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Aquatic Biology Syllabus

Goals: To learn the unique opportunities for life posed by the aquatic environment and explore the myriad means of exploiting those opportunities utilized by aquatic organisms. To survey the major groups of aquatic organisms and examine their roles in aquatic communities. To be able to recognize on sight important aquatic organisms. To explore some of the unique environmental problems dealing with aquatic environments. To develop employable skills in freshwater biological water quality analysis.

Instructor: Dr. Dave McShaffrey Office: Bartlett 306 Phone: 376-4743

Textbook: Sextant - McShaffrey (Hypertext - Located on Bartlett Server)











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 Lab: Two Optional Texts (choose one of the two, details in class):

An introduction to the aquatic insects of North America.  1996. Edited by Richard W. Merritt and Kenneth W. Cummins. Dubuque, Iowa.  Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co.

McCafferty, WP. 1981. Aquatic entomology : the fisherman's and ecologists' illustrated guide to insects and their relatives; with illustrations by  Arwin V. Provonsha.  Boston, Mass. : Science Books International.

Please wait until instructions are given in class before purchasing either of these books.

  You must also obtain a State of Ohio Fishing License.

Attendance: You are expected to attend all class and lab meetings. Absences will likely affect your grade, either directly or indirectly.

Quizzes: Occasional; will cover all previous material and assigned reading for that date. Some quizzes may be take home (i.e. homework). Some quizzes will be on identification of insects and other benthic macroinvertebrates. No make-up on quizzes!

Exams: Two tests and a comprehensive final, make-up by prior arrangement or legitimate excuse such as your own death or illness.

Missed Labs: Field trips cannot be made-up. Laboratory work may be made up if specimens are still available and I feel like it. One field trip will take at least 1/2 day; this trip will be either on a weekend or a Wednesday afternoon and will be scheduled in consultation with the class.

Projects (papers): You will write a short (10+ page) paper on an applied aspect of aquatic biology.

Quizzes 10%*     
1st. test  20%*     
2nd. test  20%    
Final 25%    
Collection 10% (100 species collected and identified by teams)   
Paper 15%      
100%  * Component of mid-term grade.      

Your final grade will be determined as follows:

A+ 97% A 93% A- 90% 
B+ 87% B 83% B- 80%
C+ 77% C 73% C- 70% 
D+ 67%  D 63%  D- 60%
    F < 60%


Aquatic Biology Schedule  

Date  Lecture Topic Reading   Notes
1/15 Introduction       
1/15 Physical Properties of Water  Physical Properties of Water 

McShaffrey, D. and W.P. McCafferty. 1987. The behavior and form of Psephenus herricki (DeKay) (Coleoptera: Psephenidae) in relation to water
flow. Freshwater Biology. 18:319-324. 

1/22  Water Chemistry  Chemical Properties of Water

Which policies can stop large scale eutrophication? 
Water Science and Technology Volume: 37, 
Issue: 3, 1998, pp. 193-200 

1/29 Aquatic Habitats  Aquatic Habitats 

Kemp, JL, DM Harper, GA Crosa.  1999. Use of 'functional habitats' to link ecology with morphology and hydrology in river rehabilitation.  Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 9:159-178

2/5  Respiration  Respiration in Aquatic Organisms    
2/12 Osmotic Regulation  Osmotic Regulation & Nitrogen Excretion    
Test 1       
2/19  Locomotion  Locomotion in Water

RIBERA, I,  GN FOSTER.  1997.  Functional types of diving beetle (Coleoptera:Hygrobiidae and Dytiscidae), as identified by comparative swimming behaviour. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 61: 537558. With 4 figures

2/26  Sensory Structures  The Sensory World of Aquatic Organisms

GAINO, E,  M REBORA.  1999.  Larval Antennal Sensilla in Water-Living Insects.  MICROSCOPY RESEARCH AND TECHNIQUE 47:440457.


3/5 Feeding methods used in water  Feeding in Aquatic Organisms

McShaffrey, D. 1992. Comparative functional morphology of larval Stenacron interpunctatum and Rhithrogena pellucida (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae) and Ephemerella needhami (Ephemeroptera: Ephemerellidae) with applications in mayfly taxonomy and ecology. Proceedings of the VII International Conference on Ephemeroptera. 

3/9--3/17 - SPRING BREAK      
3/19  Biological Water Quality Monitoring    Handouts

Water Quality Survey

3/26 Benthic Macroinvertebrates   Role of Biological Criteria    
Test 2   
3/27 Field - Sampling      
4/3 Lab - Sorting/Identification Local Watershed Action    
4/10 Field - Sampling  Papers Due    
4/17 Field - Sampling      
4/24  Lab - Sorting/Identification 




Note on late assignments: Assignments are normally due at the beginning of class on the date indicated. As a courtesy, I will extend the deadline to 5:00 p.m. of the same day if and only if you attend all of your classes that day. I will not tolerate skipping class to finish an assignment. A late penalty will be assessed to all late papers; such penalty will range from 5 to 100% of the grade, at my discretion. If unforeseen circumstances (death in the family, illness, etc.) will cause you to miss a deadline, you must inform me in advance, and provide me at that time with paper or electronic copies of the work done to date. The electronic age has provided new and creative excuses for not finishing assignments; I note that these gremlins strike only on the night before an assignment is due, and they are not justification for failure to complete an assignment which should have been essentially completed at least 2 weeks earlier. If such gremlins do strike, I will allow a 24 hour period to correct them without penalty, if and only if you submit, on time, a recent copy of the essentially completed work. It is your responsibility to maintain multiple backups of all critical work.

As a further inducement to keep things on track, I reserve the right to request, on 24 hours notice, copies of any assignments in progress at any point during the semester. Failure to submit evidence of reasonable progress may result in a late penalty being assessed.  

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