Fall 2020
Class Size: 50
25% Reserved for Freshmen
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

veterinary medicine

Why do humans keep pets and also raise animals for food? What are the psychological and moral complexities that characterize our relationships with animals? What is the impact of human-animal interactions on the health and well-being of people and animals? This program is an interdisciplinary study of human (anthro) and animal (zoo) interaction. This topic of inquiry will be used to study general biology, evolutionary biology, zoology, psychology, and philosophy. Through field trips, guest speakers, reading, writing, and discussion, students will become familiar with the multiple and often paradoxical ways we relate to companion animals, animals for sport, zoo animals, wildlife, research animals, and food animals. We will use our collective experiences, along with science-based and value-based approaches, to critically examine the ever-changing role of animals in society.

We will begin by focusing on the process of animal domestication in different cultures from an evolutionary and historical perspective. Through the formal study of animal ethics, students will become familiar with different philosophical positions on the use of animals. Physiology and neuroscience will be used to investigate the physical and mental lives of animals, while simultaneously exploring domestic animal behavior. Students will explore the biological basis and psychological aspects of the human-animal bond. They will study the science of animal welfare and become familiar with methods used to investigate welfare issues in food and companion animals.  Students will finish the quarter with a multiple-day trip to the University of British Columbia, where they will visit with faculty and students doing active research in animal welfare science.

Students will be expected to read primary literature in diverse fields, such as animal science, ethology, neurobiology, sociobiology, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy. Student success in this program will depend on commitment to in-depth understanding of complex topics and an ability to combine empirical knowledge and philosophical reflection.

To successfully participate in this program, students will need access to the internet. Students will have access to alternatives to synchronous participation if conditions require.

Greener Foundations: This program will incorporate Greener Foundations, a holistic course designed for first-time, first-year students. Faculty and staff collaborate to bring study skills, academic planning, health and wellness education, advising, and more into the classroom. More information can be found on the college website at Greener Foundations .

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

biology, psychology, animal welfare, and veterinary medicine


Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
Special expenses:

Students will need to have appropriate identification, such as a passport, to travel to Canada. If you do not already have one you should expect additional expenses to obtain one.

Upper division science credit:

A maximum of eight credits of upper-division science will be available to students based on exam scores, ability to read and interpret primary scientific literature, and the satisfactory completion of an independent research proposal

Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 50
25% Reserved for Freshmen

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 8:30 am

Located in: Olympia

2020-08-26Jesse Robbins added to teaching team
2020-08-13Student fee removed
2020-08-13This program is now fully remote