Illustrating Science - a Course for Everyone.

Rick Simonson Portrait

Member Rick Simonson's Illustrating Science Course

Member Rick Simonsons capstone course, Illustrating Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is one of a variety of interesting options for students this year.

As part of their general studies, students are required to take one capstone course in their junior or senior year. The courses are designed so that students complete a project while evaluating information from more than one academic discipline. Some topics upperclassmen can learn about in their capstone courses include the living dead, illustrating science and politics of love.

Rick Simonson, senior biology lecturer, said Illustrating Science is about creating illustrations rather than photographs to show something.

"You can use words to describe how something is, how it behaves or how a process works", Simonson said. "But no matter how many words you use, oftentimes you can not get across what it actually looks like."

Simonson said just about anything science related can be illustrated in the course. He cited things such as individual organisms and scientific processes as examples of things that are drawn.

Despite the course title, Simonson said students do not necessarily have to be good artists to be successful in his class. "I assume that students have no background in art, he said. Its not simply having artistic skill and being a good artist when you come in. They also have to understand the concepts we learn throughout the semester and what makes a good illustration effective at communicating the science."

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Rick Simonson Portrait