Jun 25, 2021  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences

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Professor John Tucker, Head


The Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences offers three majors: a B.S. in Biology, a B.S. in Geology, and a B.S. in Environmental Science.  Each major consists of two parts:  a core curriculum and a concentration of study.  Biology majors must take the biology core curriculum and select a concentration of study in General Biology, Preprofessional (Premedical, Predental, Premedical Technology), Ecology, Organismal Biology, or Molecular.  Environmental Science majors must take the Environmental Science core curriculum and select a concentration of study in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Geology, Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, Mathematics, or Sociology/Anthropology. In addition to requirements in the biology and environmental science majors, students must satisfy all university and general education requirements for graduation.

Students are urged to consider attendance at the institutions affiliated with UTC’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences that offer field course experience in the life sciences: Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, offering courses in marine biology; and Highlands Biological Station, Highlands, North Carolina, offering courses related to the biology and ecology of the Southern Appalachians.

UTC offers several programs of study that allow a student to be accepted into professional school without first earning a bachelor’s degree. Special preprofessional programs in dentistry, medical technology, medicine, cytotechnology, dental hygiene, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine are described in greater detail in the Pre-professional section.  



 The Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences perceives that its role at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is to function as a vital part of the metropolitan university community in the promotion of scholarship, research, and service. To carry out this role the department has the following mission:

  • To introduce students to the philosophy and methods of science through lecture, laboratory, and field experiences;
  • To provide courses and programs in biology and environmental sciences which have as their goal academic excellence and thereby provide an opportunity for students to obtain an education of a superior quality;
  • To assist students in preparing for post-graduate goals, whether to enter the work force or continue in formal education;
  • To develop student awareness of the need for critical thinking and lifelong learning;
  • To nurture the evolution of a curriculum for majors in biology, environmental science, and related areas that includes traditional information and contemporary frontiers in the life sciences;
  • To remain alert for emerging curricular and service needs;
  • To pursue opportunities for educational cooperation;
  • To recruit, give opportunity to, and retain students of diverse personal backgrounds with special effort for those historically under-represented in the sciences, i.e., minorities and women;
  • To encourage research by all faculty members;
  • To maintain the humane treatment of animals used in research and teaching while realizing the necessity of animal experimentation in the biological sciences;
  • To increase funding from outside sources for biology and environmental science;
  • To support interdisciplinary programs, e.g.. University Honors;
  • To remain committed to continuing faculty development;
  • To encourage cooperation and respect among students, faculty, and administration;
  • To recruit new faculty members, as needed, who are recognized as fully qualified for university level instruction and research;
  • To remain committed to evaluation of departmental effectiveness.


Learning Outcomes for Biology

General knowledge of Biology

Students completing the baccalaureate program in Biology will compare favorably in their general knowledge of biology with those students completing a similar program.

Specific knowledge in concentration area

Students completing the baccalaureate program in biology will demonstrate knowledge in their concentration area of study.

Preparation for employment or post-graduate studies

Students completing the Biology program will be adequately prepared for employment or post-graduate study in their field.


Learning Outcomes for Environmental Science

Proper Preparation

Students completing the baccalaureate program in Environmental Science will be well prepared for their first position in the field or for entry into professional or graduate school.

Adequate Understanding

Students will express confidence in their understanding of global environmental concerns and scientific principles and methods.

Expression of Satisfaction

Students completing the baccalaureate program in Environmental Science will demonstrate satisfaction with the quality of the program. Agencies and entities that employ junior and senior environmental science majors as interns will express satisfaction with their work.

Solid Internship Performances

Agencies and entities that employ junior and senior environmental science majors as interns will not only express satisfaction with their work, but will also benefit the interns by providing them with worthwhile experiences, as evidenced by the construction of quality student internship papers.


Consortium Courses

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga maintains a formal affiliation arrangement with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Through this arrangement, our students may take field courses in marine science at GCRL during the summer. Credits for these courses are awarded through the University of Southern Mississippi and will be accepted as transfer credit at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The following is a list of courses taught at GCRL, their level (undergraduate or graduate), and the semester hours credit. Not all course are offered each year.

Marine Science I: Oceanography (U) 5 hours.
Marine Science II: Marine Biology (U) 5 hours.
Coastal Vegetation (U/G) 3 hours.
Marine Phycology (U/G) 4 hours.
Salt Marsh Plant Ecology (U/G) 4 hours.
Coastal Marine Geology (U/G) 3 hours.
Marine Invertebrate Zoology (U/G) 6 hours.
Marine Ichthyology (U/G) 6 hours.
Marine Microbiology (U/G) 5 hours.
Comparative Histology of Marine Organisms (U/G) 6 hours.
Marine Fisheries Management (U/G) 4 hours.
Fauna and Faunistic Ecology of Tidal Marshes (U/G) 4 hours.
Early Life History of Marine Fishes (G) 4 hours.
Marine Ecology (U/G) 5 hours.
Parasites of Marine Animals (U/G) 6 hours.
Marine Aquaculture (U/G) 6 hours.
Coastal Ecology for Teachers (U/G) 4 hours.
Special Problems in Marine Science (U/G) 1 to 6 hours.
Special Topics in Marine Science (U/G) 1 to 6 hours.

Students may obtain more information about the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and admission to the summer program from the Biology/ Environmental Science Head or by writing: Office of Student Services, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, P. O. Box 7000, Ocean Springs, MS 39564-7000. Telephone (228) 872-4201 or (228) 875-2244, extension 201.

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