Natural Science Courses

Courses in natural science (designated NSCI) may be applied as appropriate (according to individual program requirements) toward

  • the general education requirement in the biological and physical sciences
  • electives

Introduction to Physical Science (3 Credits, NSCI 100)

(For students not majoring in a science.) Prerequisite: MATH 012 or higher. An introduction to the basic principles of physics and chemistry, with applications to geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. The objective is to use scientific and quantitative reasoning to make informed decisions about topics related to physical science. Discussion covers the development of scientific thinking, the scientific method, the relationships among the various physical sciences, the role of the physical sciences in interpreting the natural world, and the integrated use of technology. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: GNSC 100, NSCI 100, or NSCI 103.

Physical Science Laboratory (1 Credits, NSCI 101)

(For students not majoring or minoring in a science. Fulfills the laboratory science requirement only with previous or concurrent credit for NSCI 100.) Prerequisite: MATH 012 or higher. Prerequisite or corequisite: NSCI 100. A laboratory study of the basic principles of physics and chemistry, with applications to geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. The objective is to apply the scientific method and use scientific and quantitative reasoning to make informed decisions about experimental results in the physical sciences. Discussion and laboratory activities cover the development of scientific thinking, the scientific method, the relationships among the various physical sciences, and the role of the physical sciences in interpreting the natural world.

Introduction to Oceanography (3 Credits, NSCI 110)

(Not for students majoring or minoring in science.) A survey of the major physical and chemical facets of the oceans. Topics include the properties of water, air-sea interactions, waves, tides, and coastal geology; plate tectonics; and resources of the sea. Marine life and ecology are briefly introduced. Current topics such as El Niño, global warming, and the effects of human activity on the oceans are also discussed. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: GNSC 110 or NSCI 110.

Concepts of Meteorology (3 Credits, NSCI 170)

(For students not majoring or minoring in a science.) Prerequisite: MATH 012 or higher. An introduction to the basic principles of atmospheric science. The goal is to use scientific and quantitative reasoning to make informed decisions about topics related to atmospheric science. Topics include the effect of different weather elements (such as temperature, pressure, winds, and humidity) on weather patterns and climate. Discussion also covers weather phenomena such as El Niño, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, and midlatitude cyclones, as well as the impact of humans on Earth’s atmosphere. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: GNSC 170, GNSC 398D, or NSCI 170.

Laboratory in Meteorology (1 Credits, NSCI 171)

(For students not majoring or minoring in a science. With NSCI 170, fulfills the laboratory science requirement only with previous or concurrent credit for NSCI 170 or GNSC 170.) Prerequisite: MATH 012 or higher. Prerequisite or corequisite: NSCI 170. An introduction to the basic concepts of meteorology. The aim is to apply the scientific method and use scientific and quantitative reasoning to make informed decisions about experimental results in meteorology. Focus is on the observation, measurement, and analysis of weather data, including the interpretation of weather patterns and conditions found on weather maps, satellite images, radar imagery, and atmosphere diagrams. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: GNSC 171 or NSCI 171.