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2017-2018 Catalog Year
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. Explores 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 and Linkage to General Education Program

The information in the parentheses after a course objective refers to the specific general education (GE) learning outcome that the objective meets. Objectives without this information are not linked to WNC’s general education program.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have demonstrated they can:

  1. Demonstrate working knowledge of the fundamental characteristics of life as it relates to microbial and complex living systems. (GE 1)
  2. Locate, evaluate, and appropriately use information from multiple resources to complete activities related to historical perspectives and the timeline of the evolution of life in relation to astronomical, geological, and biological events on earth, and extrapolate conditions for life elsewhere in the universe. (GE 4)
  3. Present substantially error­free written responses related but not limited to the following (GE 2):
    1. Outline the fundamental characteristics of life as it relates to microbial and complex living systems.
    2. 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.
    3. Contemplate and imagine man's biases, sensitivities, and desires to continue to search for life beyond our world.

Scheduled AST-120 classes:

Fall 2017