Jul 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


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Chair: Professor Mark Lubkowitz
Professors: Douglas Facey, Declan McCabe, Karen Talentino
Associate Professor: Paul Constantino, Ruth Fabian-Fine, Dagan Loisel, Adam Weaver
Assistant Professors: Nicole Podnecky
Lab Coordinators/Instructor: Brian Swisher
Instructors: Carolyn Marsden

The John C. Hartnett, Ph.D. ‘43 Endowment (2000) was established by Paul A. Lachance, Ph.D. ‘55, and Therese C. Lachance to honor Professor Emeritus, John C. Hartnett, Ph.D. ‘43 for his remarkable dedication to excellence in teaching and his outstanding influence on forty-four years of biology and other students at Saint Michael’s College. The fund provides increased faculty-student research opportunities.

Biology is the scientific investigation of living things at all levels of organization, from the structure and function of biological molecules within cells to the interactions of populations of organisms with each other and with their environment. The goals of the biology major are to provide students with a fundamental understanding of biology at each major level of organization (molecular/cellular, organismal, and population), to develop each student’s ability to study the current biological literature, to develop written and verbal communication skills within the field, and to provide opportunities for independent research. Sound understanding of chemistry and mathematics is an integral part of the major. Ample flexibility within this framework allows students to choose many of their biology courses to suit individual interests. Students who complete the biology major successfully are prepared to pursue a variety of careers including health-care professions; environmental, biological, and biomedical research; and education.

The biology department offers five specific plans of study for students interested in particular areas of biology. Careful selection of required and elective biology courses will enable students to pursue one of these plans in the context of the biology major. The Conservation Biology option is appropriate for students interested in ecology and natural resources. The Cellular and Molecular Biology option is suitable for students interested in cellular, molecular, and biomedical topics. The Pre-Health option is designed for students interested in healthcare careers including medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and other healthcare professions. The Biology Education option is appropriate for students planning to teach elementary, middle, or high school. The Generalist option is available for students who want to take a broad array of courses in biology. Suggested biology courses for each of these options are listed below the general description of requirements for the biology major.

Qualified biology majors are encouraged to pursue a variety of opportunities to enhance their major program. Many students carry out original laboratory or field investigations with faculty members, undertake internships at a variety of off-campus facilities, or study abroad. Saint Michael’s College is an affiliate member of the School for Field Studies, and a number of our students participate in international environmental research programs at SFS campuses in Australia, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, or the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Success in the biology major ordinarily requires that the applicant has satisfactorily completed at least three years of high-school mathematics, and one year each of biology, chemistry, and physics.

Biology Learning Outcomes:

Students should …

Be able to frame a scientific question or problem

Be able to undertake investigations and perform analyses that provide information about biological questions and help to solve biological problems.

Be able to communicate the results of scientific investigations.

Know how to locate, obtain, read, and understand appropriate literature in the biological sciences.

Be familiar with biology at different levels of biological organization.

Be able to evaluate scientific arguments critically.

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