Monday, July 21, 2014


The 'Cosmic Calendar' was due today (Monday, July 21st).   A Lecture Guide based on today's notes ("Darwin's Dangerous Idea") is due at the beginning of class tomorrow.   Students will be reviewing other applications of evolutionary theory, including primate evolution, in the morning session.   

In the afternoon, students will take their 200-point comprehensive course final.   Students are allowed to use their composition book notes, so make sure you not only bring your notes....but make sure they are complete!

Monday's Lecture Notes.

The title, incidentally, is taken from the Daniel Dennett book which also inspired a two-hour episode of the NOVA 'Evolution' series. We saw part of this episode in class yesterday, and will see another chunk on Tuesday morning, but I think students will benefit from watching the whole thing this evening.   

(For your convenience, I have embedded all 11 videos on this page, but these may not be visible on FUSD computers or on others that do not have recent versions of Java to run flash-based media.  If you are unable to open the individual videos on this post, go to the link above and watch them directly on YouTube)

Chapter 1. Prologue
Chapter 2. Common Ancestry

Chapter 3. Ecuador and the Tree of Life

Chapter 4. Natural Selection

Chapter 5. Mutation and HIV

Chapter 6. Complexity

Chapter 7. How The Eye Evolved

Chapter 8. God

Chapter 9. A Scientist Discusses Religion

Chapter 10. The Human Question

Chapter 11. Humans and The Tree of Life Chapter 12. Epilogue

Finally, here is the PBS web site that accompanies the entire series.
You can also watch parts of the videos there, but they are lower in resolution.

Thursday, July 17, 2014



First up is the Power Point on "Diversity and Classification" can be uploaded here. The Lecture Guide, given in class today, based on the Power Point can be found as a PDF file here.

NEXT......The Power Point Lecture Notes on 'Deep Time' are available here. 

FACT: The fossil record (and other lines of evidence) show us that populations of living things have "changed over time" (evolved)....

QUESTION: How can we explain this pattern of change in terms of NATURAL causes?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

The article ("The Cosmic Calendar") is due on Monday the 21st .   No late submissions will be accepted.

The concept  is to display a "month" in an imaginary calendar that represents the history of our 13.7-billion-year-old universe:

 The original article that inspired this assignment was adapted from Carl Sagan's "The Dragons of Eden" and is available here.   
SUMMER SCHOOL BIOLOGY STUDENTS, PLEASE NOTE: you are not required to do a poster project based on this assignment, or submit any part to "" In summer school, time does not permit that kind of detailed, multipart assessment. As discussed in class: read the article, answer the questions, do the math.   Get 'er done.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014


If Summer School Biology students, for any reason, miss getting the notes in class they are still expected to have all the notes.   For this reason, the notes are made available on-line.   Simply click on the text or images associated with the Power Point.   These contain embedded links that will take you to sites where you can either view the notes on-line or download them.

As an example, here is our newest Power Point, on Populations and Ecosystems:

Not every one has Power Point on a computer handy at their home all the time, of course.   Not to worry!   It turns out that you don't need to own the Power Point program, or spend money to get the program.  All computers on the BHS campus already have Power Point installed, for one thing.   And, if you prefer to do this off-campus at home or at a friend's home, you don't actually need Power Point.    All you need is access to the Internet!

Using a web browser, enter the following search term: 

 Power Point Viewer

"Power Point Viewer" is free software from Microsoft that allows you to open and view Power Points.    It costs nothing, and it is very small (around 60 MB), so it can be run by all systems.

Wednesday's class also featured excerpts from 'Extinction!', which is Episode 3 from NOVA's 'Evolution' series (2001).

The video begins with paleontologist Peter Ward hunting for Permian fossils in South Africa's Karoo Desert, and relates ecological pyramids (which are like a 'house of cards') to mass extinctions, which are believed to be rare but important events in the history of life.

It then follows the work of American Museum of Natural History researcher Michael Novacek in building the fossil record of small, shrew-like mammals from the Mesozoic, representative of the lineage that will survive the next mass extinction (the K/T event), which will claim the dinosaurs.

It concludes with an examination of the role of human activity in accelerating the rate of extinction, with important attention to conservationists like Alan Rabinowitz. I encourage students to watch the video in its entirety for themselves if there are points that they don't get in class. We simply do not have enough class time to review this, but I know many students will want to see the whole story again, either by going to Google Video or watching it here:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


The Power Point with the Notes on Biotechnology is available here. All students will need to download the entire Power Point in order to finish the Lecture Guide, so make sure you do it!

Students who have lost their original Lecture Guide and need to get another copy can download the Guide as a PDF file here.

Monday, July 14, 2014


The Power Point Notes for Human Heredity are available here.

Students were given an activity that interprets diagrams like the one shown in the graphic above (a karyotype).   This is an online activity found at the University of Arizona.

Students were also given a worksheet based on the video below, shown in class in the afternoon session.   

It summarizes Mendel's discoveries, the work with fruit flies that demonstrated the role of the chromosomes, and 'connects-the-dots' between this early work and the next topic (biotechnology)....


Friday, July 11, 2014


A PDF of the Lecture Guide based upon the Power Point is available here.

During Friday's Biology classes, students were asked to complete a worksheet based on the video 'Cracking the Code of Life.'  The video viewed in class, and thus the handout based on it, can be viewed on-line here:

There is an entire PBS-sponsored web site to accompany this program. It's truly excellent, and since I can't show the entire program within a regular class, I wanted to make the whole thing available for students....

Thursday, July 10, 2014


The lecture notes for this were given on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.   The entire Power Point is available at this link. 

Students also watched part of a NOVA (PBS) documentary on meiosis and human reproduction today, entitled 'Life's Greatest Miracle':  This is helpful for understanding the special form of cell division called meiosis, and how the 'crossing-over' of chromosomes helps generate genetic variation.
You can watch it online here!


Here is the (brief) Power Point discussing, and giving examples of some basic principles of probability. This is, of course, math....but an essential tool, also, for doing science.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


This is the first post from the first day of the second session of Summer School Biology (July 8-July 22).   Students began this session learning course policies and class rules, then had refresher notes on scientific method:

Students! Here is the Power Point for the notes on 'The Nature of Science'. You will receive a Lecture Guide based on these Notes sometime this week! If you don't have Power Point on your computer, don't worry . . . you can download a free program, Power Point Viewer, to see the notes!

KEEP IN MIND...this summer, in Mr. Hatfield's Classes, we will try to reduce the amount of class time spent taking notes. There are dozens of standards to cover, hundreds of vocabulary terms and other items to master. We need to decrease the amount of time spent in lecture so students can have more time to do activities. Remember: we want to engage as many different parts of the brain as possible, and to do that, we need to have more time to do things other than notes.

At the same time, your Cornell Notes must be complete (all the notes, original questions and comments in the margins, your name/date/course on every page, and summaries of major sections of notes). Therefore, it is the student's responsibility to download and complete any notes that they were not able to finish in class!!

Here are the Power Point notes on DNA and RNA from Chapter 12 of the text.   This material was previously covered in the last three days of the first session of Summer School Biology.   It is recapitulated in this session in part because it is very challenging, and in part because some aspects of DNA structure and function, as well as transcription and translation, is needed to understand aspects of genetics, biotechnology and evolution....

. These Power Point notes are available for download here.