Biology: Environmental Science

Chair, Merrill Professor of Biology Frank Fekete (207)859-5729
Associate Chair, Associate Professor Russell Johnson (207)859-5723
Professors: F. Russell Cole, Frank Fekete, David Firmage, Paul Greenwood, and Herbert Wilson; Associate Professors, Catherine Bevier, Russell Johnson, Judy Stone, and Andrea Tilden; and Assistant Professors Lynn Hannum, and Josh Kavaler ; Research Scientists Bets Brown; Research Associate Louis Bevier; Senior Teaching Associates Timothy Christensen, Lindsey Colby and Scott Guay; Teaching Assistants Tina Beachy and Sarah Gibbs; Administrative Secretary Mary Burns; Animal Care Technician Austin Segel.


The Department of Biology provides its students with a background in, and an appreciation for, important aspects of classical and modern biology. To provide a broad and comprehensive investigation of the biological sciences , the departmental curriculum emphasizes the study of the biology of plants, animals, and microorganisms at the molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels of organization. Special facilities include the Perkins Arboretum, the Colby-Marston Bog , a scanning and transmission electron microscope suite, several laboratory microcomputer clusters, an isotope laboratory, a greenhouse, and animal rooms.

The concentration in environmental science is designed to provide students with a background to work in the environmental field or to continue on to graduate study in environmental science or in one of the other biological disciplines. In recent years, graduates have enrolled in graduate programs in ecology, marine biology, natural resource management , public policy, and environmental health. Others are employed by federal and state agencies, private and public organizations, including consulting firms.

Many of the Biology classes and laboratories directly associated with the concentration are housed in the new Olin Science Center, providing wonderful laboratory and classroom space as well as state of the art equipment for environmental science research.

Colby is a member of a consortium sponsoring the Center for Sustainable Development Studies, through wh ich qualified students are provided the opportunity for a semester of study in Costa Rica. Studies combine biology and social/political issues to address sustainable development problems. See description under "Other Colby Abroad Programs".

In the senior year students are required to take Biology 493: Problems in Environmental Science. During this course the class is treated as though they were a consulting firm and are given a real problem to address. They must do both field and library research, meet with people involved, make oral presentations before an audience including landowners, state agency representatives and the press, and write a major report including recommendations based on their findings. The data provided goes to the State Department of Environmental Protection and any local organizations involved. In recent years the class has studied lakes and their watersheds in relation to water quality. It provides a great experience for the students, giving them a strong background either for employment opportunities or graduate study after graduation.

Students are also encouraged to take courses at summer laboratories; with prior approval, such courses may be credited toward the major requirement.



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Last Modified: 10/31/07 12:06:46 PM