Warren Wilson College Catalog 04-05

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Courses in Science (SCI)

The undergraduate research program at Warren Wilson College and the Natural Sciences Seminar are designed to give juniors and seniors the opportunity to choose a research project, conduct a search of the literature, design and conduct an experiment, and present the results to his or her peers and the science and math faculty. The experience is designed to allow upper level students to formally study the process of research while working on projects of their choosing. The process is highly individualized and usually involves a close working relationship with the student's research mentor. Completion of all four courses with a passing grade meets the requirement for College Composition II.

SCI 390 Research Design 2cr

Students will begin the process of selecting a research project for their Natural Science Seminar. Activities will involve attending lectures that describe the research process, searching the literature, statistical design, and presentation of research results. Students will consult with faculty members and will choose a research advisor and research project. Students will also attend a Natural Science Seminar. Junior standing is recommended.

SCI 486-489 Natural Sciences Seminar Research 1-4cr

This course is for students doing research for their natural sciences seminar. After completing SCI 390 Research Design, students are ready to begin their independent research projects. Working directly with a faculty research mentor, each student will finalize an hypothesis, develop detailed experimental design plans, become familiar with the current scientific literature related to the topic, conduct the research, and submit a written report. It is expected that the student will invest 40 hours of effort per credit hour. Students will inform the Natural Science Seminar coordinator who their research mentor is and their tentative research topic to aid scheduling the presentations.

SCI 491, 492 Natural Sciences Seminar Attendance 0.5cr

This class is taken by students who will not be giving a presentation during the semester. Participation will involve attendance at all the seminar sessions where seminars are presented by students, staff, and invited guest speakers. Participation during both the junior and senior years is strongly recommended. The course is offered on a Pass/Fail basis.

SCI 493 Natural Sciences Research Communication 1cr

One of the most essential skills for natural scientists is the ability to investigate, organize, and present concepts and data to one's peers--both oral and printed presentations. This is the purpose of the Natural Sciences Seminar presentation. The communication seminar serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of student research. Each student will present a 20-25 minute oral presentation on his/her research project and submit a formal paper. The formal paper, begun as a report in SCI 486-489 Natural Sciences Research, contains a complete description of the research project and the finalized results. In addition, the seminar brings together the staff and students in the natural sciences to exchange ideas and perspectives. Students may not enroll in SCI 493 during the same semester that they enroll in SCI 491 or SCI 492. The scheduling for the seminar presentation takes place during Research Design (SCI 390) one year before the presentation so that students may plan their research time.