2020-21 University Catalog 
    
    Oct 24, 2021  
2020-21 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, E. Schechtel, K. Usher, R. Wilde
Associate Professors: S. Anthony, M. Hughes, J. Kellermann, T. Lund, G. Pak, L. Parratt
Assistant Professors: A. Clark, K. Gandhi, C. Gustafson, J. Kinder, C. VanRooyen, 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
  • Coaching
  • 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, 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

Hui-Yun Li, 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 graduate schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, pharmacy, podiatry, physician assistant, 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

Elvira Schechtel, 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

Elvira, Schechtel, 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

Elvira Schechtel, 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

Elvira Schechtel, 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

Jherime Kellermann, Program Director

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences

Dual Major Options

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences
Advising Coordinators: Erin Cox and Jherime Kellermann
  • Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering and Environmental Sciences
Advising Coordinators: Mason Terry and Jherime Kellermann

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.

Objectives

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.

Physical Education and Health Education

Physical Education Philosophy and Courses

At Oregon Institute of Technology, the physical education philosophy is that every man and woman can achieve and maintain fitness through a sound program based on varied developmental, sport, and recreational activities. The physical education courses provide basic instruction in vigorous activities.

Course offerings include fitness training, weight lifting, aerobics activities, archery, ice skating, rugby, recreational basketball, tai chi, Zumba, yoga, kick boxing, core strength & balance, Pilates, rowing, belly dance, scuba, swim classes, relaxation & flexibility, varsity sports and major sports seminars, including weight loss and weight loss management. Other offerings include wilderness navigation, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Health Education Philosophy and Courses

Selected courses in health education are provided to assist students to prevent physical and mental health disorders and to promote well-being.

Course Policy

Physical education courses are currently offered as elective credits only. Some courses may require an additional course fee depending on facility and special equipment needs. There is no limit on the number of times a physical education course can be repeated.

Programs

    Major
    Minor

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