The Employee Recognition Committee of Staff Senate would like to congratulate the Department of Biology for the April 2004 Department of the Month award.
The Department of Biology faculty--15 tenure-track and three full-time lecturers--are committed to advancing scientific, cultural and economic development of the State of Nebraska and the larger service region through quality teaching, scholarly activity and service.
The department prides itself in being dedicated to the undergraduate teaching mission of UNK. Further, the department has a commitment to graduate education that advances the careers of secondary science teachers and professionals in a variety of careers.
The biology faculty constantly strives to improve the biology curriculum and to enhance the learning opportunities for students. Approximately 240 students major in biology. Another 400 students in the 19 pre-professional or allied health areas complete significant biology course work and frequently declare a biology major.
The faculty has been instrumental in developing initiatives and garnering grants over the past several years that have broadened and strengthened the curriculum in the department. Among these are:
- A collaborative Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) grant with the University of Nebraska Medical Center under the auspices of the National Institute of Health (NIH). BRIN affords summer research experiences for UNK students--the experience is continued into the academic year. Equipment and other resources are purchased through the grant. The grant was recently renewed for a three-year period.
- Partnership opportunities in teaching, research and internships with governmental agencies--including the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These cooperative arrangements have led to successful grant acquisition as well as joint sponsorship of both undergraduate and graduate research in ecology and environmental management.
- A Distance Education Master of Science (DE MS) program that serves graduate students in secondary science teaching, private consulting firms and governmental agencies across the nation. This is a new and growing program with high potential.
- Outreach programs have been especially designed to aid teachers statewide in their efforts to remain current in their field and improve biology curriculum in their schools. Among these are the grant-supported efforts in physiology (2004 Frontiers in Physiology Professional Development Fellowships) and the school visitations by the department's Mobile Environmental Laboratory (MEL).
Staff Senate recognizes the Department of Biology for the valuable services they provide to students, the campus, the community and the state, and designates them the April Department of the Month.