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Course Details

PHSC 101  PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY I

Earth materials, structure and landforms; interaction between human beings and landscapes in the context of natural resources and human activity.

Credits:  3


PHSC 102  PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY II

Earth and sun relationships, weather, climate, soils, and natural vegetation; interaction between human beings and the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

Credits:  3


PHSC 103  GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

Application of basic principles of science to atmospheric chemistry and climate change. Principles and topics covered include: atoms and molecules, what energy is and why it is conserved, alternative energy, absorption of light, the difference between climate change and the ozone hole, and possible solutions to environmental problems. Lecture and optional laboratory. Appropriate for nonscience majors with little or no science background; education students, or for intended science majors wishing to review elementary physical scientific principles. Meets General Education requirements for laboratory physical science (if laboratory taken; otherwise meets physical science lecture course requirement). Not for majors credit in the sciences.

Credits:  1 - 4


PHSC 104  SEVERE AND UNUSUAL WEATHER

This course will focus on the meteorological processes that lead to severe and unusual weather events and patterns. This course will examine thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, flash floods, drought and winter storms. Whenever possible, real-time weather data will be incorporated and severe weather events that occur in the United States during the course of our study will be examined. The societal impact of severe and unusual weather will also be studied.

Credits:  3


PHSC 105  INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A study of the basic principles of geology, chemistry, biology and ecology behind important environmental issues that include pollution, biodiversity, conservation and sustainability. Special emphasis will be placed on the unique challenges posed by urban environments. Discussions will include social issues such as environmental philosophy, economics, ethics and policy.

Credits:  3


PHSC 106  THE SCIENCE OF WATER

This course will use the topic of water to explore concepts in the physical sciences such as fundamental principles of physics, chemistry and physical geography. It will also look at human interactions with the aquatic world and environmental issues such as water pollution and management. Students will be provided with a basic scientific literacy, allowing them to understand the way scientists communicate and present information.

Credits:  3


PHSC 107  HOW THE WORLD WORKS

This course provides an introduction to the basic principles and concepts of physics as it relates to the world around us and how it works. It will deal with mechanics, heat, sound, matter, fluids, gases, electromagnetism, circuits, optics, atomic and nuclear physics. For example, it will explain the connection with the blue color of the sky and the red sunset.

Credits:  3


PHSC 108  BIG BANG, BLACK HOLES, NO MATH

This course is designed to guide students through the story of our universe and its 14 billion year history, including the theory known as the Big Bang. Students will gain an understanding of how the universe evolved from a tiny bit of space to a place with black holes, human life, dark matter and more, all without relying on complicated mathematics. Instead, the story of the scientific discoveries which lead to our current day understanding of the universe will be told from a conceptual viewpoint.

Credits:  1 - 3


PHSC 250  OUR TOXIC WORLD

Society has always had an uneasy relationship with poisons. For example, the element arsenic was known as "inheritance powder" during the Middle Ages, was used in everything from pesticides to wallpaper during the 19th century, and is currently causing the world's largest mass-poisoning in Bangladesh. Toxins are found in our air, our water and our food but are often defended as necessary for modern life. How do we decide what is too toxic and what is acceptable for mass consumption? How do we determine limits on pollution? How do we choose which chemicals to ban and which to leave unrestricted? This class will investigate the toxins that are encountered every day in our world, focusing on the scientific literature. Students will be learn about historic and cutting edge research as they explore our toxic world and ultimately decide what they want to do about it.

Credits:  3