Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with their physical and biological environment. Evolution considers how populations change over time to generate the rich diversity of life on earth, and is the unifying theory of biology. The ecology and evolutionary specialization is designed for students broadly interested in basic and applied biology, natural resource management, agriculture, ecological restoration, conservation biology, disease dynamics, animal behavior, and biological research. Students following this specialization will gain experience in natural history, field research, and experimental design. Potential careers may be found in federal, state, and tribal agencies, or private environmental consulting firms, research laboratories, and natural history museums. Students interested in graduate study should work closely with their advisor to tailor this specialization to their particular field of interest.
Students consult with the appropriate biology advisor for approval of their BS program and electives, which must be submitted for approval to the Biological Sciences Department at least one academic year preceding graduation. All students in the BS Biology major must complete all BS core requirements, plus additional specific requirements. Additionally, students will need to choose a specified number of courses from different groupings of upper division courses. A maximum of 15 credits in BIOL 295, BIOL 490, BIOL 495, and BIOL 496 may be included in the major. CHEM 181 has a prerequisite of high school chemistry and qualification for MATH 153. BIOL 181 has a pre or co-requisite of CHEM 181.
Biology Core Requirements
General Chemistry and Laboratory Credits: (15)
Additional Required Courses Credits: 15
Select from the following for 19-30 credits.
- 1 course from the Biological Diversity Group Credits: (4-5)
- 1 course from the Ecology Group Credits: (4-5)*
- 1 course from the Evolution Group Credits: (4-5)*
- 1 additional course from the Ecology OR Evolution Group Credits: (4-5)*
- 1 additional course from the Molecular/Cell OR Structure/Function Group Credits: (3-10)
(*NOTE: Courses can only be counted once.)
Department-approved electives Credits: 15-26
Biological Diversity Group
Biological Sciences Department Information
College of the Sciences
Science Bldg., room 338
Mail Stop 7537
See website for how this program may be used for educational and career purposes.
Faculty and Staff
Tom R. Cottrell, PhD
Daniel D. Beck, PhD, physiological ecology and herpetology
Tom R. Cottrell, PhD, plant ecology
David M. Darda, PhD, evolutionary vertebrate morphology, herpetology
Kristina A. Ernest, PhD, terrestrial and community ecology
Paul W. James, PhD, ecology and fisheries biology
James E. Johnson, PhD, mycology, systematics
Sheldon R. Johnson, PhD, zoophysiology, mammalogy (emeritus)
Robert E. Pacha, PhD, microbiology (emeritus)
Holly C. Pinkart, PhD, microbiology, microbial ecology
Mary E. Poulson, PhD, plant physiology
Wayne S. Quirk, PhD, sensation and perception, neuroscience
Ian J. Quitadamo, PhD, science education, cell and molecular biology
Linda A. Raubeson, PhD, evolutionary biology and genetics
Stamford D. Smith, PhD, entomology (emeritus,)
Gabrielle Stryker, PhD, microbiology, immunology and parasitology
Lixing Sun, PhD, behavioral ecology and evolution
Lucinda Carnell, PhD, molecular behavioral genetics
Jason T. Irwin, PhD, animal physiology
R. Steven Wagner, PhD, conservation genetics and herpetological science
Clay Arango, PhD, stream ecology and nitrogen biogeochemistry
April Binder, PhD, molecular developmental biology
Jennifer Dechaine, PhD, plant biology
Blaise Dondji, PhD, human physiology, microbiology, parasitology, immunology
Alison Scoville, PhD, ecological and evolutionary genomics
Lucy Bottcher, PhD, ecologist, herpetologist
Raymon Donahue, PhD, plant physiological ecology
Emil Babik, engineering technician
Jonathan Betz, instructional classroom support technician
Mary Bottcher, instructional classroom support technician supervisor
Eric Foss, instructional classroom support technician
Mary Knirck, secretary senior
Kariann Linnell, secretary supervisor
Jeff Wilcox, engineering technician
Mark Young, research technologist I
The Department of Biological Sciences provides the biological component of the liberal arts education at the university. We promote student understanding of biological concepts relevant to the individual and society, and foster an appreciation of scientific inquiry. Evolution is the unifying theme of our curriculum. Our students obtain a broad education, covering a wide variety of biological disciplines. We focus on the student. Classes are small, facilitating hands-on experience, interactions with faculty, and opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate research. We offer a full complement of competitive pre-professional programs, strong programs in regional field biology, and a quality program for secondary biology educators.
To be admitted to a biology major or minor, all students must:
1. Meet with an advisor
Advisors are normally assigned by the biology department upon admission to the major. However, it is highly recommended that a student talk with an advisor well before being admitted to the major. Any biology department faculty member may serve as an advisor but different faculty members advise in different areas. Please meet with your advisor as early in your academic career as possible to begin planning your program.
2. Complete and file an application to the major by the beginning of the junior year.
A formal application to the biology major must be submitted with your advisor’s approval. The entry-to-major qualifications must be met and application should be made by the beginning of the junior year. Application forms can be obtained from the advisor, the department office, or online at www.cwu.edu/biology/forms-and-information.
3. Complete and file a program of study by the end of the junior year.
To graduate, each student must have on file in the biology department and in the registrar’s office, an official Course of Study. The Course of Study documents a student’s individual degree program and lists the required and elective courses necessary for successful program completion. It is prepared by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor and should be approved by the student, advisor, and department chair at least one year prior to graduation. Students should meet with their advisor regularly to discuss their progress. Course of Study forms can be obtained from the advisor, the department office, or online at: www.cwu.edu/biology/forms-and-information.
Student Scholarly Activities
The department is student oriented and provides a diversity of laboratory and field experiences. Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities.
- Research activities: Students are encouraged to seek out a faculty member who is engaged in active research that complements the student’s career goals. Students who begin research early and continue it through their career in the department gain a better understanding of their profession and are more competitive in the job market or in graduate school admissions.
- Field program: The department believes in the importance of exposing students to biological field experiences. In addition to those provided by regular courses, the department offers summer field courses and trips to biologically interesting areas during breaks between quarters.
Biology Club: All biology students are encouraged to join the Biology Club. This student-run organization meets regularly to discuss academic planning and career opportunities in biology. The club performs service activities and plans recreational outings. See its website at www.cwu.edu/biology.
Beta Beta Beta: BBB is the undergraduate National Biological Sciences Honorary Society. Students maintaining a high grade point average (3.0 or higher) are encouraged to apply.
Various organizations for students interested in health professions (medicine, dentistry, etc.) are available to provide information, support, and opportunities for service.
Laboratory or field fees are assessed for many of the department’s lab courses. These fees are used as partial support for purchasing lab materials or providing transportation costs.
General Consideration for Biology Majors and Minors
- The biological sciences department must approve each student’s program at least one academic year preceding graduation
- CHEM 181 has a prerequisite of high school chemistry and qualification for MATH 153. PHYS 111 has a prerequisite of high school algebra and trigonometry. PHYS 181 has a prerequisite or corequisite of MATH 172, 173, and 272. BIOL 360 has a prerequisite of MATH 153.
- Credits earned in CHEM 181, 181LAB, and PHYS 111 will be allowed in partial fulfillment of the natural science breadth requirements as well as the requirements of the biology major or minor.
- A maximum of 15 credits in BIOL 295, BIOL 490, BIOL 295 and BIOL 496 may be included in the major (as electives in the BS degrees).
- A major in biological sciences incorporates classes from mathematics and other sciences. A full year of introductory biology and introductory chemistry is required for enrollment in upper-division biology classes. The introductory chemistry sequence (CHEM 181, 182, 183) is pre- or co-requisite to the introductory biology series (BIOL 181, 182, 183). Students are urged to complete these two introductory series in their first year or as early in their academic career as possible.
- You must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25 in your major.
- End-of-major assessment must be completed, usually in conjunction with BIOL 499S. This requirement helps to assess whether the department has fulfilled its instructional objectives and provides us with information that will enable us to continuously improve our programs and courses.
- Application for the bachelor’s degree must be filed by the second Friday of the quarter preceding the quarter in which the degree is to be received. Complete instructions and deadlines are available in Registrar Services.
College of the Sciences Information
Administration and Organization
Tim Englund, PhD (Dean Hall, room 130)
Mike Harrod (Dean Hall, room 130)
Martha Kurtz, PhD (Dean Hall, room 130)
Brad Weekly, development officer
Velma Henry, administrative assistant
Cindy Klein, fiscal specialist
Janis Orthmann, administrative assistant
Colleen Falconer, program coordinator
Dannica Price, event coordinator
Mail Stop 7519
The College of the Sciences (COTS) is comprised of 13 departments and 12 interdisciplinary programs representing disciplines in the behavioral, natural, and social sciences, and mathematics. The departments and programs of the college offer undergraduate baccalaureate degrees, master’s degrees, minors that supplement other degree programs, and a comprehensive range of service coursework. As an essential part of its mission, the college offers an extensive general education curriculum. The departments play a major role in Central’s Teacher Certification Programs, offering bachelors and master’s degrees for students preparing to be secondary teachers and providing coursework in educational foundations and discipline-specific content and methods.
Departments within the college are committed to teaching excellence, active engagement by faculty in research, scholarship and professional service activities, student involvement in research, community service, and employing practical applications of academic specializations.
All departments offer baccalaureate degree programs and, in some cases, minors, educational specialist degrees and master’s degrees. In addition to consulting department/program headings in this catalog, students are encouraged to contact individual departments and program offices directly.
Anthropology and Museum Studies: Kathleen Barlow, PhD, Dean Hall, room 356, 509-963-3201
Biological Sciences: James Johnson, PhD, Science Building, room 338, 509-963-2731
Chemistry: Levente Fabry-Asztalos, PhD, Science Building, room 302, 509-963-2811
Computer Science: Aaron Montgomery, PhD, Hebeler Hall, room 219, 509-963-1495
Geography: John Bowen, PhD, Dean Hall, room 301, 509-963-1188
Geological Sciences: Carey Gazis, PhD, Lind Hall, room 108B, 509-963-2701
Law and Justice: James Huckabay, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 300, 509-963-3208
Mathematics: Stuart Boersma, PhD, Bouillon Hall, room 108, 509-963-2103
Physics: Bruce Palmquist, PhD, Lind Hall, room 201A, 509-963-2727
Political Science: Todd Schaefer, PhD, Psychology Building, room 415, 509-963-2408
Psychology: Stephanie Stein, PhD, Psychology Building, room 421, 509-963-2381
Science Education: Bruce Palmquist, PhD, Science Building, room 107, 509-963-2929
Sociology: Delores Cleary, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 409, 509-963-1305
These programs offer specialized coursework, interdisciplinary baccalaureate majors or minors, master’s degrees or research, and public service functions.
American Indian Studies: Toni Culjak, PhD, Language and Literature, room 408D, 509-963-1531
Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education: Martha Kurtz, PhD, Dean Hall, room 130, 509-963-2135
Environmental Studies: Carey Gazis, PhD, Lind Hall, room 108B, 509-963-2701
or Pam McMullin-Messier, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 441, 509-963-2222
Ethnic Studies: Nelson Pichardo, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 440, 509-963-1348
Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences: Steve Schepman, PhD, Psychology Building, room 429, 509-963-2389
Museum of Culture and Environment: Mark Auslander, PhD, Dean Hall, room 334, 509-963-3209
Primate Behavior and Ecology Program: Lori Sheeran, PhD, Dean Hall, room 335, 509-963-1434
Resource Management Program: Karl Lillquist, PhD, Dean Hall, room 319, 509-963-1184
or Steve Hackenberger, PhD, Dean Hall, room 349, 509-963-3224
Science Talent Expansion Program (STEP): Lucinda Carnell, PhD, Science, room 338G, 509-963-2821
Women’s and Gender Studies: Judith Hennessey, PhD, Farrell Hall, room 436, 509-963-1574
Affiliated Centers and Institutes
Center for Spatial Information and Research: Anthony Gabriel, PhD, Dean Hall, room 320, 509-963-1166
Center for the Environment: Anne Johnasen, PhD, Science, room 207D, 509-963-2164
Central Washington Archaeological Survey, Anthropology: Patrick McCutcheon, PhD, Dean Hall, room 340, 509-963-2075
or Steve Hackenberger, PhD, Dean Hall, room 349, 509-963-3224
Community Counseling and Psychological Assessment Center: Heath Marrs, PhD, Psychology Building, room 346, 509-963-2349
or Elizabeth Haviland, PhD, Psychology Building, room 118, 509-963-2371
Geodesy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array (PANGA) Data Analysis Facility: Tim Melbourne, PhD, Hebeler Hall, room 110A, 509-963-2799
Health Career Resources: Keith Monosky, PhD, Dorothy Purser Hall, room 108, 509-963-1145