2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Introduction to Natural Science: Life on Earth

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Dharshi Bopegedera physical chemistry, Clarissa Dirks biology, Christopher Coughenour sedimentology, geophysics

Fields of Study: biology, chemistry and geology

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10017 (16) Fr; 10019 (16) So - Sr  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20018 (16) Fr; 20019 (16) So - Sr  Signature Required Admittance will be based upon an exam given by the faculty to demonstrate knowledge of material covered in fall quarter, and completion of a reading list of fall quarter materials. Interested students should contact Dharshi Bopegedera (bopegedd@evergreen.edu or 360-615-4953), Clarissa Dirks (dirksc@evergreen.edu), or Chris Coughenour (coughecnc@evergreen.edu) or meet with the faculty at the Academic Fair December 1, 2010.  

Spring: Enrollment Closed  CRN (Credit) Level 30017 (16) Fr; 30019 (16) So - Sr  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W); 16(S)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior; 40% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day

Prerequisites: Competency in intermediate algebra.


The origin and evolution of life on Earth, along with changes in Earth itself, have been sources of fascination and controversy. This yearlong interdisciplinary program will examine significant events in the history of life, and the large-scale geologic changes that have occurred in Earth's history, to provide a conceptual and experimental introduction to natural science. This approach will include the cycles and transformations of matter and energy in living and nonliving systems, affording an opportunity to gain an understanding of biological and physical Earth processes on a variety of scales. Students will engage these themes using an experimental approach to develop critical and quantitative reasoning skills.

Fall quarter will introduce students to fundamental principles in geology, chemistry and biology by studying early Earth history. In winter quarter, we will continue to move forward in geologic time, providing students an opportunity to apply their knowledge while adding layers of complexity to their investigations. In spring quarter, students will use this background to engage in projects. Field trips will provide opportunities for students to experience the natural world using skills they learned in the program.

Each quarter, program activities will include: lectures, small group problem-solving workshops, laboratories, field trips and seminars. Seminar readings and discussions will be spread across the history, philosophy and contemporary applications of science. During spring quarter there will be an opportunity for small groups of students to conduct scientific investigations. Students will learn to describe their work through report writing and public presentations.

This program is designed for students who want to take their first year of college science using an interdisciplinary framework. It will be a rigorous program, requiring a serious commitment of time and effort. Overall, we expect students to end the program in the spring with a solid working knowledge of scientific and mathematical concepts, and with the ability to reason critically and solve problems. Students will also gain a strong appreciation of the interconnectedness of biological and physical systems, and an ability to apply this knowledge to complex problems.

Maximum Enrollment: 72

Required Fees: Spring $150 for field trips.

May be offered again in: 2011-12

Preparatory for studies or careers in: biology, chemistry, environmental studies, geology, and health professions.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
May 5th, 2010 Chris Coughenour has joined the teaching team; Paul Butler has left.