2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Introduction to Natural Science


Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 quarters

Martin Beagle biology , Erin Martin chemical oceanography, biogeochemistry, freshwater ecology
Fields of Study
biology and chemistry
Preparatory for studies or careers in
biology, chemistry, environmental studies, geology, and health professions.
high school algebra.

This program offers an integrated study of biology and chemistry that serves as an introduction to the concepts, theories, and structures which underlie all the natural sciences. Students in this program will develop foundational scientific skills and an appreciation for the human dimensions of science. Emphasis will be placed on developing ways of thinking and methods of analysis. Further details about specific themes and topics will be added in the coming weeks.

In fall quarter, we will structure our weekly learning around coordinated sequences of core modules that include lectures, workshops, laboratory and/or field work, and seminar. Much of the time will be spent in workshops where students are expected to collaborate in small groups, solving problems and discussing concepts to acquire confidence in their knowledge and real facility with scientific principles. Laboratory work that closely parallels and amplifies the core material will be an integral part of the program. Seminar will enable us to apply our growing understanding of scientific principles and methodology to societal issues, such as the impact of geoduck aquaculture on water quality and aquatic communities; the debate over unpasteurized dairy products for public consumption; and the commercial pursuit of genetically modified organisms. We will emphasize analysis of the issues through reading, discussion, and writing. All students are expected to take part in all of these core activities, but students may participate more intensively in areas of special interest through additional lab work or readings.

We will continue with this format in winter quarter. In addition, students will work in small groups on a research project that allows them to pursue questions sparked by their curiosity about the natural world and provides hands-on experience in scientific method.

Students who successfully complete the program will have a solid background in general biology and general chemistry. They will have also practical experience in scientific method and improved abilities to reason critically. Students who successfully complete this program will be prepared for more advanced study in science programs such as Molecule to Organism or Environmental Analysis.

The main prerequisite is an eagerness to work hard and to explore the “real life” applications of the scientific method. Students should also be competent in high school algebra.

Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 28th, 2011 Winter signature requirement added.
April 29th, 2011 New offering added.