October 20, 2011

Bone, Elisa
Environmental Biology 1

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

The way the course is set up is that Professor Bone teaches the first half of the semester, and Dustin Rubenstein teaches the second half of the semester.

Professor Bone introduced herself as an invertebrate biologist at the beginning of the semester, and proved that she is not familiar with much more than that. It was common during lectures for students to correct her, or for her to ask students what the answer to a question was because "they've probably read the textbook more recently than me." The lectures, rather than enhancing the textbook through additional material, or focusing the material in the textbook to look at the main points of the text, seemed instead to gloss over all of the topics (regardless of importance) with the addition of more confusing or incorrect analysis.

The two quizzes that we had were poorly written, unclear, and the distribution of points was not indicative of the material from the lectures, textbook, or review materials provided by the professor and TAs. Generally speaking, one measure of a well-written test is that students do not need to ask many (if any) questions during the test, but both of the quizzes were filled with ambiguous or unclear questions that forced students to ask the professor for further clarification.

This course has taken a fall from glory now that Shahid Naeem no longer teaches it, and all students should carefully consider whether or not they need the course before registering.

Workload:

About 3-4 chapters of reading per week.

4 quizzes over the course of the semester, each counts for 25% of the final grade. No final.

December 29, 2008

Naeem, Shahid Silver_nugget
Environmental Biology 1

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Naeem is an E3B rockstar. This class, for the first half which he taught, was an amazing class. His lectures are fast-paced, colorful whirlwind of his favorite facts and anecdotes, working to cover all the information which a "good biologist should know." This unfortunately means a LOT of memorization, but it's cool stuff - if you're into biology, his style of instruction will be perfect for you.

Read the assigned textbook material and TAKE NOTES before every lecture! DO NOT skip a chapter! And pay attention in every one of his lectures! Particularly remember to study anything he draws a lot of attention to or says that a "good biologist should know." Draw massive asterisks next to that information so you remember to come back and memorize all those tables and charts. Seriously - memorize those tables and charts. It will all be on the exam.

All of it.

Workload:

Massive amounts of memorization. Empty your brain so you can fill it with plant and animal phyla and different types of tissues, hormones, and immune system components. Empty it now.

Read, read, read - he'll assign about 3 or 4 chapters on a good week. And you need to know them.

No graded assignments except the exams.

December 11, 2005

Pollack, Robert
Environmental Biology 1

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

It's difficult to find words that correctly describe Pollack. "Grandpa", "Thunder Cat", and "Teddy Bear" all come to mind, and "Grandpa Cat-Bear" about sums it up.

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