Appendix V. Biology

It is helpful to review some key concepts from high school biology to prepare for this course. These are concepts that are generally covered in schools in Saskatchewan in Grade 10 science class (or earlier). This appendix contains outcomes, vocabulary, and review questions in biology.

Note that this appendix is not intended to re-teach you high school biology; it provides guidance on aspects of high school biology that will be useful as background for this introductory physical geology course. If you are struggling with these concepts please approach your instructor to chat about other resources to help you.

AV-1. Outcomes

After reviewing this appendix the learner should be:

  • familiar with key vocabulary for biological processes, and be able to use these words in sentences and provide examples of their importance in their everyday life.

AV-2. Vocabulary

Review this list of vocabulary. Try to define each on out loud, and create a sentence using each word in context. You may look these terms up on Wikipedia if you need help remembering the definitions or are not sure what the words mean.

  • plant
  • animal
  • Bacteria
  • Archaea
  • organism
  • organic
  • inorganic
  • nutrient
  • vegetation
  • photosynthesis
  • biosphere
  • virus
  • life cycle
  • evolution
  • endangered
  • extinct
  • genetics
  • DNA
  • mutation
  • natural selection
  • nature
  • migrate
  • grow / growth
  • decay
  • toxic
  • decompose
  • coral
  • reef
  • swamp
  • algae
  • mushroom
  • forestry
  • prairie
  • agriculture
  • rain forest
  • root

AV-3. Review Questions

Work your way through the following review questions. If you are not able to answer the questions on your own, you can look the terms in the question up on Wikipedia to get more background information to help you answer the question.

  • What is life? What is the difference between a virus and a living organism?


  • What is the biosphere? What kinds of life are found in the biosphere?


  • What foods that come from living things do you eat each day?


  • How does life affect the environment around it? What are some ways that you affect the environment around you? What are some ways animals and plants affect the world around them?



  • What is the course of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere?


  • How do the kinds of plants you observe in the environment vary over the surface of the Earth? E.g., in the Arctic vs Saskatchewan vs California vs Costa Rica vs Sub-Saharan Africa?


  • What is the difference between an endangered and an extinct animal?



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Physical Geology Workbook Copyright © 2019 by Joyce M. McBeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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