Course: Ag/Biol/Chem/ES 498 - Ag./Biol./Chem./Env.Sci. Senior Seminar
Semester: Spring 1996
Professor: Dr. Bob R. Pohlad
Term: Spring, 1996
Office: Garber 218 ; Phone #: 365-4367
Hours in Office: Mon.: 8:30-10; 11-12
Tues.: 11-12; 2-3
Wed.: 8:30-10
Thurs.: 11-12; 2-3
Fri.: 8:30-10; 11-11:30
Class meeting times: Fri. 1-3 pm

Course objectives: The main objective of this seminar is to allow the student to bring together those skills and ideas that he/she has learned while in one of the Life Science Programs at Ferrum College and to focus those on much broader concepts of human living. We will draw upon our education and experiences at Ferrum as we attempt to analyze several important questions facing modern society. We also seek as an important objective a clarification of who we are and what our role in society is at present and will be in the future. The seminar is to serve as a synthesizer of ideas and experiences already acquired in light of the challenges soon to be confronted. These objectives may seem like lofty ambitions, but we must remember that the only certain way not to reach a goal is never to make the attempt.

Structure: This course is to be a true seminar. The student should be prepared to talk about the topic for the day or lead the discussion. The responsibility is on the student to do the readings as discussion will be developed from them. The professor will act as moderator, referee, coordinator, and as contributor to the discussions. There will be a distinct lack of traditional lecturing. The student's participation is therefore crucial to the success of the seminar. A major reason for the seminar is to allow the student to increase his or her verbal capacity in the life sciences, i.e., to be able to discuss the topic in a sophisticated and intelligent manner. The seminar is structured to achieve this goal. The students will lead the discussion each day. Each student will be assigned two discussion leader times.

Class Attendance Policy: Due to the interactive nature of a seminar, students will not be permitted any cuts. An absence may be excused if the proper documentation is presented to the professor and some make-up of assignment is turned in. All other absences are unexcused and will result in the drop of a letter grade for the course (for each absence).

Evaluation: Students will be evaluated by the following criteria:

1. Classroom contribution to the class discussion based on questions, answers, comments, and attentiveness. In addition, each student will be responsible for planning and leading at least two of the class discussions.
2. Papers - a "Lifestyle Paper", an autobiography, a résumé, an outline of the synthesis paper, a rough draft, and the final synthesis paper (all typewritten and corrected appropriately).
3. Midterm and final exams - the oral presentation of your paper outline will be the midterm exam; the presentation of your final paper will be the final exam.
Evaluation Date Due Percent of Grade

Class participation - 25
Class leadership - 10
Résumé February 9 required
Autobiography February 2 5
Synthesis paper topic January 26 5
Outline presentation & consultant name February 23 10
First draft of paper March 22 5
Final draft of paper, presentation material
and presentation April 5, 12, 19 40
Resource Material and Textbooks

1) Illusions by Richard Bach (1977)
2) The Culture of Science by John Hatton and Paul Plouffe (1993)

I. Outline of Paper
A. Purpose - to outline the topic that you will pursue for the major paper in this course. The main purpose of the outline is to enable you to organize your thoughts and to obtain advice from the instructor and from your classmates to assist you in preparing your major synthesis paper. You are to tell exactly what the topic will be and how you will go about developing your paper.
B. Topic - you are free to choose your topic. It must be interdisciplinary and must relate your biological or chemical knowledge and experience to some non-science subject or problem. The topic may also be a personal examination of your philosophy or beliefs. The professor will assist you with this or any other aspect of the paper.
C. Date presented - Feb. 23. Late outlines will not be accepted.
D. Length - this is up to you, but approximately 4 pages is suggested. Typewritten and double spaced are required.
E. Style - the outline must include a short set of references. Some outlining may be used, but the majority of the paper should be written in prose. The topic should be thoroughly described. Consult an accepted style manual (CBE Style Manual) for specifics.

II. Major Paper Final Draft

A. Purpose - see I-A. above; after presenting the outline the student will expand his/her paper into an elaboration of the outline.
B. Length - approximately 15-25 pages, typewritten, double spaced.
C. Date due - April 5. Late papers will not be accepted. Make sure to make yourself a copy.
D. Style - for reference citations and the literature cited section use scientific format (CBE Style Manual); the text of the paper will vary considerably, but the following scheme should be generally adhered to:
1. Abstract - a brief description and summary of your analysis, include conclusions.
2. Introduction - outline of what is to follow
3. History - background information on the topic
4. Description - who, what, when, where, why; important conceptual aspects of the problem
5. Reasoned analysis - based upon the facts as you have presented them
6. Alternatives - possible courses of action analyzed in terms of feasibility
7. Conclusion - summary of your analysis
Paragraphing is to be done according to ideas and introduced by lead-in sentences. Subtitling in the paper is important to help you "block" your thinking. Spelling and grammar are essential in helping communicate your ideas. No typing errors will be accepted. Be sure to use the Composition Center. Use of a word processor is encouraged.
E. Resources - The number of references should be roughly the equivalent to the number of pages of the paper, i.e., about 15-20. These resources should be worthwhile references, not dictionaries, encyclopedias, Redbook, TV Guide or the like. Always use the original source if possible. Discipline-oriented encyclopedias are acceptable to cite. General-type encyclopedias like the Encyclopedia Britannica are not acceptable as references, but are recommended to get a broad overview of your subject.
F. Professionalism - since this paper represents the culmination of your work in Life Sciences at Ferrum College, it is expected that it will be the best paper you have as yet written. Be sure to pay attention to details as well as the major content of the paper. It should reflect the high level of professionalism of your chosen discipline. The paper should be worthy of the author's name on its cover.
III. Presentations

A. Purpose - to allow the student to develop at speaking before a critical audience on a professional subject.
B. Style - the presentations are to be formal. The student will dress as if the paper was being presented to a professional audience. Guests (other faculty, administrators, students) will be invited by the professor. Each student will be allotted 10 minutes for the presentation of their outline. Five minutes will be devoted to presentation and five minutes to answering questions from the floor. Each student will be allotted 20 minutes to present the final paper. Fifteen minutes will be devoted to presentation and five minutes to answering questions and defending his/her thesis. The presentations must be very thoroughly prepared. Audio-visual aids are suggested.
C. Date due - all outlines will be presented on Feb. 23. Final papers will be presented in April. Students will be notified of the date and time of their presentations. All students must attend all of the final presentations. No late presentations will be accepted.

Tentative Class Syllabus
Ag/Biol./Chem/ES 498 - Senior Seminar
Date Topic Discussion Leader

Jan. 19 Introduction; Student Concerns & Assignments Pohlad

26 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator TBA
1. Synthesis Paper Topic and Title Due

Feb. 2 Bach, Illusions, pg. 1-100 1_______________
Autobiography Due 2_______________

9 Bach, Illusions, pg. 101-192 3
Review Myers Briggs results 4
Resume due
16 Hatton & Plouffe, The Culture of Science 3 Essays
Outline rough draft review 5__________________ 6______________

7_________________ 8_______________
23 Presentations of Outlines for Synthesis Papers ALL

Mar 1 Hatton & Plouffe, The Culture of Science 3 Essays 9
10__________________ 11___ 12

15 Hatton & Plouffe, The Culture of Science 3 Essays 13
14 15 16.________________

22 Hatton & Plouffe, The Culture of Science 3 Essays 17
18 19 20_______________
First Draft of Synthesis Paper Due
** Schedule Individual Appointments with Instructor **
29 Final Draft and Materials for presentation in class for discussion
and Practice presentation
Apr. 5 Presentations of Synthesis Papers (All papers and presentations must be
turned in on this date for full credit-One letter grade reduction for
each day late)
12 and 19 Presentations of Synthesis Papers (cont.)
26 Sr. Evaluation of Program and Discussion ALL Students
Senior Evaluations & Professor
Note: ** NO FINAL EXAM **

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