Integrated Natural Science

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Fall 2017, Winter 2018, and Spring 2018 quarters

Taught by

geology, earth science, biogeochemistry
biology, virology, molecular biology
behavioral neuroendocrinology, molecular neuroscience, physiological psychology
veterinary medicine
organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry


Students should have a solid understanding of mathematics at the algebra II or precalculus level.

This program offers an integrated study of general chemistry, physical and environmental geology, and general biology through the examination of concepts, theories, and structures that underlie the natural sciences. It is intended for students who are interested in pursuing more advanced coursework in biology, chemistry, ecology, and earth sciences at Evergreen. The origin and evolution of life on Earth, along with chemical and geological changes in the Earth itself, have been sources of fascination and controversy. This yearlong, interdisciplinary program will examine significant events in the history of life, the large-scale geologic changes that have occurred in Earth's history, and the key chemical processes involved. This approach will include the cycles and transformations of matter and energy in living and nonliving systems, affording an opportunity to gain an understanding of biological, chemical, and physical Earth processes on a variety of scales. The nature of living organisms will be examined on molecular, cellular, and physiological levels within the context of their evolutionary history. Chemical topics of equilibria, thermodynamics, and kinetics will provide a framework to understand biological and ecological systems. Students will engage with these themes using an experimental approach to develop critical and quantitative reasoning skills.

Fall quarter will integrate topics of biology, chemistry, and geology through the study of early Earth history. Molecular structure and properties will enhance our understanding of biological function at the molecular level. These will be covered through the study of genetics and inheritance, structure and synthesis of DNA and proteins, and how these molecules are integrated into cells. In winter quarter, we will continue to move forward in geologic time, providing students an opportunity to apply their knowledge while adding layers of complexity to their investigations. Chemical concepts of kinetics and equilibria will enhance our geological studies. Biology content will focus on a more organismal level by examining important concepts in animal developmental biology, reproduction, and physiology. In spring quarter, we will examine equilibrium reactions in greater depth and begin our study of thermodynamics. We will further examine evolutionary processes on a macro level through the study of plants, diversification of life, and ecology. A field trip to eastern Washington will provide opportunities for students to experience the natural world by applying lab and field skills they learned throughout the program to project work.

Program activities will include lectures, small group problem-solving workshops, laboratories, field work, and a field trip in spring.

This program is designed for students who want a solid preparation for further study in the sciences. Students who only want to get a taste of science will find this program especially demanding and should consult with faculty before the program begins. Overall, we expect students to end the program in spring with a working knowledge of scientific, mathematical, and computational concepts, ability to reason critically and to solve problems, and with hands-on experience in natural science. Students will also gain a strong appreciation of the interconnectedness of biological and physical systems, and an ability to apply this knowledge to complex problems.

Note: this program reduces to 75 students in spring quarter.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology chemistry geology

Preparatory For

biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology, and health professions


Fall Open Winter Signature Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Monday, September 25 at 9:00 am (Lecture Hall 01)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$300 for a field trip in spring.

May be offered again in