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Program mission

To provide a biological foundation rich in theory, applications and values that will enhance the quality of life and ensure the opportunities that will fulfill our student’s professional aspirations. This will be achieved by offering the highest quality opportunities to both traditional-aged and adult students.


The Biology Department strives to contribute to this mission through teaching, research and action. We offer a values-based, student-centered and highly diverse academic environment and take pride in small class size and personal attention. We strongly encourage faculty and student research. Additionally we encourage educational breadth and hands-on training with the offering of laboratory and field experiences of optimal quality.

Finally, we believe in four core emphases that affirm a positive and rewarding life for our students:

  1. A Values Orientation
    The Biology Department affirms a philosophy of life that actively supports peace, and the appreciation and stewardship of our diverse environment. We therefore encourage students to become reflective about personal, professional and societal values in the light of this affirmation.
  2. Community and Diversity
    The Biology Department promotes the goal of community within the context of diversity. We therefore encourage students to understand and appreciate the diversity of cultures that exist locally, nationally, and internationally. We also seek to promote appreciation and preservation of biodiversity by helping students and colleagues understand the impact and interdependence of human beings on our environment.
  3. Lifelong Learning
    The Biology Department commits itself to an approach to education that is lifelong in nature. Therefore, we strive to teach students how to learn, how to think critically, how to conduct and interpret responsible research, and how to access and integrate information for optimal preparation for both career growth and also for flexibility in a changing world.
  4. Community Service
    The Biology Department believes that service should be a primary goal of the educated person. We thus encourage our students to experience the responsibilities and rewards of humankind and the larger ecological community.