• (740) 245-7484

Invertebrate Zoology

Fall 2012
August 20 - December 7
Lecture: MWF 1:30 - 2:20
Lab: Th 1:30 - 3:20
Invertebrate Zoology
Bio 33404
School of Science

Professor:  Dr. Linda Sigismondi
Phone:      740 245-7484
Email:       lindas@rio.edu
Office:      Kidd Hall 100B
Office Hours: M 3:30-4:20, T 1:30-2:20, WThF 12:30-1:20, others by arrangement

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is a survey of the major groups of invertebrates with emphasis on taxonomy, structure, reproduction, and evolution. Three hours lecture, two hours lab.

PREREQUISITES: C- or better in BIO 20303 Ecology (formerly Ecology and Field Biology) and  BIO 21303 Microbiology (formerly Cell Biology)



Pechenik, J.A.  2009.  Biology of the Invertebrates.  6th Edition.  McGraw-Hill  ISBN-10: 0073028266

Sigismondi, L.A.  Invertebrate Zoology Class Web Site: http://faculty.rio.edu/lindas/invertsyl.html

Supplies Needed: 
• Colored Pencils
• 3-Ring Notebook

PROGRAM OUTCOMES--The following outcomes have been adopted for the biology degree program for which this course is required.  The successful student is able to:

  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the basic concepts of cell/molecular biology, ecology, evolution, and genetics.
  • Explain the fundamentals of scientific inquiry, interpret the results of scientific investigations, and draw reasonable conclusions from data.
  • Complete critical reading of original and secondary source material.
  • Communicate, in oral and written form, biological technical information.
  • Relate models, theories and concepts to real world phenomena.
  • Use standard biological equipment appropriately and safely, and explain the limitations of the equipment.

COURSE OUTCOMES:  The following outcomes have been adopted for this course.  All outcomes listed below have direct relevance to course material.  Upon completion of this course students are expected to:

  • To learn the taxonomy of invertebrates.
  • To learn the structure of representative invertebrates.
  • To learn to sample and identify invertebrates in the lab and field.
  • To understand the relationships between invertebrates and their environment.
  • To understand the evolutionary relationships among the invertebrate groups.    




Exams (3)

300 points

Final Exam

150 points

Lab notebook

200 points


100 points


750 points

A = 93-100%, A- = 90-92,
B+ = 88-89, B = 83-87%, B- = 80-82
C+ = 78-79, C = 73-77%,, C- = 70-72,
D+ = 68-69, D = 63-67%, D- = 60-62
F = below 60%

Grades will be calculated after each exam so you can keep track of your progress.

Exams and Final:  Exams will be partially objective (multiple choice, matching), partially essay (define, describe, draw and label, etc.) and partially practical (identify specimens from lab). The first 3 exams are 100 points each and are based on the current unit.  The final exam is 150 points with approximately 75 points on the last unit and 75 points on review material. Students are expected to take all exams at their regularly scheduled time.

Lab Notebook:  The lab notebook will consist of observations and labeled drawings made by the student during each lab period.  Each unit is worth approximately 50 points.  Lab notebooks will be collected and graded during the examinations on that unit.  You are expected to have detailed, labeled drawings of all organisms and notes on behavior of live organisms.  You may have photos in addition to, but not in place of, the drawings.

Project:  Students will work in pairs to design and carry out an experiment with invertebrates.  The experiment should be of a depth that can be set-up in one two-hour lab period and data collected in a second two-hour lab period.  Students will present their findings in a PowerPoint presentation.  Presentations must be submitted to the instructor via email on or before the day before the presentation.  Students should also provide a print-out of the presentation (6 pages per sheet) on the day of the presentation.  A grading rubric is provided.

Possible Projects:
• Compare species richness and diversity of soil organisms from different sites.
• Compare species richness and diversity of stream invertebrates from different locations.
• Look at the effect of an environmental variable (light, pH, pollutant, etc.) on the behavior of a particular species.
• Look at the effect of an environmental variable (light, pH, pollutant, etc.) on the growth and development of an organism.
• Look at the effect of an environmental variable (light, pH, pollutant, etc.) on the physiology (heart rate, oxygen consumption, etc.) of an organism.
• Potential organisms for lab experiments – meal worms, fruit flies, WOWbugs, Bean beetles, flour beetles.

General Advise on How to Succeed:

1.  Attend class.
2.  Be on time.
3.  Pay attention in class.
4.  Turn in assignments on time.
5.  Outlines for each unit are provided on the course webpages.  Use these to organize your notes after class (or to take notes during class).  Also use them as a guideline when studying.  You should be able to define all terms and give examples when appropriate.
6.  Study guides and sample exams are also provided for each unit on the course webpage. 


PLAGIARISM – Plagiarism refers to copying and passing off another’s work as one’s own.  It includes copying information from published sources such as books, journals and webpages without appropriate citations.  It also includes copying the work of another student.  All students in the class are expected to do their own work.  Plagiarized work will receive a zero on the assignment. 

LATE PAPERS – Students are expected to turn in all assignments on time.  Assignments not turned in on time will lose 10% per class day.  Any assignments not turned in by Friday, December 7, 2012 by 4:00 P.M. will receive a zero.


ADA POLICY: If a student wishes to be identified as having a physical, mental, or learning disability, that may or may not require reasonable accommodation(s), he/she must register with the Office of Accessibility.  These registered students should identify themselves to their instructors and provide a written statement from the Accessibility Office that indicates the appropriate accommodations.  The process of a student self-proclaiming the need for accommodation should occur as early in the semester as possible.  The Office of Accessibility is located in Rhodes Hall, Room 116, University of Rio Grande and the phone number is 245-7339.

FERPA:  The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College are committed to fully respecting and protecting the rights of students under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  These rights generally include the right to inspect, review and seek amendment to the student's education records and the right to provide written consent before personally identifiable information from education records is disclosed.  Under FERPA, students have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with FERPA.  Please see the Student Records Confidentiality/Rights Under FERPA section of the Student Handbook for details and more information.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY:  Standard university policies, as described in the Student Handbook, apply.

WITHDRAWAL: Refer to Student Handbook

Invertebrate Zoology Calendar - Fall 2012