Analyzing the World with Math and Science

Spring 2019 quarter

Taught by

biology, genetics, microbiology
Vauhn Foster-Grahler
mathematics, education, anthropological mathematics
organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry
  • UG

Note: This program is designed for students who want to build confidence in their scientific and mathematical skills before embarking on programs such as Integrated Natural Science. Students who have taken The Science Behind the Headlines program in either fall or winter should not take this program. 

Are you curious about the world around you? Would you like to really understand buzz terms the media uses such as the water crisis, the energy debate, sustainability? We will demystify the hype surrounding current scientific and environmental issues, critically examine the data, and use scientific reasoning and experimental design to come to our own conclusions. In this field- and lab-based program, scientific analysis—rather than conjecture or gut feeling—will be the foundation of our work. Using water and energy as themes to examine our environment, we will learn modern field science and lab techniques: how to take measurements in the field, collect samples for laboratory analysis, and identify and precisely determine the concentrations of nutrients and pollutants.

Integrated into our studies will be the Algebraic Thinking portion of the program, where we will develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills by using algebra to solve context-based problems. Problems are approached algebraically, graphically, numerically, and verbally. Topics include functions, unit conversions, scientific notation, linear, quadratic, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Collaborative learning is emphasized and a graphing calculator is required. Students successfully completing Algebraic Thinking will be well prepared for precalculus and will have met Evergreen’s Master in Teaching requirement for college algebra. Other class activities will include small-group problem-solving workshops, seminars, and lectures. Credit equivalencies in this program will include: introduction to environmental science: water and energy; laboratory and field methods in environmental science; college algebra.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology chemistry environmental studies field studies mathematics

Preparatory For

biology, mathematics, education, field and lab sciences, and environmental studies.


Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning