217 Life Sciences, 419-372-2332
Biology, the study of life, encompasses investigations of all aspects of living organisms, including evolution, genetics, cellular structure and function, anatomy, physiology, ecology, behavior, diversity, conservation, host-pathogen interactions, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Biologists study basic aspects of organisms and how they function, how they are adapted to and interact with their environment (both internally and externally), and how they are related to each other through descent with modification from common ancestors. Fields of biology are intimately intertwined with all other areas of natural science as well as the social sciences, philosophy, art, and the humanities. Efforts of biologists have important contributions to an understanding of functioning and adaptations of living organisms as well as to the applied problems and issues facing all inhabitants on planet Earth, such as those involving medical advances, diseases, global changes, agriculture, biotechnology, bioinformatics, environmental management, conservation of species and genetic diversity, and many others.
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in biology are expected to:
- Understand the basic principles of living systems at the molecular, cellular, and organismal level and how these principles are unified through evolution;
- Understand the nature, methods of acquiring, and limitations of scientific evidence and be able to participate in the process of scientific inquiry;
- Value the importance of living systems, Natural Science in general, and specifically biological science, basic research, and scientific thinking to society;
- Communicate scientific information and reasoning in writing, orally, and in other presentation formats;
- Apply and extrapolate biological science knowledge and skills to address local/global needs and problems.
Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. Ecology serves as a foundation for Conservation Biology, which is the application of biological knowledge and techniques to the conservation and restoration of natural biodiversity. Students completing a Bachelor of Science specialization in Ecology and Conservation Biology (ECB) will gain a solid foundation in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology while developing the quantitative, analytical, and technical skills essential to qualify for professional positions or advanced study in this area. ECB graduates will be highly competitive for employment with businesses, government, or consulting agencies performing conservation assessment and ecological research, restoration or management of habitat or populations of rare, economically important, or invasive species, or for subsequent graduate training in ecology or conservation biology.
The Ecology and Conservation Biology specialization (ECB) requires completion of a suite of core courses in basic biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. Elective courses in diverse areas of ecology (Group A) provide more specialized training, while advanced courses in organismal biology (Group B) create depth of knowledge in biodiversity. Applied technical training through experiential learning and focused coursework (Group C) in statistics, GIS, independent research, service learning, or internships is also integrated into the program.
Upon completion of this specialization, undergraduates will:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of ecology and understand the concepts central to conservation, including how organisms and natural systems are impacted by man's dominance of the biosphere;
- Demonstrate the ability to critically examine ecological data and scientific literature, design effective experiments, collect appropriate data in field and laboratory settings, and interpret the results of ecological studies;
- Demonstrate understanding of how to apply the approaches, technology, and quantitative analyses essential to solving conservation problems;
- Demonstrate the ability to present ecological knowledge in a conservation context in both oral and written formats to professional and non-science audiences.
Marine and Aquatic Biology is the study of marine and freshwater organisms, their behaviors, and their interactions with the environment. Marine and Aquatic Biology is a subdiscipline of both oceanography and limnology. To best understand aquatic organisms, students are encouraged to acquire an appreciation for the allied disciplines of chemical, physical, and geological oceanography and limnology.
The oceans are the final frontier of discovery on Earth. They possess vast untapped resources, provide a global transportation network for commerce, and play a pivotal role in moderating Earth's climate. Likewise, our freshwater resources support both commercial and recreational activities. They serve as readily accessible sources of potable water and influence climate on regional scales. Human activities related to global population growth represent a serious challenge to preserving these important resources. We must build upon our existing knowledge of the ocean and our lakes and their potential to help meet the needs of this and future generations.
Career opportunities in the marine and aquatic sciences are exciting and diverse. Graduates may find work with one of the branches of government, in academia with university research labs, with the private sector (consulting, natural resource exploration, aquaculture, recreation), or with a non-governmental organization.
The Marine and Aquatic Biology specialization requires completion of a suite of core courses in basic biology, genetics, ecology, and marine biology. Elective courses in diverse areas of ecology (Group A) provide more specialized training, while advanced courses in organismal biology (Group B) create depth of knowledge in biodiversity. Applied technical training through experiential learning and focused coursework (Group C) in statistics, GIS, remote sensing independent research, service learning, or internships is also integrated into the program.
Upon completion of this specialization, undergraduates will:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of marine biology and gain an appreciation of its role as a subdiscipline of oceanography.
- Gain a better understanding of how the marine environment is impacted by human activities.
- Develop critical thinking skills as well as an understanding of the nature of science, demonstrate the ability to evaluate biological research, and demonstrate technical skills relevant to marine biology.
- Demonstrate the ability to articulate their understanding of marine environments in both oral and written formats to professional and non-science audiences.
- Seek employment consistent with their interest in marine science, pursue professional school or graduate education, or be satisfied that the degree met other personal objectives.
- BIOL 2040, 2050 (10)
- CHEM 1250, 1270, 1280 or equivalent (10)*
- Electives in BIOL (10)
(*Note: This General Chemistry requirement is waived for students choosing the Biology Minor whose major or minor requires CHEM 1250, 1270, 1280 or equivalent.)