Provides an opportunity for students to work independently on an advanced individualized area of study within biology under the sponsorship and guidance of a biology faculty member.
Fieldwork is a professional competence in many areas of Biology. Standard field practices include measurements of abiotic and biotic components. Fieldwork includes use of all the senses to make observations in natural and built environments. Field training may include developing skills in site characterization, measurement and data collection, application of key terms and concepts, species identification, and observation. Certain protocols may require use of equipment, chemicals, and expensive gear. Field training is experiential often leading to unique sets of observations/data in particular locations. Fieldwork may include inherent risks (uneven terrain, off-trail work with map & compass, variable weather, insects, environmental irritants, travel, stress, etc.). Fieldwork can be physically challenging and may require overland travel on foot or unusual means to field points, carrying field equipment (as well as food, water, and safety equipment), taking measurements under duress (learning new protocols, requiring remaining in an unusual posture or position for a length of time, timing pressures for certain procedures, holding organisms, variable weather, etc.), survival skills, orienteering, and so on.
- Meet the outcomes mutually agreed upon by the student and instructor for this independent study course that expand upon topics covered in previous biology courses taken.
- Successfully transfer and perform at a four-year college or university or other program of interest to the student.
- Apply the scientific method and biological concepts in novel settings for lifelong learning.
Instructor permission required.
Prior study in biology.
To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, Oregon Coast Community College affirms the following statements about what qualifies as science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory within biology:
- Science is a non-dogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. Instead, theories are explanations for natural phenomena based on a preponderance of evidence. Theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are revised through observation and experimentation.
- The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, “creation "science", “intelligent design” or similar designations are neither self-examining nor investigatory. “Creation science” is not considered a legitimate science, but instead a form of religious advocacy and pseudoscience. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).
- Teaching evolution is a necessary foundational framework for understanding biology because it explains the unity and diversity of life past and present. Evolution is not a controversial topic in the scientific community because it is overwhelmingly supported by scientific evidence.
Biology instructors of Oregon Coast Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity and unity of life. Furthermore, they will stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the teaching of pseudo-science.