Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Amanda is currently working to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Where she is studying the behavior of fossil birds as interpreted through their footprints and other traces. Amanda recently traveled to South Korea to study Early Cretaceous bird tracks and has published two papers on fossil bird tracks, one in the journal Palaios and one in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology. Next, she will study Early Cretaceous fossil birds and bird tracks in China.

"My experience at Lake State, preparing an Undergraduate Thesis and seeing the project through definitely helped prepare me for graduate school. The interaction between the professors and the students at Lake State is far more similar to the interaction between a graduate student and their graduate advisor than the typical undergraduate student / undergraduate advisor rapport; it's much more personalized. It definitely helped prepare me for grad school."

Amanda Falk '07
Biology, minor in Chemistry

College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Nancy Kirkpatrick
Nancy Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Office: CRW 228
Phone: (906) 635-2894
Fax: (906) 635-2266

School of Biological Sciences


In the School of Biological Sciences at Lake Superior State University, you will have the opportunity to work closely with your professors, who are dedicated teachers and experts in their fields of interest. You also will receive valuable hands-on laboratory and field experiences and gain experience with sophisticated equipment and/or travel and work in one of our many nearby and remote field sites.

We have a unique four year biology seminar sequence in which you will develop and complete a senior thesis (research or service learning) project, working closely with a faculty mentor and your peers. At the end of the sequence, you will have the opportunity to present the results of your research or service learning project at our annual senior thesis symposium. This experience will enhance your knowledge, expand your skill set, and most importantly, help you stand out from the competition!

For those students interested in a career in the health professions, we offer excellent preparation for medical, dental and veterinary studies. We also prepare students to go on to graduate studies in chiropractic, podiatry, naturopathic medicine, physician assistant and pharmacy programs.  LSSU is privileged to be part of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MSU-CHM) Early Assurance Program in which superior students may gain early admission into MSU-CHM.

We have state-of-the art facilities, including the Aquatic Research Laboratory (ARL), Fish Disease Laboratory (FDL), and Small Animal Undergraduate Research Facility (SMURF) . The ARL is only one of a few such facilities across the U.S. where students work in the hatchery operation, producing Atlantic salmon for release in the St. Marys River or on any of several other aquatic ecology research projects housed at the ARL. Students can intern at the FDL where they combine molecular skills with field biology to diagnose diseases found in fish and other freshwater organisms. The SMURF lab was created especially for students interested in small mammal research opportunities.

Our molecular, physiology, and ecology laboratories house modern equipment such as DNA thermo cyclers and sequencers, fish and wildlife sampling gear, climate controlled environmental chambers and photosynthesis meters. All of our resources are dedicated to teaching and student research opportunities which provide valuable hands-on opportunities for students throughout their academic career at LSSU.  Students will not only see how equipment operates, but they will deploy, run, and troubleshoot it themselves!

Our location provides unsurpassed field sites for natural resource based labs. Forests, grasslands, wetlands, inland lakes, the St. Marys River and of course all three of the Upper Great Lakes are within an hour’s drive of campus (some just minutes away). Notable fish and wildlife species in these habitats include lake sturgeon, whitefish, moose, elk, fishers and martins, goshawks, piping plovers and many others, including threatened and endangered species of plants and animals. You will visit these sites often in labs and for other projects. No other university offers access to as many varied field sites as LSSU!

We also offer a wealth of out-of-class experiences that will strengthen your knowledge base and expand your scientific skill set. You could be employed by the department helping set up labs or work with a professor on his/her research project. You may do an internship with a state or local agency or work for the Learning Center, helping other students excel in biology classes. You may become a member of one of our active student organizations (e.g., Fisheries and Wildlife Club, SEEK or the Pre-Professional Society) which provide opportunities for out-of-class experiences directly in your field of interest.  The opportunities are endless!

In LSSU’s School of Biological Sciences you will not only explore science, but you will DO science working closely with dedicated faculty, students and staff!

Mission & Vision


Academic Programs (Degrees/Certificates and Majors)



  • Natural Resources Technology

Turning reed canary grass into fuel

Justin Wilson

The multi-phase project, led by biology department head Gregory Zimmerman Ph.D. with help from Justin Wilson, the project's student volunteer, is studying the potential of reed canary grass pellets as an environmentally friendly and economical heating fuel, as well as a possible economic stimulant for the Eastern Upper Peninsula. [ more ]

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