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Biosci-106 - Organismal/Environmental Biology - Thomas Smith

Course:Organismal/Environmental Biology
Professor:Thomas Smith
  • Hybrid
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


European honey bee

Hello. I'm Thomas Smith. I have always been interested in animals, plants, and all the other organisms that most of us do not even notice. I like teaching this course because it gives me an opportunity to renew my appreciation for the biodiversity of life.

Considering that scientists have described well over a million species on earth, there is much to do in this course! The reason for this is because we will survey the biodiversity of our planet, understand how it came to be and examine the relationships between organisms both from an evolutionary and ecological standpoint.

It is important to set aside adequate time in your schedule to attend all class sessions in a timely manner. Additionally, my recommendation is to set aside an additional 6 hours per week for studying/working on assignments independently. This totals about 12 hours per week minimum. This and keeping up with the material and the assignments will keep you on a path to success. I also hold office hours that I encourage you to attend.

I will be sending an email to all students with course specifics 1 week prior to the beginning of class. However, please feel free to email me with any questions.

I look forward to meeting you!

Course Description

BioSci 106 is one part of a two-semester course sequence for beginning biology majors.  Covered topics include, in addition to the biological diversity that I already mentioned, the scientific process, heredity, evolution, taxonomy and systematics, ecology and animal behavior.

What to Expect in this Course

Expect to spend the necessary time reading and analyzing the course material, asking a lot of questions, and engaging with one another. 

There is a tremendous amount of value in the interactions between students. Please be prepared to engage freely in our online discussions. If you are curious about the living things around you, then you are ready for this course. 

Types of Assessments

Information on Assessment types will be included in the orientation letter sent out the week prior to the beginning of classes.

Textbook Information

Textbook information will be included in the orientation letter sent out the week prior to the beginning of classes.

Other Relevant Course Information

Students often say that this is a "fun" course because of all the organisms they are able to see and study. I hope that you will find that it is the same for you!

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 03/31/2022 Sub#: 1324