What type of internship opportunities
do you have available?
Why are internship programs important to the program?
What type of equipment do students use in their
What special facilities does the Missouri Western Biology
What student research opportunities are available?
Do students and faculty work together on research
Do students present research findings at national
Have your students had work published recently?
Does your department offer any study abroad opportunities?
type of internship opportunities do you have available?
Nearly half of students in the Biology program are involved
in practical learning experiences on- and off-campus through internships,
research projects, and other hands-on activities. On-campus teaching
internships are available every semester to upper-level biology
majors for credit.
Off-campus internships are available to upper division
biology majors. Students may do faculty-sponsored internships
at state agencies such as the Missouri Department of Conservation,
the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, or an agency from
another state such as the Arizona Fish and Game. The U.S. National
Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the World Bird
Sanctuary and the International Wolf Center are other agencies
through which students have completed faculty-sponsored student
internships. Students may also do internships at local hospitals
and medical or veterinary clinics. In addition, students are offered
internships at several of the local life science industries in
the St. Joseph area, including Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica,
Why are internship
programs important to the program?
Experience in the field is beneficial to each student’s
education. Internships provide students with a valuable hands-on
experience that is difficult to duplicate in the classroom.
What labs do students
use in their courses?
The department laboratories are state-of-the-art. Along
with the basic equipment, the department labs have the capabilities
to perform molecular cloning, DNA amplification, real-time PCR, and advanced microscopic imaging. Every classroom room is a “smart
room,” fully equipped with up-to-date technology for presentations
Missouri Western has a Global Positioning Systems base station
located at Agenstein Hall with telemetry equipment and Global
Positioning Systems/Global Information Systems equipment and software
that is used in field biology research.
What special facilities
does the Missouri Western Biology Department have?
Missouri Western boasts a 180-acre field study area on campus
called the Otoe Creek Nature Area. This land contains a network
of trails that run through various habitats and along ponds and
a stream. There are two outdoor amphitheaters within the study
The Missouri Department of Conservation’s
Northwest Service Center is located on the nature area with offices
and labs for more than 25 Conservation Department professionals.
Modern classrooms, research labs and a prep room for the Biology
Department are also housed within the Service Center , along with
a herbarium and the Biology Department’s natural history
collection, which contains museum specimens of vertebrates and
What student research
opportunities are available?
A variety of faculty-sponsored student research opportunities
exists within the department due to the wide range of faculty
expertise and willingness of faculty to explore new areas. The
general research areas span molecular, cellular, organismal and
ecological as well as science education. The mission of the department
is to provide a collaborative learning environment in which students
and faculty can apply their biological exploration and discovery
experiences as professionals and as informed citizens.
Do students and faculty
work together on research projects?
Students and faculty collaborate on a variety of independent research projects in the Biology Department. Projects are conducted during the academic year and in the summer as part of PORTAL (Program of Research, Teaching, and Applied Learning). Students get ample opportunities for Applied Learning while conducting research. Their coursework becomes relevant to the research questions under study.
Do students present
research findings at national conferences?
All students are encouraged to present their research at a University sponsored poster session. Students often also present their projects at state, national, or international professional meetings. Here are some recent examples.
- Regional and national meetings
of the Beta Beta Beta National
Biological Honor Society
- Regional meetings of the Wildlife
- Missouri Natural Resource Conference
- Annual meeting of the Missouri
Academy of Science
- Federation of Associations for
- Annual Conference of the Institute of Biological Engineering
Have your students
had work published recently?
In the past five years, 72 undergraduate students have earned coauthorship on a peer-review professional publications, Examples of journals include Interdisciplinary BioCentral, BioScence, Journal of Biological Engineering, and BioMed Central Genomics.
Does your department
offer any study abroad opportunities?
Bio 220 Field Natural History is a course specifically
designed for students to experience biological habitats outside
of the St. Joseph area. Marine biology trips are scheduled about
every other spring. Recently marine biology students have studied in
Belize, San Salvador, the Bahamas and Jamaica.