Course Offerings | Natural Science

Division of Science and Mathematics

Preston Miles (chair), Keith Dunn, Anne Lubbers, Brent White, Marshall Wilt

The course sequence NSC 110 and 120 is intended to serve as one option for fulfilling general education science requirements for students not intending to major in a science. The primary goals of these courses are:
- to develop an appreciation of the natural world and
- to gain an understanding of the scientific worldview and how it differs from other ways of perceiving the world.

Because of the ease with which connections can be made between areas of inquiry, the integrated approach, used in NSC 110 and 120, has greater likelihood of being successful in accomplishing these goals. Disciplinary distinctions, which are necessary for training specialists in a field (major), can limit the background obtained by general education students.

NSC 110 and 120 is built on a general chronological framework with topics selected that support a solid understanding of the major areas of cosmological and biological evolution. Students considering a major in science are encouraged to complete general education requirements in science through our traditional disciplinary courses (BIO 110, CHE 131, PHY 110, PSY 110).

Natural Science Courses

NSC 110 Natural Science-I (four credit hours)
An introductory survey of science with emphasis upon how scientific understandings have developed and the bases upon which current explanations depend. The course presents a science-based world view that traces the continuity of natural processes in cosmology and in the physical and biological evolution of our planet. Topics include motion, astronomy, energy, the structure of matter, the origin of the world, evolution, biological diversity of life, regulation of life, and the human position in the world. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: basic skills in math.

NSC 120 Natural Science-II (four credit hours)
A continuation of NSC 110. Prerequisite: NSC 110.

Special Topic 2002-2003:
NSC 210 Life and Literature

taught by Humana Scholars Lynn Margulis and her son, Dorion Sagan. Dr. Margulis has won numerous awards for her original research in the areas of cell biology and evolution. In recent years, Dr. Margulis' collaborations with Dorion Sagan have led to the publication of award-winning books and essays on scientific topics especially written for general audiences. With a dual emphasis on science and writing, their CentreTerm course will appeal to a broad audience. This course will offer students an unprecedented opportunity to learn from, and to be challenged by, two outstanding natural history writers. An interest in biology is expected; however, the course will be taught at a level that will be readily accessible to non-science majors. An exploration of the world of scientific literature by two of its most noted practitioners. Analysis and discussion of literature and literary styles with a focus on the writings of Margulis and Sagan. Students have extensive opportunities to develop skills in a number of styles of scientific communication including poetry and essays. Oral presentations on selected topics will also be developed. Prerequisite: One introductory science course.