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Form and Design in Nature, Core MSCI-264C

3 Credits

The natural world is constructed from quite simple components. These components are however configured into increasingly complex degrees of myriad forms which are then reflective of their function within specific environments. This course will survey this diversity of form and design beginning with molecules which, in their simplest configurations, give rise to water and minerals (including fossils) and, more complexly, biological macromolecules. We will then consider the ‘lower’ life forms: protists (single-celled free-living organisms), fungi (much more complex and interesting than just ‘mushrooms’) and plants (flowers are just the beginning). Finally, we will conduct a more thorough investigation of the great variety and beauty of aquatic and terrestrial animal life form the simplest sponge to humans. All of the above will be presented form an evolutionary perspective via weekly lectures and hands-on micro-and macroscopic examination and study of laboratory specimens. Trips to parks and museums will be required. There is an expectation of sustained class engagement and personal responsibility in timely and accurate completion of assignments while adhering to the highest artistic standards as that befitting a student of Pratt Institute.