Public Science Courses, Fall 2020

FW595-006 Citizen Science

Caren Cooper (
Students will learn the fundamentals of citizen science, the many ways that members of the public collaborate with scientists for making discoveries. Course activities involve readings, reflections, discussions, and group work. Each student will be involved in a semester-long project to design a new, or adapt an existing, citizen science project, event, or tool for real-world implementation on campus, in schools, in Raleigh, or beyond. Students have options for completing the semester-long project:
  • Students can work with the NC State’s Citizen Science Club or within the framework of the Citizen Science Campus ( portal) to adapt an existing project, event, or tool and implement the project and evaluate its success.
  • Students can adapt an existing citizen science project for use in classrooms, and implement and evaluate its success.
  • A graduate student developing a citizen science project as part of their thesis or dissertation can use the course activities as a guide to design their citizen science project in collaboration with or using the feedback of other students.
As a result, students will be able to understand and critically evaluate various approaches to citizen science, to work in interdisciplinary teams to design and/or assess rigorous and ethical citizen science activities, and to develop leadership skills in citizen science.

Last chance!!!! ENG 520: Science Writing for the Media

4:30 to 5:45 p.m. MW
Cat Warren (
This three-credit hour course is an elective for the master’s in technical communication in English, but also designed for anyone interested in science writing for mainstream audiences (i.e., not peer-reviewed journals). Master’s students and Ph.D. students from the sciences often take this course. It’s designed to do three things: teach you how to write a variety of science articles for a variety of mass media; teach you how to think critically about how the mass media covers science; and teach you how to think critically about science.

COM 479/579 Climate Change Communication

MW 3:00 – 4:15 PM
D. M. Berube (
Climate Change Communication provides an exploration of the communication successes and failures surrounding climate change and public opinion. Topics addressed include: agenda setting, media effects, framing, data visualizations, fear responses, naming, risk communication and theory, argumentation and refutation, and persuasion as well as issues and current events related to the challenges associated with communicating climate change to multiple stakeholders.

PRT 550 – Human Behavior and the Environment

Th 1:30-4:15pm
Lincoln Larson (
This course helps students understand the variety of cognitive, social, affective, and environmental factors that influence human behavior in natural resource contexts, with an emphasis on nature-based recreation experiences and conservation behaviors. Students will explore behavioral models from different disciplines, examine pathways to promote behavior change, and assess implications for park management, environmental stewardship, and natural resource conservation.

PRT 594- Children & Nature

Tuesdays 1:30-4:15
Kathryn Stevenson (
The benefits of contact with nature, particularly for children, are increasingly well-documented. A few include improved mental and physical health, academic achievement, social-emotional learning, and more pro-environmental behaviors. Nature is good for children. Research also suggests that children are good for nature. Some of the same activities that are designed to benefit children by getting them outside are proving to empower them to make real changes in their communities with respect to the environment. This course will provide a forum for graduate students to engage in the literature around children in nature and contribute to it.

MLS 501 Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of Human Enhancement Technologies

Tuesdays 6-8:45pm
Dr. Veljko Dubljevic (

Discussions of the ethics of human enhancement typically address a variety of issues focused on developments in biomedical technologies, including knowledge of the science underlying current and prospective methods of human enhancement, as well as their social and political contexts. In this course, we will focus our discussions on particular case studies (athletic, cognitive, mood, moral enhancement and human-machine interface) in order to reflect on some important cross-cutting themes, including the distinction between therapy and enhancement, questions about safety and fairness, issues about governance and the regulation of new technologies, concerns about justice, human nature, authenticity, and the pursuit of the good life. The analysis of human enhancement requires an inquiry into past, present, and possible future technologies, their applications, and their ethical, social, economic, legal, political, and ecological implications. It also requires recognition of the fact that social and cultural values, as well as ideologies, influence certain types of enhancements and enhancement biotechnologies over others.

AEC 295 (002) Predicting the Future of Life

Tuesdays 1:30-2:45 (1 credit)
Prof. Rob Dunn
To a great extent, scientists have focused their predictions on the near future. Many models of climate, the future of species and the future of cities, for example, consider what might happen in the years 2030 or 2050. Yet, much of the infrastructure we are building now, whether it is roads, policy infrastructure or social and cultural infrastructure, will last far longer. Some of our constructions may well last tens of thousands of years. We are building some of the distant future even as we focus mostly on conversations about the here and now. Fortunately, we already know quite a bit about some inescapable biological realities of the future as a consequence of the general rules of life. Through lectures, guest panels (of economists, virologists, science fiction writers and more), and discussions, this class considers what we can predict about the more distant future, be it the year 2050, 2500, 25,000 or beyond. This class has real world applications for thinking about how to design cities, how to imagine the future of agriculture and even the ways in which we might reimagine hospitals and homes.

BSC 295 Introduction to Biodiversity Research

Prof. Gates (
Briefly, in this course students will use several citizen science projects to learn how to do research through the scientific method from hypothesis generation, data collection, through communication both scholarly and colloquially.