"God made yeast, as well as dough, and he loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The goal of this course is to introduce you to the fundamental concepts and techniques of fermentation through a variety of disciplines. Gaining a complete understanding of the microbiology of beer, bread and cheese requires that you investigate not only their basic biological and chemical components, but also the amazing metabolic processes performed by the microbes that produce them. We will also explore the incredible ways in which fermentation has shaped (and been shaped by) human history, politics and religion. Ultimately, I hope that this course will help you savor the results of fermentation even more than you already do.
Prerequisites: Must have completed BIOL 101 or 102 AND have 2nd year standing or permission of instructor. 2 SH. 2 lecture hours. CC: Interdisciplinary
Spring 2011 Class at Penn Cheese Corporation
STUDENT LEARNING GOALS:
After taking this course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts and vocabularies central to:
a) The biology, chemistry and history of fermentation;
b) The scientific basis for the techniques and tools employed in the production of beer, bread and cheese;
c) The roles that different microbial species play in the production of beer, bread and cheese.
2. Use multiple disciplines, including biology, chemistry, religion, history, poitical science, nutrition, and ecology and to explore and analyze the basics of fermentation science, as detailed above, and to explore the ways in which fermenation has shaped, and continues to shape human society.
3. Articulate an understanding of the ways in which these disciplines can be brought together not only to supplement and reinforce each other, but also to highlight the complexities and ambiguities inherent to explaining issues central to the science and history of fermentation.
4. Perform biological and chemical tests to assay the results of microbial fermentations.
final grade will be a composite of your performance in 3 Unit Exams
(25% each), two fermentation worksheets (5% each), and one final fermentation essay (15%).
Your final grades will be based on the scale below:
F All those numbers below 60
Attendance is required at all
scheduled exams and lab sessions. You
will receive a zero for all work performed during a class that you fail
to attend. If you know in advance that you have a direct conflict with
an upcoming class activity, please come speak with me about the nature
of the conflict so that we can determine if a make-up assignment is
possible. Note that this will not always be the case - particularly for
laboratory experiments. In general, and unless something
completely unforseen has happened (a natural disaster, etc.), you will
only be allowed to arrange a make-up assignment for a missed class
activity in advance of that activity. Please note that
travel to and from vacation activities (Spring Break) will NOT qualify for a make-up activity, so plan accordingly.
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES:
you have cleared it with me before class, all electronic communication
devices must be off and in a closed container during the entire class. No texting is allowed for any reason.
If any cell phone rings during class, I will answer it. Repeat
offenders (more than one such offense) will be asked to leave class
along with their cell phones until they can figure out where the off
If you have a documented learning disability,
I am happy to set up any appropriate arrangements for testing, classes,
etc. Simply provide me with a letter from the Center for Disability Services,
and let me know what I can do to make the class work for you.
None Required. Readings will either be attached to the syllabus, emailed to you, available via eres and/or located in the class Blackboard Site. The syllabus will let you know where to find each assignment as it becomes available, so make sure to check the syllabus regularly.
234F New Science Building
Office hours: Open at all times. Just walk in if my door is open! The times during which I am available for scheduled appointments are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-12. Please contact me if you wish to schedule an appointment during these times. Other appointments can be available on an as-needed basis.
final comprehension of the science concepts introduced in this class will be assessed during three unit exams, as indicated in the
'Schedule of Events' below. These exams will generally consist of two
parts. The first part will contain 5-7 short answer questions that will
be intended to assess your basic comprehension of unit concepts. You
will be graded on all but one of the questions in this part, and you
may choose which question to drop. The second part of the exam will
contain one question that will evaluate your ability to synthesize and
apply course concepts. All students will be required to complete part 2
in its entirety. The unit exams will be closed-book, individual
efforts. If you are caught cheating on an exam you will receive a zero
for that exam, and a letter will be sent to the Dean of Students.
Throughout the semester, you will be required to fill out short worksheets regarding your laboratory results. These worksheets will be team efforts.
FINAL FERMENTATION ESSAY:
Each student will write and present a final fermentation essay that will be due during the last week of class. More details will be provided in a separate handout.