2012-13 Catalog

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2012-13 Undergraduate Index A-Z

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Astronomy [clear]

Title   Offering Standing Credits Credits When F W S Su Description Preparatory Faculty Days Multiple Standings Start Quarters Open Quarters
Rebecca Chamberlain and Richard Miles
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day and Evening S 13Spring This interdisciplinary program will combine science and humanities, as we learn beginning to intermediate astronomy through lectures, discussions, interactive workshops, and observation. We will use naked eyes, binoculars, and telescopes. We will learn about the evolution and structure of our universe and celestial bodies. How are stars born and why do they shine? How do stars die, and how can they contribute to new life? How do we know there is dark matter? How do we know that the universe is expanding - and even accelerating? What evidence is there for the Big Bang? We will study roles of science and of storytelling in human searches for understanding and meaning.How have people across cultures and throughout history understood, modeled, and ordered the universe they perceive? From sacred stories to physics-based astronomy, we will explore a variety of cosmological concepts in science, literature, mythology, philosophy, history and/or archaeoastronomy. We will use scientific methods and other inquiry-based learning strategies that engage the imagination. Through readings, lectures, films, workshops, and discussions, participants will deepen their understanding of astronomy, and they will refine their understanding of the role that cosmology plays in our lives through the stories we tell, the observations we make, and the questions we ask. We will develop skills and appreciation for the ways we find our place in the universe through stories and science, imagination and intellect, qualitative and quantitative processes. Finally we will ask, how does our understanding of astronomy and cosmologies influence our understanding of sustainability and the quality of life on Earth?We will work together as a learning community, in large and small groups. We will read and discuss science texts and do quantitative workshops and homework. Students will build and take home astronomical tools such as spectrometers and position finders. Students will analyze literary works related to astronomy and cosmology, and will develop an original piece of writing, either fiction or non-fiction. We will also share star stories from different cultures. Student teams will meet for pre-seminar discussions and assignments and will write short essays and responses to peers' essays. Research teams will explore questions of personal interest through observations, readings and calculations; and students will share their findings through presentations to classmates and the community. Students are invited to help organize observation field trips to eastern Washington or other regions with clearer skies. Rebecca Chamberlain Richard Miles Tue Thu Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Rebecca Chamberlain
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 8 08 Day and Evening Su 13Summer Session II The program combines interdisciplinary study of science and humanities with fieldwork. We will explore a variety of cosmological concepts from mythology, literature, philosophy, and history, to an introduction to astronomy, archeo-astronomy, and theories about the origins of the universe. We will employ scientific methods of observation, investigation, hands-on activities, and strategies that foster inquiry based learning and engage the imagination. This class is focused on field work, and activities are designed for amateur astronomers and those interested in inquiry-based science education, as well as those interested in exploring literary, philosophical, cultural, and historical cosmological traditions.Students will participate in a variety of activities from telling star-stories under the night sky to working in a computer lab to create educational planetarium programs.  Through readings, lectures, films, workshops, and discussions, participants will deepen their understanding of the principles of astronomy and refine their understanding of the role that cosmology plays in our lives through the stories we tell, the observations we make, and the questions we ask. Students will develop skills an appreciation for the ways we uncover our place in the universe through scientific theories and cultural stories, imagination and intellect, qualitative and quantitative processes, and "hands on" observation.We will visit Pine Mountain Observatory, and participate in field studies at the Oregon Star Party, which include workshops with mentors, scientists, storytellers, and astronomers. We will develop a variety of techniques to enhance our observation skills including use of star-maps and navigation guides to identify objects in the night sky, how to operate 8” and 10” Dobsonian telescopes to find deep space objects, and how to use binoculars and other tools.  We will be camping and doing field work in the high desert for a week. Rebecca Chamberlain Wed Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer Summer
EJ Zita
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day W 13Winter We are interested in symmetries in nature and the universe, and in human understanding and interaction with nature. We will read books and articles on astrophysics, cosmology and/or the environment to explore topics such as these. Physicists have discovered new puzzles which your generation will solve. Why is the expansion of the universe accelerating? What are dark matter and dark energy? Why is there matter, space, and time? Why do these take the forms that we observe?We will read about and discuss the beauty and importance of quantitative study of nature and our place in the natural world. Students will gain a deeper physical understanding of the universe, with little or no math.We will share our insights, ideas, and questions about the readings and our wonder about the universe. Students will write weekly short essays and many responses to peers' essays. Students will meet with their team (of 3 peers) at least one day before each class to complete pre-seminar assignments.Learning goals include deeper qualitative understanding of physics, related sciences and the scientific method; more sophisticated capabilities as science-literate citizens; and improved skills in writing, critical thinking, teamwork and communication.Program webpage: EJ Zita Tue Thu Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Winter Winter
EJ Zita
Signature Required: Fall  Winter  Spring 
  Research SO–SRSophomore - Senior V V Day F 12 Fall W 13Winter S 13Spring Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research is an important component of academic learning in Scientific Inquiry. This independent learning opportunity allows advanced students to delve into real-world research with faculty who are currently engaged in specific projects. Students typically begin by working in apprenticeship with faculty or laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific research program as they gain experience. Students can develop vital skills in research design, data acquisition and interpretation, written and oral communication, collaboration, and critical thinking that are valuable for students pursuing a graduate degree or entering the job market. (physics) studies the Sun and the Earth.  What are the mechanisms of global warming? What can we expect in the future?  What can we do about it right now?  How do solar changes affect Earth over decades (e.g. Solar Max) to millennia? Why does the Sun shine a bit more brightly when it is more magnetically active, even though sunspots are dark? Why does the Sun's magnetic field flip every 11 years? Why is the temperature of the Sun’s outer atmosphere millions of degrees higher than that of its surface? Students can do research related to global warming in Zita's academic programs and in contracts, and have investigated the Sun by analyzing data from solar observatories, and using theory and computer modeling.  Serious students are encouraged to form research contracts, and may thereafter be invited to join our research team. astronomy, physics, climate studies. EJ Zita Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall Winter Spring