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Enhancement Exercises for Biology

Byron J. Adams, John L. Crawley
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Enhancement Exercises for Biology can augment any college-level biology course. The active learning modules featured in the Enhancement Exercises provide the best opportunity for students to learn and experience biology.  The modules challenge students by providing activities ranging from simple, guided inquiry to more thoughtful, open-ended, research-based activities. Assign all or a portion of an individual exercise as applicable to your specific course.

This book has been designed so the student can complete the assignments without any need for specialized lab equipment. The exercises can be completed by visiting local outdoor environments or by using common items easily obtained at home or the grocery store.

About this Product


  • OBJECTIVES clearly state what students are expected to know by the end of the chapter and provide them with focused learning outcomes.
  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION compliments the lecture material and provides context for the material covered in the activities.

  • Each exercise begins with a KEY TERMS activity. This encourages students to actively prepare for the lab. The simple act of writing down definitions prior to beginning the activities helps students better understand the stated objectives.

  • MATERIALS used in these activities are inexpensive and easily obtained. All of the items listed can be purchased at a local store and are suitable for activities performed outside of a wet lab environment.

  • NOTE BOXES appear throughout the book to provide tips for the successful completion of an activity or to help students navigate some of the more difficult topics in biology.

  • The PROCEDURES provide students with easy to follow step-by-step instructions for the successful completion of the activity no matter where they are.

  • FULL-COLOR ART PROGRAM includes many illustrations and labeled diagrams, providing students with excellent visual resources as they work through the exercises.

  • SYNTHESIS ACTIVITIES end each exercise and provide thoughtful questions to ensure that students understand the overall concepts from the activities, and build their critical thinking skills. Adequate room is provided for students to write their answers.

  • DEEPER INSIGHT links to additional information appear throughout Enhancement Exercises for Biology directing students to learn more about an activity in order to have a better understanding of the concepts presented.

About the Author

Byron J. Adams

Byron grew up on a small farm in rural northeastern California, where his parents and school teachers nurtured his love of the natural world. He completed his undergraduate degree in zoology  in 1993 from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in marine biology and his Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Nebraska in 1998. Following a short stint as a postdoctoral fallow at the University of California-Davis, Byron took his first faculty position at the University of Florida prior to returning to Brigham Young University.

Byron's approach to understanding biology involves inferring evolutionary processes from patterns in nature. His research programs in biodiversity, evolution, and ecology have had the continuous support of the National Science Foundation as well as other agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Human Genome Research Institute. His most recent projects involve fieldwork in Antarctica, where he and his colleagues are studying the relationship between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and climate change. When he's not freezing his butt off in the McMurdo Dry Valleys or southern Transantarctic Mountains, he makes his home in Woodland Hills, Utah.

John L. Crawley

John spent his early years growing up in Southern California, where he took every opportunity to explore nature and the outdoors. He currently resides in Provo, Utah where he enjoys the proximity to the mountains, desert, and local rivers and lakes.

He received his degree in zoology from Brigham Young University in 1988. While working as a researcher for the National Forest Service and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in the early 1990s, John was invited to work on his first project for Morton Publishing, A Photographic Atlas for the Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory. After completion of that title John started work on A Photographic Atlas for the Zoology Laboratory. To date John has completed five titles with Morton Publishing.

John has spent much of his life observing nature and taking pictures. His photography has provided the opportunity for him to travel widely, allowing him to observe and learn about other cultures and lands. His photos have appeared in national ads, magazines, and numerous publications. He has worked for groups such as Delta Airlines, National Geographic, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and many others. His projects with Morton Publishing have been a great fit for his passion for photography and the biological sciences.

Table of Contents


Exercise 1: Characteristics of Living Things

Exercise 2: The Nature of Science

Exercise 3: Scientific Method

Exercise 4: Experimental, Observational, and Theoretical Science

Exercise 5: Atomic Structure: Subatomic Particles and Electron Shells

Exercise 6: Chemical Bonding: Covalent, Ionic, and Hydrogen Bonds

Exercise 7: Biologically Important Compounds and Molecules

Exercise 8: Cell Membranes: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Structures

Exercise 9: Cell Structure and Function: Diffusion and Osmosis

Exercise 10: Energy Conversion in Eukaryotic Cells: Respiration

Exercise 11: Energy Conversion in Eukaryotic Cells: Photosynthesis

Exercise 12: Mendelian Genetics: Monohybrid and Dihybrid Crosses

Exercise 13: Mendelian Genetics: Genotypes and the Human Face Exercise

Exercise 14: Patterns of Inheritance: Pedigrees and Sex-Linked Traits

Exercise 15: Genetics of ABO and Rh Blood Groups

Exercise 16: Structure and Replication of DNA

Exercise 17: Structure and Function of RNA

Exercise 18: Transcription and Translation

Exercise 19: Control of Gene Expression

Exercise 20: Techniques of Molecular Genetics: DNA Extraction

Exercise 21: Chemosynthetic Origin of Life and the Origin of the Eukaryotic Cell

Exercise 22: History of Evolutionary Thought

Exercise 23: Tree Thinking: Phylogenetics

Exercise 24: Mechanisms of Evolution

Exercise 25: Species Concepts and Speciation

Exercise 26: The Tree of Life: Survey of Bacteria and Archaea

Exercise 27: Survey of Eukarya: Fungi and Lichens

Exercise 28: Survey of Eukarya: Plantae (Viridiplantae)

Exercise 29: Survey of Eukarya: Metazoa

Exercise 30: Animal Behavior

Exercise 31: Animal Physiology

Exercise 32: Population Ecology

Exercise 33: Ecological Succession

Exercise 34: Biogeochemical Cycles

Exercise 35: Ecosystem Ecology: Current Issues in Ecology

Exercise 36: Observing Nature