2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Drawing on Earth: Explorations in the Aesthetics and Dynamics of the Earth


Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 quarters

Lucia Harrison public administration, visual arts , Abir Biswas geology, earth science, biogeochemistry
Fields of Study
aesthetics, art history, ecology, environmental studies, field studies, geography, geology, natural history, visual arts and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
geology, environmental studies, education and visual arts.

This program offers an introductory study of the Earth, through geology and art. What makes the earth a habitable planet?  What forces have shaped the geology of the Pacific Northwest?  These questions have fascinated people for centuries.  Both scientists and artists rely heavily on skills of observation and description to understand the world, and to convey that understanding to others. Geologists use images, diagrams and figures to illustrate concepts and communicate research. Artists take scientific information to inform their work, and seek to communicate the implications of what science tells us about the world. They also draw on scientific concepts as metaphors for autobiographical artworks. In the fall, we will use science and art to study basic concepts in earth science such as geologic time, plate tectonics, earth materials and how they are formed, the hydrological cycle and stream ecology. Case studies in the Cascade Mountain Range and Nisqually Watershed will provide hands-on experience.  In the winter, we further this study to include soil formation, nutrient cycling, ocean basin sand currents, and climate change. Field studies will include a trip to the Olympic Peninsula where we will observe coastal processes.

Geologic time and evidence of the Earth's dynamic past are recorded in rocks on the landscape. Students will learn basic techniques in observational drawing and watercolor painting.  They will learn the discipline of keeping illustrated field journals to inform their studies of geological processes.  They will also develop finished artworks ranging from scientific illustration to personal expression.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$250 per quarter for overnight field trips.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
March 2nd, 2011 New program added.