FSS > Undergraduate Division > Letters & Science > UC Berkeley

Environmental Science, Policy, and Management 24, Section 6
Discussions on Evolutionary Biology (1 unit, P/NP)
Professor Philip Spieth
Tuesday 3:00-4:00, 332 Giannini Hall, Class number: 23441

Discussions on Evolutionary Biology is a seminar for freshmen that explores the intellectual excitement of evolutionary biology and examines its significance for understanding the world we live in. Weekly readings and roundtable discussions introduce basic facts and principles of evolutionary biology, including both historical perspectives and contemporary issues. Attention is given to popular misconceptions of biological evolution.

Philip T. Spieth is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management who worked with computer models of evolution and studied genetic variation in natural populations of fungi. He joined the faculty of the former Department of Genetics in 1971 and taught population genetics for thirty years at UC Berkeley in both introductory genetics courses and in courses for advanced undergraduates and graduate students and has been a co-author of a general genetics textbook. He created and has taught Discussions on Evolutionary Biology since the inception of the freshman seminar program in the early 1990's. For eleven years he served as director of operations for the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit organization devoted to the teaching of evolutionary biology and climate change science in public schools.

Faculty web site: http://ourenvironment.berkeley.edu/people_profiles/philip-spieth/

Quotes from students in Fall 2015 seminar:

"Evolution involves much more than the implications of natural selection. It’s a field of ideas that deals with philosophy, experiments, paleontology, and more."

"I really liked learning about group evolution vs. individual evolution. That was interesting, and I feel like I could debate it with others."

"If you're looking to learn about evolution, this is a great class!" - student in fall 2014 seminar

"It is so fun and the professor is awesome." - student in fall 2014 seminar

"The instructor did a great job. He not only had discussions but he provided background explanations from biology." - student in spring 2007 seminar

"He was a good teacher. He let us work through problems on our own before helping out with his interpretations." - student in spring 2007 seminar

"The instructor was a great teacher. He was very knowledgeable on the subject and could explain everything very thoroughly and accurately." - student in spring 2007 seminar
Freshman and Sophomore Seminars are co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Division
of the College of Letters & Science and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.
For further information about the program,
contact Alix Schwartz (alix@berkeley.edu / 642-8378).

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