FACULTY SENATE


Senate Document Number     0506F


Date of Senate Approval      11/09/06



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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:


APC Document 5:                                             Adding ASTR 321, 322, 380, 411,

                                                                        Adding Special Topics, ASTR 171-474


Effective Date:  Fall 2007




1.         Add:     On page 67, new courses, ASTR 321 and 322


321, 322      Astrophysics I, II (3, 3)

Physical processes applied to astronomical phenomena, including interstellar medium, star and planet formation, stellar structure and evolution, atmospheric structure, nebulae, galaxies, black holes, and evolution of the universe. ASTR 321 prerequisite: ASTR 105; PHYS 221. ASTR 322 prerequisite: ASTR 321. ASTR 321: Odd years Fall. ASTR 322: Even years Spring.


Impact: These courses will be taught by Brian Dennison every other year, alternating with ASTR 411 (see below).  This will optimize faculty resource allocation and help maintain adequate enrollment in these courses.


Rationale: These courses present the core concepts and methodology of modern astronomy, developed through the application of fundamental physical ideas to the universe.




2.         Add: On page 67, new course, ASTR 380


380    Observational Astronomy I (1)

Intensive introduction to the techniques of observational astronomy. Students will participate in a six-day residency at a research observatory involving application of astronomy principles to hands-on observations. There may be course related expenses.  See physics department chair.

Prerequisite: ASTR 105. Even years Summer.


Impact:  Students will need to plan ahead and allocate one week (specified in advance) in late summer for this course. In addition, students will incur some moderate additional expense, including summer school tuition (1 credit) and lodging at the research observatory. Funding is available through the NASA Space Grant to assist students in financial need. This course will be offered in alternate years in order to maintain adequate enrollment.


Rationale:  This course will introduce students to astronomical observation, a fundamental aspect of astronomy. By scheduling the course during the second summer session and concentrating it in one week, students will benefit from an in-depth exposure to the facilities at a major research observatory, such as PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) or the NRAO (National Radio Astronomy Observatory). This course will lay the groundwork for research projects to follow during the Fall in ASTR 411 (see below).




3.         Add: On page 67, new course, ASTR 411


411    Observational Astronomy II (1)

Advanced techniques in observational astronomy. Students will carry out a research project, either in optical or radio astronomy. They will give written and oral reports of their results.  Prerequisite: ASTR 380.  Even years Fall.



Impact: The course will be offered every other year, alternating with ASTR 321 and 322.  The sequence of course offerings is again given in the table below.






AY 07-08

ASTR 321

ASTR 322

ASTR 380

AY 08-09

ASTR 411



AY 09-10

ASTR 321

ASTR 322

ASTR 380

AY 10-11

ASTR 411




Rationale: Students will apply the basic knowledge of Astronomy acquired in ASTR 380 and ASTR 105 to carry out research projects in optical and radio astronomy. Some projects may involve travel to and from PARI or other research observatories.



4.  Add: On page 67, new courses, ASTR 171-4, 271-4, 371-4, 471-4


171-4, 271-4, 371-4, 471-4        Special Topics in Astronomy (1-4)

Courses not otherwise included in the catalog listing but for which there may be special needs. May be repeated for credit as often as permitted and as subject matter changes. See physics department chair.


Impact: There will be minimal impact on the department as these courses will only be offered on an as-needed basis and will be offered infrequently. Students must see the department chair before a course is offered and it will be up to the chair to decide if the resources exist in the department for a special topics course to be offered. These courses will only be offered when demand exists for them.


Rationale: Special topics courses exist so that a department can have flexibility in its course offerings, in addition to the usual courses offered in the course catalog semester after semester.