School of Natural Science and Mathematics
General Science Course Descriptions
GNSCI 130 Discovery in Science: Chemistry of Food (4)
This integrated laboratory and lecture course surveys food’s chemical constituents in minerals, carbohydrates, calories, vitamins, proteins, preservatives and flavorings, as well as a variety of cooking and preparation processes with respect to chemistry. Students will also gain an understanding of food borne illnesses. Course will also include the current interest in genetically modified foods and molecular gastronomy, popular with many chefs today. Students will gain a better understanding of the food we eat and how to prepare it safely, nutritionally and tastefully. Integrated lecture and lab.
GNSCI 131 Discovery in Science: Biology of Healthcare (4)
This course examines the role of biological science in healthcare through an in-depth exploration of a selected group of anatomical and physiological conditions and topics that challenge medicine in the twenty-first century. Specific issues addressed in the course include:
The cell: healthcare under a microscope
The heart in medicine
Neurology and psychology in medicine
The challenge of cancer
Healthcare’s approach to injury and trauma
Medicines in medicine
Lecture and laboratory combine critical thinking and quantitative reasoning that enable students to investigate and analyze these healthcare issues and simultaneously gain an understanding of the scientific worldview, the role of science in history and society, the enterprise of science, and the process of scientific inquiry. Integrated lecture and lab.
GNSCI 132 Discovery in Science: Infectious Disease (4)
This subject will include a survey of various infectious diseases, their vectors, and their global, economic, and social implications. In the course of the semester the student will develop a basic understanding of science and biology including; public health, immunology, epidemiology, and physiology. This course will proceed through and discuss topics of foodborne, waterborne, bloodborne, and vectorborne disease, disaster epidemiology, vaccination and vaccine compliance, and bioterrorism, using contemporary and relevant examples and publications. The student will develop fluency in reading about, researching, and discussing these topics with the help of current articles, studies and media. Integrated lecture and lab.
GNSCI 133 Discovery in Science: Astronomy (4)
This laboratory-based course is designed to introduce the student to the role that observational astronomy has played in the development of scientific thought and our understanding of the universe, from the Big Bang to the distant future. Topics will include the history of astronomy, the physics and chemistry underlying the functioning of the universe, the development of the telescope, extraterrestrial threats to life on earth, as well as a detailed examination of our solar system and beyond, from its beginning to its eventual end. Laboratory experiments will include telescopic observations as well as computer simulations. Integrated lecture and lab.
GNSCI 134 Discovery in Science: Biotechnology (4)
This is an integrated laboratory and lecture course. Topics will be covered in a way that is accessible to non-science majors. Exploration of contemporary biotechnology and the underlying science and ethics; how DNA, genes and cells work. Students will gain an understanding of recombinant DNA technology, cloning and gene therapy. Additional topics covered will include the application of biotechnology to pharmaceuticals, industry, agriculture, cancer, medicine, forensics, genetically modified foods and organisms, and AIDS research. Integrated lecture and lab.
GNSCI 135 Discovery in Science: Forensic Science (4)
This laboratory-based course is designed to introduce the student to the scientific aspects of forensic investigation as well as the ethical issues facing the forensic scientist. Topics include a broad range of forensic procedures such as physical and chemical methods for visualizing fingerprints, ballistics including bullet identification and gunshot residue analysis, blood detection and characterization, testing of controlled substances, DNA profiling, and fiber and hair analysis. Students will experience some of the analytical and instrumental methods used in investigating crimes, with an emphasis on the measurement accuracy and traceability required in criminalistics. Numerous case studies from the literature will be evaluated and the course will culminate in the investigation of a simulated crime followed by student presentations of their investigation to a jury. Integrated lecture and lab.
GNSCI 136 Earth Science (4)
Earth Science is an introductory survey course that explores earth processes including the fields of geology, paleontology (fossils), climatology (weather) , ocean and fresh water dynamics, estuaries (Chesapeake Bay), biodegradation and carbon cycling, extraction and depletion of earth resources such as oil, gas and fresh water, and mechanisms of climate change. Specific topics in astronomy such cosmology are explored. Emphasis is placed on how earth science processes have determined geo-historical events and human circumstances. This course satisfies all known educational elementary certification requirements in Earth Science in the mid Atlantic states and serves as a basis for informed decision making of earth science related policy of land, water, atmosphere and resource use. Integrated lecture and lab.