Biological Sciences at NKU
The Department of Biological Sciences has 23 full-time faculty members and approximately 400 undergraduate students enrolled in our program. We offer degrees in general biology, teacher education in biology, and environmental science. The environmental science program, while administered by the Department of Biological Sciences, is an interdisciplinary program that is offered in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics and Geology.
While undergraduate instruction is our primary focus, the department places great emphasis on undergraduate research. In fact, undergraduate research has become one of the defining characteristics of the department. During the past several years, this has resulted in a large number of students working with faculty members on research projects. Students write grant proposals to support their research efforts, make presentations at state, regional, and national meetings such as those of the Kentucky Academy of Science, Beta Beta Beta, and the annual “Poster’s on the Hill” event sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research in Washington D. C. Students also co-author papers with faculty mentors. Many graduate or go on to attend professional schools while others have chosen to work in research labs (Procter & Gamble, US EPA, FDA, NIOSH) located in the area. The US EPA and private environmental consulting firms provide employment opportunities for many environmental science majors as well as some biology majors.
During the spring/summer of 2002, the Department of Biological Sciences along with the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics and Geology moved into a new 38 million dollar science building. This new 172,000 square feet facility provides enhanced capabilities for hands-on-learning. The building contains nine state-of-the-art classrooms and 48 laboratories (for both teaching and research). Additional funding was spent to appropriately equip this facility. Some of the major purchases for the Department of Biological Sciences include 269 Olympus student microscopes, a Nikon con-focal microscope system, a Typhoon 9200, an FEI scanning electron microscope, a Sorvall Ultracentrifuge, and a compacter system for the herbarium/museum. This new structure and the accompanying equipment enable us to do many things that we could only dream about in the past.