The Science Department offers a wide range of courses in both physical and biological sciences including:
Oceanography is a multidisciplinary field that studies the world’s oceans. In this course we will journey to local piers to perform experiments, travel to tide pools, embark on an oceanographic voyage in the bay, and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
The world’s oceans are critical to our existence, yet shockingly 99% of the oceans remain completely unexplored by humanity. In oceanography, we will use several fields of science to unravel many profound mysteries of our oceans’ vast depths. In geological oceanography we will learn not only what lies thousands of fathoms beneath the oceans, but also how the earth’s and extraterrestrial oceans formed within our own solar system. We will then dive into the topic of physical oceanography where will learn many phenomena including why the icebergs are melting, destruction caused by catastrophic tsunamis, and layers of the ocean used by submarines to appear invisible to enemy ships. In chemical oceanography we will answer questions about the very atoms that comprise the entirety of the ocean, as well as the enigmas of alien hydrothermal vent organisms living without sunlight and strange, underwater lakes! Finally, we will end with marine biology, learning many cutting-edge topics including the destruction of coral reefs, dolphin language, and even how tiny, nearly-invisible plankton power great white sharks! Students who take this course will gain a sophisticated scientific knowledge of the ocean, as well as the many environmental problems currently threatening these imperiled ecosystems.
Chemists identify and solve problems by applying logic, scientific thinking, and knowledge of natural laws. Chemistry majors work in educational settings and in government, nonprofit charities, or research foundations. Chemists work in manufacturing companies, cosmetic companies, environmental assessment firms, medical laboratories, petroleum companies and pharmaceutical companies. They also can become health administrators, and physicians (all specialties). Many careers require more than two years of college study. Read more about chemistry transfer preparation.
Career opportunities available for physicists include: research in industry, universities, and national laboratories. Many teach in high schools, colleges, and universities. Others can be found in hospitals, the military, oil fields, power plants, in the astronaut corps, in museums, in patent law firms, and in management positions in business and government. A background in physics can help a technical writer or a computer programmer. Most career options require more than two years of college study.
Geologists work in exploration for oil, natural gas, coal and uranium for energy, and for metals used in everyday life. They search for clean sources of groundwater for drinking and agriculture (hydrology). They seek to understand geologic hazards and how to mitigate them (seismology, flood and landslide control, and volcanology). They work to monitor and clean up pollutants in soil, groundwater and surface water. Currently, the best employment opportunities are in hydrology and pollution control. Many career options may require more than two years of college study.
Biology is the study of life from a molecular to an ecological perspective-the study of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, metabolism, evolution and interrelationships. Career opportunities include environmental biology, biotechnology, the health sciences, education, laboratory technician, botanist, ecologist, field technician and agriculture.
Oceanographers are employed as researchers and/or educators by public and private research institutions, universities and colleges. Careers include laboratory or field technicians, water monitoring specialists, environmental protection workers, consultants, natural resource managers and sometimes careers working with marine animals at aquariums, theme parks, or research facilities. Most career options require more than two years of college study.
Anatomy and physiology courses serve as prerequisites and foundational knowledge for careers in medicine, physical therapy and other health science fields. Other opportunities in research and education are available.
In this field-based course, we take a hands-on approach to exploring California’s ecosystems. We’ll visit local forests, tide-pools and wetlands to look at the ways that plants, animals and fungi interact with their environments.
(*some or majority of classes offered at SRC)