The Biology program offers two options for specialization in the field of biology, one in Ecological Biology and one in Pre-Health Professions & Molecular Biology. Both degree options provide knowledge of the biological sciences necessary for students pursuing careers, graduate study, or professional study for which a baccalaureate degree is appropriate. The courses provide knowledge needed by students in related fields, such as nursing, secondary education, wildlife, agriculture, and forestry, as well as providing knowledge desired by students majoring in other disciplines both within and outside of the College STM-HS. Other objectives include emphasizing to students the importance of experience and proficiency in several sciences related to biology, especially chemistry and physics; helping students develop and use precise, critical and independent thought; increasing students’ perception, understanding, and appreciation of themselves and their environment; creating in students an awareness of and interest in the role of biological sciences in meeting social and economic needs; and to make available to residents of Eastern Oregon the individual and combined resources of the biology faculty.
- Content Knowledge: Students will master the basic foundational content in the field of biology and apply it to critical analysis and creative application of that content.
- Creative Inquiry: Students will demonstrate the ability to design(create) and conduct experiments to answer biological questions. This process is based upon the tenets of the scientific method.
- Integrated Learning through Critical Thinking: Students will integrate their knowledge (content) of biology, chemistry, physics, and social systems through critical analysis of ecosystems, biological evolution, and the biotechnological revolution.
- Community/Civic Engagement: Students will learn to engage in and apply scientific inquiry to conservation activities that involve the wider regional community.
In addition, all students completing a major in biology will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, mathematics, and statistics.
- Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental organism structure, function, and systematics.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the central role evolution plays in all areas of biology.
- Utilize the principles of Mendelian genetics and basic molecular biology to think critically and solve problems.
- Demonstrate an understanding of basic ecology.
- Demonstrate the ability to gather, analyze, and interpret data and report it as a research paper.
The Ecological Biology concentration emphasizes understanding of ecosystems and organisms. Students develop broad knowledge of global ecological principles as they also acquire practical field skills while engaging in outdoor experiences in the beautiful Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. Courses are investigative in structure and are designed to prepare students for career opportunities in resource management, including with US Forest Service, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Police (Fish & Game enforcement), Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Environmental Quality, Bureau of Land Management, other public agencies, private consulting firms and non-profit organizations. Students also are prepared for careers in secondary science education and graduate programs in biology. Abundant opportunities exist for students to participate in original research projects and internships related to their areas of interest.
The Pre-Health Profession and Molecular Biology concentration emphasizes cellular, molecular, and genetic processes. Courses include significant laboratory experience and are designed to prepare students for successful application to professional programs in health sciences, including medical school, veterinary school, physical therapy, dental, and other related fields. Pre-Health professions students also are supported by an active Pre-health Professions Club and dedicated advising. The Molecular Biology concentration also prepares students for graduate programs in biology.
Means of Assessment
Students will be assessed using a number of criteria. First, all students completing a biology major must do so with an overall minimum GPA of 2.00 and no grade lower than a “C-” in required biology courses. Second, students must complete all homework, writing assignments, exams, and other assigned work as required for each course. Third, students will be required to demonstrate problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in a wide variety of upper division lecture and lab courses. Finally, students will be required in several mandatory courses to conduct research and summarize current research both in the primary literature and in review articles.
ProgramsMajor(s)Minor(s)Four Year Plan(s)