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Scientific Connections

The following Scientific Connections courses will be offered in Spring 2018.

Superheroes, Science and Society. Superheroes have played an important part in American culture since the 1930’s. From secret identities to superhuman abilities or technological gadgets, characters such as Superman and Batman have dealt with a variety of social issues as well as provided inspiration for the development of many of the modern devices we use today. In this course, students will investigate the some of the science behind several of the most common superheroes as well as some of the ethical implications of being a superhero. Students will also be asked to think critically about the possible impact a real life superhero would have on society, from a moral, judicial and financial view point. At semester’s end, students will present a paper, comic or video in which they star as the superhero. Contact Dr. Cornelius for more information about this course.

Chemistry of Art. Chemistry is everywhere, including in art! In this course, we will gain a better understanding of why artists’ materials behave the way they do, studying a variety of materials such as photography, glass, metals, paper, dyes, and pigments. We will utilize case studies, class discussions, and hands-on activities to aid us as we develop these concepts. Over the course of the semester, we will use chemistry to produce several pieces of art, culminating in a scientific art show. Contact Dr. Hubbard for more information about this course.

Native Alaska: Culture and Ecology. The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to Alaskan native culture, the Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), Alaskan geology and its ecology, and to evaluate how they intertwine in an indivisible manner. Students will develop a strong appreciation for the uniqueness of Alaska. Alaska’s rich native culture and geology have a profound effect on the regions ecology. Students will immerse themselves in the ecological wonders that Alaska affords such as glaciers, tundra, oceans, forests and more, culminating in a life-changing visit to Alaska, the world’s final frontier. A 7-day, post-semester trip (May 28-June 4, 2018) to the State of Alaska is an optional component of this course; this trip will incur an additional cost (estimated $3000). Contact Dr. Knight for more information about this course.

Environmental Science. The goal of this course is to provide students an interdisciplinary approach to the scientific principles, ideas, and concepts required to better understand our world. The course will cover a variety of environmental issues and controversies to help students understand the relationship between humans and the environment. The scientific method will be utilized to help students identify and analyze environmental problems, primarily focusing on those that are man-made. The course will incorporate concepts from the traditional sciences, primarily ecology, as well as the disciplines of economics, history, sociology, and political science. Upon completing the course, students should be able to explain human interaction with the environment. This course may be taken for CORE Scientific Connections credit or for BIOL Environmental Science credit; students taking the course for BIOL credit will complete an additional research project. Contact Dr. Knight for more information.

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