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FYS ET and Interstellar Travel: Home


This course is taught by:

Ignacio Birriel
Office: 425E Lappin Hall
Phone: 606-783-2178


Keyword worksheet

Feel free to use this worksheet to help you develop a search string to use while finding resources.


This course is taught by:

Jennifer Birriel
Office: 425D Lappin Hall
Phone: 606-783-2924


Course Description

ET captures the imagination, but is there more to the extra-terrestrial phenomenon than meets the eye? Claims of UFO sightings and alien abductions abound in popular culture. This seminar introduces students to the scientific method and the scientific study of life in the universe. Science fiction literature imagines an incredible variety of intelligent life capable of routinely communicating and traveling across vast distances in space. Students will explore whether these scenarios are fact or fiction and how scientists in the emerging field of astrobiology are attempting to determine if humans are alone or if other life forms exist in the Universe. Students will critically examine the possibilities and challenges of interstellar travel by using case studies of UFO claims, such as the Roswell, NM UFO site.

An Associate Professor of Physics in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics, Dr. Birriel teaches general education science classes and physics at MSU. She is a contributing editor to Mercury magazine with a regular column entitled "The Astronomer's Notebook".

Add the Library to Google Scholar

Want to add library results to your Google Scholar searches? I will show you how to do that here. You can find google scholar at

When you get to Google Scholar, click on the Settings button, which looks like a little cog in the top right corner. 

Inside the Scholar Preferences, there will be a few links on the left side of the screen. Click on the "Library Links" one. Search for Morehead State University - Full text. You can also search for Open Worldcat - Library Search. These will add the library resources to your Google scholar results.

Author Profile

Rodney Watkins's picture
Rodney Watkins
(606) 783-9343