Dec 06, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Biology, Geology and Environmental Science


UC Foundation Professor Gretchen E. Potts, Interim Head

 

The Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science (BGE) offers three major programs of study: 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, Pre-Professional (e.g. Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Pre-Medical Technology, Pre-Veterinary) or STEM Education. Geology majors must take the Geology core curriculum and select a concentration of study in Geology Environmental Geology or STEM Education. Environmental Science majors must take the Environmental Science core curriculum and select a concentration of study in Biodiversity, Conservation and Natural Resources; Earth, Atmosphere and Geological Resources; Environmental Health; Environmental Policy and Planning; Geographic and Cartographic Sciences; or Natural Resource Administration and Enforcement. In addition to requirements in the Biology, Geology and Environmental Science major, students must satisfy all university and general education requirements for graduation.

Department Vision

Building on the unique strengths of our faculty, staff and students, we will be leaders of and advocates for innovative teaching, scientific discovery and service.

Department Mission

We are educators and scientists who embrace creativity, intellectual freedom, high academic standards and diversity of thought and culture. Our mission is to: 1) inspire students to become productive, responsible and engaged members of the scientific community and society, 2) advance the fields of biology, geology and environmental science by engaging in innovative research and scholarship, 3) be locally and globally engaged scientists who promote education in our community and worldwide and 4) expand and enhance diversity and inclusivity in the sciences.

Department Values

Faculty, staff and students in Biology, Geology and Environmental Science value:

  • Broad scientific education that promotes an appreciation and deep understanding of the natural world;
  • Freedom of scientific thought;
  • The scientific process and effective dissemination of knowledge;
  • Integrity and collegiality;
  • Cultural diversity and inclusivity of people, thoughts, experiences and talent; and
  • Community and global engagement.
Learning Outcomes for Biology

The Biology program of study is designed so that students earning the B.S. in Biology will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of and differentiate among the different levels of biological organization.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of ecology, evolution and genetics as three core areas of the discipline and apply this knowledge to studies of various taxonomic groups.
  3. Apply knowledge of cells and organ systems in a variety of biological contexts.
  4. Utilize proper laboratory and field techniques, formulate appropriate questions and hypotheses and collect and analyze data in a variety of biological contexts.
  5. Communicate biological information effectively.
  6. Retrieve specific information from the scientific literature and evaluate the literature effectively and critically.
  7. Conduct themselves responsibly and recognize the importance of ethical professional behavior.
Learning Outcomes for Geology

The Geology program of study is designed so that upon completion of the baccalaureate program in Geology, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental sciences to interdisciplinary studies of the Earth.
  2. Apply computational skills to studies of the Earth.
  3. Characterize and identify common earth materials (minerals, rocks, fossils and soils) in situ and in hand specimen.
  4. Interpret the genesis of rocks and minerals of common rocks and of common associations of minerals, fossils and rock structures.
  5. Relate imperceptibly slow geologic processes to the enormous scale of geologic time and the energy gradients that drive them.
  6. Critically assess geology-related issues that impact society, using their knowledge of geology.
  7. Formulate a reasonable model of geologic structure, geologic process and/or geologic history based on spatially, geometrically and/or temporally related data.
  8. Design and conduct geologic research, using their knowledge, skills and critical thinking abilities.
  9. Communicate geotechnical information by written, oral and graphical means.
Learning Outcomes for Environmental Science

The Environmental Science program of study is designed so that students earning the B.S. in Environmental Science will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the natural world within the context of key environmental issues.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of core areas of the field, including ecology, survey methodology, natural resources, environmental law and policy and environmental ethics as they apply to the interdisciplinary nature of the field.
  3. Apply knowledge toward addressing environmental problems in a manner consistent with recognizing the unique role that humans play in the environment.
  4. Formulate research questions and/or hypotheses, utilize appropriate methodologies and collect and analyze data in a variety of environmental contexts.
  5. Communicate environmental science information effectively.
  6. Retrieve specific information from the relevant literature and evaluate the literature effectively and critically.
  7. Conduct themselves responsibly and recognize the importance of ethical professional behavior.
  8. Appreciate the value of experiential learning as demonstrated by the competent and professional completion of an applied capstone course.
Pre-Professional Programs

In addition to the Biology: Pre-Professional program, UTC offers several other programs of study that prepare a student to be accepted into medical school. Additional information is provided on the Pre-Health Professions Advising website

Consortium Courses

In addition to courses offered by BGE, students are encouraged to consider enrolling in relevant field courses at institutions formally affiliated with BGE including the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, which offers courses in marine biology, and the Highlands Biological Station (HBS) in Highlands, North Carolina, which offers courses related to the biology and ecology of the Southern Appalachians. Geology majors are encouraged to attend a summer field camp before or immediately after graduation.

Students can obtain more information about the GCRL, including admission to its summer program and course enrollment, from the BGE Department Head or through the GCRL website. Course offerings vary from year to year and can be viewed through the GCRL website.

Students can obtain more information about the HBS, including admission to its summer workshops and course enrollment, from the BGE Department Head or through the HBS website.