Animating the Sea: Motion, Light and Eyes

Spring 2020
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 46
16 Credits per quarter
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Students will gain an introduction to marine biology and animation through this exploration of optics and how the eyes of both humans and various sea creatures perceive the world around them. Lenses as physical, anatomical, and conceptual phenomena interact with light, the energy that enables and structures life on the planet. We will focus on ways that scientists enhance vision to observe organisms at different scales, and how artists represent the knowledge gleaned from those observations.

We will study how artists and marine scientists use close observation, analysis, and integrative thinking to communicate important concepts and values. We will experiment with ways to represent the movements, behaviors, and visions of marine biodiversity, as well as the interaction of light with anatomy and its evolution. Artists routinely base their works on scientific findings; students will practice such research-based creative strategies to respond to and represent visual and marine phenomena in drawing and animation. Students will have the opportunity to observe marine organisms in the campus aquarium lab, learn microscopy skills, perform experiments with lenses and optical phenomena, and utilize the campus animation labs. A four-day, three-night field trip to Friday Harbor Marine Biology Labs will provide students with intensive hands-on study of these marine organisms.


Spring 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16): 30138
So - Sr (16): 30293

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

visual arts, animation, science illustration, science communication, marine science, environmental studies, and education.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing
Research Opportunities

Students will produce drawings and animation representing scientific phenomena as their final projects.


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 C1105 - Lecture


Date Revision
2020-02-04 This program is now open to all students (was Fr-So)