Undergraduate Research in Biology and Environmental Science
The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences recognizes the importance of our students developing good research skills. We emphasize development of these skills in the majority of our lab courses, and our majors are required to participate in a 400-level course where they design a research proposal and write a grant proposal to fund it (BIO 480 or ENSC 485). In addition, they have the option of taking 6 credits of senior independent research, during which they complete a literature review in their chosen area, develop a research question, design a project with the goal of answering that question, conduct the research, write up their results in research report format, and defend their results to the faculty. These students are also encouraged to present their research at off-campus conferences, such as the Prairie University Biology Symposium (PUBS).
The research courses allow students to:
- Enhance their networking and teamwork skills
- Develop independence of thought and academic self-confidence
- Build collaborative relationships with their faculty and peers
- Refine their laboratory and/or field-based research skills
- Prepare for a career in science or or for graduate school
In the Cell and Molecular Biology, Integrative Biology, and Environmental Assessment and Remediation degree streams, students must complete the six credits of independent research.
Majors from the General streams in Biology and in Environmental Science may take the research courses with permission of the department.