Helpful Hints

In the introduction to this website, I said that I hope you will embrace invertebrate zoology not only for the fascination it holds, but also for the intellectual challenge it presents as we seek unity in diversity. Making evolutionary connections is the key to explaining the unity and diversity of life. Making these connections requires critical thinking skills and this course is designed to encourage development of those skills.

Keep in mind that my exams will require you to be able to synthesize and apply knowledge to answer many of the questions. Modern science requires critical thinking skills and the questions are designed to encourage development of those skills. They are not intended to "trick" you, but rather to make you think critically in a scientific context. How do you prepare for questions that require reasoning (application, analysis, or synthesis) rather than mere rote memory answers? Don't just read and re-read your notes until they are familiar. Instead, study with a purpose. Practice self-testing. Write your own exam. Use the additional information and other learning aids on this website to learn the material. Draw things and label them. Form study groups.

Come to class. This may seem obvious but occasionally a student expresses surprise that skipping class has a negative impact on his or her grade.

Monitor your progress in Canvas. In particular, monitor your performance on exams. If you did not do as well on your first exam as you expected, don't panic. Talk to me or your TA. If you do poorly on the second exams as well, you should re-evaluate your position and preparation. Every semester I have students who fail every exam, and still expect a "C" for trying. Unlike high school, grades are not a measure of effort. They are a measure of your mastery of the subject and ability to think critically.

Consider taking advantage of free on-campus tutoring, especially the STEM learning center in SCI 1009: Click here (this is an external link).  The tutoring center can be reached at (303) 615-1919.

Reach out the TA. Marissa is a great resource if you have questions about the material.

Use this website including the schedule, the additional readings, the characteristics and phylum comparison forms, the zoology terminology and the cladogram links.

Do not wait until you are hopelessly lost to ask for help. That's why I'm here. Yes, we are all busy, but that doesn't mean we can't find a time to talk on Teams or by phone that fits both our schedules. Send me an email.


Zoology is an exciting subject. You will learn a lot this semester. Let's work together to make that happen.