May 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Biological and Environmental Sciences

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Department Chair: Anderson

Professors: Cheesman, Stam, Swails

Associate Professors: Anderson, Larson

Instructors: Heym, Mersfelder

The biological and environmental sciences cover a wide range of topics, approaches and technological applications. These extend from biochemistry and molecular biology to ecology and ecosystem science. Biological scientists work as practitioners, teachers, and researchers. Practitioners apply biological knowledge to solve day-to-day problems. Examples are physicians, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, conservation officers, forensic scientists, pharmaceutical sales representatives, and technical representatives. Teachers who are biological scientists work at all levels from elementary schools through universities, and may also be involved in educational administration or non-formal institutions such as museums and zoological parks. Biological researchers in industry, government, and academia create and develop new knowledge for its pure scientific value or for immediate commercial application. This may include study of the human genome, molecules involved in cell development or death, or ways to reproduce endangered species; or it may involve development of new cancer drugs, genetic variants of crops, or design of surgical equipment.

The department offers a wide array of majors, many of which can be tailored to individual student needs. Majors offered include biology (for students interested in pursuing dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, physician assistant programs, graduate school degrees, and entering the job market immediately), pre-med biology (for students interested in medicine), pre-occupational therapy (preparing students for a clinical master’s degree), pre-physical therapy, and environmental science (see the separate alphabetical listing for this program). Minors are available in biology and environmental science.

Biology Learning Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the traditional core of biology (molecular, cellular, genetics, microbiology, organismal, ecological) and/or environmental science
  2. Read and explain information published in scientific research articles
  3. Use the physical sciences, mathematics, and computational techniques to conduct research and solve problems in the life sciences and/or environmental science
  4. Use scientific method to analyze, evaluate, and create knowledge
  5. Think critically about scientific information
  6. Communicate research findings orally and in writing to a variety of audiences

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