Astronomy and Cosmology: Stars and Stories (10th Year) & Binary Star Research

Summer 2019 (Full Session)
Daytime EveningWeekend
Day, Evening, and Weekend
Class Size: 17
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Rebecca Chamberlain
literature, writing, storytelling

Astronomy and Cosmology: Stars and Stories  (8 Credits - CRN 40062):  Join us for our tenth summer as we combine the interdisciplinary study of science and humanities with astronomy fieldwork. We will explore inquiry-based science education, mythology, archeo-astronomy, literature, philosophy, history, and cosmological traditions. Students will participate in a variety of activities from telling star-stories to working in a computer lab to create educational planetarium programs. We will employ qualitative and quantitative methods of observation, investigation, hands-on activities, and strategies that foster inquiry-based learning and engage the imagination. Through readings, lectures, films, workshops, and discussions, participants will deepen their understanding of the principles of astronomy, and refine their understanding of the role that cosmology plays in our lives through the stories we tell, the observations we make, and the questions we ask. We will attend the Pine Mountain Observatory, and the Oregon Star Party, in Central Oregon, where we will camp in the rugged high-desert for a week. We will participate in intensive field studies, develop our observation skills, learn to use binoculars, star-maps, and navigation guides to identify objects in the night sky, and operate Dobsonian telescopes to find deep space objects.

Binary Star Research Module   (4 credits - CRN 40063):  The Institute for Student Astronomical Research (InStAR) is hosting a 4-credit hybrid online research seminar for Evergreen students who want to participate in advanced astronomy research. To be successful, students must complete the InStAR online coursework and demonstrate their understanding of scientific, astronomical, and binary star research. They must work as a team to select a binary star, write a proposal, conduct observations with a remotely-located robotic telescope, analyze data, write a peer-reviewed scientific paper for publication in the  Journal of Double Star Observations , and give a public presentation of their findings. Students will meet on campus with Evergreen faculty and work online and remotely with professor/research supervisor, Dr. Russell Genet, Ph.D. Astronomy and Rachel Freed, Ph.D. candidate, Astronomy Education. Students who do advanced work can earn upper-division credit.  Course Fee: $350 (includes InStAR Registration and text.) 

12 Credit Option (CRN 40061)  : Students are encouraged to take both sections: 1) Stars and Stories: Astronomy and Cosmology (8 credits), and 2) Binary Star Research Module (4 credits).  This gives students background, experience, and skills in astronomy education, fieldwork, research, writing, and publication, as well as a complex understanding of the relationship between the arts, sciences, humanities, and culture. 

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

astronomy, education, public programs and interpretive work (museums, parks, observatories, outdoor education, and leadership), writing, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, mythology, storytelling, scientific research and writing, sustainability studies, cultural and community studies, environmental policy, and the arts.  


Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Special expenses:

Students must bring their own camping gear, supplies, food, water, etc. for camping in the high desert. Contact instructor for details.


8 credit students: $590 for travel, field study expenses, guest lecturers and mentors, and supplies.

4 credit students: $350 for binary star research module and text

12 credit students: $590 as listed above, plus $350 for binary star research module and text

Upper division science credit:

Upper division credit may be available in the Binary Star Research Model (4 credits)

Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 17
Daytime EveningWeekend

Scheduled for: Day, Evening, and Weekend

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 6:00 pm
LIB 2617 - Windows / Linux Lab

Located in: Olympia