Field Trips, Projects, Lab Work and More

Offering learning opportunities outside of the classroom, many seminars provide students with exposure to research methods or hands-on project design. Some include field trips to key points of interest -- from first-hand examinations of fault lines, first-hand observations of medical research, to visiting private collections of art.

Featured introsemS

ILAC 108N Masterpieces: Garcia Marquez (Spanish Immersion)

This course will examine the legend surrounding the author Garcia Marquez through detailed readings of his works. The class will also explore secondary readings written by Vargas Llosa, Ludmer, Moretti and Bloom. Topics include autobiography, magical realism, canonicity and representations of violence. The class will also read some of the most significant critical texts about Marquez. Note: This course is in Spanish.

CHINGEN 170N Chinese Language, Culture, and Society (Research)

This seminar will investigate the functions of languages in Chinese culture and society. You will be introduced to current research methods in the field, and you will do small projects to develop your analytical skills in studying a language. Students of Chinese may also gain a better perspective as to why the language is the way it is, as well as when and where to say what in culturally appropriate ways.

ARTHIST 156N Art and the Power of Place: Site, Location, Environment (Field Trips)

Many icsculpture on SLAC campusonic works in the history of art draw their power and and significance from the place in which they are sited or installed. The cave paintings of Altamira, Spain; Michelange­ lo's Sistine Chapel and the monumental "earthworks" made in the deserts of the American Southwest during the 1960s are just a few examples showcasing the important relationship between art and place. In this seminar we will explore how works of art throughout history create a sense of place; and how place, in turn, changes the interpretation of works of art. We will learn how to analyze works of art in terms of their immediate contexts and surroundings, whether temples, museums, spaces of the city or unexpected environments, chart­ ing the historical meanings of place in the process. We will look at a range of examples throughout time, from prehistory to the present day. A critical feature of the seminar will be to consider works of art outside the classroom, on both the Stan­ford campus and beyond. Possible field trips include visits to Alcatraz Prison (where the famous Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, will install a new work in the fall of 2014) as well as the Great Salt Lake, Utah, site of the monumental "Spiral Jetty" (1970) among the most important works of "land art" by the great American artist, Robert Smithson.

PATH 103Q Lymphocyte Migration (Sophomore Dialogue)

Macrophages attack a cancer cell, by Susan Arnold (Photographer) via Wikimedia Commons

To participate in immune surveillance and the development of inflammation, lymphocytes must exit the blood stream  and enter tissues. This process, known as lymphocyte migration, involves a complex series of adhesion, activation, and diapedesis events. Participants will study the cellular mechanisms that are involved in lymphocyte migration. The major players include (1) lymphocyte adhesion molecules that interact with their counter- receptors on blood vessel endothelia cells, and (2) a variety of molecules, including cytokines and chemokines, which attract or activate lymphocytes. The role of these molecules in the development of human diseases such as asthma, Type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis will be emphasized. "I expect the students to understand the basic mechanisms that control the migration of lymphocytes from blood into tissues, and to realize that this migration--which is essential for combating infections--can also cause tissue damage and disease. More importantly, I hope they experience the excitement that you get from intellectual discovery and scientific exploration." -- Dr. Sarah Michie 

Poster of San Francisco bay area featuring landscapes demonstrating tectonic formationsThe diverse and spectacular landscapes of the San Francisco Bay Area result from ongoing active faulting and erosion.  In this course, weekly field excursions will introduce earth science concepts and skills to students through investigation of the valley, mountain, and coastal areas around Stanford. As part of these field excursions, students will study active faulting associated with the San Andreas Fault, coastal processes along the San Mateo coast, uplift of the mountains of the Bay Area by plate tectonic processes, and active landsliding in both urban and mountainous areas. Professor George Hilley is the 2012 recipient of the Walter J. Gores Award, the university's highest teaching honor.

In this seminar, students closely examine large and small-scale environmental problems and climate change.

Monterey Bay Field Trip Photo

Lack of literacy concerning environmental problems is cited as one of the main reasons for further environmental deterioration. Professor Terry Root, a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment with a background in investigating large-scale ecological questions, took her class to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to explore the debates surrounding sustainability and marine life. Students had the opportunity to come face to face with ocean life and discuss the Aquarium's marine life conservation mission. 


MED 50N Translational Research: Turning Science into Medicine (Lab, Clinical)     

This seminar investigates 1) how scientific research informs how physicians take care of patients and 2) how clinical research informs how we conduct scientific experiments. 

Dr. Kari Nadeau in clinic setting

Overall we will discuss how these two processes have improved health and have resulted in innovation and scientific progress. The course draws from specific human disease areas in allergy and immunology that affect both all ages of patients throughout the world, like food allergy. Students learn scientific concepts of research that helped in the discovery of novel diagnostics and treatment of disease. We will discuss the ethical roles of physicians and scientists in conducting translational research in human disease. The course is aimed at any students interested in medicine, health policy, molecular/cellular biology, and public health; however the course is open to all students. Students will have hands on experiences in clinic and in the laboratory.

Dr. Kari Nadeau, one of the nation’s foremost experts in adult and pediatric allergy, leads translational research and clinical studies at Packard Children’s Hospital, and directs the Nadeau Laboratory at Stanford. Dr. Nadeau studies the mechanisms involved in food allergies to better understand how to prevent and cure the disease.