Access Excellence and the
University of California, San Diego
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The Scientific Basis of Nutrition
Are We Really What We Eat?

Nutrition is perhaps one of the most important yet misunderstood of all sciences. Nowhere are the physical, chemical and biological parameters of human nutrition presented in a scientifically accurate and comprehensible fashion. Yet we must make countless daily decisions to meet our nutritional needs and those of our families, and we must teach our students and our children to make these decisions as well. We may turn to professionals for help, yet these well meaning experts present conflicting advice on all aspects of nutrition and on every imaginable food or diet or supplement. As a result, most adult Americans do not have the accurate scientific knowledge needed to make sensible decisions about the basic life process of eating. Nor do we understand the relationship of biology and biochemistry to nutrition--we simply lack the information necessary to distinguish between popular nutrition myths and the scientific accuracy of the nutrition information with which we are constantly confronted.

Today's teachers must first learn and then teach the fundamental concepts of nutrition science, from thermodynamics to modern biology to biochemistry and beyond. The goal of this course is to introduce, expand, and make accessible the universe of nutrition science for both the science teacher and others who teach nutrition. This course will cover some of the basic concepts of scientific nutrition and will separate scientific fact from the fictional information to which we are exposed on a daily basis. As you work through this course, your personal understanding of nutrition and food will be strengthened and you will be able to translate this information into a learning environment of your choice.


This course is jointly sponsored by Access Excellence and University of California, San Diego. Access Excellence is a national educational program that provides high school biology teachers with access to peers, scientists, and critical sources of new scientific information via online computer networks including the Internet. Access Excellence is wholly sponsored by Genentech, Inc., a leading international biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs.

This course is also funded in part by an educational grant from Mars, Inc., in conjunction with the Mars NASSP Healthy Lifestyles Awards Program. Mars, Inc., a major confectionery, rice and pet food company, firmly believes in the principles of sound nutrition and accepts responsibility to promote nutritional research and encourage nutrition education. For many years, Mars, Inc., has been actively involved with schools and communities through a variety of nutrition education programs.

As the pre-eminent organization for middle and high school teachers, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is committed to assisting principals and other school leaders in improving the conditions under which schools are organized for effective teaching and learning.


Dr. Paul Saltman, Ph.D., is currently professor of Biology at University of California, San Diego. Dr. Saltman has been teaching and carrying out fundamental research in the field of biochemical nutrition for over forty years. Dr. Saltman has written numerous articles and books, two of which comprise the required texts for this course. Dr. Saltman holds degrees in both chemistry and biochemistry and has been the recipient of a variety of research and educational grants and awards.


University of California, San Diego has approved this course (UCSD course #40025/section 001/Index # 00047) for 2 Semester Units of University Extension credit. These units can be used for professional development, and will appear on official University of California, San Diego extension transcript.



These texts will be mailed to you, along with the course syllabus and other printed materials from University of California, San Diego upon receipt of your enrollment form and fees--see below for enrollment information.


Course begins: 16 October 1995
Course ends: 8 Jan. 1996
You can expect to spend 3-5 hours per week on course activities


This course is designed as a self-paced seminar series, consisting of 10 sessions, an individual project, and an open-book final exam. Each week, one new topic and reading assignment will be posted on the World Wide Web. Students will complete the reading assignment, ask questions via e-mail, and participate in bulletin board style discussions of the assigned topic. The instructor will be available to answer questions via email. The instructor will also monitor and participate in bulletin board interactions.

Successful completion of this course will include both an individual project and an open book final exam, as well as evidence of participation in the ongoing bulletin board style discussions. You have the option of taking this course as Pass/No Pass, or for a letter grade. Grades will be assigned by the instructor on the basis of the project, final exam, and participation in bulletin board discussions.


This course is designed primarily for high school biology teachers, but will not be limited to that population. Course enrollment is limited and will be filled in the order enrollment forms are received.


The fee for this course is $150. Tuition provides required text books, processing fee to provide CEU's to each individual successfully completing the course requirements, a certificate of completion, and access to all online course materials including email interactions with the instructor. This course is not for profit.


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