- Important Concepts in Science: Students should understand fundamental theories and unifying concepts in the physical, life, and earth sciences which provide an explanation and view of the natural world around us.
- Nature of Scientific Knowledge: Students should understand that all scientific knowledge is provisional, subject to change and therefore often involves some degree of uncertainty. However, most core ideas in science have much experimental and observational confirmation.
- Nature of Scientific Inquiry: Students should understand the procedures, techniques, and methods scientists use to pose questions, plan investigations, gather data, evaluate uncertainty, develop conclusions, and communicate results.
- Argument in Science: Students should be able to analyze, evaluate and construct arguments based on scientific reasoning using criteria for what constitutes valid, sufficient, and relevant evidence in science.
- Quantitative Reasoning in Science: Students should understand the mathematical and statistical methods scientists use to analyze, interpret, and evaluate data and draw conclusions.
Environmental Studies Program
Following in the footsteps of the famous conservationist Aldo Leopold (class of 1905), students use the campus — 700 acres of fields, streams, marshes, forests, ponds, and the organic Big Red Farm — as an outdoor laboratory for environmental studies. Experiential education reaches beyond the campus, both to nearby sites and on Harkness Travel expeditions over spring and summer breaks. Various interdisciplinary courses feature environmental science as a key component, complementing the science department’s emphasis on environmental stewardship.