Dixon's AP Biology

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Dixon's Bio Web

AP Biology

AP Bio Course Expectations

Hillis Website

2012 Cell reproduction Wiki]

2011 Taxonomy Wiki]

2013 Diversity of Life Wiki]


BioBuilding Synthetic Bio Curriculum

Parent's Guide to AP Bio

Anatomy and Physiology

Standard Bio

E-mail me!

Dixon Dna.jpg

Resources for 2013-2014

On-line resources for the text

Unit 5: Cell Reproduction and Heredity

Heredity Wiki

Essential Question

1. How can cells reproduction lead to both perfect copies and copies that increase genetic variation?

2. How does our study of inheritance patterns leads to increased understanding of our traits?

Learning Objectives and Activities

1. Describe the events of the cell cycle and explain how these events are regulated. (Chapter 7)

2. Explain how cells can divide so that exact copies of a cell's genetic information can be distributed to two daughter cells. (Chapter 7)

3. Explain how cells can divide so that copies of a cell's genetic information can be distributed to four daughter cells in a manner that creates genetic variation among those daughter cells. (Chapter 7)

Key Concepts:

Sexual vs. asexual reproduction

binary fission

haploid vs. diploid


kinetochore function

Meiosis, crossing-over, independent assortment, nondisjunction and other meiotic errors

homologous vs. non-homologous chromosomes


cell cycle basics

control of cell cycle


Resources and Activities:

By Friday 2/28 complete the following:

Chapter 7 Cell Cycle and Cell Division PowerPoint Read the PPT and answer all embedded questions.

Text Chapter 7 resources Complete all activities and watch animations.

Flipped classroom:

Bozeman: Cell cycle and cell division

Bozeman: Diploid vs. Haploid

4. Interpret genetic patterns and data in light of Mendelian and Non-Mendelian modes of inheritance. (Chapter 8)

Key Concepts:

Independent assortment


Mendel's experiments

Dominant, recessive, incomplete dominance, codominance, Sex linkage, mitochondrial inheritance

Gene linkage, gene maps, Morgan's experiments

Monohybrid and dihybrid crosses, Punnett squares, calculating trihybrid crosses

Chi square analysis of inheritance patterns

Interpret pedigree diagrams

Genomic imprinting

Resources and Activities:

By Friday March 7, complete the following:

Chapter 8 Inheritance PowerPoint Read the PPT and answer all embedded questions

Text Chapter 8 resources Complete all activities and watch animations.

Inheritance problems

More Inheritance problems

Chi Squared Resource

Pedigree problems

Fruit Fly lab bench

Flipped Classroom:

Bozeman: Mendelian Genetics

Bozeman: Non-Mendelian Genetics

Trihybrid cross explanation (video)

Gene Linkage video

Bozeman: Genetic Probability

Bozeman: Chi Square Test

Chapter 7 and 8 quiz (only multiple choice questions) will be given on March 10

Mid year study guide

Unit 4: Plant Growth and Physiology

Plant defenses article

How plants secretly talk to each other

Bean Bonsai Project

Transpiration Lab Bench Activity

Plants in the Environment (chap 28) PowerPoint

Plant Nutrition (chap 25) PowerPoint

Chapter 24 Plant Structure and Growth PowerPoint

Chapter 21 Evolution of Flowering Plants PowerPoint

Chapter 26 Plant Growth and Development

Chapter 27 Reproduction of Flowering Plants PowerPoint

Flipped Classroom - Bozeman Videos

Plant and Animal Defense]

Transpiration Lab

Plants Intro

Plant Structure

Plant nutrition and transport

Plant Control


Learning Objectives

1. Analyze phylogenetic trees and discuss the evolution of plants based on adaptations to the environment and reproductive pattern (chapter 21)

Key Concepts:

Phylogenetic tree of Plantae

Phylogenetic tree of Land Plants

Adaptations to life on land (cuticle, true organs, vascular system)

Life cycles/alternation of generation of (general pattern, mosses, ferns, angiosperms)

Reproduction in angiosperms

Endosymbiosis produced the first photosynthetic eukaryotes

2. Describe plant structures and relate the structure to its function (chapter 24)

Key Concepts:

Plant cell structure

Plasmodesmata and communication

Apical/Basal Orientation of plants

Root structure and function for nutrient and water absorption

Stem structure and function for nutrient and water transport

Leaf structure and function for photosynthesis and transpiration

Primary and secondary growth

Domestication has altered plant form

3. Explain how plant structure provides a mean for transport throughout the plant and the regulation of that transport to enable plant homeostasis (chapter 25)

Key Concepts:


Nutrient acquisition through ion exchange

Interactions between plant root and microorganisms

Carnivorous plants

Water Potential

Role of cell membranes and permeability in water transport (aquaporins, proton pumps, Casparian strip, apoplast, symplast)

Xylem structure and function

Phloem structure and function

Pressure flow (source and sink)

Transpiration process and control

transpiration - cohesion - tension theory

pressure flow

4. Explain adaptations by which plants interact with their environment while maintaining proper growth patterns (chapter 26 and 27.2)

Key Concepts

Timing and coordination of plant development

Gibberelins - seed germination


Ethylene - fruit ripening (w/feedback loop)

diversity of plant hormones and their effects

hormones cause change from vegetative to reproductive state (CH 27.2)

Phytochromes and plant response to light

Thigmotropism, phototropism, gravitropism

Circadian rhythms

Photoperiodism (CH 27.2)

5. Explain adaptations by which plants interact with their environment while maintaining homeostasis (chapter 28)

Key Concepts

Plant defenses against pathogens (barriers, induced responses, hypersensitive responses)

Plant immune responses (chemical and physical)

Mechanical and chemical defenses against herbivores

Adaptations to environmental stresses: water limitations (w/feedback loop), toxins, water stress and salinity

Unit 3 Animal Physiology

Immune system Webquest

Immune System (chap 31) PowerPoint

Nervous System PowerPoint

Cell Signaling and Animal Hormones PowerPoint

Diffusion, Osmosis, and Water Potential Lab bench

Virtual Daphnia Lab data sheet

Virtual Daphnia labbench

Chapter 29 Environmental Physiology PowerPoint

Flipped Classroom--Bozeman

Elements of a feedback loop

Feedback loops

Homeostasis review

Homeostatic evolution

Homeostatic disruptions

Response to external environments

Q10, the temperature coefficient

Cell membrane

Cell membrane transport

Diffusion and Osmosis AP Lab


Water Potential

Diffusion and osmosis lab

Evolutionary significance of cell communication

Cell communication

Signal transduction pathways

Effects of changes in pathways

Endocrine system

Information exchange

Nervous system

Plant and animal defenses

Immune system

Learning Objectives

1. Analyze data to illustrate how animals use feedback mechanisms to maintain their internal environments and respond to external environmental changes.(Chapter 29)

Key Concepts

Negative feedback

Feedback inhibition

Positive feedback

Set point


Circadian and other physiological rhythms

2. Use examples and graphical data to explain how animals maintain temperature homeostasis and respond to environmental temperature changes.(Chapter 29)

Key Concepts



Metabolic rate




3. Use examples to explain how animals maintain osmotic homeostasis and respond to environmental osmotic changes. (Chapter 40)

Key concepts

Osmotic balance

Environmental impacts (freshwater, marine, moist, desert)

Nitrogenous waste



Countercurrent exchange

4. Explain how the structure of the cell membrane enables its role in maintaining homeostasis through selective permeability.(Chapter 5)

Key Concepts

Surface area to volume ratio (including calculations)

Selective permeability

Active transport, simple diffusion, facilitated diffusion

Importance of polarity


Exocytosis and endocytosis

Water Potential (lab)

5. Relate the action of hormones to the action of second messenger systems within cells.(Chapter 5 and 30)

Key Concepts

Membrane receptor specificity



Second messenger systems (cAMP, IP3-Calcium)

Special, non-animal cases: Fruiting in slime molds and quorum sensing in bacteria

6. For select hormones, describe their control, feedback, target cells and effects.(Chapter 30)

Key concepts

Feedback and thyroid hormones

Biochemistry of thyroid hormones

Action at a distance

Stress Response

Role of Releasing factors and Stimulating hormones

Relationship of hypothalamus and pituitary

Antagonistic hormones and regulation of calcium

Influence of hormones on insect growth and molting

Compare and contrast aldosterone and ADH

7. Use diagrams to explain how neurons carry signals that transmit information.(Chapter 34)

Key Concepts

Nervous system organization

Relate neuron structure to its function

Action Potential and membrane conductance

Integration at the axon hillock

Role of myelination on conduction speed

Synaptic transmission

Reflex arc

Autonomous Nervous System

Organization of the human brain

Evolution of the nervous system

8. Relate the function of our immune system to the concept of self/non-self (Chapter 31)

Key Concepts

Innate defenses in humans and other animals

Clonal selection

Humoral acquired immunity

Cell mediated acquired immunity

Control by Helper T cell

Major histocompatibility complex

Primary vs. Secondary immune responses

Antibody structure and function

Unit 2 Evolution

Evolution of Life PowerPoint

Unity and Diversity of Life Wiki Project

Chapter 18 HW Evolution timeline essay (write like an exam essay)

Evolution AP Bio Learning Objectives

Chapter 15 Mechanisms of Evolution PowerPoint

Chapter 17 Speciation PowerPoint

Chapter 16 Classification and Phylogenies

Species Case Study

Link to BLAST lab pdf

Flipped Classroom: Bozeman videos on evolution:

Natural Selection

Examples of Natural Selection

Genetic Drift

Evidence for Evolution

Essential Characteristics of Life


Speciation and Extinction


Evolution Continues


Origin of Life, Scientific Evidence

Learning objectives:

1. Explain how natural selection can cause changes in the genetic makeup of a population over time.

Analyze and evaluate data, and use models to investigate evolutionary changes in populations.

(Hillis Chapter 15)

Key Concepts

Darwin's influences


Phenotype, Genotype and Allele frequency

Evolutionary fitness and reproductive success

Graphical analysis of allele frequencies

Humans as a selection pressure

Environment as a selection pressure

Sources of variation random, not directed

Important examples: Finches, Antibiotic resistance, moths, mice in southwest

2. Explain how chance and random events can cause changes in the genetic makeup of a population over time.

Analyze and evaluate data, and use models to investigate evolutionary changes in populations.

(Hillis Chapter 15)

Key Concepts

Genetic drift

Gene flow

Genetic bottlenecks

Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium

Hardy-Weinberg problems

3. Demonstrate how the study of evolution is supported by evidence from: (Hillis Chapter 15)



Molecular biology



Morphology (anatomy and physiology)

6. Relate the concept of species to reproductive isolation. (Hillis Chapter 17)

Key Concepts

Definitions of Species

Reproductive isolating mechanisms

Adaptive radiation




Relation to changes in allele frequency

Speciation and Extinction rates

6. Interpret cladograms and phylogenetic trees as graphical representations (models) of evolutionary history (Hillis Chapter 16)

Key concepts

Derived characteristics

Primitive characteristics



Common ancestors

DNA, Protein, Morphological, or fossil based


Compare and contrast characteristics of the domains and of the kingdoms

Use a cladogram to examine major trends in the evolution of:



Plant Phyla

Animal Phyla

7. Discuss, citing supporting scientific evidence, theories about the natural origin and history of life on Earth Hillis Chapter 18

Key Concepts

Early conditions on Earth

Relationship inorganic and organic molecules

Relationship between biochemical monomers and polymers

Organic soup model

RNA world

Geologic, chemical, molecular and genetics evidence

Extinction events

Biochemistry and Cell Biology Test Construction Project

Biochemistry and Cell Biology Test Construction Project (with rubric)


Biochemistry (chap 2 & 3) slides from Hillis text

Cell (chap 4) slides from Hillis text

Cell energy (chap 6 slides from Hillis text

A sample AP style essay question with answer key

A PowerPoint illustrating the types of questions that will be used on the AP Bio Exam

A summary of Bloom's Taxonomy. This (or variations thereof) is used by teachers to construct tests that cover many thinking levels.

A variation on Bloom's Taxonomy

A primer on the types of questions that appear on tests

Tips for designing multiple choice questions

Tips for writing multiple choice questions for higher order thinking

Flipped classroom: This is the Bozeman YouTube Channel. It is a great sources of videos on all things AP Bio. Search out the ones that relate to this material.

Flipped classroom: This is Anderson's (aka Bozeman science) website. You may find it easier to find pertinent videos here.

Unit 1 Ecology

Ecology unit objectives

Objective 3. Use graphical analysis and explain how populations change over time due to characteristics of the species and interactions with other species.

Key Concepts

Population growth curve

Population growth equations



Density dependent limiting factors

Density independent limiting factors

Age structure diagrams

Life strategy data and graphs

Examples of population reduction endangering communities

Population Ecology (chap 43) PowerPoint--revised

On-line resources for text chapter 43

Flipped classroom: Anderson on exponential growth

Flipped classroom: Anderson on logistic growth

Flipped classroom: Anderson on r and K selection

Population corridors text investigation

Objective 4A. Analyze and explain how organisms in a community interact in complex ways to affect the flow of energy and matter. 4B. Use examples to describe how the variation of individuals in a population and the diversity of species in an ecosystem affect the ecosystem’s stability.

Key Concepts

Symbiotic relationships (mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, competition, predation)


Keystone species

Examples of population reduction endangering communities

Invasive species

Coloration and camouflage


Chapter 44 Species interactions in ecosystems PowerPoint

Flipped classroom: Anderson on niche

Flipped classroom: Anderson on population interactions

Flipped classroom: Anderson on communities

Objective 1. Use models to explain how populations, communities and ecosystems are affected by complex biotic and abiotic interactions involving the exchange of matter and free energy.

Key Concepts

Food webs and chains

Trophic levels

Energy, biomass and population pyramids

Nutrient cycles

Objective 6.Analyze data and use examples to explain how disruptions to ecosystems impact the dynamic homeostasis or balance of the ecosystem.

Key Concepts

Invasive species

Primary succession

Secondary succession

Various forms of pollution

Habitat loss

Water and nutrient availability


Climate change

Chapter 45 Ecological communities PowerPoint

Chapter 46 The global ecosystem PowerPoint

Flipped classroom: Anderson on Ecosystems

Flipped classroom: Anderson on Biotic and Abiotic factors

Flipped classroom: Anderson on succession

Flipped classroom: Anderson on Ecosystem change

Flipped classroom: Anderson on Environmental materials exchange

Flipped classroom: Anderson on Ecosystem dynamics

Objective 5. Explain how organisms within populations and within communities, interact through communication and behaviors.

Key Concepts

Innate behavior


Vocalizations and warning

Altruistic behavior

Chapter 41 Animal Behavior PowerPoint

Flipped classroom: Anderson on Animal Behavior and learning

Other materials:

Environmental geography (chap 42) PowerPoint

2013 Summer AP Bio Summer Reading Assignment

Resources for 2012-2013

When Pigs Fly Case Study Part 1

When Pigs Fly Case Study Part 2

When Pigs Fly Case Study parts 3 and 4

Cell Energetics (chap 6) PowerPoint

Link to Transformation Lab

Link to lab pre-test

Genes, Development, Evolution (chap 14) PowerPoint

Biotechnology (chap 13) PowerPoint

Genomes (chap 12) PowerPoint

Gene Regulation (chap 11) PowerPoint

Protein Synthesis (chap 10) PowerPoint

DNA structure and replication (chap 9) PowerPoint

Molecular Genetics (chaps 9-14) Objectives

Cell Cycle and Heredity (chap 7 & 8) Objectives

Heredity (chap 8) PowerPoint

Cell Cycle (chap 7) PowerPoint

Mid year study guide

Plant Evolution (chap 21) PowerPoint

Plant Body (chap 24) PowerPoint

Plant Nutrition (chap 25) PowerPoint

Plant Growth and Development (chap 26) PowerPoint

Reproduction of Flowering Plants (chap 27) PowerPoint

Plants in the Environment (chap 28) PowerPoint

Bean Bonsai Plant Project

Unity and Diversity of Life Wiki Project

Nervous and Immune Systems PowerPoint

Animal Hormones PowerPoint

Animal Environmental Physiology PowerPoint

Animal Physiology Unit Objectives

Classification and Phylogenetics (chap 16) PowerPoint

Evolution Unit objectives

Evolution (chaps 15-17) PowerPoint

Species Case Study

Data Page

Ecology unit objectives

Population Ecology (chap 43) PowerPoint

Environmental geography (chap 42) PowerPoint

Ecological relationships (chap 44) PowerPoint

Community Ecology (chap 45) PowerPoint

Global Resources (chap 46) PowerPoint

The 2012 AP Bio curriculum guide

The 2012 AP Bio Summer Assignment

Resources for Biochemistry test construction project:

Biochemistry Test Construction Project

AP Biochemistry objectives

A parody poem for your enjoyment:


(with apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on the teacher;

If you can trust the teacher’s faith in you,

When you are doubting yourself;

If you can work and not be too tired by working,

And do the work because it helps you learn,

And not because it will be graded.

Or because it is required;

If you can dream of success on the test- and not make those dreams your master;

If you can think-and not give up because you don’t know something;

If you can meet hard tests and independent projects with triumph and disaster

And treat those two results just the same;

If you can hear that biology truths are messy and not always true,

That thinking biology is merely facts and terms is a trap for fools,

And the teacher’s job is not to supply truths

But to challenge your mind and help you develop tools;

If you can make a judgment based on all your understandings

And risk it on one answer to an unfamiliar question,

And get it wrong but learn from that

And feel satisfied that you did;

If you can force yourself to take ownership of your learning

To truly learn long after you’ve been accepted into college,

And so not give up when there is nothing in it for you

Except the Will to develop more sophisticated understanding;

If you can talk to your class and help everyone learn,

Or ask questions of wonder or confusion or ‘possiblies’;

If you can recall your learning from last year or last week

And apply it to new situations and grow new synapses;

If you can believe that deeply understanding 70% of the concepts

Is better than knowing 100% of the terms;

If can believe that you own your learning in class and out

And tutors or looking up answers will not help on tests;

Yours is deeper understanding of biology and all that’s in it,

And-which is more-you’ll be an AP Scholar my student!

What we're up to...

Welcome to my AP Bio web site. The material below is from the 2011-2012 school year and I'll be updating it as we implement the new AP Bio curriculum this year. I'll use this page for announcements and thoughts. You can use the links on the side to check out course related materials and some interesting web sites we'll be using throughout the year. Below are links to some assignments and rubrics as well as unit objectives. There are links to many biology resources on the Bio Web page.

I'm very much looking forward to this year. I spent the summer working on developing synthetic biology materials for our use this year. Check out the BioBuilding link to learn more about how I spent my summer.

Older Unit Links

Lab Bench with the AP required labs

Biochemistry (c. 4-5) Power Point

Unit 6 Respiration and Photosynthesis (c. 9-10) Power Point

Unit 6 Metabolism (c. 6) Power Point

A list of animations. Scroll down to find two replication animations as well as ones for protein synthesis etc.

Unit 5 Molecular Genetics (c. 16-21) Power Point

Unit 5: Heredity (c. 14 & 15) Power Point

Unit 5: Cell Reproduction (c. 12 & 13) Power Point

Unit 4.5 Animal Digestion (c. 41) Power Point

Unit 4.4 Senses and muscles (c.49) Power Point

Unit 4.3: Nervous system (c. 48) Power Point

Unit 4.2: Endocrine system and cell signaling (chap 45 & 11) Power Point

Unit 4.1: Immune system (c. 43) Power Point

Unit 3.5 Animal structure and function (c. 40) Power Point

Unit 3.5: Environmental physiology (c. 44) Power Point

Unit 3.5: Animal Circulation and Respiration (c. 42) Power Point

Unit 3: Plant structure and transport (c. 35-38) Power Point

Unit 3: Cell Structure (c.7&8) Power Point

Bioinformatics activity

Unit 2: Evolution Power Point

Unit 2: Evolution Objectives PDF

Unit 1: Ecology Objectives PDF

Unit 1: Ecology slides

Assignments and Rubric Links

Molecular Ecology Project

When pigs fly case study parts 3 and 4 pdf

When pigs fly case study part 2 pdf

When pigs fly case study part 1 pdf

When pigs fly case study part 1 word

Color my world lab ppt

Cell Reproduction wiki period 2

Cell Reproduction wiki period 3

Cell Repro Project

Cell Repro Project rubric

Summer Assignment

Taxonomy Project

Taxonomy Project Rubric PDF

Species Case Study

Lab Report Rubric PDF

Essay Rubric PDF