NW Courses

Spring Quarter 2019 NW courses

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

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


Anth 210 – Intro to Environmental Anthropology (5 credits)
MTWTh 11:30-12:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Devon Pena
Introduction to human/environment interactions from various anthropological perspectives. Intellectual history of anthropological approaches to environment, emphasizing the mutual interconnectedness of people and nature. Survey of evolutionary models; cultural ecology; systems approaches; indigenous knowledge; ethnoecology; nature and the state; political ecology; ecofeminism; and environmentalism.


Astr 101 – Astronomy (5 credits)
MW 11:30 – 12:50
Quiz Th, times vary
Instructor: Christopher 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 150 – The Planets (5 credits)
TTh 11:30 – 12:50
Quiz M, times vary
Instructor: Toby Smith
$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 190 – Topics in Astonomy: Impacts! Target Earth (3 credits)
Time to be arranged – see time schedule for more information
Instructor: Christopher Laws
Request permission and add code if you have not taken a 100-level Astro course yet.

The Earth has been hit by large rocks in the past and it will get hit by large rocks in the future. This class will explore the history and the future of impacts on earth and investigate questions such as: why are we hit, how often are we hit, how big is the stuff that hits us, and what can we do about it? Pre-reqs: 100- or 200-level Astr course.

Atmospheric Sciences

ATM S 103 – Hurricane Science (3 credits)
MWF 12:30 – 1:20
Instructor: Daehyun Kim

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 (5 credits)
MTWTh 10:30 – 11:20
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor: Kathleen Huybers
Includes a broad overview of the science of global warming. Discusses the causes, evidence, future projections, societal and environmental impacts, and potential solutions. Introduces the debate on global warming with a focus on scientific issues.

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)
M 12:30-1:20
Instructor: Samuel Pennypacker
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 201 – Principles of Biological Anthropology (5 credits)
MWThF 10:30-11:20
Quiz T, times vary
Instructor: Andrea Duncan
Evolution and adaptation of the human species. Evidence from fossil record and living populations of monkeys, apes, and humans. Interrelationships between human physical and cultural variation and environment; role of natural selection in shaping our evolutionary past, present, and future.

Bio A 208 – Sex and Evolution (5 credits)
MWF 1:00-2:20
Instructor: Alexander 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 – Drug Dilemmas: The Biology of Cannabinoids and Opioids (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.

Comparative History of Ideas

Chid 480A – Special Topics: Ecopoetics Along Shorelines (5 credits)
T 10:30-1:20
Quiz T 1:30-2:20
Instructor: July Hazard
Writing credit

We draw together theories and practices from ecological science, indigenous studies, environmental humanities, geophysics, cultural studies, science and technology studies (STS), critical theory, and poetry. There are two field segments, including a spring break trip to Friday Harbor Laboratories. We’ll visit tribal projects, reflect on ecocultural politics, and observing, writing, and sketching outside. We’ll explore shadow histories of Seattle waterways and contemplate post-sea-level-rise futures. Through extended shoreline investigation, you will find your own poetics of relation to local waters. You will create poems, scientific writing, speculative apparatus and visual art.


Econ 230 – Economics of Fisheries and Oceans (5 credits)
MWF 10:00-11:20
Instructor: Christopher 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 FISH 230.

Econ 235 – Introduction to Environmental Economics (5 credits)
MW 3:30-5:20
Instructor:  Sergey 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 ESRM 235 and ENVIR 235.


EPI 201 – Outbreak (5 credits)
TTh 10:00-11:20
Quiz F, times vary
Instructor: Janet Baseman
QSR credit
Provides an introduction to infectious disease outbreaks of both domestic and global significance. Students learn about outbreak detection, investigation and response activities and methodologies through a combination of lecture, case studies, homework, and popular media.

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: Terry Swanson
$30 course fee required.
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: Michael Harrell
$20 course fee
Open to all majors; writing credit section (see 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 104 – Prehistoric Life (3 credits)
MW 10:30-11:20
Lab M/W, times vary
Instructor: Ruth Martin
Subscription to Top Hat required. See 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: George 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.

ESS 201 – Earth’s Climate System (3 credits)
MWF 2:30-3:20
Instructor: Eric Steig
Earth's dynamic environment, global energy balance, interplay of chemical, physical, and biological processes shaping the Earth's surface and climate. Emphasis on quantitative methods for measuring, evaluating, and understanding contemporary changes relative to the last several thousand years. Pre-reqs: Either Math 124, Math 144 or Q Sci 291. Recommended: An introductory background in earth sciences, chemistry or physics is helpful, but not required.

ESS 203 – Glaciers and Global Change (5 credits)
MWF 10:30-11:20
Quiz T/TH, times vary
Instructor: TBA
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.

ESS 205 – Access to Space (5 credits)
MWF 10:30-11:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor: Michael McCarthy
$32 course fee required
Group development of student experiments to the outer rim of our atmosphere and the beginning of space; investigation of stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, magnetosphere, development of exploration packages; basic electronic fabrication, global positioning, radio tracking, expectations at high altitudes. Open to all disciplines. No previous experience of electronics required.

Environmental Studies

Envir 100 –Environmental Studies: Interdisciplinary Foundations (5 credits)
Lecture to be arranged
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor:  Kristi Straus and Yen-Chu Weng
All lectures online. In-person quiz sections. See time schedule for more information.
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 240 – The Urban Farm (5 credits)
TTh 7:30-9:20AM
Instructor:  Elizabeth Wheat
$30 course fee. Field trip required.
See time schedule for details on registration. No seniors.

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.

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)
MTWThF 1:30-2:20
Instructor:  Kristiina Vogt
$5 course fee required
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. Cannot be taken for credit if CFR 101 already taken. Open to majors and nonmajors.

ESRM 210 – Soils (5 credits)
MWF 11:30-12:20
Instructor: Brittany Johnson
$23 course fee.
Physical, chemical, and biological properties that affect distribution and use patterns of this important ecosystem component. Includes soil morphology and genesis, plant nutrition and nutrient cycling, soil water, microbiology, and application of soil properties to environmental concerns. One Saturday field trip. This course has hybrid online components.


FISH 260 – Recreational Fisheries: Science, Management and Policy (3 or 5 credits)
TTh 10:30-12:20 & T 5:00-6:50 for 5 credits
TTh 12:30-2:20 for 3 credits
Instructor:  Christian Grue
Provides an overview of Washington's recreational fisheries emphasizing science, management, and policy. Optional laboratory focuses on science and technology behind fishing tactics, tackle, and equipment, ways to minimize impacts and enhance conservation, and politics associated with opportunities for recreational anglers. Suitable for students with or without a strong science background.

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

GWSS 357 – Psychobiology of Women (5 credits)
TTh 8:30-10:20
Quiz Th/F, times vary
Instructor:  Nancy Kenney
Diversity course
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.
Freshmen, Sophomores only until start of quarter.
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 4:30-5:20
Quiz T/W/F, times vary
Instructor: Melissa Edwards
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 241 – Culinary Nutrition Science (3 credits)
W 3:30-4:50
Lab F, times vary
Instructor: Anne-Marie Gloster
Explores scientific principles behind modern culinary techniques that transform raw foodstuffs into prepared foods that have sensory appeal. Hands-on kitchen demonstrations show how physical and chemical forces acting on solids, liquids, and gases transform raw ingredients into foods with desirable taste, texture, and aroma. Requires access to a full kitchen to complete assignments. Cannot be taken for credit if credit earned in NUTR 441. Prerequisite: NUTR 200.

NUTR 302 – Food Systems I: Harvest to Health (5 credits)
TTh 10:00-11:20
Quiz F, 10:00-11:20
Instructor:  Yona Sipos
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 8:30-9:50
Quiz W/F, times vary
Instructor: Michelle 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: Food Truck Rodeo (1 credit)
T 2:30-3:20
Instructor: Anne-Marie 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.


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

Political Science

Pol S 385 – World Food Politics (5 credits)
TTh 11:30-12:50
Quiz W, times vary
Instructor: Karen Litfin
Optional writing credit
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
Open to seniors on 3/4.

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 111 – Lectures in Applied Statistics (1 credit)
W 1:30-2:20
Instructor: TBA
Credit/no-credit only.
Weekly lectures illustrating the importance of statisticians in a variety of fields, including medicine and the biological, physical, and social sciences. Offered jointly with BIOST 111.

Stat 220 – Principles of Statistical Reasoning (5 credits)
MWF 8:30-9:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor: Ema Perkovic
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: Kyle Crowder
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.

Stat 311A – Elements of Statistical Methods (5 credits)
MWF 2:30-3:20
Quiz TTh, times vary
Instructor: Tamre Cardoso
QSR credit
Prerequisite: either Math 111, Math 120, Math 124, Math 127, or Math 144.

Elementary concepts of probability and sampling; binomial and normal distributions. Basic concepts of hypothesis testing, estimation, and confidence intervals; t-tests and chi-square tests. Linear regression theory and the analysis of variance. Students may receive credit for only one of Stat 220, Stat 221, Stat 311, and Econ 311.