2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Mar 17, 2018  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Biology and Environmental Science

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Chair:  Eva Sapi, Ph.D. Eotvos Lorand University

Professors Emeriti: Burton C. Staugaard, Ph.D., University of Connecticut; Henry E. Voegeli, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island

Professors: Carmela Cuomo, Ph.D., Yale University; R. Laurence Davis, Ph.D., University of Rochester; Daniel J. May, Ph.D., University of California; Michael J. Rossi, Ph.D., University of Kentucky; Eva Sapi, Ph.D., Eotvos Lorand University (Hungary);  Charles L. Vigue, Ph.D., North Carolina State University;  Roman N. Zajac, Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Associate Professors: John T. Kelly, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Assistant Professor:  Amy Carlile, Ph.D., University of Washington; Melanie Eldridge, Ph.D., University of Tennessee; Tarsila Seara, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island; Ali Senajani, Ph.D., University of Connecticut; Christina Zito, Ph.D., Yale University

Lecturers: James Ayers, M.S., Purdue University; Nina Flay, Ph.D., University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School; Severnia Haddad, Ph.D., Dartmouth Medical School; Cheryl L. Lyon, N.D., University of Bridgeport; Rosemary Murray-Whelan, Ph.D., University College-Dublin; Kristen Pryzbowski, Ph.D., University of South Florida; Jean-Paul Simjouw, Ph.D., Old Dominion University


Biology - the study of life - is an active and exciting field leading to careers in research, drug discovery, medicine, health professions, government and education. Biology provides one of the cornerstones of a liberal education by increasing knowledge and appreciation of oneself and of other living organisms in the ecosphere.

Our B.S. Biology program is designed to give students an thorough understanding of the broad range of biological science via engaging classroom learning, sophisticated laboratory experiences and research exposure. Students have the opportunity to gain research experience through faculty mentored research projects, (including through Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships). Our faculty research interest areas include Lyme disease, cancer, pharmacology, molecular measurements of environmental contamination and DNA damage and repair. Work experience opportunities are also available as tutors and classroom laboratory assistants. Many students include job related internships and study abroad as part of their program of studies.

Within the Biology B.S. program there are three areas of concentration, allowing students to focus their interest and to increase their appeal to prospective employers. All concentrations begin with strong coursework in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics, with specialization of interest in the junior and senior years of study. Students are guided in their program choices by a faculty academic advisor.  According to interest, it is advisable to minor in subject areas that can complement the Biology degree, such as chemistry, languages, psychology or sociology. All Biology majors have to opportunity to choose to take graduate level courses as part of their undergraduate program of studies.  The B.S. Biology program is an excellent preparation for continuing education in a wide range of graduate programs.

  • The General Biology concentration is appropriate for students interested in life and its diversity. Individuals in this concentration take classes in subject areas including cellular and molecular biology, ecology and evolution, microbiology and environmental science. The breadth of study provides deep insight to the complexity of life - both in its biological components and in the dynamic nature of the systems in which it exists. Students concentrating in general biology typically enter careers in education, science writing, or government and private organizations.
  • The Pre-medical, Pre-veterinary and Pre-dental concentration prepares students to enter graduate programs in the health professions. The program fulfills the curriculum requirements for entry to each of these programs. In addition to medical, veterinary and dental school, many of our graduates enter other health related graduate programs to qualify as physician assistants, nurses, epidemiologists, naturopaths, chiropractors and osteopaths. 
  • The Biochemistry concentration is suitable for students interested in how life works at the molecular level, and who would like to use their knowledge to discover the next generation of drugs and medical treatments or to use their expertise in clinical laboratories. The coursework for this concentration includes graduate level Biochemistry, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology courses.  This concentration is a good preparation for a career in biomedical research, clinical biochemistry and industrial biochemistry.

Genetics and Biotechnology

Genetics and Biotechnology are at the forefront of the rapidly growing areas of personalized medicine, genetic engineering, biopharmaceutical development, genetic counseling and biotechnical industry. Biotechnology also has applications in agriculture, the food and textile industries, forestry, animal husbandry, and environmental remediation.

The Genetics and Biotechnology B.S. program builds on a strong basic core of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics, and integrates courses in genetics, molecular biology, genomics, biochemistry, bioinformatics and cell biology. Faculty use novel teaching approaches to promote student engagement and learning. Students are guided in their program choices by a faculty academic advisor. Several courses from the M.S. Cellular and Molecular Biology program are offered as part of the B.S. Genetics and Biotechnology degree program. Hands on laboratory courses prepare students to enter the rapidly growing Biotechnology workforce. Minors in complementary areas such as Chemistry, Information Technology and Business Management are encouraged. Students in the B.S. Genetics and Biotechnology program have the opportunity to gain real work experience through faculty mentored research projects (including through Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships). Our faculty research interest areas include Lyme disease, cancer, pharmacology, molecular measurements of environmental contamination and DNA damage and repair. Work experience opportunities are also available as tutors and classroom laboratory assistants. Many students chose to complement their course of studies with internships in local biotechnology companies and academic laboratories. Study abroad can also complement the program of studies.

Entry-level careers for graduates include Genetic Technologist, Pharmaceutical sales representative, Research Assistant, technical writing, and pharmaceutical sales and marketing. Many graduates of the program continue their education by pursuing an advanced degree, leading to careers in the pharmaceutical, medical and biotechnology industries or in Genetic Counseling. Students are guided in their program choices by a faculty academic advisor.

Environmental Science

The Environmental Science major is a hands-on field and laboratory program that has a strong foundation in the fundamental sciences. Students in their junior and senior years, with the help of their advisor, can focus in on one or more aspects of this interdisciplinary field, such as climate change, pollutant impacts, sustainable use of natural resources, conservation and environmental management. The B.S. in Environmental Science program provides a broad background as well as analytical skills to prepare students for a wide range of jobs or to pursue advanced degrees in this increasingly important field.

A key feature of the program is that it has the flexibility to allow students to select classes within their specific interests, tailoring their own version of the program towards the student’s career goal. Beyond the solid background in biology and chemistry, faculty will work with students to develop individualized plans of study that address specific interests in the field. These interests may be pursued by taking advanced courses like global change, environmental microbiology, advanced geographic information system applications, resource economics, and effects of pollutants, among many others.

Students are encouraged to minor in subjects that will complement their environmental science degree e.g. sustainability studies, fire science, public service, legal studies, bioinformatics, chemistry, communication, English, professional and technical writing, or economics. In addition, the program has many opportunities for students to perform authentic research projects with faculty in the department as well as opportunities to study at research stations abroad. We also have a Masters in Environmental Science Program. Students who receive their B.S. in Environmental Science at the University of New Haven, if accepted into the master’s program, generally complete their M.S. degree in an accelerated timeframe (approximately 1.5 years).

Environmental scientists are employed by municipal, state, and federal agencies or by consulting companies and businesses, both large and small. They work on problems at international, national, regional, and local scales. These might include assessment of pollutants and potential impacts of human development; wetland mapping and protection; watershed management; ground and surface water contamination; aquifer delineation and protection; natural resource management; crop and pest management; natural hazards; regulatory compliance; environmental health and safety; drinking water, wastewater, and air treatment; and pollution prevention and remediation. Some of our majors also go on to work in environmental enforcement. Since specialized training is usually necessary to qualify for upper level positions at higher salary levels, our program is also designed to enable students to enter graduate programs. Areas of advanced study pursued by recent graduates include environmental science, ecology (including urban ecology), chemistry, marine science, forestry, planning, public health, business, and law.

Marine Affairs

The Marine Affairs program is focused on providing students with a broad science-based curriculum encompassing the diversity of life in the oceans, marine ecology and conservation, the status and management of ocean fisheries, aquaculture and the impacts of global climate change on the world’s coastal regions and their marine flora and fauna coupled with a strong humanities and/or arts-based curriculum.

The Marine Affairs program provides students with tools to clearly communicate the issues affecting the world’s oceans and coastal regions to a diverse audience, actively manage and set policies governing these resources, and effectively work to preserve and protect marine resources in a complex global society. Students graduating with a B.A. in Marine Affairs will be prepared to pursue careers and graduate education in marine policy, marine law, marine journalism, underwater photography, marine communications, marine resource management, marine media relations, marine law enforcement, international marine affairs, marine businesses, and coastal conservation and development.

This degree is not intended for students wishing to pursue graduate studies in the marine sciences or any of its sub-disciplines (e.g. marine biology, marine ecology, aquaculture science, or marine fisheries). Students interested in pursuing graduate work in these scientific areas should major in Marine Biology.

Marine Biology

The Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology provides students with an in-depth understanding of the marine world, the organisms that inhabit it, the ecological relationships within it, and the challenges facing it in the 21st Century. The program emphasizes hands-on learning and uses an experiment-based approach to teaching and learning.

The program is intended for students who wish to work in marine-science-related careers. To that end, the program insures that students not only learn the fundamentals of the marine environment and its organisms but also develop a deeper understanding of material directly related to their chosen area of study. All students within the program are required to complete an initial field methods course in their first semester, a marine careers seminar in their second semester, a required four-course sequence in marine biology and a minimum of three courses within their field of specialty. Students are also required to complete a year-long senior thesis focused on a topic that is directly related to their planned career path. Opportunities also exist within the program for study abroad and study away.

The Marine Biology degree prepares students to either enter the job market directly upon graduation or attend graduate or professional schools (veterinary, dental, medical or law). Marine Biologists, including graduates of the UNH Marine Biology program, are employed by various organizations, agencies, and industries including academia, aquaculture, aquariums and conservation agencies, laboratories, K-12 education, federal, state and local government, energy and pharmaceutical companies, zoological parks and similar organizations. Recent UNH Marine Biology students have been accepted into Ph.D. programs in marine sciences at various universities worldwide, including Stony Brook University, Florida Atlantic, the University of Connecticut, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Queensland (Australia), Masters programs (e.g. University of Miami, University of Maryland, University of New Haven. and veterinary schools (e.g. Tufts),



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