welcome to the Ichthyology, BIOE 127 web page.

Tentative Syllabus 

 BIOE 127/127L, Ichthyology summer 2018

     Lecture: Mon/Wed 9am – 12:30pm, LG Discovery 128 (Seymour Center Marine Lab)

Labs: Mon/Wed 1pm – 4:30pm, LG Discovery 128 (Seymour Center Marine Lab)

Instructor: Eric Garcia (egarci36 at ucsc.edu)

office hours: by appointment, OHB 152b

TA: Dan Wright (dbwright at ucsc.edu),

office hours: Tuesday 10-11am, OHB 152b


Course Description: An introduction to the biology of jawless, cartilaginous, and bony fishes—their classification, evolution, form, physiology, and ecology.

Course materials:

1)    Field/lab notebook: composition book, ideally medium size and white pages. You need this for the first day of classes.

2)    The Diversity of Fishes: Biology, Evolution, and Ecology (Helfman et al. 2nd edition: ISBN-10: 1405124946). The Diversity of Fishes is available electronically through the UCSC library.

3)    Fishes: A guide to their diversity (Philip A. Hastings, H.J. Walker, Jr. and Grantly R. Galland). Also available electronically through the UCSC library





Due date

% of grade


















Due date

% of grade


Fish skull




Lab practical




Lab notebook





Course Information: 

Lectures: Please feel free to bring low noise snacks (i.e., no Pop Rocks covered carrots) and whatever caffeinated beverage you need to stay awake.   Emphasis on useful! Attending class is not mandatory, remember that.

 Exams: There will be 2 exams (1 midterm and 1 final), which will consist of a combination of multiple choice, and fill in the blank. Midterm exam will account for 40%, Final will account for 40%, and Paper will account for 20%  of your overall course grade. If it was not discussed  in class then it will not be on an exam.  This doesn’t not mean that everything will be in the lecture slides; i.e. I can discuss an specific study/example from one of the books and you’ll be responsible to know it.

Paper: You will need to summarize a scientific paper based on fis,h and review two of your classmates’ summaries. First, find a primary research paper on fish from a peer-reviewed journal. Write a summary of the paper, explain why the work was done, what the main research questions are and what your comments are on the paper. Did you like the paper? Why, why not? This should be no more than two pages, double-spaced. Print two copies of your paper (double spaced) and swap with two classmates on Wednesday August 8th. You should have two people reviewing your paper and you should review two students’ papers. Return your reviews to one another no later than Wednesday February 15st so that you will be able to make edits to your work before the final deadline on Monday August 20th. Please let me know if you do not receive reviews back on time. Incorporate the reviewers’ comments into your work and print this final draft. Your grade for this assignment will include the quality and thoroughness of your peer reviews. The paper will account for 20% of your course grade.

Monday August 20th, you will then turn in four items, stapled together:

1) The final, edited draft of your paper & the names of the people whose paper you reviewed.

2) Reviewer 1′s edits to your first draft

3) Reviewer 2′s edits to your first draft

4) The abstract of the article you read 

For more details about this assignment check the assignment link on the class webpage.


Lab Information:

Grades for labs break down as follows:

Lab notebook: 60% , Fish Skull: 15%, Lab Practical: 25%

Labs: Labs will take place at the same room as the lecture except for the Shark dissection which will be held at the CBB teaching lab.  The sharks we dissect are preserved in formalin so we will dissect them underneath fume hoods. We will also dissect bony fishes, those are fresh fish, so no need for specific precaution.  If you are not very much into the dissection things, just let me know before hand and we will find a replacement exercise.

All labs and subsequent write-ups should be submitted in a bound lab notebook. The notebook will constitute 60% of your lab grade.

Skulls: In order to better appreciate the complex mechanics of bony fishes’ skulls, you are required to disarticulate and recompose a fish skull. It is recommended that students work on this project in groups of two or three (no more). You will then need to draw the skull.  Then you will label each bone ON YOUR DRAWING, no need to label the skull. The skull will get a single grade (everybody gets the same grade for the skull of their own group) but each drawing gets its own grade, so people in the same group may get a different overall grade. The skull will make up 10% of your lab grade and the skull drawing is worth 5%. (skulls need to be brought to the lab by Wednesday August 22th)

Lab Practical: There will be as many stations in the lab as there are students.  Students will stay at one station and answer questions there on the fish or material that is present at that station, then students will rotate and move to the next station.



Make-up policy:  Make-up exams will only be allowed for students who have a substantiated excuse approved by the instructor. Leaving a phone message or sending an e-mail without confirmation is not acceptable. Labs are mandatory. Make-ups for missing a lab consists of a 1 page summary of a recent biology journal article highlighted in the news AND a 4 minute power point presentation on the article to the class. You can only make up one lab. Any additional missed labs will result in zero credit for that lab.

DRC students: If you qualify for classroom accommodations because of a disability, please submit your Accommodation Authorization Letter from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to me as soon as possible, preferably within the first week of the Summer Session. Contact DRC by phone at 831-459-2089 or by email at drc@ucsc.edu for more information.


Field Trips: We will go tide pooling at Natural Bridges and we will try to visit both the Steinhart Aquarium and fish collections housed at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA).  Tide pooling is mandatory. You may miss one of the CAS or MBA trips but if you miss both, you will 10 points off the lab book.

E-mail Etiquette: Dan and I are happy to answer emails/questions about course material, general fish related queries, or discuss the meaning of life, however we are not happy to provide information that is easily obtained on the website or on this syllabus.  So before you ask us a question about what the paper is all about or what percentage of your grade is the final worth, check the website and/or ask a friend. Please don’t load our inboxes with laziness. We reserve the right to ignore such emails.

Plagiarism and Cheating: Don’t do it. If you are caught cheating or plagiarizing, you will receive a zero for that exam or assignment and I will file a report with the university.

Session 2 

July 30 - August 31

• Add - Thursday, August 2
• Drop - Monday, August 6 (tuition refund*)
• Financial Aid Disbursement - July 23
• Change Grade Option - Friday, August 10
• Withdraw - Friday, August 17 (no tuition refund)
• Grades Due - Thursday, September 6

*If you drop all of your summer courses, there is a $50 cancellation charge (tuition and fees are refunded)

Summer Session does not drop students for non-attendance or non-payment.  Students must drop themselves.

Academic Dishonesty: Academic integrity is the cornerstone of a university education. Academic dishonesty diminishes the university as an institution and all members of the university community. It tarnishes the value of a UCSC degree.

All members of the UCSC community have an explicit responsibility to foster an environment of trust, honesty, fairness, respect, and responsibility. All members of the university community are expected to present as their original work only that which is truly their own. All members of the community are expected to report observed instances of cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty in order to ensure that the integrity of scholarship is valued and preserved at UCSC.

In the event a student is found in violation of the UCSC Academic Integrity policy, he or she may face both academic sanctions imposed by the instructor of record and disciplinary sanctions imposed either by the provost of his or her college or the Academic Tribunal convened to hear the case. Violations of the Academic Integrity policy can result in dismissal from the university and a permanent notation on a student’s transcript.

For the full policy and disciplinary procedures on academic dishonesty, students and instructors should refer to the Academic Integrity page at the Division of Undergraduate Education.

Title IX: The university cherishes the free and open exchange of ideas and enlargement of knowledge. To maintain this freedom and openness requires objectivity, mutual trust, and confidence; it requires the absence of coercion, intimidation, or exploitation. The principal responsibility for maintaining these conditions must rest upon those members of the university community who exercise most authority and leadership: faculty, managers, and supervisors.

The university has therefore instituted a number of measures designed to protect its community from sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other related prohibited conduct. Information, advice, referrals, and/or copies of the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment and the UC Santa Cruz Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Reports of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment are available to all students, faculty, and staff by contacting Tracey Tsugawa, Title IX/Sexual Harassment Officer, 105 Kerr Hall, 459-2462, or ttsugawa@ucsc.edu.


Citations: Resources on how to properly cite others’ work


UC Santa Cruz Academic Misconduct Policy for Undergraduates