The educational philosophy of the Biology Department is summed up in our departmental description, copied below from the Student Catalog.
“The Biology Department has as its aim the educating of broadly trained biologists who are also well grounded in chemistry and mathematics, and have command of the written and spoken word. Emphasis is placed on the understanding of principles and concepts in biology, and the application of those principles through analysis of data and synthesis of information learned in the classroom.”
One of the best ways we have found for students to achieve these goals is by participating in student research. The actual process of “doing” science provides a degree of understanding of the scientific method, experimental design and data analysis, that goes far beyond what can be easily achieved in the traditional classroom setting. Participating in research helps students to develop and hone their logical skills, the “critical thinking” ability that is so bandied about in education today. Learning how to ask and answer scientific questions, work with others, draw conclusions and present findings in both the spoken and written word, prepares students for any potential career. Whether done for academic credit, pay or as a volunteer, research is an excellent opportunity for students.