb),  Exam #1 Key (10 Feb),  Demography (10 Feb),  Problem set (12 Feb),  Age structure (12 Feb),  How to use gapminder (15 Feb),  Group talks (15 Feb),  Discussion of paper #2 (17 Feb),  Problem set (19 Feb),  Exam #2 Key (24 Feb),  Grading rubric for group talks (26 Feb),  Discussion of paper #3 (9 Mar),  Population growth equations (11 Mar),  Problem set (21 Mar),  Exam #3 Key (23 Mar),  SIR models (28 Mar),  Global C cycle (30 Mar),  Climate change (30 Mar),  If we burn all the fossil fuel? (4 Apr),  Discussion of paper #4 (6 Apr),  Schedule (8 Apr),  Problem set (11 Apr),  Exam #4 Key (13 Apr).

Required papers (date of discussion):

#1:  Deutsch et al. 2008. Impacts of climate warming on terrestrial ectotherms across latitude.  (27 Jan)
#2:  Zanette et al. 2011. Perceived predation risk reduces the number of offspring songbirds produce per year.  (17 Feb)
#3:  Terborgh et al. 2001. Ecological meltdown in predator-free forest fragments.  (9 Mar)
#4:  Dorrelpaal et al. 2009. Carbon respiration from subsurface peat accelerated by climate warming in the subarctic.  (6 Apr)

Bio 112, General Biology II (spring 2016)

You cannot get your graded exam, or your exam score, or your final grade, directly from me.

Graded exams are available from the the Biology secretary (Vanessa Q.). Course grades are available from the Registrar.

There is no class Wed. 4 May or Fri. 6 May.
There is no Bio 112 exam during finals week.

Required handouts (date assigned):
Syllabus (20 Jan),  Problem set (22 Jan),  Context (22 Jan),  Control of gene expression (22 Jan),  Problem set (25 Jan),  Hormones (27 Jan),  Blood sugar regulation (29 Jan),  Signal transduction (3 Feb),  Female reproductive cycle (5 Feb),  Problem set (8 Feb),  Exam #1 Key (12 Feb),  Neurons (15 Feb),  Synapses (19 Feb),  Sensory physiology (26 Feb),  Problem set (2 Mar),  Exam #2 Key (4 Mar),  Muscles (7 Mar),  Exercise physiology (11 Mar),  Evidence for evolution (23 Mar),  Exam #3 Key (1 Apr),  Schedule change (4 Apr),  Mechanisms of evolution (13 Apr),  Problem set (20 Apr),  Exam #4 Key (22 Apr),  Natural selection (25 Apr),  Evolutionary medicine (27 Apr),  Problem set (29 Apr),  Exam #5 Key (2 May).

Required video (date assigned):

Bio 111, General Biology I (spring 2016)

You cannot get your graded exam, or your exam score, or your final grade, directly from me.

Graded exams are available from the the Biology secretary (Vanessa Q.). Course grades are available from the Registrar.

There is no class Mon. 4 May or Fri. 6 May.  There is no Bio 111 exam during finals week.

Required handouts (date assigned):
Syllabus (20 Jan),  Chemical bonds (22 Jan),  Biochemical structures (27 Jan),  Biochemical functions (27 Jan),  Problem set (3 Feb),  Problem set (5 Feb),  Exam #1 Key (8 Feb),  Cell structure (10 Feb),  Membrane transport (15 Feb),  Problem set (19 Feb),  Thermodynamics (22 Feb),  Problem set (26 Feb),  Exam #2 Key (29 Feb),  Enzymes (2 Mar),  Redox reactions (2 Mar),  Aerobic cellular respiration (7 Mar),  Aerobic respiration diagrams (7 Mar),  Reactive oxygen species (9 Mar),  Catabolic and anabolic metabolism (11 Mar),  Problem set (23 Mar),  Exam #3 Key (28 Mar),  Mitosis and meiosis (30 Mar),  Classical genetics (1 Apr),  Schedule change (4 Apr),  Cancer and cell cycle checkpoints (4 Apr),  Problem set (6 Apr),  Problem set (13 Apr),  Problem set (15 Apr),  Exam #4 Key (18 Apr),  DNA (20 Apr),  Transcription and translation (25 Apr),  Problem set (29 Apr),  Exam #5 Key (2 May).

Required videos (date assigned):
Biochemicals (27 Jan),  Membrane transport (12 Feb),  Thermodynamics (19 Feb),  Kinetics (2 Mar),  Aerobic respiration (7 Mar),  Anaerobic fermentation (11 Mar),  Complex inheritance (all except codominance 2:35 - 8:15, 8 Apr).

Excellent books

Each of these books caused a major change in the way that I think about a particular subject.

Austad SN. Why We Age. Both the physiological why and the evolutionary why.

Brand, S. Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.   Only science and engineering can solve environmental problems.

Carey (2014). How we learn.  Practical advice on how, when and where to study, based on current learning science.

Csikszentmihalyi M. Finding Flow.   Happiness comes from doing difficult things.

Dawkins R. The Selfish Gene.   Evolution is stranger than you thought.

Diamond J. Guns, Germs, and Steel.  Why didn't Native Americans invade Europe?

Kelly, K. What Technology Wants.  Biology and technology are inseparable.

Oakley (2014). A mind for numbers: How to excel at math and science (even if you flunked algebra).   An excellent book on the neurobiology of learning, with practical advice.

Simpson, GG.  Quantitative Zoology.  A classic, readable introduction to the biological applications of statistical methods.

Tufte E. The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint.  PowerPoint weakens reasoning.  Never read aloud from slides.

Vogel S. Life in Moving Fluids.   The interface between physics and biology.

Weiner J. The Beak of the Finch.   A lifetime of field work on the evolution of Galapagos finches.

Weiner J. Time, Love, Memory.   How to be an experimental biologist, and why fruit fly behavior matters.

Wilson EO. The Social Conquest of Earth.  Ants and humans rule because of their social structures.  Group selection can work (maybe).