NW Courses

Winter Quarter 2021 NW courses

-Class times, locations, fees, and course descriptions may change.  Check the time schedule for updates before enrolling in any course.  

-Check the Time Schedule or MyPlan to find out if lectures and quiz sections are asynchronous or synchronous.

-Always refresh and check your degree audit after registering for courses or changing your schedule.

For more NW courses, see the Time Schedule search page at:  http://www.washington.edu/students/timeschd/genedinq.html.


ASTR 101 – Astronomy (5 credits)
TTh 1:30-2:50
Quiz T/Th, times vary
Instructor: Oliver Fraser
$10 course fee
QSR credit
Introduction to the universe, with emphasis on conceptual, as contrasted with mathematical, comprehension. Modern theories, observations; ideas concerning nature, evolution of galaxies; quasars, stars, black holes, planets, solar system. Not open for credit to students who have taken 102 or 301; not open to upper-division students majoring in physical sciences or engineering.

ASTR 105 – Exploring the Moon (5 credits)
To be arranged. Check MyPlan or Time Schedule for details.
Instructor: Toby Smith
Examines the questions why did we go to the moon, what did we learn, and why do we want to go back.

ASTR 150A – The Planets (5 credits)
TTh 1:00 – 2:20
Quiz M/W, times vary
Instructor: Nicole Kelly
$10 course fee
QSR credit
For liberal arts and beginning science students. Survey of the planets of the solar system, with emphases on recent space exploration of the planets and on the comparative evolution of the Earth and the other planets. 

NOTE: ASTR 150E is an online version of this course. Check Time Schedule or MyPlan for details.

Atmospheric Sciences

ATM S 101 – Weather (5 credits)
MTWTh 11:30 – 12:20
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor: Gregory Hakim

The earth's atmosphere, with emphasis on weather observations and forecasting. Daily weather map discussions. Highs, lows, fronts, clouds, storms, jet streams, air pollution, and other features of the atmosphere. Physical processes involved in weather phenomena. Intended for nonmajors.

ATM S 111 – Global Warming: Understanding the Issues (5 credits)
MTWTh 9:30 – 10:20
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor: Kat Huybers
Presents a broad overview of the science of global warming. Includes the causes, evidence, and societal and environmental impacts from the last century. Recounts future climate projections and societal decisions that influence greenhouse gas emission scenarios and our ability to adapt to climate change. Presents ways to identify disinformation versus correct science.

ATM S 220 – Exploring the Atmospheric Sciences (1 credit)
Th 12:30-1:20
Instructor: TBA
Cr/NC grading only
Focuses on current research in the atmospheric sciences and the related implications for public health, business, and environmental policy. Credit/no-credit only.

Biocultural Anthropology

Bio A 208 – Sex and Evolution (5 credits)
MWF 1:00-2:20
Instructor: A. Hill
Addresses the evolution of sexual reproduction and mating behavior, particularly as exhibited by humans. Focuses on concepts such as natural selection, sexual selection, and kin selection. Demonstrates how evolution can inform our understanding of sexual strategies, conflict, and orientation, as well as marriage, parenthood, and mate preferences.

Earth and Space Sciences

ESS 100 – Dinosaurs (2 credits)
MW 12:30-1:20
Instructor: R. Martin
Biology, behavior, ecology, evolution, and extinction of dinosaurs, and a history of their exploration. With dinosaurs as focal point, course also introduces the student to how hypotheses in geological and paleobiological science are formulated and tested.

ESS 101 - Intro to Geology and Societal Impacts (5 credits)
MW 2:30-3:50
Lab M/T/W/Th, times vary
Instructor: T. Swanson
Introduction to the processes, materials and structures that shape Earth. Emphasizes the dynamic nature of the earth's tectonic system and its relationship to physical features, volcanism, earthquakes, minerals and rocks and geologic structures. The course emphasizes the intrinsic relationship between human societies and geologic processes, hazards and resources. Not open for credit to students who have taken ESS 210. Optional field trips. No prerequisite classes required.

ESS 102A – Space and Space Travel (5 credits)
MWF 11:30-12:20
Lab TTh, times vary
Instructor: TBD
$20 course fee
Writing credit section (go to time schedule for details). 
Explores powering the sun, making of space weather conditions, observations from space and from Earth, Earth’s space environment, radiation belts and hazards, plasma storms and auroras, electron beams, spacecraft requirements, tooling up for manned exploration. Open to non-science majors.

ESS 106 – Living with Volcanoes (3 credits)
MWF 1:30-2:20
Instructor: M. Harrell
Explores volcanoes and volcanic eruptions on Earth and in the solar system. Examines how volcanoes work and how they affect the environment, life, and human societies. Illustrates principles using local examples of recent volcanism and ancient examples of mega-eruptions. Evaluates the possibility of predicting future eruptions.

ESS 203 – Glaciers and  Global Change (3 credits)
MWF 1:30-2:20
Quiz T/Th, times vary
Instructor: E. Waddington
Optional writing credit
Explores how glaciers record climate change and human activities through bubbles of ancient air and trace impurities in the ice. Also reviews glaciers impact on societies through sea-level, coastlines, water supplies, and transportation routes. Open to non-science majors.

Environmental Studies

Envir 100 –Environmental Studies: Interdisciplinary Foundations (5 credits)
MWF 9:30-10:20
Quiz T/W/Th, times vary
Instructor:  E. Wheat and D. Montgomery
Introduces environmental studies through interdisciplinary examination of the ethical, political, social, and scientific dimensions of current and historical environmental issues. Integrates material from different disciplines, and applies insights and methods to actual problems and situations at scales from the local to the global.

Envir 201 – Climate Governance: How Individuals, Communities, NGOs, Firms, and Governments Can Solve the Climate Crisis (5 credits)
To be arranged. Go to Time Schedule or MyPlan for details.
Instructor: Nives Dolsak
Diversity course
Examines climate change, its causes and impacts (on ecosystems, water availability, extreme weather, communities, health, and food) globally, nationally, and locally. Surveys its solutions (mitigation, adaptation, migration, and just transition), actors that implement them (governments, firms, NGOs, activists, communities, individuals) and approaches they use (regulation, markets, planning, innovation, social movements, behavioral change). Offered jointly with SMEA 201.

Envir 239 – Sustainable Choices (5 credits)
TTh 12:30-1:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: K. Straus

Introduces implications of and approaches to sustainability through models of sustainability, history of sustainability movements, and sustainability in action. Explores how our personal choices can affect broader change towards sustainability. Examines personal and global aspects of sustainability through issues such as food, energy, waste, water, population, consumption, design, and well-being.

Environmental Health

ENV H 111 – Exploring Environment and Health Connections (3 credits)
TTh 10:30-11:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: T. Burbacher
Introduction to environmental health concepts. Examines current events to illustrate and better appreciate the relationship between environment and health and to explore whether an environmental condition is or is not an important threat to health. Emphasizes the roles of environmental scientists and related professionals.

Env H 220 – Global Environmental Change and Public Health (3 credits)
MW 10:00-11:20
Instructor: K. Ebi
Humans are the primary drivers of global environmental changes that are changing the planet on the scale of geological forces. Students will be introduced to these changes and their consequences for human health and well-being, with a focus on climate change and its consequences. Offered jointly with G H 220.

Environmental Science and Resource Management

ESRM 150 – Wildlife in the Modern World (5 credits)
MWF 1:30-2:20
Quiz M/W/Th/F, times vary
Instructor: TBD
Covers major wildlife conservation issues in North America. Some global issues are also treated. Examples of topics include the conservation of large predators, effects of toxic chemicals on wildlife, old-growth wildlife, conservation of marine wildlife, recovery of the bald eagle, and gray wolf.

ESRM 200 – Society and Sustainable Environments (5 credits)
TTh 12:30-2:20
Quiz Th, times vary
Instructor: S. Asah
Open to all students on Nov. 23rd.
Introduces the application of social concepts and theories to understanding and managing urban, urbanizing, and wildland landscapes in a sustainable manner. Of particular interest are factors that shape patterns on the landscape and resulting social and economic benefits. Explores landscapes across the urban to wildland gradient.


Info 101 – Social Networking (5 credits)
F 1:30-2:20
Quiz MW/TTh, times vary
Instructor:  Bob Boiko
Optional writing credit.
Explores today's most popular social networks, gaming applications, and messaging applications. Examines technologies, social implications, and information structure. Focuses on logic, databases, networked delivery, identity, access privacy, ecommerce, organization, and retrieval.

Nutritional Science

NUTR 200 – Nutrition (4 credits)
MWF 8:30-9:20
Quiz M/T/Th/F, times vary
Instructor: Cristen Harris
Examines the role of nutrition in health, wellness, and prevention of chronic disease. Topics include nutrients and nutritional needs across the lifespan food safety, food security, wellness, body weight regulation, eating disorders, sports nutrition, and prevention of chronic disease. May not be taken for credit if credit earned in NUTR 300.

NUTR 303 – Food Systems II: Individual to Population Health (5 credits)
MW 10:00-11:20
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor:  Y Sipos
Open to all majors on Nov. 23rd.
Examines the food environment in the local community from the public health perspective. Explores where people get their food, what influences this decision, and various aspects of the local food movement, including access to healthy food, urban agriculture, farmers markets, and other public health nutrition initiatives. Includes a weekly discussion section. Prerequisite: NUTR 200.

NUTR 400 – Food Systems Seminar (1 credit)
F 12:30-1:20
Instructor: Y. Sipos

Examines emerging issues in food systems, nutrition, and health as they relate to personal and public health. Reviews evidence in the context of food systems and health policy. Credit/no-credit only.


Ocean 102 – The Changing Oceans (5 credits)
Lectures to be arranged. See MyPlan or Time Schedule for details.
Quiz T/W, times vary
Instructor: M. Nuwer
Historical case studies of research on the ancient oceans, deep-sea exploration, climate change and the oceans, and human impacts on marine life. Students consider societal factors affecting progress in marine science, changing popular attitudes toward the oceans, and key current policy implications of marine science. Intended for nonmajors.


Phil 120 – Intro to Logic (5 credits)
MWF 9:30-10:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor:  Ian Schnee
QSR credit
Elementary symbolic logic. The development, application, and theoretical properties of an artificial symbolic language designed to provide a clear representation of the logical structure of deductive arguments.


Psych 202 – Biopsychology (5 credits)
MTWTh 9:30-10:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Jeansok Kim
No seniors period I registration.
Examines the biological basis of behavior, the nervous system, how it works to control behavior and sense the world, and what happens when it malfunctions. Topics include learning and memory, development, sex, drugs, sleep, the senses, emotions, and mental disorders. Prerequisite:  PSYCH 101.


Stat 220 – Principles of Statistical Reasoning (5 credits)
MWF 8:30-9:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor: TBA
QSR credit
Introduces statistical reasoning. Focuses primarily on the what and why rather than the how. Helps students gain an understanding of the rationale behind many statistical methods, as well as an appreciation of the use and misuse of statistics. Encourages and requires critical thinking. Students may receive credit for only one of Stat 220, Stat 221, Stat 311, and Econ 311.

Stat 221 – Statistical Concepts and Methods for the Social Sciences (5 credits)
MWF 9:30-10:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor: TBA
QSR credit
Develops statistical literacy. Examines objectives and pitfalls of statistical studies; study designs, data analysis, inference; graphical and numerical summaries of numerical and categorical data; correlation and regression; and estimation, confidence intervals, and significance tests. Emphasizes social science examples and cases. Students may receive credit for only one of Stat 220, Stat 221, Stat 311, and Econ 311.