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University Catalog

Biology Major (Bachelor of Science)

Vision Statement

The biology faculty of the Natural and Behavioral Sciences Division at the University of Maine at Fort Kent believe that students come to understand the discipline of biology through a combination of course work, laboratory experiences, research, and fieldwork. The combination of instructional methods leads students to a balanced understanding of the scientific methods used by biologists to make observations, develop insights and create theories about the living organisms that populate our planet. Small class sizes within the biology program foster a close working relationship between faculty and students in an informal and nurturing atmosphere.


Mission Statement

The biology faculty pursues a multifaceted charge at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The Program seeks to provide all biology students with fundamental knowledge of biology, as well as a deeper understanding of a selected focus area within the biological sciences. The curriculum and advising have been designed to prepare graduates for their professional future, whether they choose to work as field biologists specializing in botany or wildlife, or to pursue advanced degrees in the life sciences or health sciences. The biology program also provides the necessary fundamental knowledge of the life sciences to support the Nursing degree, the Environmental Studies degree, and the Associate of Science degree in Forest Technology. In addition, biology courses provide a key laboratory science experience for those students seeking to complete the general education requirements.


Program Description/Goals

The biology curriculum consists of required courses and electives. To meet the needs of students with diverse backgrounds and interests, students have the opportunity to choose elective courses that reflect their individual interests and career paths. Students majoring in biology choose from two options: a major in biology with a minor in a field outside of biology; or a major in biology with a concentration in a specific area of biological science.

All students in the Biology Major will participate in a Field Experience Program as part of their coursework.  This program consists of experiential learning activities that students participate in through short field trips in the local area, as well as through multi-day expeditions to destinations across the U.S.  The courses included in the Field Experience Program each have a $ 150 fee, which helps to cover necessary costs including travel, entrance fees, and camping. It is important that students take courses during the designated year and semester to ensure that they have the background preparation needed to benefit fully from the field-based activities.


Biology Major with a Minor in a Field Outside of Biology

This option provides a broad training in biology and offers students the maximum flexibility in selecting courses that meet their interests. Students complete all required and support courses for the biology major, and they complete all courses necessary for a minor in a field other than biology (see Index under “Minors” for a description of appropriate study areas).


Biology Major with a Concentration in a Specific Area of Biological Science

This option provides a broad training in biology and offers students the opportunity to develop more detailed knowledge of a specific area of biological science. Students complete all required and support courses for the biology major, and they complete all courses necessary for the concentration. These concentrations prepare students for continued study in graduate and professional schools, as well providing preparation for many other career goals including teaching, technical, and field positions. Each concentration consists of courses which provide depth in the principal aspects of the subject. This academic track provides a broad exposure in laboratory work and extensive experience in field situations. Students choose to concentrate in one of the following areas: bio-medical science, botany, ecology, or zoology.


Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a major in Biology from the University of Maine at Fort Kent will:

  1. Acquire a comprehensive knowledge of biology in a diversity of organisms encompassing the molecular to ecosystem levels;
  2. Place biological knowledge in context and show an understanding of the way biologists think and of the historical development of biological thought;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to connect and apply biological knowledge to other disciplines and to integrate knowledge into their personal and professional lives;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to engage in critical, independent, and creative thinking; and
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in writing and speaking about biological concepts and research.

Program Requirements 

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 100 General Biology OR  
    BIO 220     Anatomy and Physiology I AND  
    BIO 221     Anatomy and Physiology II 4-8 credits
BIO 202 Botany 4 credits
BIO 204 Zoology 4 credits
BIO 320 Genetics 4 credits
BIO 352 Ecology 3 credits
BIO 353 General Microbiology with lab 4 credits
BIO 339 Research Methods and Techniques 3 credits
BIO 498 Senior Project 3-6 credits
  Concentration (select one)* 9-16 credits
Total 37-47 credits

Required Support Courses

(These requirements can be taken as part of the general education requirements.)

CRN Course Name Credits
CHY 100 Chemistry I 4 credits
CHY 101 Chemistry II 4 credits
CHY 300/BIO 301 Biochemistry OR  
    CHY 310     Organic Chemistry I 4 credits
MAT 351 Statistics I 3 credits

*Select one of the following concentrations. Note: Courses may be substituted with the approval of the academic advisor to meet a student’s career goal.


Bio-Medical Science

Graduates from this B.S. program may contribute to society in the area of health maintenance and is good preparation for students intending to develop research careers in the medical and biological sciences.


Concentration Requirements​

CRN Course Name Credits
Choose three of the following courses:
BIO 356 Vertebrate Biology 3 credits
BIO 363 Human Nutrition 3 credits
BIO 401 Pathophysiology 3 credits
BIO 412 Mammalogy 3 credits

Zoology

Students interested in pursuing an organismal approach to the study of animals should follow this career track.


Concentration Requirements​

CRN Course Name Credits
Choose two of the following courses:
BIO 350 Invertebrate Zoology 4 credits
BIO 356 Vertebrate Biology 3 credits
BIO 330 Comparative Animal Physiology 4 credits
BIO 412 Mammalogy 3 credits
BIO 420 Ornithology 3 credits
Choose two of the following courses:
ENV 326 Conservation Biology 3 credits
ENV 302 Wildlife Conservation & Management 4 credits
ENV 328 Biological Diversity 3 credits
ENV 333 Fisheries Science 3 credits
ENV 334 Wildlife Science 4 credits
ENV 354 Wildlife Habitat Interactions 4 credits

Ecology

For students interested in the interaction of organisms with their natural environment, and the effects of human populations on those ecosystems.


Concentration Requirements

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 310 Taxonomy of Vascular Plants 4 credits
BIO 452 Field Ecology 4 credits
Choose one of the following courses:
BIO 380 Limnology 4 credits
FOR 260 Silvics (Forest Ecology) 3 credits
Choose one of the following courses:
ENV 326 Conservation Biology 3 credits
ENV 302 Wildlife Conservation & Management 4 credits
ENV 328 Biological Diversity 3 credits
ENV 333 Fisheries Science 3 credits
ENV 334 Wildlife Science 4 credits
ENV 354 Wildlife Habitat Interactions 4 credits

Botany

Students interested in studying plants in their natural setting and in the laboratory should consider this career track. Faculty has expertise in mycology and lichenology, which allows for students to focus on these aspects within this concentration.


Concentration Requirements​

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 310 Taxonomy of Vascular Plants 4 credits
BIO 454 Plant Physiology 4 credits
Choose two of the following courses:
BIO 109 Dendrology 4 credits
BIO 311 Lichenology 4 credits
FOR 260 Silvics (Forest Ecology) 3 credits

Techniques for Assessment

Students are assessed in all classes using various means including written assignments, quizzes and exams, field and laboratory practical exams, comprehensive final exams in some classes, and course projects. All students must demonstrate proficiency in written and oral communication skills by satisfactory performance on the written report and public oral presentation for the capstone Senior Project. All students will complete two comprehensive exams to assess knowledge and appreciation of critical content related to organism diversity and ecology. Graduating students complete an exit survey during their last semester to reflect on their BS in Biology program education and provide feedback about their experience. Graduates are required to complete an alumni survey to provide feedback about the quality and effectiveness of their education. 


Course Sequencing

Fall Semester Freshman Year

CRN Course Name Credits
HUM 102 First Year Experience 3 credits
BIO 100 General Biology/Lab* OR  
    BIO 220     Anatomy and Physiology I/Lab 4 credits
ENG 100 English Composition I 3 credits
  General Education - Quantative Reasoning 3 credits
Total 13 credits

Spring Semester Freshman Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 221 Anatomy and Physiology II (if completed BIO 220) OR  
    BIO 202     Botany* 4 credits
ENG 101 English Composition II 3 credits
  General Education Elective 3 credits
  General Education Elective (concentration/minor) 3-4 credits
Total 13-14 credits

Fall Semester Sophomore Year

CRN Course Name Credits
  General Education Elective 3 credits
  General Education - Information Fluency 4 credits
CHY 100 Chemistry I with Lab 4 credits
MAT 351 Statistics I 3 credits
  General Education Elective (concentration/minor) 3-4 credits
Total 17-18 credits

Spring Semester Sophomore Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 202 Botany 4 credits
BIO 204 Zoology with Lab 4 credits
CHY 101 Chemistry II with Lab 4 credits
  General Education Elective (oral communication) 3 credits
  General Education Elective (concentration/minor) 3-4 credits
Total 18-19 credits

Fall Semester Junior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 320 Genetics OR  
      General Education Elective (concentration/minor) 3-4 credits
CHY 310 Organic Chemistry I with Lab OR  
      General Education Elective (concentration/minor) 3-4 credits
  General Education Electives (concentration/minor) 9-12 credits
Total 15-20 credits

Spring Semester Junior Year 

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 339 Research Methods and Techniques* 3 credits
BIO 352 Ecology* 3 credits
BIO 353 Microbiology with Lab OR  
    CHY 300/BIO 301     Biochemistry with Lab OR  
      General Education Elective (concentration/minor) 3-4 credits
  General Education Electives (concentration/minor) 6-8 credits
Total 15-18 credits

Fall Semester Senior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 320 Genetics OR 4 credits
      General Education Elective (concentration/minor) 3-4 credits
BIO 498 Senior Project* 3 credits
  General Education Electives (concentration/minor) 9-12 credits
Total 15-19 credits

Spring Semester Senior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 353 Microbiology with Lab OR 4 credits
    CHY 300/BIO 301     Biochemistry with Lab OR 4 credits
      General Education Elective (concentration/minor) 3-4 credits
  General Education Electives (concentration/minor) 12-16 credits
Total 15-20 credits

* Field experience course that should be taken in the semester and year listed