Study Guide

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S204
Biology : Uniformity and Diversity

Study Guide #1
for

(October 2007 Presentation)
Dr. Rex Sharman, designer ETPU OUHK
Professor K. C. Ho, course team leader
Maggie Wong Course Coordinator of S204

Contents
Section #
1.

Page

Introduction : how S204 will fit into Environmental
Studies at the Open University of Hong Kong

2.

Themes and aims : core concepts and objectives of S204

3.

Course organization and philosophy

4.

Scope of Study Guide #1

5.

Books : Supplied and to purchase

6.

Laboratories and Day Schools

7.

Student support : tutorials, surgeries, electronic

8.

CD-ROMs and videos

9.

Assessment

10. Academic schedule / timetable
11. Study skills


Reading and note making



How to make your own summaries



Scientific writing and Investigation Reports



Referencing and acknowledging : avoiding plagiarism



How to use your glossary

12. Study guide for Book 1
13. Study guide for your purchased (setbook)
14. Study guide for Book 2
15. Where next : looking ahead

1.

Introduction

It is most important that you study this Guide before your start work on your textbooks. This OUHK Guide has been strongly modified from the OUUK material to suit OUHK needs. S204 is a very big course and without this Guide you will almost certainly get lost in far too much detail.

Please use the Guide as your course companion.

It is better to look upon the

seven (yes 7!) textbooks that go with S204 as a resource rather than a course.

Let me

emphasize most strongly at the start, that you, as a student of Biology Uniformity and Diversity, do NOT need to remember the contents of 7 textbooks!!

Such a task would not

teach you biology.
It is the aim and function of this Guide to take you on a conducted tour of modern biology. The tour is a planned visit to the landscapes of biological science.

From this guided tour you

will gain knowledge and, most importantly, an understanding of what biology is, how it works and where it is going in the future.

This journey should be exciting and it will be if you have

the correct attitude and believe that this course is not a huge exercise in memorization of thousands of ‘facts’ and figures.
S204 is a core course in our BSc and BSc Hons programmes in Environmental Studies.

To

understand how living things interact with the challenges of the environment we need to understand two outstanding themes from the world of life.

These are :



the underlying unity of living things : the essence of life, and



the enormous variety of form and function displayed by life on planet Earth : the word biodiversity captures this theme beautifully!

With the experiences gained from your journey through S204, you will be able to appreciate the importance of the many challenges to and issues facing modern human society in the 21st Century such as :



sustainability



wise use of biological resources



humans as part of life on earth; not as destroyers but as guardians

Thus a study of biology underpins our concern with and interest in topics such as : ∗

environmental assessment



environmental health



Environmental Impact Assessment, and



quality of life

1

Clearly, as we move along in the 21st Century we will discover, more and more, that we are now in the age of biology.

The advent of SARS in the early months of 2003 was an

unwelcome yet dramatic reminder of the importance of biology to life, liberty and the persuit of happiness.

2.

Themes and aims : core concepts and objectives of S204

2.1 Themes
Yes there are 7 textbooks to call upon, to visit, and to use as resources when you journey across Biology Uniformity and Diversity, but just three themes are outstanding. These themes are :
a)

The colossal diversity (variety) of life on earth.

b)

The common biomolecular ways of doing things (mechanisms)...
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