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Spring 2002

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New science majors

     Skidmore students can now choose two new majors: neuroscience and environmental studies.
     Neuroscience, which replaces the previous biology-psychology major, includes a “gateway” course called “Mind and Behavior”; foundation courses in biology, psychology, and basic chemistry; an integrative research seminar; and electives in biology and psychology, with topics ranging from biological clocks, to cognitive neuroscience, to hormones and behavior. The interdisciplinary program was designed to respond to strong student interest as well as a growth in research collaborations among biologists and psychologists. In recent years, research and equipment grants have helped enhance Skidmore’s facilities and offerings in neuroscience.
     The environmental studies major builds on the rising popularity of the ES minor, as well as the new courses and collaborations recently forged in Skidmore’s federally funded program to enhance offerings in international and environmental affairs. The ES major includes a foundation course, a choice of two thematic tracks, and a capstone experience. The “environmental science” track focuses mostly on biology, geology, and chemistry, while the “social and cultural perspectives” track also includes courses from such fields as American studies, economics, government, history, and sociology. Both tracks require one course on “the interface of the natural and social worlds,” with options ranging from “Science, Technology, and National Security” to “Human-Plant Coevolution.” A $160,000 grant from the Rathmann Family Foundation will support course development, research, and other ES initiatives.
     Students are already at work in both new majors. —SR

 


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