Site Index

Current Year's Catalog 2005-06

Undergraduate Studies

A-Z Index

Programs for Freshmen

Culture, Text and Language

Environmental Studies

Expressive Arts

Native American and World Indigenous Peoples' Studies

Scientific Inquiry

Society, Politics, Behavior and Change

Tacoma Campus Programs

Evening and Weekend Studies

Evening and Weekend Class Listing

Summer Studies

Summer Class Listing

Graduate Studies

Master of Environmental Studies

Master of Public Administration

Master in Teaching



[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry
U.S. Foreign Policy Before and After 9/11: Terrorism and the New American Empire

Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Class Schedules
Class Standing:
Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.
Negotiated individually with faculty.
Faculty Signature:
Students must contact individual faculty to make arrangements.

A number of faculty in this planning group are engaged in research projects that offer collaborative research opportunities for advanced students. These provide an important aspect of advanced work in the sciences that take advantage of faculty expertise, and Evergreen's flexible structure and excellent equipment. In general, students begin by working in apprenticeship with faculty and laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific program. These projects generally run 12 months a year; a signature is required from the faculty with whom students will be working.

Clyde Barlow and Jeff Kelly work with biophysical applications of spectroscopy to study physiological processes at the organ level, with direct applications to health problems. Students with backgrounds in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics or computer science can obtain practical experience in applying their backgrounds to biomedical research problems in an interdisciplinary laboratory environment.

Dharshi Bopegedera would like to engage students in three projects. (1) FTIR spectroscopy of free radicals. She would like to work with two students. This project is for advanced chemistry students who are interested in using infrared spectroscopy to understand molecular properties of free radicals synthesized in situ in a microwave discharge. (2) An interdisciplinary study of drinking water in the South Puget Sound. She would like to work with two students. This is an ongoing study to investigate the quality of drinking water in the Puget Sound area. We will analyze the water and explore the connections between the minerals found in drinking water with the geological properties of the land. Students who have completed general chemistry with laboratory can carry out this project. (3) Science and education. She would like to work with two students. We will work with local schoolteachers to develop science lab activities that will enhance the science curriculum in local schools. About four science labs will be taken to local schools each quarter. Students who have an interest in teaching science and who have completed general chemistry with laboratory would be ideal for this project.

Andrew Brabban (biotechnology) is interested in developing biological technologies for agriculture, industry and health care that improve the efficiency of a modern process, or that generally improve the quality of life for society. Current student projects include technologies to produce pharmaceutical synthons, reduce the incidence of E. coli 0157:H7 in the human food chain (in collaboration with Betty Kutter and Dr. Callaway, Texas A&M University) and the role of DNA as an environmental pollutant (in collaboration with LOTT sewage treatment plant). Students will use the techniques of and receive credit in molecular biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry and microbiology.

Judith Bayard Cushing studies how scientists use distributed computing and data to conduct research. She would like to work with students who have a background in computer science or molecular biology, forest ecology, chemistry or physics, and who are strongly motivated to explore new computing paradigms, such as object-oriented systems and multiplatform computing.

Rob Knapp studies thermal and electric energy flows in buildings, as a contribution to ecologically conscious design of homes and workplaces. A National Science Foundation grant has provided instrumentation to measure heat loss, air flows, solar gains and related aspects of conventional and alternative buildings, by which to compare different approaches to energy conservation and renewable resource use. Students with backgrounds in physics, electronics or computer modeling can help with these explorations.

Betty Kutter (molecular biology) and Jim Neitzel (biochemistry) study Bacteriophage T4, which has been a key model organism in molecular genetics for more than 50 years. Its infection of E. coli leads to rapid cessation of host DNA, RNA and protein synthesis. These faculty members are working to clone and over-express the many host-lethal genes that purify and characterize their protein products. Their intent is to determine their specific functions, look at ways in which they can be used to better understand bacterial metabolism, and examine the infection process under a variety of environmental conditions. Evergreen is the center for genomic analysis and database development for these phages, and work with phage ecology and potential uses as antibiotics.

Stuart Matz (biology) uses a variety of anatomical, molecular and developmental techniques to analyze the organization of various regions of the brain in order to understand the behavior of aquatic organisms. Currently, he is investigating the Pacific salmon brain. In the past, he has worked with zebrafish, cichlid fish and aquatic salamanders.

Lydia McKinstry is interested in organic synthesis research, including asymmetric synthesis methodology, chemical reaction dynamics and small molecule synthesis. One specific study involves the design and synthesis of enzyme inhibitor molecules to be used as effective laboratory tools with which to study the mechanistic steps of programmed cell death in cancer cells. Cancer cells, like normal cells, are known to undergo a process of cell suicide called apoptosis. In fact, several metabolic disorders actually result from either insufficient or excessive apoptosis in normal cells. In many cancer cell lines, apoptosis is mediated by a family of enzymes called caspases. Through selective caspase inhibition we are interested in determining how caspases are involved in the signaling pathways leading to apoptosis and defining the specific roles of individual caspases in the process. A long-term goal of this project is successful construction of inhibitor molecules designed to specifically target the individual caspases involved in apoptosis. Students with a background in organic chemistry and biology will gain experience with the laboratory techniques of organic synthesis as well as the techniques of spectroscopy.

Donald Morisato and Nancy Murray are interested in the developmental biology of the Drosophila embryo, a model system for analyzing how patterning occurs. Maternally encoded signaling pathways establish the anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral axes. Individual student projects will use a combination of genetic, molecular biological and biochemical approaches to investigate the spatial regulation of this complex process.

Neal Nelson and Sheryl Shulman are interested in working with advanced computer topics and current open-ended problems. Their topics include simulations of advanced architectures for distributed computing; advanced programming languages and compiler support for languages, such as those that support parallel architectures; and embedded systems/microcontrollers and hardware modeling. Students should have a strong computer science background and successfully have completed the program Data to Information or the equivalent.

Paula Schofield (polymer chemistry, organic chemistry) is interested in the fields of biodegradable and biomedical polymers. Efforts to use biodegradable materials have been initiated to reduce the environmental impact of plastic wastes. Several of these biodegradable materials are polyesters, and they have attracted much industrial attention as "green thermoplastics." Biomedical polymers are widely used as replacements for heart valves, tissue, hip joints and blood vessels. Polyurethanes show potential as replacements for small-diameter blood vessels, particularly required by patients suffering from vascular disease resulting from complications of diabetes. Suitable replacement vessels could prevent the thousands of amputations performed each year in the United States.

Today, research and development on biodegradable and biomedical polymers are expanding in both polymer and biological sciences. Students with a background in organic chemistry and biology will gain experience in the preparation and characterization of suitable polymers, and in biological procedures used to monitor biodegradation and biocompatability. Techniques students will use include SEM, DSC, GPC, FTIR, FTNMR and enzyme isolation and purification.

Rebecca Sunderman (inorganic/materials chemistry and physical chemistry) is interested in the synthesis and property characterization of new bismuth-containing materials. The 6s2 electrons of Bi3+ are commonly referred to as the lone pair electrons. Hybridization of the 6s and 6p orbitals, and the resulting lone pair electron, yields some very interesting stereochemistry and steric-related properties. Ferroelectric and ferroelastic bismuth materials have been identified. Many bismuth oxides are good oxygen ion conductors. Bismuth-containing compounds have also been characterized as electronic conductors, attractive activators for luminescent materials, second harmonic generators and oxidation catalysts for several organic compounds. Traditional solid-state synthesis methods will be utilized to prepare new complex bismuth oxides. Once synthesized, powder x-ray diffraction patterns will be obtained and material properties such as conductivity, melting point, biocidal tendency, coherent light production and magnetic behavior will be examined when appropriate.

E. J. Zita (physics) studies the Sun and other magnetized plasmas. Why does the Sun shine more brightly when it is more magnetically active? Solar weather affects Earth in rapid bursts of energy and in slower climate changes. Why doesn't the Sun's atmosphere cool down with increasing distance from its heat source? This mystery, and many others, may be explained by investigating the magnetic dynamics of the Sun. Students can study plasma physics, solar physics and magnetohydrodynamics with Zita's research team. They can use simple optical and radio telescopes and a Sunspotter to observe the Sun from Olympia, Wash. They can analyze data from satellites and supercomputers, shared by colleagues in Boulder, Colo., and Oslo, Norway. Strong research students may be invited to join our summer work in Olympia and/or Boulder. Prerequisite: the Matter and Motion program or the equivalent.

Credit awarded in:
areas of student work, e.g., lab biology* and chemistry*, computer science*, health sciences*, teaching and environmental sciences*, physics* and astronomy*.
4 to 16 credits each quarter. Students will negotiate credit with the faculty sponsor.
A similar program is expected to be offered in:
Program is preparatory for careers and future study in:
chemistry, biology, computer science, health science, environmental sciences, physics, astronomy and teaching.

Program Updates

Lydia McKinstry has joined this offering to provide research opportunities for students.

U.S. Foreign Policy Before and After 9/11: Terrorism and the New American Empire

Spring quarter

Alan G. Nasser
Class Schedule
Class Standing:
Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.
Background in political economy and/or 20th-century American history preferred but not required.
Faculty Signature:
Students must submit all previous evaluations written by Evergreen faculty and/or transcripts and a sample of a recent writing to Alan Nasser at the Academic Fair, March 8, 2006. Students unable to attend the fair may send transcripts and writing samples to Alan Nasser, The Evergreen State College, Seminar II A-2117, Olympia, WA 98505. For more information call Alan Nasser, (360) 867-6759. Applications received by March 8, 2006, will be given priority. Qualified students will be accepted until the program fills.

From its very beginning, dominant groups in the United States have imagined the country to have a grand historic destiny. There was George Washington's proclamation of a "rising American empire," the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny. In the early 20th century, Woodrow Wilson promulgated an image of the United States as a model of "freedom and democracy" for the rest of the world. Later administrations developed foreign policies that attempted to export this model to wherever they could, often by overt and covert forms of subversion and aggression.

The outlines of 20th-century foreign policy were evident in the aggressive stance of the Wilson administration. The U.S. Marines were sent into the Soviet Union following the Bolshevic Revolution and remained there, in an effort to depose the Reds, until 1922. Thus began the Cold War, the massive global employment of U.S. military power in order to defeat or "contain" Communism (or anything resembling it). This entailed intense competition between the United States and the Soviet Union to win, as allies, the newly independent formerly-colonized countries of the Third World after World War II. The rivalry among these two great superpowers was one of the most powerful forces shaping both international relations and intranational political and economic policy over the course of the 20th century.

In recent years, five developments led the U.S. elite to re-assert American global dominance more aggressively than ever before: (1) the collapse of the Soviet Union, America's only effective rival and deterrent; (2) the narrowing of the gap between America's two major political parties, as both moved further to the right; (3) the onset of global economic stagnation, as national (economic) growth rates slowed down in the mid 1970s after the longest period of economic growth in American history (1949-73); (4) the biggest stock market collapse in American history; and, finally, (5) the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The result was the new foreign policy of the Bush administration, including the policy of preventive war, whereby the U.S. reserves the right to attack any country it suspects might become a threat to its security at some time in the future. This policy was laid out in two important policy documents, The Project for a New American Century and A New National Security Strategy for the United States. The test case for these doctrines was the 2003, U.S.-led attack on and occupation of Iraq. The result of these developments was that the United States became the most feared and one of the least respected countries in the world. We will analyze in detail the origins and possible consequences, abroad and at home, of these developments.

Credit awarded in:
introduction to the Cold War, 20th-century international relations, 9/11, terrorism and the new American empire.
16 credits.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in:
government, political science, international relations, political economy and history.

Contact the Site Manager


Last Updated: August 25, 2017

The Evergreen State College

2700 Evergreen Parkway NW

Olympia, Washington 98505

(360) 867-6000