Academics Standards and Requirements
The Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Studies Department provides access to general education science requirements for the non-science student and provides the science curriculum for five major programs in Biology and in two major programs in Earth and Environmental Studies. The professional standard of the science faculty serves as a model that students emulate and anticipate as members of the scientific community. To enable the distribution of quality science education, the Department and its curricular activities are rooted in the following directives:
- Encourage an appreciation for the classical approaches of scientific inquiry while implementing contemporary methodologies and techniques in the lecture and laboratory settings.
- Provide learning opportunities that encourage diversity of opinion, critical thinking and personal creativity in the service of scientific truth finding.
- Exercise the basic scientific principle that the study of similarities and differences among nonliving things and living organisms facilitates a better understanding of our relationship with the universe.
- Provide evidence that human decisions and activities have had a profound affect on the diversity of species, the environment and evolution of the planet.
Within the context of a liberal arts education, the Department's comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the study of the fundamental laws and theories of science and the importance of scientific inquiry as a means of generating new concepts into general realities. The general education requirements and major programs offered by the Department enhance the intellectual and maturational capacities of students, provide a knowledge basis for a variety of undergraduate programs and successfully permit career choices in teaching, medicine, dentistry and theoretical or applied research.
To implement the purpose and goal of the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Studies students will:
- Show evidence of critical thinking, application of the scientific method and the ability to accurately evaluate and discuss scientific knowledge in both written and oral presentation formats.
- Demonstrate laboratory skills befitting the student's exposure to a variety of laboratory protocols.
- Demonstrate an ability to synthesize investigated results in appropriate scientific style and support or defend final data analysis.
- Search, critically review and evaluate scientific research from the primary literature and know how it is the same or different from literature searches acquired from alternate sources, publications and facilities.
- Understand and adhere to the code of ethics within the scientific community that includes a harmonious and productive use of knowledge.
- Demonstrate the capacity to objectively relate scientific evidence and relevant contemporary issues as they ethically, politically and personally inform life-decisions.
The Department has two large teaching laboratories for course work in General Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Embryology and Comparative Anatomy, Cell Biology and Microbiology. Two advanced research laboratories enable protocols for molecular biology and cell tissue culture. These facilities support faculty research, independent study for the junior or senior science major and the integration of laboratory experiences that utilize methodologies including: recombinant DNA technology, cell hybridization, electrophoresis, influorescence microscopy and immunochemistry.
Chemistry and Physics Facilities
The Department has two large teaching laboratories for work in Inorganic, Organic and Analytical Chemistry. A common instrumentation room services both Chemistry and Earth and Environmental Studies for infrared spectrophotometry, ICP spectrophotometry, gas chromatography and other high tech data analyses. One large combination teaching laboratory and lecture room accommodates the needs of General Physics and Earth Science. An attached microscopy room and darkroom are available for general use.
The undergraduate laboratory experience in all the sciences can be augmented by internships and field experiences coordinated by the College's partnerships with off-campus institutions that specialize in clinical and experimental/applied research in biology, earth and environmental sciences.