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					To:         Advanced Placement Biology Students

From:       Mr. Fernandez, AP Biology Instructor

RE:         Summer Assignment

JUNE, 2011: In preparation for the AP Biology course, a summer assignment with three required
items will need to be completed. This assignment has the following purposes:
a) To become familiar with scientific readings and books. Scientific literature is slightly different
from essays, novels, or poetry. In addition to serve as a form of entertainment, scientific writing
has a formative and informative content.
b) To read a relatively easy part of the AP biology subject matter and take notes on the reading
for later use. Reading from a textbook is not an easy task and may become boring and frustrating
at times. I suggest starting by reading the chapter review (at the end of the chapter) and taking a
look at the images/photos. Later, divide the chapter into chunks that can be processed in a
relatively comfortable amount of time (30-45 min). Taking notes is also a delicate balance
between to much information (copying the book) and too little information (just writing the
titles). Cornell notes format is highly encouraged. A vocabulary list will also be very useful. The
notes taken will be put to use to answer the chapter packets and will be used in an open-note,
closed-book test at the beginning of the school year.
c) To understand the breath and depth of a college-level laboratory. You will be assigned to
complete a lab in animal behavior. It is a fun, relatively-easy laboratory. Join friends to do the
lab, it is more fun and you can help each other.

The three assignments are:

        1. Read two books from the list provided. All the books are either scientific or belonging
to science divulgation. Please write a summary report for each book that you read. Generalize the
factual information and give your opinions regarding the material that you found useful,
interesting, or controversial. Do not procrastinate. Start your good study habits for AP Biology
during the summer. You may check out the books from a library, instead of buying them. If you
do buy them, you can find them at a good price, used on
Each report should be limited to two typed pages. Reports will be collected on the first day of
school in the fall. Each report will be graded based on originality, content, and opinion. Each
report is worth 20 points. It is expected that each book may take one-two weeks to read.

 2. Do the laboratory number 11: Animal behavior laboratory. Since you will be handling living
organisms, please make sure that you take care for them. Free them in an appropriate place after
the lab. The best places to look for isopods (roly-poly) are underneath rocks, stones, and
vegetation in semi-damp areas. Make sure that you complete the two parts of the lab, the
humidity part and another part of your choice. If you choose to investigate the effect of pH,
please do not use harsh chemicals such as sulfuric acid or bleach, instead use lemon juice and
baking soda. The laboratory write-up will be collected on the first day of class in the fall. It is
worth 20 points. The laboratory should take around 2-3 hours, including previous preparation.
3. Read chapters number 50, 52, 53, and 54: An introduction to Ecology and the Biosphere (50),
Population Ecology (52), Community Ecology (53), and Ecosystems (54). They are related to the
lab. Take notes on these chapters (2-3 typed pages per chapter, more or less). The notes should
include a vocabulary section. Vocabulary is the hardest part of the AP Biology class, since it is
impossible to understand prompts and questions without knowing the vocabulary. Complete the
packets provided to you. Notes and packets are worth 10 points each per chapter. Each chapter
may take up to 2 hours to read and take notes and an additional 40-50 min for the packet.

A WORD OF CAUTION: Failure to complete the summer readings and assignments may put
you at an extreme academic disadvantage, as often, the first fall test centers around the
knowledge of them and there is a grade assigned.

Please feel free to e-mail me during the summer if you have questions at (since I will be out of the country, I will not check my e-mail every
day, so do not expect and immediate answer)

Have a wonderful and productive summer and I will see you in late August.

Juan Fernandez
AP Biology Instructor

          Some Recommendations:
          Additions have been made to the AP Biology Course Outline in recent years. The AP Biology Committee
has been emphasizing broad themes or concepts and interconnections in topics across the wide range of the subject
matter of biology. One of those committee members is Neil Campbell, the author of our textbook. So, look for
interconnections and general concepts as you do this summer reading.
          The committee has added Recombinant DNA technology to the outline, so I would recommend books
dealing with that topic. Many are available and new ones are being published all of the time. There is a renewed
interest in characteristics of the major groups of plants and animals. Two books which deal with these subjects in a
well-written and interesting manner are David Attenborough's Life on Earth and The Living Plane. I recommend
both of these books enthusiastically. If you are interested in the development of ideas and information about the
people involved, I recommend Judson's book The Eighth Day of Creation. This book gives an historical review of
the development of studies on DNA and genetics. It is written in a thoughtful manner.
          I recommend any book written by Lewis Thomas, M.D. (a book of all of his essays was published that
includes recollections of his early years in medicine; it is called A Long Line of Cells). Books written by Stephen
Jay Gould are excellent. Evolution is the basic theme (Ever Since Darwin, The Panda's Thumb, Hen's Teeth and
Horse's Toes, An Urchin in the Storm and he has written a thorough investigation on The Mismeasure of Man which
looks into preconceived conclusions in science.
          Some books will give you an insider's view of science and some may help you consider career possibilities.
On Becoming a Biologists by John Janovy is very readable and might be useful. Consider the list on the next page
and start thinking about areas of biology that you find interesting.

MOLECULES AND CELLS: (includes many cross-topic books w/chemical aspects)

Life ltself – Crick                                           For the Love of Enzymes - Kornberg
Reinventing the Future - Bass                                 The Pill, Pygmy Chimps, and Degas' Horse –
Symbiosis in Cell Evolution - Margulis                        Djerassi
Life in Amber - Poinar                           Brainstorming – Snyder
Rethinking AIDS - Root-Bernstein                 The Man Who Tasted Shapes – Cytowic
Good Intentions – Nussbaum                       Plagues and People - McNeill
An Imagined World - Goodfield                    An Anthropologist on Mars - Sacks
Virus Hunting - Gallo                            The Hot Zone - Preston
Cancer: Science and Society - Cairn              Man and Microbes - Karien
Physician to the Gene Pool - Nell                The Coming Plague – Garrett
Beginnings of Cellular Life – Morowitz           Evolution of Infectious Disease - Ewald
Mapping Our Genes - Wingerson                    Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice - Plotkin
Energy and the Evolution of Life – Fox           They Laughed at Columbus - Weissmann
Mapping the Code - Davis                         Evolutionary Medicine - Lappe
Anatomy of a Scientific Discovery – Goldberg     The Transformed Cell - Rosenberg
Correcting the Code – Thompson


The Eighth Day of Creation - Judson              Hen's Teeth & Horses Toes - Gould
Oncogenes - Cooper                               The Panda's Thumb - Gould
The Double Helix – Watson                        Origins - Leakey
Rosalind Franklin and DNA - Sayre                Darwin's Islands – Thornton
A Century of DNA - Portugal & Cohen              The Odgin of Species - Darwin
The Transforming Pdnciple - McCarty              The Origin - Stone (a historical novel)
Exploding the Gene Myth - Hubbard and Wald       Autobiography of Charles Darwin - Darwin
The DNA Mystique - Nelkin & Lindee               Molecular Basis of Evolution - Anfinsen
Superpigs and Wondercorn – Fox                   Mayonnaise and the Origin of Life - Morowitz
Natural Obsessions - Angier                      The Miner's Canary – Eldredge
In the Name of Eugenics – Kevles                 The Ant and the Peacock - Cronin
Hannah's Heirs (Alzheimees) - Pollen             The Wisdom of the Genes – Wills
A Feeling For the Organism - Keller              The Gene Age - Sylvester & Klotz


Bad Blood - Jones (The Tuskegee Syphilis         The Mismeasure of Man - Gould (brain size)
Experiment)                                      Reflections of Eden - Gaidikas
The Body in Question – Miller                    The Insect Societies - Wilson
The Third Chimpanzee - Diamond                   Naturalist - Wilson
A Matter of Life – St. Woe & Edwards             King Solomon's Ring - Lorenz (behavior)
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers – Sapolsky           Elephant Memories - Moss
Healing and the Mind - Moyers                    In the Shadow of Man - Goodall (chimpanzees)
The Log from the Sea of Cortez – Steinbeck       Through a Window - Goodall
An Island Called California - Bakker             The Brain - Restak
A Natural History of the Senses - Ackerman       Receptor's – Restak
Walking with the Great Apes - Montgomery         The Dragons of Eden – Sagan
Life on Earth - Attenborough                     The Evolution of Culture in Animals - Bonner
The Living Planet - Attenborough                 The Education of Koko - Patterson & Linden
The Life of Plants - Corner                      Gorillas in the Mist – Fossey
Natural Affairs (Plant and People) - Bernhardt