James W. Brown
124 Davis Clark Labs
515-8803 (calling this number is futile - use email or text)
919/749-3172 (cell/text)

Office Hours are by appointment. My schedule can be viewed at:

Time & Place

Classes are each Wednesday at 1:30 (section 001) or 2:35 (section 002) in 1522 Thomas Hall.


MB 103 "iIntroductory Topics in Microbiology" is an orientation course intended for incoming Life Sciences students who intend to matriculate into the Microbiology major, or are considering the Microbiology major, or transfer students who have not already had an Orientation course. Students transfering from other majors at NCSU who have already had an Orientation course in the major they were in usually are not required to take MB 103.


Students will be able to...

  1. Describe curriculum requirements in Microbiology and in other majors and to describe the requirements for minors
  2. Describe the major career and interest areas in Microbiology, and what might be necessary to suceed in each of these areas
  3. Search the web for information on Microbiology organizations, companies, employment, and research topics
  4. Discuss current research areas, as presented in journals such as Scientific American
  5. Apply critical thinking skills to current topics in Microbiology


There is no textbook for this class, but you will need a copy of:

Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food
by Pamela C. Ronald, R. W. Adamchak, 2008, Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195301757 or ISBN-13: 9780195301755

You should have received a copy of this book from the College -this is the "Common reading program" book for this year. If you need a replacement copy, it is readily available in paperbook format from Barnes & Nobles or Amazon for about $14.

This book is also available for Kindle or Nook, and on iTunes, for $10-$11 if you prefer an electronic version.

All students will need either a planner or calendar (electronic is fine). Many course resources will also be posted on the course web site:


There are no prerequisites or restrictions for this course other than being a Microbiology or Life Sciences major.


Attendance is required and will be taken promptly at the beginning of each class period. Each student will be allowed a single unexcused absence. Each subsequent unexcused absence will result in a deduction of 2 points from your total points for the course. Students who are absent without a formal excuse are still subject to ssignment deadlines and late fines. All excused absences must be documented. The University attendance regulations can be found at:

Arriving late will result in a deduction of 1 point each time.


Planner assignment
Bacillus isolation worksheet
10 Plan of Work assignment
Career Center assignment
Extra-curricular activity assignment
10 Tomorrow's Table assignment
Mock Epidemic worksheet
Food contamination worksheet
10 Advising worksheets
  • First advising meeting - 3 points
  • Registration advising - 4 points
  • Third advising meeting - 3 ponits
10 Final Exam

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the listed due date. Late work will lose 1 point for being late and an additional 1 points for each day or part of a day late, including the first day and weekend days. After one week, the assignment will not be accepted and will be given a grade of zero. No extra credit will be given.

Grades will be awarded according to the following scale :

    99-100 A+     89-90 B+     79-80 C+     69-70 D+
      93-98 A       83-88 B       73-78 C      63-68 D      60-0 F
     91-92 A-      81-82 B-      71-72 C-     61-62 D-  

A grade of Incomplete (IN) will only be given in the event that a student cannot complete the requirements of the class due to a documentable event. The University policy on IN grades can be found at:

Final Exam

The Final (and only) exam will be a take-home exam distributed during Dead week and will be due at the scheduled final exam time.

Class Evaluation

Schedule: Online class evaluations will be available for students to complete during the last 2 weeks of the semester then become unavailable at 8am on the first day of finals for the full fall semester:

  • 12 noon November 20th, 2014 through 8 am December 8th, 2014

Students will receive an email message directing them to a website where they can login using their Unity ID and complete evaluations. All evaluations are confidential; instructors will not know how any one student responded to any question, and students will not know the ratings for any instructors.

Evaluation website:
Student help desk:
More information about ClassEval:

Academic Integrity

Your name on all assignments and tests implies agreement with the NCSU Honor Pledge:

"I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this test or assignment."

Cheating in any form is not acceptable, and any apparent case of dishonesty will be turned directly over to the Office of Student Conduct with the harshest recommended punishment. Students are expected to abide by the North Carolina State University Code of Student Conduct:

Disability Statement

Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 515-7653, or at:

For more information on NC State's policy on working with students with disabilities, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation at: