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Deborah Williams

The following information comes from the named instructor and should describe characteristics general to courses as taught by this instructor. Individual sections of specific courses will deviate from this description in some respects.

Class Format

I teach several classes (BIOL 115: Natural History of Kansas; BIOL 130 Environmental Science Lecture BIOL 131; Environmental Science Lab; BIOL 134: Principles of Sustainability; BIOL 155/PHIL 155: Bioethics and LAW: 175 Environmental Policy and Law). Class format varies depending on the course. My lectures generally involve a combination of lecture based on the recommended textbook and discussion of supplemental readings that I provide.  For lecture courses exams are based on the lectures and consist of a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions. Exams for laboratory courses involve a combination of written and lab practical questions as well as weekly lab assignments or scheduled laboratory reports.  Laboratories generally include a short lecture overviewing the topic or providing relevant background material needed and demonstrations of techniques prior to students completing the lab.  Lab reports and assignments are based on the required lab manual. My Online courses are NOT self-paced and deadlines are clearly communicated in the syllabus.

Resource Use

Book: Extensive

Supplemental Materials (provided): Extensive

Software: Minimal

A textbook is recommended for each course. All assigned supplemental reading materials are provided.


There are usually 3-4 exams scheduled throughout the semester. Exams for lecture are 100 points each and based on the textbook and lecture material covered in class. Questions are a combination of multiple choice questions and occasionally short answer, fill in the blank, diagram labeling, etc. There is no cumulative final exam, rather the last section of material covered is tested as a unit exam during finals week.

Principles of Sustainability, Bioethics and Natural History of Kansas require a research paper or research project with specific guidelines for completion (as specified in the course syllabi). Students are expected to give a brief presentation to the class on their research paper/research project topics.  Research Paper/Projects are worth 100 pts and are weighted 10-20% of the course grade.

For Online courses, exams are administered online or  via the Testing Center on campus, upon request. Exams must be completed by the scheduled due date.

Homework Policy

Homework is due by the date specified. Late homework will be accepted with a valid excuse but penalties apply. Exams must be taken on the date specified and there are no make-up exams. Lab homework is due the week following the completion of the laboratory. Penalties apply for late lab reports submitted. Students will not be able to make-up a missed lab practical exam.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is important to be successful in any college course. Participation and class discussion are a component of most of my courses. Students who miss a discussion will lose discussion points and will not be able to turn in lab reports for exercises in which they did not participate. Students are responsible for arranging to get notes from classmates for the material they miss.


I have an open door policy. When I am in my office and not with another student I am available to meet with students. I hold 5 hours of office hours per week but am also available by appointment, email, text or phone.

Additional Information

I have a J.D. with certificates in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Tribal Law (Federal Indian Law) from the KU School of Law, a M.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (KU), M.S in Curriculum and Instruction (KSU); M.S. in Student Counseling and Personnel Service (KSU), a B.S. in Animal Science (KSU) and a B.S. in Life Science/Biology (KSU).  I am currently a graduate student in philosophy at KU with research interests in applied ethics (bioethics and environmental ethics), philosophy of law and philosophy of science.  I am most intrigued by the intellectual intersections between science, law and ethics.