NW Courses

Spring 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)
MW 11:00-12:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor: Chris Laws
$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 150A – The Planets (5 credits)
TTh 10:00 – 11:20
Quiz MW, 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. 

ASTR 150E -The Planets (5 credits)
This is an online version of ASTR 150 above. Check Time Schedule or MyPlan for details.
$15 course fee.

ASTR 190 – Topcis in Astronomy: Black Holes (3 credits)
MW 11:30-12:50
Instructor: Scott Anderson
Topics of current interest, such as origin of chemical elements, novae and supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, active galaxies, quasars, or interstellar medium and astrochemistry. Choice of topics depends on instructor and class interest. Prerequisite: either one 100- or one 200-level ASTR course.

ASTR 216 – The Impact Threat to Earth (3 credits)
MW 9:00-10:20
Instructor: Chris Laws
Earth has been hit by large rocks in the past, and will be hit by such rocks in the future. Explores the history and future of impacts on Earth. Investigates why and how often we are hit, how big is the material that hits us. What can we do about it? Recommended: ASTR 101 or ASTR 150.

Atmospheric Sciences

ATM S 100 – Climate Solutions (5 credits)
MTWTh 11:30 – 12:20
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor: Dargon Frierson
Diversity credit

Presents visions of the future when the climate crisis is solved. Describes paths towards reaching these goals. Solutions include building a resilient society with clean energy, sustainable agriculture, climate justice, and a just transition for workers.

ATM S 103 – Hurricanes and Thunderstorms: Their Science and Impact (3 credits)
MWF 12:30-1:20
Instructor: Alexandra Anderson-Frey

Explores the science, history, and impacts of thunderstorms and hurricanes. Includes basic processes responsible for thunderstorms and hurricanes and for the lightning, hail, high winds, and storm surges that accompany them. Presents significant historical examples, along with the impact on human activities, strategies for personal safety, and societal adaptation.

ATM S 111 – Global Warming: Understanding the Issues (5 credits)
To be arranged. See Time Schedule for details.
Quiz To be arranged. See Time Schedule for details.
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 211 – Climate Change (5 credits)
MTWTh 11:30-12:20
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor: Joel Thornton

The nature of the global climate system. Factors influencing climate including interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, solid earth, and biosphere. Stability and sensitivity of climate system. Global warming, ozone depletion, and other human influences. Intended for nonmajors.

ATM S 220 – Exploring the Atmospheric Sciences (1 credit)
To be arranged. See Time Schedule for details.
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 206 – Plagues and People (5 credits)
MWF 11:30-11:50
Note: Mix of asynchronous and synchronous. See Time Schedule for details.
Instructor: Andi Duncan
Infectious diseases have shaped human culture, biology, and history, in a remarkable array of ways for different pathogens and different societies. Uncovers why, by considering in turn the biology, demography, and cultural history of epidemics. Students develop a broader understanding of biocultural approaches to human disease.

Bio A 208 – Sex and Evolution (5 credits)
MWF 1:00-2:20
Instructor: Alex 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.


Biol 105 – Biology of Drugs (2 credits)
MW 3:30-4:20
Instructor: Linda Martin-Morris
Covers the biology of two - the drug group related to heroin and the drug group related to cannabis. Studies the biology of these drugs to make predictions about human responses and impacts. Investigates social and legal factors interacting with drug biology.

Earth and Space Sciences

ESS 101 - Intro to Geology and Societal Impacts (5 credits)
MWF 12:30-1:20
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 102 – Space and Space Travel (5 credits)
MWF 2:30-3:20
Lab TTh, times vary
Instructor: TBD
Optional writing credit. 
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 104 – Prehistoric Life (3 credits)
MW 10:30-11:20
Quiz M/W, times vary
Instructor: TBA
Required subscription to Top Hat. See Time Schedule for details.

Fossils and how they are preserved. What fossils tell us about past life and environments. How the history of life unfolded and what caused the great events in biological evolution. Open to non-science majors, but also lays a foundation for higher-level geobiology courses.

ESS 106 – Living with Volcanoes (3 credits)
MWF 9:30-10:20
Instructor: G. Bergantz
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.


Econ 235 – Intro to Environmental Economics (5 credits)
MW 2:30-4:20
Instructor: S. Rabotyagov
Introduces environmental and natural resource economics. Discusses fundamental economic concepts, including markets and private property. Includes basic tools used in the economic assessment of environmental problems and applies these methods to key environmental issues. Offered jointly with ENVIR 235/ESRM 235.

Environmental Studies

Envir 100 –Environmental Studies: Interdisciplinary Foundations (5 credits)
To be arranged. Lectures are asynchronous. See Time Schedule for details.
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor:  Kristi Straus
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 239 – Sustainable Choices (5 credits)
MW 9:30-10:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Alexa Schreier

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.

Envir 240 – The Urban Farm (5 credits)
TTh 9:30-10:20
Instructor: Eli Wheat
Quiz T/Th/F, times vary
$30 course fee
Develops students' understanding the ecological connections between food production, human health, and planetary sustainability. Teaches basic skills needed for food production in urban areas and the ethics behind sustainable urban agriculture, including a hands-on component on the farm at the biology greenhouse.

Envir 280 – Natural History of the Puget Sound Region (5 credits)
TTh 8:30-10:20
Instructor: Tim Billo
No course fee for spring 2021.
Focuses on identification and ecology of defining organisms in major habitats of the Puget Sound region. Geology, climate, and early human history provide a framework for understanding the distribution and development of these habitats. Emphasizes a variety of techniques for the observation and description of nature.

Environmental Health

ENV H 311 – Intro to Environmental Health (3 credits)
MWF 10:30-11:20
Instructor: Tania Busch Isaksen
Relationship of people to their environment, how it affects their physical well-being and what they can do to influence the quality of the environment and to enhance the protection of their health. Emphasis on environmental factors involved in transmission of communicable diseases and hazards due to exposure to chemical and physical materials in our environment.

Environmental Science and Resource Management

ESRM 101 – Forests and Society ( 5 credits)
To be arranged. See Time Schedule for details.
Instructor: K. Vogt
Survey course covering forest ecosystems of the world, history of forestry and forest conservation, how forest ecosystems function, wildlife in forests, environmental issues in forestry, forest management, economics and products, and new approaches to forest management. Open to majors and nonmajors. Cannot be taken for credit if CFR 101 already taken.

ESRM 150 – Wildlife in the Modern World (5 credits)
To be arranged. See Time Schedule for details.
Quiz to be arranged.
Instructor: Aaron Wirsing
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.


Fish 230 – Economics of Fisheries and Oceans (5 credits)
MWF 10:00-11:20
Instructor: C. Anderson
QSR credit
Examines how and why people and businesses make choices that lead to over-fishing, hypoxic zones, and oil spills in aquatic environments. Applies economic principles to understand how alternative policies might change these decisions, and how distributional effects influence politically feasible solutions. Offered jointly with ECON 230.

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

GWSS 357 – Psychobiology of Women (5 credits)
TTh 12:30-2:20
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor: Nancy Kenney
Physiological and psychological aspects of women's lives; determinants of biological sex; physiological and psychological events of puberty; menopause; sexuality; contraception, pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation; role of culture in determining psychological response to physiological events. Offered jointly with PSYCH 357.


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.

Jackson School of International Studies: Global and Thematic

JSIS B 103 – Society and Oceans (5 credits)
MWF 12:30-1:50
Instructor: P. Christie
Explores the social and policy dimensions of the ocean environment and ocean management policy. Pays attention to how human values, institutions, culture, and history shape environmental issues and policy responses. Examines case studies and influential frameworks, such as the ocean as "tragedy of the commons." Offered jointly with ENVIR 103/SMEA 103.

Nutritional Science

NUTR 200 – Nutrition (4 credits)
MWF 9:30-10:20 - Mix of asynchronous and synchronous. See Time Schedule for details.
Quiz M/T/W/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 302 – Food Systems I: Individual to Population Health (5 credits)
TTh 1:00-2:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: TBA
Open to all majors on 2/29.
Examines the many facets of the modern food supply from production and processing to distribution, marketing, and retail. Systems approach to foods studies considers geopolitical, agricultural, environmental, social, and economic factors along the pathway from harvest to health. Prerequisite: NUTR 200.

NUTR 310 – Nutrition and the Life Course (4 credits)
TTh 2:30-3:50
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: M. Averill
Explores nutrient needs from infancy through adolescence and adulthood, including the physiological basis of nutrient requirements and the genetic, social, and environmental influences on food choices and nutrition status. Uses an evidence-based approach to assess the impact of nutrition across life stages and ways to improve population health by improving nutrition. Prerequisite: NUTR 200.

NUTR 390 – Food Seminar (1 credit)
T 2:30-3:20
Instructor: A. Gloster

Examines current food, culinary, and food system issues from production, processing, and marketing to consumption, nutrition, and health. Includes diverse perspectives from producers, processors, public health professionals, and relevant research. Credit/no-credit only.

NUTR 411 – Diet Health and Disease (3 credits)
T 10:30-12:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: M. Fretts
Impact of diet on health and the prevention of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other non-communicable diseases. Examines diet-health relationships; social, environmental, and economic factors in eating behavior; and evidence base behind dietary guidelines. Draws on seminal and recent research in nutrition science and uses examples from recent media coverage. Prerequisite: either NUTR 200 or NUTR 300.


Phil 120 – Intro to Logic (5 credits)
MWF 10:30-11:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor:  Jose Mendoza
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.

Phil 160 – Perspectives on Science (5 credits)
MW 1:00-2:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor: Benjamin Feintzeig

Study of how scientific theories are justified and why they are accepted, using selected examples from the history of science.

Political Science

Pol S 385 – World Food Politics (5 credits)
TTh 10:00-11:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: K. Litfin
Investigates the intersection of globalization and food politics, the pivotal role of petroleum in the world food system, and the commodity chains for some foods. Includes an optional service learning component. Offered: jointly with ENVIR 385.


Psych 202 – Biopsychology (5 credits)
MTWTh 9:30-10:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Ann Culligan
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.


State 111 – Lectures in Applied Statistics (1 credit)
W 11:30-12:20
Instructor: TBA
Weekly lectures illustrating the importance of statisticians in a variety of fields, including medicine and the biological, physical, and social sciences. Credit/no-credit only. Offered jointly with BIOST 111.

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 11:30-12:20
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.