Teacher Information

Teacher: Eric Kessler

Location: Room 106 and office room 104

Availability: Before school as early as 7:00am, after school only until 3:15pm, and during Academic Support. If you know, let me know if you plan on stopping by.



Room Phone Number239-3207*

Office Number 239-3204*



*The room and office phones do not ring during class hours from 7:45 am to 2:45 pm

Course Description

This is an elective course in the biological sciences with the purpose of familiarizing students with the concepts and process skills associated with field biology. Students will learn methods for sampling terrestrial and aquatic organisms (mainly vegetation and invertebrates) with the goal of learning the life histories of particular organisms and understanding the communities and habitats in which these organisms live (prairie, forest, pond, and stream). Students will learn to measure environmental variables associated with weather, topography, soil, and water. Students will learn about historic and current human interactions with the aquatic and terrestrial environments, including both detrimental impacts and means of conservation.

Course Textbook

Robert L. Smith (1996) Ecology and Field Biology, Fifth Edition. Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.


It is expected that students will gain the observational, reasoning and process skills necessary for critically approaching, analyzing, and solving selected problems in the biological sciences. During this development, students will acquire a general and comprehensive knowledge base in field biology with reference to their local habitats.


The assignments in this class will be traditional in nature, including a text assignments, worksheets, and tests. The grade distribution is given below.

90.0% - 100.0% A

80.0% - 89.9%B

70.0% - 79.9%C

60.0% - 69.9%D

59.0% and belowF

In an effort to promote student preparedness for class discussion, late class work, although accepted will receive no higher than 70% (7 points on most daily assignments) within the current unit of study. Late work turned in after the unit test will receive no higher than 60%. Students who are absent must request their missed assignments on the day of return and have me note the absence and due date on the assignment. The student is then responsible for handing in the assignment on the due date.

Each semester is divided into two quarter grading periods. For this class, grades will be determined as a percentage of the cumulative point total. Thus, a grade at a grading period will represent one's total grade up to that point in time. Semester grades will be determined from the cumulative grade from the final grading period and the final exam grade. The final exam grade will constitute 10% of one's semester grade, and all students are required to take the test.

Classroom Procedures


Students should be in attendance and attentive and prepared for class when the bell rings. Students who have been absent are responsible for acquiring notes and assignments missed in their absence. A website will be maintained containing links to important documents. Students are encouraged to discuss missed information with the teacher prior to testing.

Class Behavior

In general, I am a flexible teacher that enjoys student discourse and interaction with regards to the topic a hand. Student behaviors that negatively impact student learning will not be tolerated though. Students who decide to act in such manners will be warned and temporarily removed from the learning environment, and may serve detention periods before or after school hours.

Major Assignments



Prairie100 ptsSeptember 21

Water100 ptsOctober 30

Forest100 ptsDecember 1


Prairie Article Review 25 ptsSeptember 8

Water Article Review 25 ptsOctober 20

Forest Article Review 25 ptsNovember 17

Comprehensive Final 10%December 16-18