2013-14 Catalog

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2013-14 Undergraduate Index A-Z

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Natural History [clear]


Title   Offering Standing Credits Credits When F W S Su Description Preparatory Faculty Days Multiple Standings Start Quarters Open Quarters
Hirsh Diamant and Nancy Parkes
  Program SO–SRSophomore - Senior 12 12 Evening and Weekend F 13 Fall W 14Winter Students in this interdisciplinary program, which continues from Fall quarter, will learn how to cultivate a “sense of wonder” while building skills as writers, activists, artists, and interdisciplinary scholars.  Our work will combine theory and practice as we delve into the rich areas of literature, cultural studies, writing, creative arts, contemplative practice, natural history, and environmental/outdoor education.  We will explore how we develop roots to the natural world and explore themes related to natural history literature, the Pacific Northwest, and global multicultural traditions that have intimate connections to place, family, education, and artistic practice. At the core of our inquiry will be the questions:  What enlivens culture?  What motivates change?  Working from a rich, interdisciplinary perspective, we will study what it means to be rooted to place and how place connects us to a deep sense of purpose and meaning through word and image, language and tradition, stories and activism, and education and scholarship. Highlights of Winter quarter will include a three day Lunar New Year and Tai Ji celebration and Community Service work in areas of students’ interests.  Hirsh Diamant Nancy Parkes Mon Wed Sat Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall Winter
Heather Heying
Signature Required: Winter 
  Program JR–SRJunior - Senior 16 16 Day W 14Winter S 14Spring What do animals do, how do they do it and why? In this two-quarter-long investigation of animal behavior, a continuation of Genes and Evolution in fall quarter, students will answer these questions through extensive use of the scientific literature, in-depth discussions of the evolutionary and ecological theories fundamental to the study of behavior, independent research projects and several weeks in the field, including a multi-week trip to tropical ecosystems in Ecuador.Animals hibernate, forage, mate, form social groups, compete, communicate, care for their young and so much more. They do so with the tools of their physiology, anatomy, and, in some cases, culture, for reasons having to do with their particular ecology and evolutionary history. In this program, we will begin with a review of animal diversity, and continue our studies of behavior from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. Students will be expected to engage some of the complex and often contradictory scientific predictions and results that have been generated in this field through lectures, workshops and take-home exams, as well as undertake their own, intensive field research. Some topics covered in this program will include mating systems, territoriality, female mate choice, competition, communication, parental care, game theory, plant/animal interactions and convergent evolution. Several readings will focus on one group of animals in particular: the primates, including  Continuing the focus on theory and statistics begun in Genes and Evolution, we will travel to Ecuador to study the differences and similarities between the neotropics and the Pacific Northwest, focusing on the animals and their behavior. Particular attention will be paid to the herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) that live in lowland rainforests. In spring quarter, having studied the methods, statistics and literature frequently used in behavioral research, students will generate their own hypotheses and go into the field to test them through extensive, independent field research. This work might be in Ecuador or the Pacific Northwest. Students will return to campus for the last two weeks of spring quarter to complete their data analysis and present their research.  Heather Heying Junior JR Senior SR Winter Winter
Emilie Bess
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 4 04 Weekend Su 14Summer Session II From parasites to pollinators, insects have shaped human society from the beginning. explores our intimate relationships with the bugs that we rely on and the bugs that we fear, the central role that insects play in our biosphere, and the unique adaptations that have led to their unparalleled diversity. This class introduces students to insect diversity and ecology, field techniques, and specimen preservation. Each full-day session includes outdoor field work. We learn to draw insects, emphasizing the importance of careful observation of morphology and behavior as learning tools. We also discuss the influence of insects on pop culture and modern society. Graphic arts, such as graphic story telling (e.g. comics), design of insect costumes, and other visual learning tools are integrated into student projects. Emilie Bess Sat Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer Summer
Alison Styring
  Program JR–SRJunior - Senior 16 16 Day W 14Winter Birds are considered important indicators of habitat quality and are often the focus of conservation-oriented research, restoration, and monitoring.  A variety of field and analytical methods commonly used in bird monitoring and avian research will be covered.  Theory will be applied to practice in the field and lab where students will develop skills in fieldwork, data management, and statistical analysis.  Students will demonstrate their learning through active participation in all class activities; a detailed field journal; in-class, take-home, and field assignments; and a final project. An understanding of avian natural history is important to any successful project, and students without a working knowledge of the common birds in the South Puget Sound region are expected to improve their identification skills to a level that will allow them to effectively contribute to class efforts both in the field and in class. Alison Styring Junior JR Senior SR Winter Winter
Frederica Bowcutt
Signature Required: Winter 
  Program SO–SRSophomore - Senior 16 16 Day F 13 Fall W 14Winter This two-quarter program allows students to learn introductory and advanced plant science material in an interdisciplinary format. The program is suitable for both advanced and first year students who are looking for an opportunity to expand their understanding of plants and challenge themselves. Students will learn about plant anatomy, morphology and systematics. Lectures based on textbook readings will be supplemented with laboratory work. The learning community will explore how present form and function informs us about the evolution of major groups of plants such as mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. Students will get hands-on experience studying plants under microscopes and in the field. To support their work in the field and lab, students will learn how to maintain a detailed and illustrated nature journal. Instruction will be given in the history and practice of botanical illustration.A central focus of the program is people's relationships with plants for food, fiber, medicine and aesthetics. Economic botany will be studied through seminar texts, films, and lectures that examine agriculture, forestry, herbology and horticulture. Students will examine political economic factors that shape our relations with plants. Through economic and historical lenses, the learning community will inquire about why people have favored some plants and not others or radically changed their preferences, for example considering a former cash crop to be a weed. Readings will examine the significant roles botany has played in colonialism, imperialism and globalization. Students will also investigate the gender politics of botany. For example, botany was used to inculcate "appropriate" middle and upper class values among American women in the 19th century. Initiatives to foster more socially just and environmentally sustainable relations with plants will be investigated.In winter, students will write a major research paper on a plant of their choosing. Through a series of workshops, they will learn to search the scientific literature, manage bibliographic data and interpret and synthesize information, including primary sources. Through their research paper, students will synthesize scientific and cultural information about their plant. Frederica Bowcutt Mon Tue Wed Fri Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall Winter
Alison Styring
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 8 08 Day Su 14Summer Session I Flight is one of the most fascinating phenomena in nature.  It has evolved independently numerous times across several groups of animals.  This program will investigate the evolution of flight and its ecological consequences.  We will gain experience with standard methods for studying flying animals as we conduct biodiversity surveys at several field sites in the Olympia area.  During the course of this program, we will learn key biological, ecological, and conservation concepts relating to flying organisms as well as field, analytical, and laboratory methods associated with the study of biodiversity.  As a group, we will produce comprehensive inventories for key taxa (birds, dragonflies, and butterflies) at ecologically  important field sites. This is a field-intensive program, and students an expect to spend time in the field Tuesdays-Thursdays. Early morning work will occur 1-2 mornings per week, starting as early as dawn (ca. 5:15 a.m.) Alison Styring Mon Tue Wed Fri Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer Summer
Marja Eloheimo
  Course FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 4 04 Day Su 14Summer Session II During this weeklong intensive, students will spend time in the Longhouse Ethnobotanical Garden at Evergreen learning to identify, care for, and use native, edible, and medicinal plants in late summer. Students will participate in workshops, carry out projects, and engage in daily nature journaling, reading, and writing. Plan to spend much of your time outdoors.  Marja Eloheimo Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer Summer
Dylan Fischer and Alison Styring
Signature Required: Spring 
  Program JR–SRJunior - Senior 16 16 Day S 14Spring This program is designed to provide a premier hands-on experience on learning how to conduct field science in ecology at the advanced undergraduate level. We will focus on group and individual field research to address patterns in ecological composition, structure and function in natural environments. Students will participate in field trips to local and remote field sites and they will be expected to develop multiple independent and group research projects. During the second week of the quarter, the program will be divided into two smaller groups: a Northwest Science group and a Grand Canyon Plants group. A small group of 20 students will participate in a two-week trip to the Grand Canyon, which will include a four-day backpacking excursion and several day trips where we will conduct individual and group research related to plant ecology. Students will be selected for the Grand Canyon experience based on their application and interest.  Students in the Northwest Science group will focus on research in ornithology and Northwest ecosystems with associated workshops in research methods.We will work as a community to develop and implement field projects based on: 1) workshops that will train students in rapid observation and field data collection; 2) participation in large multi-year studies in collaboration with other universities and agencies; and 3) student originated short- and long-term studies. Students will focus on field sampling, natural history and library research to develop workable field data collection protocols. Students will implement observation- and hypothesis-driven field projects. We will then learn to analyze ecological data through a series of workshops on understanding and using statistics. Students will demonstrate their research and analytical skills via writing and presentation of group and individual research projects. Student manuscripts will be "crystallized" through a series of intensive, multi-day paper-writing workshops at the end of the quarter. Students will also give public presentations of their research work in a final research symposium.Specific topics of study will include community and ecosystem ecology, plant physiology, forest structure, ecological restoration, riparian ecology, fire disturbance effects, bird abundance and monitoring, insect-plant interactions, disturbance ecology and the broad fields of bio-complexity and ecological interactions. We will emphasize identification of original field research problems in diverse habitats, experimentation, data analysis, oral presentation of findings and writing in journal format.  Dylan Fischer Alison Styring Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Frederica Bowcutt
Signature Required: Spring 
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day S 14Spring This program fosters the skills needed for field work in the fields of floristics and plant ecology particularly vegetation studies. Students will learn how to use Hitchcock and Cronquist's , a technical key for identifying unknown plants. We will spend time in the field and laboratory discussing diagnostic characters of plant families. Seminar readings will be focused on floristics, biogeography and vegetation ecology. Students will learn how to collect and prepare herbarium specimens and apply this knowledge to a collaborative research project. Students will also learn about herbarium curation.A multi-day field trip to the Columbia River Gorge will give students an opportunity to learn about Pacific Northwest plant communities in the field, including prairies, oak woodlands and coniferous forests. Students will be expected to maintain a detailed field journal and will be taught basic botanical illustration skills to support this work. Through the field trip, students will learn qualitative vegetation sampling methods and how to analyze their observations. The field trip is required.Students who successfully complete the course will earn 16 units of upper-division science credit in field plant taxonomy, vegetation ecology of the Pacific Northwest, and floristic research. Frederica Bowcutt Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Noelle Machnicki
  Program JR–SRJunior - Senior 16 16 Day F 13 Fall W 14Winter Fungi. What are they? Where are they and what roles do they play in terrestrial ecosystems? How do they get their energy? How do they grow? What do they taste like? How do they interact with other organisms? During this two-quarter long program we will answer these and other questions about fungi. Fall quarter will cover the fundamentals of fungal biology, ecology, diversity and systematics, with an emphasis on the musrhoom-forming fungi of the Pacific Northwest. Students will learn to describe and identify fungi using morphological and microscopic techniques and utilize a variety of taxonomic keys. Students will participate in a quarter-long project to curate their own collections of herbarium-quality mushroom specimens and learn to identify local mushroom species on sight. Several multi-day field trips and day trips will provide students with an opportunity for collecting specimens and studying the natural history of western Washington. During winter quarter, we will explore the diversity other groups of fungi and and study fungi through the lens of forest ecology. Forest ecosystems rest on a foundation of fungi, and students will read the primiary scientific literature to learn about the pivotal roles fungi play as mutualists to plants and animals, as nutrient cyclers, disease-causing agents, and indicators of environmental change. Lab work will focus on advanced methods and examining taxonomically-challenging groups of fungi. Students will also learn about museum curation by organizing and accessioning the class mushroom collection for submission into the Evergreen herbarium. Students will engage in a two-quarter-long group research project relating to fungi. Research topics may include ecology or taxonomy-focused lab and field studies, cultivation or herbarium research. During fall quarter, students will participate in research and writing seminars and quantitative skills workshops to inform their research.  Each group will prepare a concise research proposal including a thorough literature review and a pilot study exploring the most appropriate data collection and analysis methods for answering their research questions. During winter quarter, students will conduct research experiments in the field and/or lab, analyze their data and write a research paper outlining their results. Noelle Machnicki Mon Mon Tue Thu Thu Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall
Peter Impara and Dina Roberts
Signature Required: Winter 
  Program JR–SRJunior - Senior 16 16 Day F 13 Fall W 14Winter How do we manage the habitat of mammals and birds, especially endangered species, in the Pacific Northwest? Mammals and birds are intelligent, complex animals that often have very specific habitat needs for successful living and reproduction. They interact in very elaborate ways with members of their species, other species, and with the landscape as a whole.  A detailed understanding of habitat needs and how these habitats are distributed across the landscape is crucial to managing landscape to ensure future survival of particular species.This upper-division program will focus on examining and analyzing the habitat needs of specific species. Students will learn, develop and apply an intricate interdisciplinary suite of knowledge and techniques that include spatial analysis, ecological modeling, integration of scientific, legal and political information, and computer tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to develop habitat conservation plans for threatened and endangered species as listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.Students will learn about the natural history of specific mammals and birds of the Pacific Northwest and other regions.  Habitat analysis will be conducted at the landscape scale, integrating the disciplines of landscape ecology with wildlife habitat analysis, wildlife biology, and habitat conservation planning. A final two-quarter project will be to develop and present a formal habitat conservation plan (HCP) for a threatened or endangered Pacific Northwest mammal or bird. Students will be required to understand and apply legal concepts associated with the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (as amended) as well as develop an understanding of stakeholders’ concerns and related issues surrounding resource users that may or may not come into conflict with the conservation of their selected species.Lectures will cover the areas of landscape ecology, wildlife habitat analysis, wildlife biology, evolution, and habitat conservation planning. Guest speakers will present recent case studies and approaches to conservation planning. Field trips to locations where wildlife management and conservation are occurring will expose students to methods of habitat assessment, conservation and restoration. Peter Impara Dina Roberts Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall Winter
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 4, 8 04 08 Day, Evening and Weekend Su 14Summer Session I : This study-abroad program will explore two great cultural centers of Russia, Moscow and Kazan.  For most of this excursion, students will be hosted by environmental studies faculty at Kazan Federal University, one of the most prestigious universities in Russia.  This program offers a truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collaborate with local students and faculty in Russia, in close cooperation with experienced Evergreen faculty members, as we explore the history and environment of this region. Moscow is Russia’s Eternal City, the old and the new capital of all the Russias. In Moscow, the group will take guided tours of major historical sites, including the Moscow Kremlin, the Armory Museum, the Tretyakov Art Gallery, Novodevichi Convent and Monastery, and the Trinity-St. Sergei Monastery outside the city. Then participants will take a night train to Kazan on the Volga River, the very heartland and capital of Tatarstan, a semi-independent republic in the middle of Russia. Kazan was the capital of the last Tatar successor state, re-conquered for Russia by Ivan the Terrible, in 1552. It is where the Asian East meets the Russian West, the population evenly divided between the Volga Tatars and Russians. The Tatars are Sunni Muslims, and the Russians are Eastern Orthodox Christians. In Kazan, student travelers will receive lectures on the culture, geography, and environmental history of Tatarstan from the faculty of Kazan Federal University. They will visit several cultural sites in and around the city, including the Kazan Kremlin, the city art museum, and archeological exhibits. The primary activities of the group in Tatarstan, however, will be several ecological field trips to protected areas, such as the Volga-Kama Nature Preserve (Zapovednik). The group will then return to Moscow, where, time permitting before our flights home, we will perhaps stroll along the Arbat, pay our respects at the monument of Russia’s unknown soldier, lay some flowers at the foot of the statue of Russia’s greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin, or spend a few quiet moments in one of the city’s famous churches, listening to a Russian choir singing a sacred mass. And wherever we go, we will enjoy Russian and Tatar food, sights, sounds and hospitality.   Credit equivalencies may include: Russian Studies, Environmental History, Political Ecology, and Geography John Baldridge Thomas Rainey Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer
Trevor Speller and Abir Biswas
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day S 14Spring This introductory program is dedicated to understanding the back and forth between the physical environment and the written word. How do texts shape what we are able to see in the physical environment? How does one's understanding of the physical environment shape ways of writing and understanding the world? How do we describe it? What do we read into it?In 1815, William Smith produced the first geological map of Great Britain. His investigations were a product of a new way of seeing his physical world. Rather than assuming the earth to be a stable object which remained unchanged since Noah’s flood, Smith drew on his observations, and began to see the earth as a dynamic physical entity. His discoveries came in a time when Enlightenment thinkers were questioning the order of the world, the role of religion and the value of science and industry. The modern science of geology can thus be said to have arisen from a new way of seeing: William Smith was able to read and write about the Earth not only through observations, but because of the set of cultural changes that changed his frame of mind. Importantly, Smith's observations came at a time when poets, novelists and political philosophers were beginning to actively investigate the influence of the natural world on humans and human behavior.We will consider the frames through which we read and write our physical world, through an introduction to foundational concepts in geology and literary study. We will consider how geologists investigate and describe the physical world, and examine concepts including geologic time, plate tectonics, earth materials and the evolution of life. We will consider how writers investigate and describe the natural world in the works of 18th- and 19th-century literature, as well as contemporary literature about the Pacific Northwest. We will read works of poetry, fiction, political philosophy and travel writing. Program texts may include works by John McPhee, Simon Winchester, William Wordsworth, Daniel Defoe and others.Students should expect to participate in lecture, lab and seminar, write critical papers and take examinations. There will also be field trips to locations of geological interest as well as cultural venues. Trevor Speller Abir Biswas Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring Spring
Lucia Harrison
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day F 13 Fall This is an art-based program that combines the study of stream ecology and visual art to provide a framework and tools to examine, observe, record, and know a place. We will explore the role of art and science in helping people develop a deep and reciprocal relationship with a watershed. Designed for beginning students in art and ecology, we will study the characteristics of local streams and make drawings that are inspired by a connection to a specific stream. The Nisqually River Watershed will be the focus for our collective work while the numerous local streams will serve as individual focal points for student projects throughout the quarter.Through reading, lectures and field study, students will learn the history of the watershed, study concepts in stream ecology, learn to identify native plants in the watershed and learn about current conservation efforts. They will develop beginning drawing skills and practice techniques for keeping an illustrated field journal. Students will work in charcoal, chalk pastel, watercolor, and colored pencil. Students will explore strategies for using notes and sketches to inspire more finished artworks.   Students will study artists whose work is inspired by their deep connection to a place. Each student will visit a local stream regularly, keep a field journal, and in the second half of the quarter, students will create a series of artworks or an environmental education project that gives something back to their watershed. Lucia Harrison Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall Fall
Steven G. Herman
  Program FR–SRFreshmen - Senior 8 08 Day, Evening and Weekend Su 14Summer Session II Summer Ornithology is a three week bird-banding course taught entirely in the field.  We leave campus on the first day, travel through some of the best birding country in Oregon, then over the next few days find and set up camp in a place where we can net, process, and band a sufficient number of birds to provide all students with appropriate experience.  We spend the next two weeks netting, processing, banding, and releasing several hundred birds of about 25 species.  We focus on aspects of banding protocol, including net placement, removing birds from nets, identification, sexing, ageing, and record-keeping.  We balance the in-hand work with field identification and behavioral observations, and during the last week we tour Steens Mountain and the Malheur area.  This course has been taught for over 30 years, and more than 24,000 birds have been banded during that time.  Lower or upper-division credit is awarded depending of the level of academic achievement demonstrated. A photo essay on this program is available through and a slide show is available through . Steven G. Herman Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Summer Summer