Department Chair: Karen Gaines
The primary mission of the Department of Biological Sciences is to provide an exceptional educational experience to both undergraduate and graduate students. This mission is achieved by maintaining small class sizes staffed by full-time faculty and offering courses that have a laboratory component that facilitates participatory learning. The core curriculum in the biological sciences provides students with a broad range of subject courses and individual attention that strengthens communication. quantitative and analytical skills. In addition. curricular concentrations offer the option of specialization leading to employment upon graduation or preparation for postgraduate education.
The department encourages its faculty to engage in scholarly activity and advocates research publication and the acquisition of extramural funding. Scholarship enhances the stature of the department and the university, adds current information to lecture material, and helps to secure technologically advanced laboratory equipment for the classroom. In addition, research-active faculty provide opportunities for students to Participate in new and ongoing research projects under the guidance of a scientist-mentor.
The Department of Biological Sciences also serves the University by maintaining the high quality of pre-professional programs and supporting course work in general education as well as other disciplines, principally Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Studies, Physical Education, Recreation Administration and Chemistry. The department works closely with the College of Education and Professional Studies in training biology teachers for secondary schools and is strengthening ties with other departments in the environmental sciences. Finally, faculty serve on university committees and function as consultants to city government. nonprofit organizations, public schools and industry.