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How do insects drive the evolution of flowers? How have marine organisms contributed to global carbon cycling? How has human history been influenced by insects? What ecosystems are engineered by invertebrates? How have the biological properties of invertebrates influenced materials, science, robotics, pharmacology, human history, and artificial intelligence?
In this two-quarter program, we will focus on learning the identity, anatomy, and evolutionary relationships of terrestrial and marine invertebrate organisms. Marine environments support the majority of invertebrate evolutionary biodiversity; all body forms (bauplan) and modes of living are represented among marine invertebrates. Arthropods constitute the majority of known animal diversity on Earth, and insects in particular are a vital part of both ecosystem health and influence on human society. Yet invertebrates are marginalized in Western culture as the ultimate "other;" as alien, as unpalatable, as unlovable, as inanimate.
The proximity of Evergreen's campus to various marine and terrestrial habitats provides excellent opportunities to study invertebrates. Evergreen's Organic Farm, neighboring agricultural areas, and local gardens provide an opportunity for hands-on experiences studying bees, wild and domestic. Evergreen's shellfish garden and aquaria will provide marine invertebrate husbandry experiences. The Evergreen Natural History Museum will also serve as a learning lab for this program. The local and global importance of invertebrate biodiversity in ecosystem structure, function, and relationships to human society will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on learning the taxonomy, natural history, and anatomy of regional fauna. Along the way we will excavate human misconceptions, bioethics, and phobias associated with invertebrate interactions. Are humans really so different?
Students will learn fundamental laboratory and field techniques and will be required to design and complete a group research project, scientific paper, and presentation utilizing the available microscopy facilities (light and scanning electron microscopes). Training in specimen preparation and digital photomicroscopy will be integral to the program curriculum. Scientific illustration and an arthropod collection will be required as part of portfolio work. This program will include extensive work in both the lab and field, including day trips and weeklong off-campus field trips. Extended field experience is a requirement of the program.
Main texts will be Invertebrates by Brusca and Brusca, and an entomology textbook to be selected; additional assigned materials will include primary scientific literature, field guides, and popular science books.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
environmental studies, natural resource conservation, entomology, marine science, and zoology.
Credits per quarter
Two quarters of college-level biological sciences with labs. General biology experience preferred.
- Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
$40 for winter for entrance fees. $695 in spring for museum fees and two weeklong field trips.
Upper division science credit:
Students completing all the work in this program at a satisfactory level will earn 32 upper-division science credits.
Group research projects or capstone research will consist of utilizing multiple microscopy techniques to investigate invertebrate anatomy.
Class Size: 50
Located in: Olympia
May be offered again in: