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Topics in Science (SCI)

Topics in Science (SCI)

A series of courses designed to fulfill the general Liberal Arts Core laboratory science requirement.  Each 100-level class focuses on one main theme or issue which is of immediate relevancy to students in today’s society.  In order to understand these topics so that informed decisions can be made, students will learn necessary scientific principles, facts, and processes.  By studying how knowledge about the subject has been developed students will learn to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific approach.  Social implications of scientific findings will be considered for the issues addressed.  Class size limited to thirty students.  Each 100-level class runs for half of a semester and carries two academic credits (three hours classroom, two hours laboratory).

101, 102 Introductory Interdisciplinary Science
In this special topics course, the instructor takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying science within an applied context. Students will be introduced to basic concepts of science, scientific reasoning, and the scientific method as applied to a particular field of relevance.
Five hours, two credits. 

121 Population, Food, and Environment
Topics include human population, food production, and the environmental aspects of feeding and sheltering the human population.
Five hours, two credits.

122 The Disintegrating Web: The Causes and Consequences of Extinction
Introduces students to evolutionary and ecological concepts necessary to understand the causes and consequences of species extinctions and the global loss of biodiversity.
Five hours, two credits.

123 Global Ecology and Climate Change
Introduction to several areas of science necessary to understand the changes in the earth’s climate.
Five hours, two credits.

124 Plant Structure and Function: Edible Wild Plants
Students will study plant diversity from the perspective of edible wild plants.  Emphasis will be on identification and collection.
Five hours, two credits.

125 Introduction to Natural History
Introduction to the study of nature emphasizing the observation and identification of organisms from selected taxonomic groups.
Five hours, two credits.

126 Natural Resource Conservation
Surveys the natural resources which are useful and necessary to humankind.  Utilization and conservation of natural resources including fossil fuels, soil, air, water, forests, and wildlife will be considered.  Alternate energy sources, resource management, and environmental conservation will be discussed.
Five hours, two credits.

127 Human Sexual Reproduction, Pregnancy, Development, and Birth
An examination of the human reproduction process including the biology/physiology, diseases, infertility, contraception, abortion, and related issues.
Five hours, two credits.

128 The Healthy Human Body
Covers topics of human health and diet, the relationship between what you consume and your general well-being, and the control of some illnesses by prescribed diets.  Specific areas of study are the four food groups, vitamins and minerals, the anatomical and physiological process of digestion, and illnesses which result from inadequate nutritional foods in the diet, or ingestion of harmful substances.
Five hours, two credits.

129 The Diseased Human Body
Covers topics related to human disease.  The causative agents of disease and their effects on organs and organ systems in the human body will be studied.  Specific areas of study will be the symptoms, causative agent, epidemiological information, and treatment of a variety of diseases.
Five hours, two credits.

130 Plant Nutrition and Disease: Healthy Houseplants
Students will learn the basic principles of plant nutrition and control of disease problems through the growth and maintenance of healthy houseplants.
Five hours, two credits.

132 Fossils and Geologic Time
This course presents the different types of shelled and vertebrate fossils, their ecology, and evolutionary changes through geologic time.  Students will use relative and absolute geologic history of rocks in southwest Virginia.  Dinosaur classification, physiology, and extinction theories will be discussed.  A four-hour Saturday field trip is required for the class.
Five hours, two credits.

133 Human Evolution and Ecology
An introductory course in human evolution tracing man to his present physical state and culture with emphasis on his influence on the environment.
Five hours, two credits.

134 Quarks and Atoms, Dark Matter and Black Holes
A non-technical inquiry into the nature of matter and the means by which we have developed our present view of matter.  The course begins with a discussion of scientific inquiry and a brief history of chemistry from Democritus to Bohr.  The remainder of the course introduces the quantum-mechanical view of matter.  Students will consider the behavior of matter at various scales – from the familiar “human” scale where phenomena can be directly perceived by our senses to the quantum and cosmic scales where behavior can only be imagined based on indirect evidence.
Five hours, two credits.

135 Our Awesome Planet Earth
This course investigates the earth and the materials we obtain from it.  Major rock forming minerals and their uses in society are discussed.  Plate tectonic processes occurring n the course, mantle, and crust are investigated.  Students will apply plate tectonic concepts to understand how the rocks and geologic structures in Franklin County formed.  Landforms and the processes that form them will be presented.  A four-hour Saturday field trip is required.
Five hours, two credits.

136 Chemistry in Our World
A study of chemistry as it relates to our world today.  Topics include the atmosphere, fuels and fuel alternatives, acid rain, and the properties of water.  Information is presented for the students to devise their own answers to many of the problems related to chemistry in our world today.
Five hours, two credits.

137 The Physics of Sports
Introduces the non-science major to the scientific principles behind many of our favorite sports.  Discussions will include the science and aerodynamics of flying objects, the design of sports gear, the importance of form in sports, and the limitations placed on our games by the laws of physics.
Five hours, two credits.

139 The Amazing Universe
Man has always been interested in the heavens.  This course will look at the history of that interest and where we are today in our knowledge of the universe.  The birth and death of stars including our own sun will be discussed.  New beliefs about the universe including black holes, dark matter, and the inflation theory will be presented.  Time travel possibilities will be investigated.
Five hours, two credits.

140 DNA Fingerprinting and Genetic Engineering
Introduces DNA and the techniques employed to manipulate DNA.
Five hours, two credits.

141 Humans within Ecosystems: An Integration of Science and Humanities through Environmental Education
This course will introduce ecological principles, focusing primarily on diversity, change, and succession or resource cycling.  Readings, class activities, and student projects will demonstrate the benefits of integrating science, the humanities, and the arts to educate children and the community about the environment.
Five hours, two credits.

143 Our Home/Our Habitat
This course will introduce ecological principles, focusing primarily on habitat and homes.  Readings, class activities, and student projects will demonstrate the benefits of integrating science, the humanities, and the arts to educate children and the community about the environment.
Five hours, two credits.

144 Science of Crime
This course investigates the scientific principles and techniques behind forensic criminal investigations.  The techniques explored will include glass and plastic identification, hair and textile fiber identification, blood analysis, fingerprinting, ink and lipstick analysis, and DNA profiling.  The final project will be a mock trial using evidence collected by students in the class.
Five hours, two credits.

145 Bad Science in Movies
This course seeks to enhance the students’ understanding of the physical world through the examination of the fantasy realms inhabited by Hollywood heroes and heroines.  The goal is to study some of the fundamental principles of physical science through their (sometimes egregious) violations in popular film.
Five hours, two credits.

201 Intermediate Interdisciplinary Science
In this special topics course, the instructor takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying science within an applied context. Students will be introduced to basic concepts of science, scientific reasoning, and the scientific method as applied to a particular field of relevance and then asked to apply those concepts to slightly more advanced situations.  Prerequisites: MTH 103 or 105 or 111, 112
Six hours, four credits.

205 Chemistry of Art 
This is an interdisciplinary course designed as an introduction to the basic elements of general, analytical and organic chemistry using technical examination of artwork such as paintings, sculpture, glasswork and others.  The course will place emphasis on teaching science, mainly chemistry, in context of proper examination, authentication and restoration of art objects; it also will address questions in history, religion and economics.
The course is designed in a lecture/discussion/laboratory format, where students will view images of objects of arts, observe different techniques and view movies.  The course will fulfill a science requirement for non science majors and be an elective for Art majors.  Understanding of science behind artworks will allow a profound appreciation of the wonderful world of art, and demonstrate it tight connection with science.  Prerequisites: MTH 103 or High School Algebra.
Six hours, four credits.

250 Physical Science
Laboratory-oriented course surveying fundamental topics in physical science.  These topics include the scientific method, physical and chemical properties, magnetism, electricity, sound, light, motion, work, energy, simple machines, the solar system, classifications of matter, and phase diagrams.  There is strong emphasis on mathematical relationships and statistical analysis of experimental results.  Prerequisites: MTH 103 or 105 or 111, 112.
Six hours, four credits.