Natural Science Inquiry


winter 2007


Instructor: Candace Gossen


Office hours: after class in Room 469 and upon request

grad asst: Meenakshi Rao




43522 SCI 201 005  NATURAL SCI INQUIRY 4 TR 14:00-15:50 SB2 469


Course Description: This is the University Studies Sophomore Inquiry course that serves as the gateway to the Science in
the Liberal Arts curriculum. The course aims to introduce students to the knowledge-making strategies of science. The
curriculum is taught using small group and class projects that engage students in various science inquiry activities.
Students gain experience in gathering and understanding scientific information, data management, interpretation and
presentation, making and defending knowledge claims, working collaboratively, writing technically, and communicating
scientific results.

Objective: To learn how nature works and how things in nature are interconnected. Be able to discuss current issues and environmental problems, connections and solutions through the use of the scientific study method. Each week there will be a topic of discussion relative to Earth Science and current issues that science can help to answer. The class will consist of lecture, group projects, lab exercises and assignments given weekly.

Reading Requirements: There is no text for this class, but there are weekly notes and additional reading that is in the online calendar. it is up to each of you  to check this calendar daily for updates and information.

Recommended Reading : Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Ishmael by Daniel Quinn


A one day tour of the Tillamook Biogas Facility will be scheduled for Friday 23 February. We will carpool to be more efficient. You are expected to attend the fieldtrip to receive the full 60pts credit which will comprise of the observation of the facility and the worksheet to be turned in the following Tuesday.

Team Project:
Instead of submitting a term paper that would require the use of lots of paper, or content useful to the individual, you are going to work on a team project that will be useful to all in the class. We will group into teams of 4, with each team picking a subject relevant to an environmental inquiry/problem in the Pacific Northwest.  A criteria and timeline will be given in class. As a term project this will total 200pts of your total of 500. You will be assigned a date for your final presentation which must be in powerpoint or video format and all relevant material required shall be submitted on a CD.

Point Structure

Class Attendance 40pts

Weekly assignments 200pts (20pts each)

End of Term Project 200pts (powerpoint/video group project in the Pacific NW)

Fieldtrip 60pts

Total 500pts