Oct 18, 2018  
2018-19 University Catalog 
    
2018-19 University Catalog

Natural Sciences Department


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Rosalind McClure, Department Chair
Professors: B. Clark, H.-Y. Li, T. McVay, M. O'Shaughnessy, E. Schechtel, R. Swisher, K. Usher
Associate Professors: R. Wilde, R. McClure
Assistant Professors: S. Anthony, M. Beekman, K. Byrne, M. Hughes, J. Kellermann, G. Pak, L. Parratt, E. Taylor, T. Lund

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences

Minors Offered

  • Applied Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Sustainability

The Department of Natural Sciences prepares students for challenging, rewarding careers in health, biological, and environmental sciences. The department also provides courses in biology, chemistry, and physics in support of degrees in nursing, medical imaging, dental hygiene, respiratory care, management and engineering programs.

Biology Program

Many students have an interest in biology. At Oregon Tech we have designed two programs that prepare graduates for rewarding careers that require a strong foundation in biology. For outdoor or field-oriented options, please refer to the Environmental Sciences  program in our department. It offers several emphases, including Watershed Science, which can readily be tailored to biological interests and student research projects. Graduates from our Environmental Sciences program often go on to careers with public and private agencies such as US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service and the Nature Conservancy. For medically-oriented options in biology, please see our Biology-Health Sciences  program. It offers a strong preparation to apply to professional programs, exceeding the minimum requirements for highly competitive fields such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Physician Assistant, and others.

Biology-Health Sciences Program

Ken Usher, Program Director

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences

Objective and Career Opportunities

If you are interested in pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, etc., then this is the major you want. The degree program provides an intensive course of study in the basic sciences, social sciences, communication, and mathematics to prepare students for entry into professional programs. The program will meet prerequisite requirements for schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, pharmacy, and podiatry and for graduate programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy. Courses in health management, medical microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular & cell biology also provide strong preparation for graduate work in biotechnology, public health, and medical administration. This major can also prepare one for a career in education with an emphasis in biology.

Student Preparation

The Biology-Health Sciences curriculum is a demanding instructional program requiring considerable effort in science and mathematics coursework. Prospective students are advised to complete two to three years of high school mathematics and a minimum of three years of high school science (biology, chemistry, and physics).

Pre-Professional Program in Dentistry

Burt Clark, Advising Coordinator

The pre-professional program in dentistry prepares the student for entrance into dental school. While the requirements for admission to dental schools vary and some will accept students earlier, a bachelor's degree is highly encouraged for acceptance. In fact, 82% of first-year dental students have completed a four-year baccalaureate degree before starting dental school and 90% have four years of pre-dental college courses before acceptance. The curriculum at Oregon Institute of Technology provides the prerequisite courses for dental school including a full year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced anatomy & physiology, and physics. All of these have year-long labs. In addition, health-specific courses in cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, pathophysiology, and immunology are taken along with calculus, humanities, psychology, and English composition courses.

Because the pre-dental requirements for each dental school vary slightly, it is suggested by sophomore year of college that students look at the requirements for several dental schools along with their dream school. It is also recommended that students do not use AP credit to fill prerequisites for dental school since most do not accept them. There are eight advisors in Oregon Tech's pre-dental program and it is encouraged that students work closely with the advisor they connect best with. The Biology-Health Sciences Program also urges students to begin volunteering in dental settings, possibly during high school and especially during college. For students still in high school, it is advisable to enroll in many sciences courses before college to help prepare for future success.

Admission to dental school is very competitive and requires strong academic achievement. Besides a strong college GPA and application, students must take the dental admission test (DAT) offered by the American Dental Association. The test measures a student's comprehension of scientific information and academic ability. Once accepted, it will take approximately four years to complete dental school.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses, please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program. Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences.

Pre-Professional Program in Medicine

Burt Clark, Advising Coordinator

This program prepares students for entrance into medical school and is often referred to as pre-med. The curriculum at Oregon Institute of Technology provides a pathway to complete all the prerequisites that medical schools like to see and more. There are eight advisors in the pre-med program and students are encouraged to work closely with the advisor they connect best with. Advisors guide students on courses selection, job or volunteer experience, and lead them through the medical school application process. Admission into medical school requires a four-year bachelor's degree with a preference for a science major over a non-science major. Once accepted, medical school then requires approximately four years of education and three to six years of internship and residency. More than 17,000 students enter medical school each year with half of the class being women.

Students are urged to volunteer in medical settings, possibly during high school and especially during college. For students currently in high school, it is advised that the student enrolls in many sciences courses before college to help them prepare for future success. It is recommended that students do not use AP credit to fill medical school prerequisites since they often do not accept them. Nonetheless, it is encouraged to take AP courses in high school since the rigor is excellent college preparation.

Students considering a career in medicine should explore the websites of the schools they have interest in as the prerequisites for each may vary. Students are suggested to read the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) published by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The pre-med program at Oregon Tech includes a full year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced anatomy & physiology, and physics. All of these have year-long labs. In addition, health-specific courses in cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, pathophysiology, and immunology are taken along with calculus, humanities, psychology, and English composition courses. While the curriculum is very challenging, admission into medical school is highly competitive and requires strong academic achievement. The coursework at Oregon Tech helps students prepare for the medical college admission test (MCAT) required by nearly all medical schools. The test, which is divided into four sections includes physical sciences, biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and writing sample, is used to predict a student's ability to succeed academically.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program. Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences.

Pre-Professional Program in Pharmacy

Burt Clark, Advising Coordinator

A pharmacy degree normally takes four years to complete. Most first-year pharmacy students have completed four years of undergraduate education and possess a bachelor's degree in the sciences. One also must complete the prerequisites for the pharmacy school. The curriculum at Oregon Institute of Technology provides the prerequisite courses including a full year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced anatomy & physiology, and physics. All of these have year-long labs. Additional courses in cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, pathophysiology, and immunology are taken along with calculus, humanities, psychology, statistics and English composition courses.

The pre-professional program in pharmacy at Oregon Tech has eight advisors and students are encouraged to work closely with the advisor they connect best with. Students are urged to begin volunteering in pharmacy settings, possibly during high school and especially during college. For students currently in high school, it is recommend to shadow and talk with pharmacists and to take many science courses before college to help prepare for future success.

The application process to pharmacy school is done through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS). Students are encouraged to look at their web site while also looking at the sites of schools they have an interest in. Some pharmacy schools require the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). Oregon State University and the pharmacy schools in California do not. Admission to school is competitive so a strong undergraduate GPA, community service, and communications and leadership skills will help.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program. Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences.

Pre-Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine

Burt Clark, Advising Coordinator

The pre-professional program in veterinary medicine prepares students for entrance into veterinary school. There are twenty-eight veterinary schools in the United States and it is highly recommended that students visit the websites of the schools they are interested in. The prerequisites for each school vary slightly. There are eight advisors in the program and students should work closely with the advisor they connect best with.

Admission to veterinary school is competitive and requires a good undergraduate GPA in addition to shadowing or working with a veterinarian. Students are encouraged to work in a clinical practice, volunteer in an animal shelter, or work at a zoo or rehabilitation facility while completing their undergraduate courses. Students currently in high school should continue to take sciences courses and, if available, be involved in 4H or FFA. Advisors recommend that students do not use AP credit to fill prerequisites for veterinary school since most do not accept them.

Being a resident of a state that has a veterinary school is also a major advantage to being accepted since most schools take few out-of-state applicants. If the student's home state does not have a veterinary school, hopefully the state "buys" seats from a veterinary school in a neighboring state for its residents. The WICHE program in the western United States allows out-of-state students to attend veterinary school at Colorado State University at Fort Collins, Oregon State University, Washington State University or the University of California at Davis veterinary schools for in-state tuition.

Many veterinary schools require students to take the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). It is offered monthly and is often taken in the junior year of undergrad. The majority of first-year veterinary student have completed their bachelor's degree at a four-year university.

The program at Oregon Institute of Technology offers the prerequisite courses (and more) for veterinary school including a full year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced anatomy & physiology, and physics. All of these have year-long labs. In addition, health-specific courses in wildlife rehabilitation, cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, pathophysiology, and immunology are taken along with calculus, humanities, psychology, English composition and public speaking courses. Business-related courses are also recommended.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology – Health Sciences Program. Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology – Health Sciences.

Environmental Sciences Program

Michael Hughes, Program Director
John Ritter, GIS Emphasis Coordinator

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences

Dual Major Options

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences
    Advising Coordinator: David Thaemert
  • Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering and Environmental Sciences
    Advising Coordinator: James Zipay

The Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences emphasizes the application of scientific reasoning and methodology to problems concerning: (1) environmental processes and patterns, and/or (2) abiotic-biotic interactions in ecosystems. Methodological training focuses on techniques – and instrumentation – in conjunction with GIS and geospatial analysis.

The program rests on three cores: a core of six lower-division courses in introductory environmental science, a basic sciences core of nine courses (one year each of biology, chemistry and physics), and a mathematics core of five courses, including differential and integral calculus and statistics. The program is by definition interdisciplinary and utilizes the practical knowledge and skills of faculty from a broad range of backgrounds and expertise.

Students may choose to concentrate in one of four technical emphasis areas; Watershed Science, Sustainable Technologies, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Biological Resources. Under the direction of an advisor, students may fore go any one area and instead blend offerings from all four areas to create a more individually focused curriculum. The emphasis in Watershed Science focuses on the structure, processes, patterns, ecology, management, and restoration of terrestrial, riparian and aquatic ecosystems. Special attention is granted to the flows of energy and materials through these ecosystems, as well as human impacts on ecosystem functions. The emphasis in Sustainable Technologies focuses on the characterization of environmental processes and patterns for application to the management, planning, and development of renewable resources, with special attention to water and renewable energy. The emphasis in GIS builds on the GIS core curriculum to advance student knowledge and skills in the application of geospatial concepts and technologies to problems in environmental sciences and natural resource management. The emphasis in Biological Resources… The core curriculum and technical emphasis areas are supported by courses taught by faculty in the Natural Sciences Department and other departments and programs on campus, including Geomatics, Civil Engineering, Renewable Energy Engineering, Mathematics, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Communication Studies.

Objectives

The objectives of the Environmental Sciences Program are:

  1. To provide students with knowledge and training in the practical application of scientific reasoning and methodology to problems in environmental science and natural resource management.
  2. To present complex environmental problems from a systems perspective that demands rigorous data acquisition and analytical techniques.
  3. To provide exercises that support critical thinking and problem-solving skills, encourage student collaboration, and employ multiple methodological approaches.
  4. To prepare students for professional careers and/or graduate studies by nurturing meaningful undergraduate research projects as a fundamental curricular element.

Student Preparation

The Environmental Sciences curriculum is a demanding instructional program requiring the development and use of both qualitative and quantitative analytical perspectives and skills. Prospective students for this program are advised to complete two to three years of high school mathematics and science (biology, chemistry, and physics). Students should also be familiar with computer applications. Students transferring from other science or technical programs, including environmental programs at other institutions, are requested to contact the program director for information on program requirements.

Career Opportunities

Graduates can expect to find employment in, among other places, consulting firms, government agencies (regulatory and research), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and education and research institutions. Students are also well prepared to enter graduate school. Environmental Sciences students at Oregon Tech have been actively recruited by the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon State Police Wildlife Enforcement, Klamath County Health Department, Klamath Irrigation District, Klamath County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Nature Conservancy, and JELD-WEN Windows and Doors. Vocational placement of recent graduates has been excellent and many Environmental Sciences majors find part-time or summer employment directly related to their studies and career interests.

Programs

    Major
    Minor

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