Environmental Science. The goal of this online 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.
Genetics, Genes and Society. This will be a project-based class focusing on how we as a society deal with the vast amount of genetic information available. We will examine the inheritance of disease as well as ancestry.Hopefully, there will be have funding to cover or offset a portion of the cost of DNA testing (ancestory.com) for every student in the class. Students will learn about genetics while interpreting their own DNA results. If a student does not want to be DNA tested they will be provided with mock data sets. Contact Dr Reyna for more information.
Philosophy of Science. This course will focus on the relationship between philosophy and science. To begin, we will discuss several general questions about science: What is science, exactly, and what is its purpose? What assumptions do scientists make? How reliable is science? Next, we will explore some of the more
interesting philosophical questions raised by specific scientific disciplines, such as neuroscience, computer science, evolutionary biology, and physics. In the process, we will discuss why these issues are important—how our understanding of science as a discipline affects our basic beliefs about ourselves and our moral obligations, the nature of reality, the existence of God, and a host of other issues. Contact Dr Douglass for more information.
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.