1. Knowledge of Biology
Success in any field within biology requires students to be able to identify and describe the basic principles on which our current understanding of the biological world is based. By the end of his/her program each student is expected to be able to explain and/or analyze the following:
1.1 Distinguishing characteristics of living systems
1.2 Hierarchical organization of living systems
1.3 Structure and function of cells
1.3 Energy transformations of living system
1.4 Patterns of growth, reproduction, and development in living systems,
1.5 Structural and functional features that allow organisms to carry out fundamental life processes (e.g., resource acquisition. gas exchange, transport of materials, maintenance of homeostasis, response to stimuli, reproduction, etc.)
1.6 Principles of heredity, including Mendelian and molecular genetics,
1.7 Ecological interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environments
1.8 Evolutionary history and mechanisms of evolutionary change in populations
1.9 Biological diversity and a familiarity with the organisms and ecosystems of the local landscape.
2. Research Skills and Understanding of Scientific Process
Students must comprehend and utilize an array of skills in order to carry out the scientific research process necessary to succeed in a scientific career. These skills are most effectively attained through the pursuit of novel research. By the end of their time as an undergraduate each student is expected to be able to conduct research that includes the following:
2.1 Observe and describe nature accurately
2.2 Collect, organize, and analyze relevant background information
2.3 Generate and state testable hypotheses
2.4 Design experiments to test hypotheses
2.5 Successfully apply scientific protocols
2.6 Collect data in a manner consistent with a prescribed research design
2.7 Interpret and analyze data
2.8 Present research findings in a written and oral format
2.9 Evaluate the strengths and limitations of scientific investigation
3. Critical, analytical and integrative thinking
Critical, analytical, and integrative thinking skills are fundamental to the pursuit of any scientific study. By the end of their time as an undergraduate each student is expected to be able to do research that includes the following:
3.1 Approach novel problems with flexibility, creativity, and confidence
3.2 Make connections between concentration areas within biology
3.3 Apply theoretical perspectives to personal experiences and current events/problems
3.4 Critique logical arguments in biology
3.5 Draw conclusions and evaluate their relative quality
3.6 Apply quantitative reasoning to biological questions
3.7 Analyze data using statistical method
3.8 Analyze scientific information, and apply these skills to decision making
3.9 Be able to read and interpret biological literature
4. Writing and other communication skills
Our scientific comprehension of the natural world is built upon the discoveries of others. The effective communication of scientific ideas and discoveries are critical to the advancement of the field and the future success of those pursuing scientific careers. By the end of their time as an undergraduate each student is expected to be able to present the results of his/her senior research that demonstrates the following:
4.1 Writing skills which involve integration of their personal knowledge of biological content
4.2 Communicate ideas and arguments effectively both orally and in writing
4.3 Write a scientific report that is correct in style and cogent in its organization, presentation, analysis, and conclusions
5. Concentration Specific Outcomes
5.1 Environmental Biology Concentration
In addition to the core Student Learning Outcomes for the Biology program, students in the Environmental Biology Concentration are expected to be able to demonstrate:
- Ability to discuss contemporary environment issues that cover local to global concerns.
- Ability to choose appropriate statistical test to analyze a given set of data.
- Ability to assess water quality using macro-invertebrate communities in a rapid bioassessment protocol.
5.2 Fisheries Concentration
In addition to the core Student Learning Outcomes for the Biology program students in the Fisheries Concentration are expected to be able to demonstrate the following:
- An in-depth knowledge of fish culture and fish management.
- Ability to choose an appropriate statistical test to analyze a given set of data.
- Ability to identify local fishes.
- Ability to properly operate electroshocking equipment.
5.3 Cell and Molecular Concentration
In addition to the core Student Learning Outcomes for the Biology program, students in the Cell and Molecular Concentration are expected to be able to demonstrate the following:
- Mastery of Student Learning Outcomes 1.3, 1.6 and 1.7.
- Successful application of laboratory techniques required for Molecular Biology experimentation, including polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid purification and handling of bacterial cultures.
5.4 Medical Laboratory Sciences Concentration
In addition to the core student learning outcomes for the Biology program, students in the Medical Laboratory Sciences Concentration will demonstrate knowledge in specific content areas and proficiency in laboratory skills required of a clinical laboratory professional (medical laboratory scientist). These specific content areas and laboratory skills include the following:
- Hematology and transfusion medicine
- Urinalysis and body fluids
- Clinical chemistry
- Medical bacteriology, mycology and parasitology
- Clinical laboratory management