Invertebrate Zoology

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Winter 2019 and Spring 2019 quarters

Taught by

square yu
marine science
  • TBD


Two quarters of college-level biological sciences with labs. General biology experience preferred.

How do insects drive the evolution of flowers? How have marine organisms contributed to global carbon cycling? How has human history been influenced by insects? What ecosystems are engineered by invertebrates? How have the biological properties of invertebrates influenced materials, science, robotics, pharmacology, human history, and artificial intelligence?

In this two-quarter program, we will focus on learning the identity, anatomy, and evolutionary relationships of terrestrial and marine invertebrate organisms. Marine environments support the majority of invertebrate evolutionary biodiversity; all body forms (bauplan) and modes of living are represented among marine invertebrates. Arthropods constitute the majority of known animal diversity on Earth, and insects in particular are a vital part of both ecosystem health and influence on human society. Yet invertebrates are marginalized in Western culture as the ultimate "other;" as alien, as unpalatable, as unlovable, as inanimate.

The proximity of Evergreen's campus to various marine and terrestrial habitats provides excellent opportunities to study invertebrates. Evergreen's Organic Farm, neighboring agricultural areas, and local gardens provide an opportunity for hands-on experiences studying bees, wild and domestic. Evergreen's shellfish garden and aquaria will provide marine invertebrate husbandry experiences. The Evergreen Natural History Museum will also serve as a learning lab for this program. The local and global importance of invertebrate biodiversity in ecosystem structure, function, and relationships to human society will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on learning the taxonomy, natural history, and anatomy of regional fauna. Along the way we will excavate human misconceptions, bioethics, and phobias associated with invertebrate interactions. Are humans really so different?

Students will learn fundamental laboratory and field techniques and will be required to design and complete a group research project, scientific paper, and presentation utilizing the available microscopy facilities (light and scanning electron microscopes). Training in specimen preparation and digital photomicroscopy will be integral to the program curriculum. Scientific illustration and an arthropod collection will be required as part of portfolio work. This program will include extensive work in both the lab and field, including day trips and weeklong off-campus field trips. Extended field experience is a requirement of the program.

Main texts will be Invertebrates by Brusca and Brusca, and an entomology textbook to be selected; additional assigned materials will include primary scientific literature, field guides, and popular science books.

Research Opportunities

Group research projects or capstone research will consist of utilizing multiple microscopy techniques to investigate invertebrate anatomy.

Program Details

Fields of Study

ecology field studies marine science natural history zoology

Preparatory For

environmental studies, natural resource conservation, entomology, marine science, and zoology.


Winter Open Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$40 for winter for entrance fees. $695 in spring for museum fees and two weeklong field trips.

May be offered again in

Winter 2021