Welcome to BiSci 003!

Many people may know it as one of Penn State’s easy Gen Eds, but BiSci 003 is so much more than just a class. For those who don’t know, BiSci 003 is one of Penn State’s largest general education classes, with upwards of 700 people in the class each semester.

BiSci is an environmental science class that focuses on the earth and the people living in it. Throughout the entire semester, students are immersed in three stages of their own ‘hero’s journey’ in order to learn about our precious planet and themselves as individuals.

The 700+ students are accompanied on this journey by about 30 teaching assistants (TAs), six TATAs, Dr. Christopher Uhl, and Jen Anderson. The 30 TAs are assigned to a few small groups of about 12 students who they meet with every week to discuss the topics of the week’s lectures given by Uhl.

The six TATAs are in charge of the TAs and help with their initial training, while also taking care of all 700+ people within the individual lectures. They are the ones that keep everything running beautifully and smoothly throughout the semester.

Dr. Uhl, better known as ‘Doc’, and Anderson are both extremely passionate about the earth and everything that lives on it. It’s so obvious from the lectures that they both truly care about changing the state of our planet so that it can survive for many generations to come.

Although the class is writing-based and many people usually hate writing, BiSci 003 is worth the time and effort. The journals are all very interesting and are meant to be thought-provoking, not extremely time-consuming. Doc and Anderson just want the students to think more deeply about the world and all of its problems and flaws, and how you can connect with nature and fix these problems.

These journals take the place of any exams that might have occurred throughout the semester. Yes, that’s right, there are no exams for BiSci 003! Doc and Jen believe that better learning takes place through journals and genuine discussions in lab than through a test of knowledge for which people memorize the information and then forget it after cramming.

The overall purpose of this class is for students to connect with the earth and understand the environmental issues that are destroying it. Doc and Jen truly strive to help everyone understand that they’ve all contributed, in part, to the environmental issues that the earth is now experiencing, but they want to make it possible for everyone to change how they see and treat the earth.

They desire that each and every person in the class can discover more about themselves and then take this knowledge and apply it to their connections with Earth, the planet that we call home.


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