The Department of Biological Sciences seeks to introduce our students to
a scientific understanding of the many forms of life and their ecological
interactions and to equip our students with the scientific knowledge and
perspective to participate in todays world as well-informed and biologically
We intend further to expose our majors to current research and techniques
in biological sciences and prepare them for employment opportunities, graduate
education, or professional programs of study such as medicine and dentistry.
Biology majors can create a course of study that will allow them to concentrate
in ecology, zoology, botany, physiology, or cell/molecular biology. Microbiology
majors can choose a General Microbiology Option or the Clinical Laboratory
Science Option. In addition, they can select courses which will prepare
them for a career in biotechnology. The close proximity to many natural
research sites enhances field courses and provides research opportunities
for both field and laboratory work.
Faculty and Facilities
The faculty represent diverse academic backgrounds. All are vitally interested
in their students. Faculty members, in addition to teaching and advising
are actively involved in research and scientific publication. The department
encourages undergraduates to be involved in faculty research programs.
In addition to excellent field sites, the department has many well-equipped
teaching and research areas, such as labs for aquatic ecology, molecular
biology and biotechnology, electron microscopy, microbiology, and cell
physiology. A natural history museum, herbarium, and greenhouses are also
The objectives of the graduate program are to develop research and analytical
skills so that students are equipped to conduct independent research and
teach as professional biologists upon graduation. Faculty interests offer
graduate students a wide range of areas in which to do research. The MS
in Biology and in Botany combines coursework and satisfactory completion
of original research, presented in a thesis.
The College of Natural Sciences, in conjunction with the University of
California, Davis, operates the Biological Field Station on Eagle Lake,
about forty kilometers northwest of Susanville, California. Summer course
work and year-round research opportunities are available to undergraduates
and graduate students.
Students are involved in faculty research projects in the laboratory, field,
and library. Internships are available with a number of agencies including
the National Institutes of Health, California Department of Fish and Game,
United States Forest Service, and many biotechnology firms. Additional
listings and information are available from the department office.
The organizational, data-gathering, and written communication skills acquired
by biology majors prepare students for a wide variety of careers. Students
may prepare themselves for employment in laboratories, business, or teaching.
Laboratory technician or research associate positions are available in
university and governmental research centers, pharmaceutical and biological
product manufacturers, biotechnology, genetic engineering, and agricultural
and food processing companies.
Students who emphasize field studies may prepare themselves for positions
in private companies as well as state and federal agencies. Some of these
positions include wildlife biologist, aquatic and restoration ecologist,
and horticulturist. Participation in volunteer or paid internships or cooperative
education programs while an undergraduate enhances employability in these