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

Biology

LSSU biology students hard at work

Biology is a great field of study and Lake Superior State University is a great place to study it. Whether you’re interested in natural resources ecology, human biology, medical lab sciences, genetics, anatomy, physiology, plants, animals, microbes, indoor or outdoor biology, our program offers a number of unique advantages for undergraduate students. "Serious Work by Serious Students"

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Degree Details (From Catalog)

At Lake Superior State University class sizes are small and labs are taught by faculty rather than graduate students, Our faculty are not only experts in their field of interest but are also dedicated teachers. Hands-on experience includes working with sophisticated laboratory equipment and the opportunity to work at many diverse terrestrial and aquatic field sites. Graduates of the department complete a capstone senior thesis or service-learning project which they design, implement, analyze, and present their findings on a topic of their choosing. Student organizations play an active role in their professional and local communities and provide support to students presenting their work at local, state and regional conferences.

We maintain state-of-the art facilities, including the Aquatic Research Laboratory, Small Mammal Undergraduate Research Facility, Fish Disease Laboratory, as well as dedicated molecular, physiology, and ecology laboratories. Sophisticated instrumentation and equipment such asDNA sequencers, climate controlled environmental chambers, fish and wildlife sampling gear, etc. are dedicated to teaching and student research opportunities which provide valuable hands-on opportunities for students throughout their academic career at LSSU.

The Aquatic Research Laboratory (ARL) is one of only a few such facilities within the United States. Our students have the opportunity to work in the on-going hatchery operations to produce Atlantic salmon for release in the St. Marys River, as well as several other aquatic ecology research projects housed at the ARL. Students also can intern at the Fish Disease Lab (FDL) where they combine molecular skills with field biology to diagnose diseases found in fish and other freshwater samples.

We offer a variety of experiences outside of the classroom that will reinforce your knowledge base and extend your professional abilities. Each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor on your own senior project. You could also work in the department helping set up labs, on a faculty member’s research project, or at the ARL. You may complete an internship with a state or local agency or work for the Learning Center, helping other students excel in their biology classes. Our active student organizations (Fisheries and Wildlife Club, SEEK, Pre-Professional Club) also provide great opportunities for extra-curricular experiences in your chosen field.

Our location provides unsurpassed field sites for natural resource based labs. Students may be out on a boat in the fall or snowshoeing through the forests in the winter. Forests, grass lands, wetlands, inland lakes and rivers, 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 from campus!). Notable fish and wildlife species in these habitats include lake sturgeon, whitefish, moose, deer, fishers, wolves, bears, 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!

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, physician assistant and pharmacy

Areas of Study

Evnironment & Ecology: The sustainability of freshwater, marine, or terrestrial ecosystems, the management of fish and game populations, or the conservation and ecology of natural resources. Our program prepares students for careers where they can make a contribution to mitigating wide-ranging challenges such as invasive species, altered landscapes, species extinctions, or the restoration of degraded aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Our selection of rigorous field based courses in watersheds, soils, forestry, ecology (general, fish, wildlife or plant), and organisms (mammalogy, ornithology, ichthyology, or entomology) offers an unparalleled set of foundational courses in the natural sciences. Combining this coursework with interdisciplinary courses in social dimensions, political science, sociology, business/economics, communication and GIS technology adds the breadth needed to integrate biological, economic, and policy issues in the formulation of sustainable solutions. Electives allow students to tailor the program to their interests and sustainable solutions. Electives allow students to tailor the program to their interests and career goals. Students may choose as a capstone experience a summer semester internship working in a professional capacity in conservation biology, or a senior thesis research project. Students will be prepared for careers or for graduate work in conservation biology or a broad range of related areas.

Biomedical & Laboratory Science: The health professions (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-vet, pre-pharmacy), medical laboratory science, or lab-based studies in botany, zoology, genetics, or molecular biology. Our Medical Laboratory Sciences program provides an excellent background for students who want to work in a medical support setting such as analyzing blood samples in a hospital or clinic. Students in the BS Medical Laboratory Sciences complete a year-long internship at an approved medical facility.

Education & Outreach: The development of public policy with regard to natural resources and the environment or teaching biology at the middle- or high-school level.

 

 

    

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Have a Question?

 

Q&A with Professor Zimmerman

Is LSSU a good place to begin training as a veterinarian?

"Our pre-professional advisor knows all the ins and outs of applying to all the professional schools and provides excellent advice for that. Our pre-professional society (the student group for pre-professional students) is very active in ways that helps students enhance thier applications to professional schools. We have had a number of our students go on to vet school, last year our two applicants into vet school ended up going to Michigan State University and Purdue. This year of the six students that applied to professional schools, all six got it. But i want to emphasize that it's up to each individual student to gain the experience they need to have the best chance of success in veterinary or any other professional school. Our program helps, but it's up to the individual student. Our small classes, our individualized attention, our academically rigourous programs, our collaborative atmosphere, our senior thesis program all can help you prepare yourself for application to professional schools." -- Gregory Zimmerman, Professor

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New Discovery!

Lake Superior State University's BIOL337 ecology class poses with an unexpected find they made along a Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., public hiking trail. Professor Greg Zimmerman discovered the "Himalayan Touch-Me-Not" after his class conducted a biomass sweep through the city's Minneapolis Woods area. Students subsequently pulled all of the plants they could find as a service project. Zimmerman hastens to add that the illegal alien should not be confused with the region's "Spotted Touch-Me-Not" or "Jewelweed," a perfectly welcome native plant.
Lake Superior State University's Biology 337 ecology class poses with an unexpected find they made along a Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, public hiking trail. Professor Greg Zimmerman discovered the "Himalayan Touch-Me-Not" after his class conducted a biomass sweep through the city's Minneapolis Woods area. Students subsequently pulled all of the plants they could find as a service project. Zimmerman hastens to add that the illegal alien should not be confused with the region's "Spotted Touch-Me-Not" or "Jewelweed," a perfectly welcome native plant.

Student Research...

Ellsworth, Michigan

Jonathon studied the foraging behavior of white-tailed deer. Previous studies claim that deer have the ability to determine which vegetation will benefit them the most during different times of the year. In the fall, deer select diets high in energy content to maintain body mass and temperature. Nachazel's study explored the relationship between preferred white-tailed deer forage and energy levels found in the three types of vegetation. His results will assist managers in helping decrease mortality rates during the winter.

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