The BSC Biology Research Program
One of our department's greatest strengths is our research program. At BSC Biology we don't just study science, we DO science. Students planning a career in research get valuable one-on-one training and a head-start on their research careers. Participants in our research program hone their writing, public speaking, problem solving, critical thinking, and self-discipline skills. Our pre-health students gain an edge over applicants to health professional schools who lack such experiences. Below you will find more information about our research program, suggestions for getting involved, a primer on graduate school, samples of recent research projects, and more.
Most of our courses provide opportunities for the use of course content in scientific investigation. Many of our upper level classes feature inquiry-based learning, where students design their own experiments whose outcomes are not known ahead of time (it's real science!). Most distinctively, all of our biology majors work closely with a faculty member on a research project for two semesters as part of their Senior Capstone Experience (BI 470, BI 472 or BI 499). During the Senior Science and Mathematics Conference our seniors share their research findings with the BSC community. Some of our seniors present their research at regional or national scientific conferences, and a few become coauthors on research papers based on their senior research. Prior to the Senior Capstone Experience, some of our students seek additional research experience through our Summer Research Associate Program (SRAP) or through independent study course credits during the academic year (BI 293, 393, or 493).
Directed Research Program (BI 470, 472, 499)
All of our biology majors work closely with a research mentor on a research project for two semesters as part of their Senior Capstone Experience (BI 470, BI 472 or BI 499). The results from this Directed Research experience are shared with the BSC community during the Senior Science and Mathematics Conference. Follow this link to learn more about how to prepare for and enroll in the Directed Research program.
The BSC Museum Collection
Did you know we have our own museum? The BSC Biology Museum is home to teaching and research collections of reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, vertebrate skeletons, plants (herbarium), rocks and minerals, fossils, mollusks, and maps. This invaluable resource was established and built by the efforts of emeritus (retired) biology professor Daniel Clark Holliman. The funding for the collections room came from alums who worked with Dr. Holliman during his many years at BSC. If you are interested in a career that would involve museum curating and/or research taxonomy, then you should consider helping to maintain the collection. In addition, there are possibilities for student research projects involving the use of existing specimens and/or the addition of new specimens. Talk with your faculty about opportunities.
The Senior Science and Mathematics Conference is held at BSC each spring during Honors Week. During the conference, seniors present to the College community a summary of the research they completed through their Senior Capstone Experience. The conference is open to all science students and includes majors from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, and Physics.
View the titles and abstracts of the Senior Capstone Experiences from recent years:
Many students have published research papers with faculty (view some of these papers) and presented at scientific conferences.