Department of Biology


What 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, Inc.

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 and lecture.

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 173-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 area.

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 invertebrates.