Provost Office2021-2022

Arts and Sciences

Biological and Natural Resource Sciences, Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Biological and Natural Resource Sciences program is to provide an excellent, integrated education to prepare students from the Lower Colorado River region to enter the health, teaching, research, and natural resource management professions and to promote life-long learning. 
The BS in Biological and Natural Resource Sciences (B&NRS) provides applied, cross-disciplinary training to prepare students to take part in scientific research and discovery using the scientific method and core knowledge in biology and the natural sciences. Students gain this knowledge through their individual research or internship experiences and coursework in ecology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, and the physical sciences.  The BS in B&NRS program's rigorous training in the biological and natural sciences prepares graduates for successful careers in industry, government agencies, and research institutions. Our graduates can successfully communicate science at different levels of engagement from research scientists to the general public on a wide range of currently relevant biological topics. The B&NRS curriculum trains students how to describe and perform empirical research and analysis. The research and practical skills gained by B&NRS students help them continue to expand their knowledge long after they graduate from the program. This training and experience helps our graduates assume leadership roles in biological and natural science fields. Finally, the BS in B&NRS program prepares students for entry into graduate and professional programs in the biological sciences, medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy, dentistry, and other related fields if they choose to continue in an academic track.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Graduates can identify, describe, and apply the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, and empirical findings in the biological sciences.  Students will be able to identify, describe and apply the following:

a. The theory of evolution; that the diversity of life evolved over time by processes of genetic change, diversification, and extinction.
b. The basic units of structure define the function of all living things, and that the physical and chemical characteristics of each biological structure influence its interactions with other structures as well as its function.
c. Context-specific expression of genetic information regulates growth and behavior of organisms, and that the phenotype of an organism is controlled by its genotype and the environment.
d. Biological systems grow and change by processes based upon chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.

2. Graduates will analyze how the biological knowledge base has and continues to be acquired utilizing core scientific principles.  Students will be able to:

a. Apply the process of science, particularly that science is evidence-based and grounded in the formal practices of observation, experimentation, and hypothesis testing.
b. Use quantitative reasoning by evaluating and summarizing experimental evidence using mathematical reasoning.
c. Examine models/simulations of ecosystems.

3. Graduates will demonstrate research skills in the biological sciences.  Students will be able to:

a. Use computers and other technology for a variety of purposes including the acquisition of relevant and valid information
b. Apply basic research methods in research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
c. Critically review empirical research.

4. Graduates can apply the knowledge base and ethical issues in the biological sciences to their professional and personal lives, and when possible, use the scientific approach to solve problems related to the life sciences.  Students will be able to:

a. Utilize, communicate with, and collaborate with other disciplines.
b. Communicate science in multiple forms, including written, oral, and electronic, to diverse audiences.
c . Understand the relationship between science and society.

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