Astronomy and Cosmology: Stars and Stories
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Join us for adventures in astronomy fieldwork combined with study of science, story, and sustainability. We will explore inquiry-based science education (STEAM), 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 with virtual 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, discussions, and presentations, 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.
Fieldwork: We will attend the Pine Mountain Observatory, and the Oregon Star Party (OSP), 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. (We are planning a 2020 reunion for our 11th summer! Fieldwork will be July 20-26)
Optional Astronomy Research Group Contract: In addition to summer stargazing adventures, astronomy fieldwork, and studies in science, story, and sustainability, 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. Projects can include binary star research, exoplanets, or variable stars. To be successful, students must complete the InStAR online coursework and demonstrate their understanding of scientific and astronomical research methods. They must work as a team to select a binary star or other target, 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 (JDSO), Astronomy, Theory, Observations, and Methods Journal (ATOM), or Robotic Telescope Student Research and Education Journal (RTSRE). They will also give a public presentation of their findings. Students will meet on campus and work online and remotely with Rachel Freed, Ph.D. Candidate, Astronomy Education, Russell Genet, Ph.D., Research Advisor, Evergreen faculty, and Greener Grads who have successfully completed the program. Students who demonstrate advanced work can earn upper-division credit.
Students can register for 4 credits (research only), 8 credits (Stars and Stories), or 12 credits (both sections).
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
Students must bring their own camping gear, supplies, food, water, etc. for camping in the high desert. We will eat dinners at the Oregon Star Party. Contact the instructor for details.
8 credits: $590 for travel, field study expenses, guest lecturers and mentors, and supplies.
12 credits: $940 (fees for 8 and 4 credit options combined)
4 credits: $350 which includes InStAR Registration and texts.
Class Size: 17
Scheduled for: Day, Evening, and Weekend
Located in: Olympia
Spring 2020: Contact faculty or check offering in Canvas for first class meeting date and time.