MICROBIOLOGY R100L; 33825; 2 credits


Spring, 2014

Meeting time & Place

Tues/Thurs 11:30 AM - 2:20 PM (LS-2)


Dr. Michael Nicholson

Contact information

e-mail =

web page =

Office phone = (805) 498-8451 - do not use any other contact phone number, unless specifically provided by the instructor

Office hours

By apt. only before class and/or immediately before or after class


Contact Information:  E-mail within the first week of classes, and include the following specific information in your subject heading so that your message is appropriately filed for the semester: “Last Name, First Name, Micro Lab”


Description: “This is a laboratory course designed for biological science majors and students interested in the health science professions. The exercises are intended to give the students experience in the manipulation of microorganisms and exposure to current microbial techniques. Topics covered will include microscopy methods, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure, microbial metabolism, genetics, recombinant DNA, and biotechnology.” [From course catalogue].  Lecture and Laboratory are separate in this course for grading purposes.  Lecture will be divided into lectures, presentations, and discussion.  Presentations will most likely be video.  Discussions will be open and participation will be expected; try to have constructive things to say, especially if discussion subjects are noted in advance.  You are responsible for scheduling Lab separately.


Objectives:  At the end of the course, students should be able to (from the course catalogue):

A)  Demonstrate the principles of asepsis

B)  Operate a light microscope

C)  Perform standard bacteriological staining procedures

D)  Cultivate, transfer and maintain pure microbial cultures

E)  Explain an understanding of the principles of fermentation and applied microbiology

F)  Perform modern recombinant DNA technology methods

G)  Analyze the role of microbes in the biosphere

H)  Identify the role of normal body flora

I)   State an understanding of colonization and infectious disease

J)   Determine the identity of a simple unknown bacterium

K)  Discuss the role of microbiology in medicine, food production, biotechnology and agriculture


Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):  Students will demonstrate what they have learned through their written reports in a laboratory notebook, as well as through a PowerPoint presentation given to their peers in the class.  Both the laboratory notebook and the PowerPoint presentation are described in greater detail in separate documents.  Both items constitute graded components of the course.  Direct demonstration of laboratory skills will also be performed to allow objective assessment of SLOs (microscope use, microbiology procedures and techniques, etc). 



Required Materials:  Safety goggles or glasses are required for the course, and are available at the bookstore.  Also required are vinyl or latex gloves, a composition notebook (laboratory notebook), blue sharpie pen, removable tape, ethanol or alcohol-based sanitizer, and an SD card (for photo-microscopy).


Texts:  The required text for this class is:  LeBoffe and Pierce: Microbiology – Laboratory Theory and Application, 3rd Edition.  Morton.  Other texts are not approved for use.  Not everything in the book will be covered.  Likewise, not everything in lab will be covered by the book.  Some of the material in the book will be skipped completely.  Students are expected to read the text, reading appropriate sections prior to lab is completely expected.  Guidance will be given regarding sections that will be skipped.  Other materials at the bookstore may prove very useful for studying efforts, and an optional text by Garret is available.


LeBoffe and Pierce: Microbiology – Laboratory Theory and Application, 3rd Edition, 2010.  Morton. ISBN 9780895828309, Required.


Exam Requirements and General Grading:  Grades will be based on exams, quizzes, practical evaluation, a PowerPoint presentation, and a laboratory notebook.  There will be 2 laboratory “exams”, each with up to 75 questions and each worth a total of 150 points.  Exams will be given first thing on the designated exam date, and should require no more than 50 minutes.  There will also be at least 3 laboratory quizzes, each with 15 questions and each worth a total of 30 points.  Quizzes will generally be given first thing on the designated quiz date, and will require no more than 15 minutes.  Time will be a factor of consideration for exams and quizzes, so preparation is critical.  DO NOT MISS THE EXAMS OR QUIZZES because there are no make-up exams or quizzes.  For each exam or quiz, be prepared with a Scantron and a #2 pencil.  The Scantron required for exams is the narrow-format (882-E) with 50 questions on one side.  The Scantron required for quizzes is the small quizzstrip (815-e).


The lowest of the exam grades will be replaced with an averaged grade from the remaining exam grades.  Therefore, if one of the exams is missed for any reason it should not severely damage your grade.  Exams are cumulative, and material from previous exams may be covered on subsequent exams.  Quizzes will normally only cover material that is presented most recently, and in a general way, to address bigger picture concepts.  Quizzes are likely to focus on laboratory outcomes, interpretation of results of tests, and laboratory procedures and techniques.


Practical evaluation of laboratory performance will include at least five objective assessment exercises, each worth 40 points.  The required PowerPoint presentation of a diagnostic test (currently used to identify a microbe) will be 150 points, as described in separate documentation.  An unknown lab report, with a laboratory notebook, worth 260 points is required, as described in separate documentation.


The maximum points available is projected to be 1000 points. The grading scale is 10% (i.e. >90% is an A, 80-89% is a B, 70-79% is a C, etc).




Point totals summarized by category:

Exams.................................... 300

Quizzes..................................   90

Practical assessments............. 200

PowerPoint presentation......... 150

Laboratory notebook.............. 260

Total Points............................ 1000


Attendance:  Attendance will be taken daily.  Missing classes will negatively impact the course grade.  Positive attendance may contribute to the grade, depending on the circumstances on the attendance date recorded.  If a student misses half of the course, he/she may automatically be DROPPED from the course or receive a failing grade.  Likewise, students who miss four consecutive days of class may automatically be DROPPED from the course or receive a failing grade.  Failure to attend is NO GUARANTEE of being dropped!  To avoid receiving a failing grade, students who stop coming to class are urged to drop the course on their own, through the registrar, instead of expecting to be automatically dropped.  Assessments are only offered one time, so failure to attend class on days with an exam, quiz, practical, etc., will result in an automatic failing grade for the specific item being assessed.


Academic Honesty:  Cheating is not tolerated and any student found cheating will receive a summary grade of zero on the material at hand.  Academic Dishonesty Reports will be filed as appropriate for a student who performs any acts of cheating.


Cell Phones and Other Distractions or Disruptions:  Cell phones represent a distraction.  Their use during lecture is unacceptable, and they must be muted or otherwise silenced during lecture.  Recognizing that emergencies can occur and that some students may have a specific responsibility, if an incoming call must be answered, please exit the classroom to do so.  During exams and quizzes, cell phones MUST be turned off, so students with responsibilities to others must prepare for a temporary break in communications at these times.  Other disruptions may be interpreted as (to name a few examples) excessive attention to or reliance on messaging/paging, texting, casual conversation during lecture, dining in the classroom, and using computers for purposes not directly related to the course material at-hand.  Students who choose to ignore cell phone rules or who decide to engage in distracting or disruptive activity may be summarily dismissed from class, and may therefore miss points related to the forced departure.


Educational Assistance Center (EAC):  Students with disabilities, whether physical, learning, or psychological, who believe that they may need accommodations in this class, are encouraged to contact the EAC as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.  Authorization, based on verification of disability, is required before any accommodation can be made.  The phone number for the EAC is (805) 986-5800 ext 5830 and they are located in the Student Services Building (behind business office and admissions and records).


Policies and Other Important Information:  As noted, attendance will be checked on a daily basis.  Missed labs and assessments cannot be made up.  Late arrivals may be prohibited from the lab or may not be allowed to take exams or quizzes already given or started.  Assignments will not be accepted late without supporting documentation regarding illness or other excuses.  An incomplete may be required if end-of-the-semester work cannot be completed due to excusable emergencies.  To be eligible to end the semester with an incomplete, verifiable documentation in support of extenuating circumstances must be immediately available for review, the applicant for an incomplete must be passing the course, and the incomplete status must be approved prior to the final exam.


Safety is an important issue in lab.  Verbal and written English must be understood sufficiently for safety purposes, and a safety sheet must be understood and agreed to at the beginning of the course.  Close-toed shoes, long pants, and lab coats will be required for lab work, and long hair will need to be tied back.  In addition, the laboratory has a no-food and no-drink policy.  Since the work in the laboratory is with microbes of varying types, the no-food and no-drink policy is a serious issue related to transfer of unseen contaminants.  Transfer of such contaminants is one of the reasons for using a lab coat and glasses.  Use of cell phones in lab is prohibited, in part, to reduce the possibility of transferring contaminants to the phone, and then possibly to locations outside the lab.  Students failing to observe safety policies will lose points.  Repeat offenders of safety policy are subject to dismissal from the lab session or from the class in total.  Assessment on safety policy may appear at any time during the course.  Everyone must share the burden of helping keep each other safe, and it is expected that all students will cooperate towards maintaining a safe laboratory environment.















General Schedule

MICR R100 Lab (2.00 Units)

Principles of Microbiology

CRN 33825

Tues/Thurs 11:30 AM - 2:20 PM (LS-2)













First day of classes





Late registration

pp. 1-9

Intro, Safety, Check-in, Drawers





Add codes needed

pp. 11-29; Ex. 2-1 & p. 34; Ex 3-1, 3-5, 3-6

Microscopy and Bacillus subtilis single colony isolation (SCI); SCI results and application; sterile transfer; simple stains





Last day to add or drop without "W"





MLK Birthday, no classes






Ex. 1-3, 1-4

SCI technique w/S.epi or E.coli*; SCI* results and evaluation






Ex. 2-14; Ex. 3-7

Germicides; Gram Stain of 24hr material






Ex. 3-8, 3-10, 3-13; Google "BSOP ID 1"

Slide stain exercises and incubation controls






Sect. 9; Video; Ex. 6-1

Food Microbiology and Dilutions; Catalase/Oxidase tests; Slant SCI* & Gram Stain or repeat; Second Catalase/Oxidase tests





Spring Break, no classes






Ex. 4-1, 4-6; 5-5, 5-6, 5-7; 2-7

Selective media and differential tests & results; Carbohydrate metabolism (thioglycollate media)






Ex. 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-8, 5-12, 5-13

Midterm Exam Discussion; Carbohydrate metabolism differential tests; Keys to identification of unknowns






Ex. 6-1, 6-4, 7-4, 12-1, 12-2

Growth Curves, Biofilms, and Fungi; Midterm






Ex. 7-3, 10-5, 10-6

Kirby Bauer, UV radiation, Ames test






Ex. 7-6, 7-7, 7-8, 7-9

Identification of unknowns; Bergey's Manual





Spring Break, no classes






Ex. 6-5

Bacteriophages, Plaque Assay; Presentations






Ex. 10-1, 10-3, 10-4, handouts

Transformation and pGLO/lux; PCR for Bacterial ID






Ex. 11-7; handouts; Ex. 5-25, 7-8

ELISA and Immunology; Respiratory tract bacteria; Presentations





Last day to drop with "W"






Ex. 7-1, 5-24, 5-25, 5-26, 7-7, 4-4, 7-8

Mouth& skin bacteria; Presentations







Final Exam Discussion; Presentations; Final Exam





Finals week





Last day of finals





* SCI will be S.epi or E.coli, depending on what was originally assigned