2022-23 University Catalog 
    
    Apr 24, 2024  
2022-23 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Natural Sciences Department


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Ken Usher, Department Chair
Lloyd Parratt, Associate Department Chair
 
Professors: H.-Y. Li, R. McClure, T. McVay, K. Usher, R. Wilde
Associate Professors: J. Kellermann, J. Kinder, T. Lund, G. Pak, L. Parratt
Assistant Professors: R. Edwards, K. Gandhi, Y. Yang
Instructors: T. Elliott, K. Farris, D. Johnston

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 Programs

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, 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, Physical Therapy, and others.

Biology-Health Sciences Program

Travis Lund, Program Director

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences

 

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduating from the BHS program at Oregon Tech, students will be able to:

1.Demonstrate scientific knowledge and understanding.

    a. Demonstrate foundational knowledge in the natural sciences (e.g., terminology, organization, classifications, appropriate use of units, methodologies, and fundamental principles).

    b. Apply scientific principles to biological and medical examples/contexts.

2. Be proficient in scientific reasoning and critical thinking.

    a. Analyze data to determine its relationship to principles, and evaluate the data for errors.

    b. Analyze and evaluate content in biology.

3. Be able to effectively find and use resources from the literature.

4. Demonstrate effective oral, written and visual communication.

5. Demonstrate mathematical knowledge and skills in the biological 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, humanities, communication, and mathematics to prepare students for entry into professional programs. The program will meet prerequisite requirements for graduate schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, pharmacy, podiatry, physician assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy. These are all competitive graduate programs, and our graduates who apply to them have a strong record of acceptance. Our curriculum includes all of the core courses with labs in biology, anatomy & physiology, chemistry (general, organic, and biochemistry), and physics needed for applying to them, as well as upper-division science coursework that is tailored to medical fields, including cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, parasitology, pathophysiology, virology, and immunology. We also have opportunities for undergraduate research that can engage students’ interest and make them stand out as candidates for graduate programs. 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. Some students transfer into Oregon Tech’s Medical Laboratory Science program, before or after earning their Biology-Health Sciences degree. 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 at least 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

 

The pre-professional program in dentistry prepares the student for entrance into dental school and provides a B.S. degree in Biology-Health Sciences. The Biology-Health Sciences curriculum at Oregon Tech provides a pathway to complete all the prerequisites that dental schools like to see, as well as upper-division coursework that is tailored to becoming a superior applicant. Most dental students have completed four years of college, and have a B.S. degree. Dental school typically lasts four years, although an accelerated degree may take only three years to finish. The length of a dental specialty residency depends on the specialty and the school it is affiliated with, so a specialty residency can range from two to six years.

Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor to map out their curricular plan to prepare them for dental school application by sophomore year.

Admission to dental school is very competitive and requires strong academic achievement and extensive volunteering experience in dental settings. Students considering a career in dentistry should explore the websites of the schools they have interest in as the prerequisites for each may vary, and these can be tailored within our Biology-Health Sciences program. While our curriculum is very challenging, admission into dental school is highly competitive and requires strong academic achievement. The coursework at Oregon Tech helps students prepare for the dental admission test (DAT) offered by the American Dental Association. The test consists of a battery of four tests on the following: survey of the natural sciences, perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning.

The ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (ADEA AADSAS) is the centralized application service for U.S. dental schools. Please visit their website to find more information regarding dental school application.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses, please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program.

Pre-Professional Program in Medicine

 

The pre-professional program in medicine prepares the student for entrance into medical school and provides a B.S. degree in Biology-Health Sciences. The Biology-Health Sciences curriculum at Oregon Tech provides a pathway to complete all the prerequisites that medical schools like to see as well as upper-division science coursework that is tailored to becoming a superior applicant. Admission into a medical school doctoral program 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.

Students are encouraged to work closely with an advisor in our program to map out their curricular and other plans by sophomore year to prepare them for medical school application. 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. Increasingly, participation in undergraduate research, which is an optional part of the Biology-Health Sciences major, is recommended to develop and demonstrate strong scientific inquiry competency for medical school.

Students considering a career in medicine should explore the websites of the schools they have interest in as the prerequisites for each may vary, and these can be tailored within our Biology-Health Sciences program. While our 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 including: physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences and critical reasoning sections, 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.

Pre-Professional Program in Pharmacy

 

The pre-professional program in pharmacy prepares the student for entrance into pharmacy school and provides a B.S. degree in Biology-Health Sciences. A doctor of pharmacy degree normally takes four years to complete. Most entering pharmacy students have completed four years of undergraduate education and possess a bachelor’s degree in the sciences, including specific prerequisites for the pharmacy school. The Biology-Health Sciences curriculum at Oregon Tech provides a pathway to complete all the prerequisites that pharmacy schools like to see as well as upper-division science coursework that is tailored to becoming a superior applicant. Oregon Tech has a cooperative agreement with Pacific University in Oregon that can allow qualifying students to complete their B.S. in Biology-Health Sciences from us and their Pharm.D. from Pacific University in as few as six years total.

Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor in our program to map out their curricular and other plans by sophomore year to prepare them for pharmacy school application. 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 recommended 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), but Oregon State University and the pharmacy schools in California do not. Admission to school is competitive so a strong undergraduate GPA, community service, and communication and leadership skills will help.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program.

Pre-Professional Program in Physical Therapy

 

The pre-professional program in physical therapy prepares the student for applying for doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program and provides a B.S. degree in Biology-Health Sciences. The curriculum at The Biology-Health Sciences curriculum at Oregon Tech provides a pathway to complete all the prerequisites that physical therapy schools like to see as well as upper-division science coursework that is tailored to becoming a superior applicant.  Most DPT programs require applicants to earn a B.S. degree prior to admission. The length of professional DPT programs is typically three years.  Oregon Tech is tentatively launching its DPT program in summer 2023. Students graduated from The Biology-Health Sciences will have advantage in admission to the program. 

Each institution may require different courses and students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor to plan course schedule.  Most DPT programs require applicants to meet minimum GPA and complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).Many programs require applicants to have volunteer or paid experiences working with patients under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.This experience may be an important factor in the admissions process.

Most, but not all professional DPT programs, participate in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Applicants who wish to apply to a nonparticipating PTCAS program must apply directly to the institution using the DPT program’s local application.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses, please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program.

Pre-Professional Program for Physician Assistant Studies

 

The pre-professional program for Physician Assistants (PA) prepares the student for entrance into that Master’s program and provides a B.S. degree in Biology-Health Sciences. A Master’s degree in PA Studies normally takes 2.5 years to complete. Most entering PA students have completed four years of undergraduate education and possess a bachelor’s degree in the sciences, including specific prerequisites for the PA school. The Biology-Health Sciences curriculum at Oregon Tech provides a pathway to complete all the prerequisites that PA schools like to see as well as upper-division science coursework that is tailored to becoming a superior applicant. In addition to strong academics, applying to P.A. programs requires a substantial amount of patient care experience, often over 1000 hours. Our pre-professional students often work nearby in healthcare settings during their undergraduate education. Some students choose to get a degree in an allied health major such as medical imaging or respiratory care, along with an additional year or more of science pre-requisites for applying to PA school, and our advisors help advise those students as well.

Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor in our program to map out their curricular and other plans by sophomore year to prepare them for PA school application. Students are urged to begin volunteering in patient care settings, possibly during high school and especially during college. For students currently in high school, it is recommend to shadow and talk with PA’s and other medical providers and to take many science courses before college to help prepare for future success.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program.

Pre-Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine

 

The pre-professional program in veterinary medicine prepares students for entrance into veterinary school. A doctor of veterinary medicine program typically lasts four years and features in-depth training in animal sciences. Most veterinary colleges accept applicants have a B.S. degree at a four-year university. The Biology-Health Sciences curriculum at Oregon Tech provides a pathway to complete all the prerequisites that pharmacy schools like to see as well as upper-division science coursework that is tailored to becoming a superior applicant.

The prerequisites for each veterinary school vary slightly. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor in our program to map out their curricular and other plans by sophomore year to prepare them for veterinary school application. Admission to veterinary school is competitive and requires a good undergraduate GPA in addition to shadowing or working with a veterinarian, volunteering in an animal shelter, or working at a zoo or rehabilitation facility while completing their undergraduate courses. Experience in 4-H, FFA or a similar group is also great for the application. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required by most veterinary schools, and some also require the Biology GRE. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is also accepted by some schools in place of the GRE.

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (VMCAS) is the centralized application service for Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. Please visit their website to find more information regarding veterinary school application. 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. 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 Midwestern University at Glendale, AZ veterinary schools for in-state tuition.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology – Health Sciences Program.  

Environmental Sciences Program

 

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences

Dual Major Options

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences
 
  • Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering and Environmental Sciences
 

The Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences program focuses on interdisciplinary scientific study of ecology, natural resources, and sustainability with emphases on management, research, and communication. The curriculum is comprised of four integrated core areas in ecology and natural resources: data analysis and statistics; geographic information systems (GIS); and social sciences.

Emphasis is placed on active experiential learning, particularly in the field. The program offers numerous and diverse opportunities for students to engage in applied research and resource management projects with the support of faculty and professionals through local and regional partnerships.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will have demonstrated the following abilities:

  1. A strong working knowledge in foundations of ecology, natural resources, and sustainability.
  2. Insights into humanity’s role in the world’s biggest challenges including climate change, sustainable resource use, and environmental health and justice.
  3. The application of scientific reasoning and analytical methods to study natural phenomena.
  4. Geospatial literacy through map interpretation and navigation, and the application of geographic information systems to address geospatial problems.
  5. Design, execute, and communicate scientific projects.

Student Preparation

We believe there is a place in our program for everyone with an interest in natural resources, environmental issues, conservation and sustainability, or just being in the great outdoors! Environmental science and natural resources is a huge field that can accommodate a wide range of individual interests and skill whether it’s working with wild animals, plants, people, or computers and technology. We encourage students to explore the diversity of job opportunities with federal, state, and tribal agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private industries to help guide your studies.

Career Opportunities

Our faculty and partners are here to help you build an impressive resume of academic and work experience that will place you in the job or graduate program of your choice. Graduates can expect to find employment in federal, state, and tribal government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and education and research institutions. Students are also well prepared to enter graduate school. Students graduating from our program have taken positions with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, 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.

Programs

    Major
    Minor

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