Monday, April 25, 2016


Monday and Tuesday's classes featured excerpts from 'Extinction!', which isNOVA'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.
Episode 3 from

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.

Students have been given a worksheet based upon this video as homework, which is now due. 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:

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Here is the syllabus for Unit 7:

These notes were given in class on April 14th - April 19th:

The purpose of these notes is to give students some basic tools to evaluate claims about biological diversity, which is important for understanding evolution and necessary to understand the material students will research for their essay project.

In the next few lessons, students will receive another set of notes, and these will be intended to give students some basic tools to evaluate claims about geological time and the fossil record, which is also important for understanding evolution, and also necessary to understand the material students will be asked to research.

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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ESSAY PROJECT (600 points)

This week, students in Mr. Hatfield's Biology classes will receive instructions on their final Semester Project, which involves writing a 1,000-word essay in a series of drafts from a topic chosen by students related to the material in Chapters 15 and 16 of the text:

The essay has requirements in terms of format, bibliography and citations, sources and student integrity.   Mr. Hatfield discusses those requirements, at length, in the following video excerpt:

 Students who have additional questions about this assignment should refer to the syllabus and discuss their concerns with the instructor as soon as possible!

Monday, April 11, 2016


Students: almost done with our Unit on human genetics and biotechnology.   

Today you will receive a Study Guide in class for Wednesday's test, and we will complete the notes on Biotechnology.   You will also receive a Lecture Guide in class based on those notes, to help you make sure your notes are complete.   

There will be also be a signup sheet for an After-School Study Session, tomorrow, between 3:15 and 4:45, in Room N-63.

The Power Point Notes for this Unit are available HERE:

In case you lose it, the Lecture Guide for this Unit, on Biotechnology, is available as a PDF file HERE;

The Study Guide for the Unit 7 Test on Wednesday is available as a PDF file, HERE.

Monday, April 4, 2016


A handout, "Cracking the Code of Life", was made available last week and is on the class syllabus.   It was due last Friday.

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.