If you have a broad-based interest in the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, math, bioinformatics, scientific history and more, then our Natural Sciences AOC is for you. The freedom to pursue your own special interests and goals, the opportunity to take a more interdisciplinary approach to the sciences, and the ability work alongside a broad sampling of our highly-acclaimed faculty are three reasons why students choose our Natural Sciences AOC.
More than any of the more specialized programs we offer in the sciences, our Natural Sciences AOC allows you the flexibility to work with your faculty advisor in designing a course of study that matches your specific interests and goals. You won’t explore areas as deeply as you would in say, Chemistry, but you will enjoy unparalleled breadth, which is one of the reasons this program is so popular with pre-med and pre-dentistry students, as well as with students interested in environmental law and other professional areas where a broad-based familiarity and understanding of the sciences is needed.
From chemistry to physics, biology to mathematics, and bioinformatics to computational science, our Natural Sciences AOC offers you the opportunity to work with your faculty advisor in designing a curriculum that merges coursework from a broad range of fields into an AOC that is as unique and flexible as you are. This broad-based approach works well for students looking to pursue careers in fields where knowledge of the sciences and the methods of scientific inquiry are desirable but where highly specialized knowledge is not as important.
An additional benefit to our Natural Sciences AOC is that it allows students to take classes with our expert faculty from a wide variety of disciplines. For example, one of our physics professors was recently awarded a $1.7 million grant from the United States government to fund her research on nanoparticles, while a professor in physical chemistry received a large grant from the U.S. Navy for his research on microwave spectroscopy. A biology professor received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of a research team exploring gene networks and endosperm development in maize, and a professor in biochemistry received NSF funding for her research on animal development and gene expression. As a major in Natural Sciences, you have an opportunity to take classes, as available, with each of these faculty members, as well as others who are widely published and regarded in their fields.
In addition to medicine, dentistry and law, popular career paths chosen by our students who pursue a Natural Sciences AOC are lab work, quality control, and environmental and conservation work.
The Natural Sciences faculty have agreed that a student desiring to list “Natural Sciences” as an AOC should have a diverse enough background to be reasonably called a natural scientist and, at the same time, should have attained some level of mastery in one of the following disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.
These goals are normally achieved by meeting the following requirements:
For detailed requirements, check out our General Catalog.
Course offerings in Natural Sciences:
Due to the flexible and interdisciplinary nature of our Natural Sciences AOC, it is difficult to list “typical” courses that students pursue. Instead, you will work with your faculty advisor to design a plan of study and coursework that matches your particular interests and goals.
Sample courses available within each of the disciplines of the Natural Sciences can be found on the disciplinary AOC pages (e.g., Chemistry). You may also view a list of all New College courses by semester by clicking here.
John Lentini is one of the country’s pre-eminent fire investigators. Since 1975, he has given expert testimony in over 200 cases in civil and criminal court. He now operates Scientific Fire Analysis, LLC out of his laidback home in Big Pine Key, Florida. “New College taught me to think outside the box, before thinking outside the box was cool,” he says. “In assessing circumstantial evidence, which is what I do every day, keeping the context in mind is the most important thing.”
New College is proud of our many graduates in the Natural Sciences who have contributed to their fields. Here’s a sampling of some of our graduates:
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Natural Sciences
Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Natural Sciences:
“Informal Math Education: Using Origami to Teach Elementary School Students Math Concepts” by Gina Fawks
“”Food is the Best Medicine”: Enhancing Post-Surgery Recovery with Diet” by Ariel Hart
“Save the Vagina Forest! Addressing Challenges in the Sustainable Treatment of Acute + Chronic UTI, BV & VVC” by Leandra Argyros
“Sensitivity Analysis of Biochemical Networks: Computer Algebra Application to the Escherichia Coli Trypyophan Operon” by Casey Henderson
“Water Purification in the Global South” by Megan Patrick
“MircoRNA Regulating Networks: Analyzing Structural Changes in Time Series Data” by Raymond Roberts
“Mathematical Models in Population Dynamics” by Alexander Salisbury
“A is for Asthma: Asthma in Elementary School Children in Alachua County, FL” by Molly Burges
“Raman Studies of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Suspended in Polystyrene” by Ross DeMike
“Comparing Health Systems: HIV/AIDS in India and the United States” by Anita V.Tambay
“The Susceptibility of the Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida, to Selected Soil Applied Insecticides” by Bradley R. Lovett
“Excitotoxicity in Traumatic Brain Injury” by Dell MacLean
“Partial Synthesis of a Synthetic Model for Rubisco: A Potential Strategy for Improved Sequestration of CO2” by Julie Midgette
“Investigating the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and the Crazy Ant, Paratrechina longicornis Latrielle, as Potential Predators for Small Hive Beetle Larve, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulisae)” by Falon Mihalic
“Critical Aggregation Behavior of SDSPEI Mixtures in Bulk Solution and in Multilayer Films” by Raea Hicks
“A Theoretical Design of an Environmentally Sustainable School” by Melissa Gomez
“Puffer Fish Poisoning” by Kristin J. Masel
“Cell Therapy: A Logical Investigation of the Role of Non-Human Cells in Regenerative Medicine” by Caroliz Perez
“Rebuilding the Silk Road How New Technologies are Enabling a Global Software Services Market” by Josh Steiner
“Baculovirus Overexpression of RNA Helicase A from C. elegens and Bandshift Analysis of Its RNA Binding Properties” by Shelley Batts
“A Fatal Attraction: HIV-1 and DC-Sign” by Sara Latshaw
“The Epiphytic Diversity and Abundance in Quercus Virginiana and Quercus Laurifolia” by Moana McClellan
“Purification and Kinetic Characterization of C.elegans Malate Dehydrogenase” by Sara Kathryn Bondi
“Investigation of Cholesterol Binding in the Active Site of Cholestrol Oxidase Streptomyces” by Angel Trail
“Dynamic Regulation of Cytoskeletal Spatial Orgnization: A Discrete Model” by Elisabeth Lyn Humphris
“The Effects of Environment on Artificial Reefs in Sarasota Bay” by Coraggio Maglio
“Magnetotherapy with Research Appendix: Regeneration of Dugesia dorotocephala Undegoing Magnet Therapy” by Kirsten Partlan
“A Comparative Investigation of the Tectal-Telencephalic Visual Pathway of Coral Reef Teleosts” by Sarah Goff
“Mathematical Models Simulating Pattern Formation” by Rachel E. Labes
“The Impact of Lead and Mecury on the Common Loon (Gavia immer)” by Ushma Mehta
“Proposal for a Coral Reef Microcosm in the Pritzker Marine Laboratory” by Jeffrey Welgos
Heiser Natural Sciences Complex includes teaching and research labs for chemistry, biology, computational science, mathematics and physics. The complex is home to a new state-of-the-art Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials Laboratory. The lab was funded through a multi-year grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. It is the largest federal grant in New College’s history. The lab gives students a rare opportunity to be involved as researchers and as co-authors on scientific papers.
The physics labs provide space for work at all levels, including a specially equipped laser lab with vibration-sensitive equipment mounted on Newport pneumatic isolation tables. In addition, the Physics program contains a computer lab as part of its dedicated introductory lab, allowing access to software such as Maple. The physics labs are equipped to support full semester courses in Introductory Lab (2 semesters), Modern Physics Lab, Electronics Lab and Optics Lab. The introductory physics lab is fully computerized to allow interfacing of equipment to computers, and instant analysis and display of results.
Our chemistry labs, which include a 24-station teaching lab with transparent fume hoods, are well equipped for organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry projects, as well as for biochemistry and molecular biology. Within them, students have access to research grade instruments like a 60 MHz and a 250 MHz NMR spectrometer, several FTIR and UV-visible spectrophotometers, a fluorimeter, an inert atmosphere glove box, electrochemical equipment, a GC-MS, two faculty-designed and student-built room-temperature research microwave spectrometer, and a real-time PCR.
The Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center boasts seven research labs and over 100 aquariums, anchored by a 15,000-gallon research and display tank. Each tank in the Living Ecosystem Teaching and Research Aquarium features a different captive ecosystem, several with a camera to send images to a streaming video server. Through a natural filtration system designed by students, the center draws and recycles water from Sarasota Bay. At Pritzker, students and faculty also design outreach programs to engage the local community in the world of science.
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Internship and Volunteer Opportunities
New College students in the Natural Sciences regularly participate in internships with the folling organizations:
Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent not-for-profit marine research organization based on City Island in Sarasota, Florida, less than 15 minutes from campus. The laboratory aims to advance the science of the sea, both through its marine and estuarine research labs and through the public Mote Aquarium and its affiliated educational programs. New College faculty and students often conduct research at Mote.