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AST-120: Introduction to Astrobiology

General Information

  • Name: Introduction to Astrobiology
  • Discipline: Astronomy
  • Units (Credits): 3
  • Transfer Information: (Courses with numbers 100 to 299) This course is designed to apply toward a WNC degree and/or transfer to other schools within the Nevada System of Higher Education, depending on the degree chosen and other courses completed. It may transfer to colleges and universities outside Nevada. For information about how this course can transfer and apply to your program of study, please contact a counselor.
  • Academic Division: Liberal Arts
  • Prerequisites: None

Course Outline

I: Catalog Course Description

Studies the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the geology, planetary science, atmospheric science, oceanography, and other sciences. Explore's the scientific reasons behind why the Solar System harbors a living planet. Covers the factors that allow the Earth to support life and the potential for life on other planets within the universe.

II: Course Objectives

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the universe. It uses interdisciplinary science at the intersection of biology, geology, chemistry, and physics as well as engineering and technology to discover where and under what conditions life can arise and exist in the universe.

  • Outline the fundamental characteristics of life as it relates to microbial and complex living systems.
  • Develop a historical perspective and time line of the evolution of life in relation to astronomical, geological, and biological events on earth and extrapolate conditions for life elsewhere in the universe.
  • Contrast the basis of life, the tree of life, and life living under the most extreme conditions on Earth, inside the Earth and beyond Earth.
  • Contemplate and imagine man's biases, sensitivities, and desires to continue to search for life beyond our world.

III: Course Linkage

General Education Mission:

AST 120 is a general education class that promotes the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will benefit students in their personal and professional endeavors.

General Education Student Learning Outcome:

Students who successfully complete AST 120 satisfy the general education learning outcome of having problem solving, creative, and critical thinking skills. In addition, students will understand the methods of science and the role of science and technology in the modern world.

Program Mission for AA/AS degree

: AST 120 satisfies the A.A./A.S. degree mission by providing academic knowledge and skills for successful transfer to meet higher educational goals.

Program Student Learning Outcomes for AA/AS degree

: Students who successfully complete AST 120 will know the subject matter appropriate to the emphasis of the degree.

Scheduled AST-120 classes:

Fall 2016