Lake Superior State University
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Prior to my time at Lake State, my professors rarely learned students' names and my classes often felt impersonal. I didn't realize how important that faculty interaction could be until I spent a few weeks here. The personal attention is motivating, often pushing me to work harder than I would have otherwise.

Fisheries & Wildlife '10


LSSU biology students hard at work
Qualified and Competitive!

Are you interested in:

  • How humans, other mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, fungi, plants, protists, or bacteria work?
  • How these organisms fit together in ecosystems?
  • How we can enhance our beneficial uses of organisms?
  • How we can improve human health?
  • How we can improve environmental quality?
  • Do you want to work indoors, work outdoors, work at the microscopic level, at the global level or at any level in between?

If so, Biology may be for you!

A degree in Biology is one of the more versatile degrees you can get. Here are a few of the Biology careers our program helps prepare you for:

Would you like to:

  • Help protect the health of our communities?
    Then consider a career as a Biomedical Scientist:
    • Doctor,
    • Dentist,
    • Physician’s Assistant,
    • Clinical Lab Technician,
    • Pharmacist,
    • Optometrist,
    • Geneticist,
    • Public Health Officer,
    • Epidemiologist,
    • Veterinarian
  • Help protect our natural heritage for future generations?
    Then consider a career as an Ecologist:
    • Fisheries and Wildlife Scientist,
    • Endangered Species Specialist,
    • Forest Manager,
    • Ecosystems Scientist,
    • Aquatic Ecologist,
    • Marine Biologist,
    • Land Use Planner.
  • Help young people learn biology?
    Then consider a career as a Classroom Teacher:
    • Secondary Ed,
    • Elementary Ed,
    • College/University education.
  • Help build public awareness of biology?
    Then consider a career as an Informal Educator:
    • Tech Writer/Illustrator
    • Zoo/Nature Center Staffer
  • Help unlock the secrets of how organisms develop, grow and live and how ecosystems operate?
    Then consider a career as Research Scientist.


"LSSU's Biology program provide rigorous academics, extensive hands-on experience and professional development opportunities that create students who are highly qualified and competitive for jobs and graduate school positions."

--Ashley Moerke


Conservation biology student Harry Dittrich lays out a series of frames that will define biodiversity — and a bit of history — for visitors on a walking tour of Lake Superior's Point Iroquois. Dittrich is a seasonal intern for Julia Slabosheski of the U.S. Forest Service, which oversees the historic lighthouse site about 20 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Visitors will learn about wooded, beach, and grassland habitats within the defined volume of five distinct biocubes set up around the lighthouse grounds. The eco-tour will also touch upon how humans have used the area's resources for thousands of years. Dittrich is using this biocube approach, coupled with time-lapse photography, on a separate research project that assesses damage from a 2012 wildfire that burned more than 21,000 acres. Read More... or visit his blog

Lake Superior State University's Fisheries and Wildlife Club has garnered the 2012 Most Active Student Subunit Award from the north central division of the American Fisheries Society for the 6th consecutive year. Gary Whelan, president of the north central division and fish production manager for the Michigan DNR, personally presented the award during a club meeting on March 7. Whelan and club members are shown here with the citation in the Fisheries and Wildlife Club house, one of LSSU's Living, Learning Communities. The AFS north central division stretches from the Rockies to the Appalachians, and from the Arctic Circle to the Mason-Dixon line. It includes six provinces and 12 states. There are 21 student subunits that compete for the award, and all but two of them have graduate programs. These awards are given to student subunits that are very active in fisheries research, education, outreach, and professional development. Shown accepting the award from Whelan are, from left, James VanOrman, Michael Gordon, Nick O'Neil (club secretary), David Lombardi, presenter Gary Whelan, Tyler Jackson (president), Matt Elya (treasurer), Jason Gostiaux (vice president), Addie Dutton, and Jeff Salvin.

Investigat- ing the Use of QPCR: An Early Detection Method for Toxic Cyano- bacterial Bloom

Garrett Aderman

Harmful algal blooms (HABs), including cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs), are a global phenomenon. In the US, annual economic loss due to HABs was recently estimated at $82 million. Furthermore, the consensus amongst the scientific community is that the frequency and duration of CHABs in freshwater systems will increase as a result of climate change and anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. Due to the ability of some strains of CHAB genera to produce toxic compounds, larger and more sustained CHAB events will become an even greater threat to drinking water. Of all the known cyantoxoins, one of the most ubiquitous is microcystin (MCY). Humans are primarily exposed to cyantoxins through drinking water consumption and accidental ingestion of recreational water. The increasing risk presented by these toxins requires health officials and utilities to improve their ability to track the occurrence and relative toxicity. Current tracking methods do not distinguish between toxic and non-toxic strains. Biochemical techniques for analyzing the toxins are showing considerable potential as they are relatively simple to run and low cost. My goal was to develop a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method to measure the amount of mcyE gene in a Lake Erie drinking water and compare the levels of the mcyE to toxin produced. This is the first step to determining if the presence of mcyE of the mycrocystin synthestase gene cluster in Microcystits, Planktothrix and Anabaena cells can be used as the quantitative measurement in an early detection warning system for recreational and drinking waters.

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