Biology MissionThe biology discipline strives to provide a modern, rigorous, broad-based, laboratory-intensive education that is intellectually challenging. It is expected that this educational experience will motivate students to achieve excellence and prepare them for professional as well as academic careers such as medicine, dentistry, other health-based professions, veterinary medicine, graduate school or other future endeavors involving a knowledge of biology. The biology program serves the General Education curriculum by providing non-science students an environment for scientific inquiry and opportunities to explore the diversity and functioning of the natural world and our place in it. Central to the mission of the program is a commitment to engaging biology majors in the actual process of science by encouraging them to participate in collaborative research with faculty. This not only personalizes the undergraduate learning and teaching experience through close mentoring but also nurtures and maintains the excitement and enthusiasm that faculty and students have for their discipline. The integration of research and learning through such collaborative activities is seen as a logical extension of the undergraduate classroom and an integral part of the program’s academic culture.
“In late June of each summer, I pack up my Springbar tent, rock hammer, anvils, GPS, collecting bags and other field gear and drive to Lost Cabin, Wyoming, to look for fossils.
“The roughest part of fieldwork (rattlesnakes and scorpions aside) is the lack of running water. But after a couple of days, everyone is in the same state. Plus, you can get an early start in the field when you don’t have to wait for everyone to shower!”
Associate professor of biology