The biology faculty of the Natural and Behavioral Sciences Division at the University of Maine at Fort Kent believe that students come to understand the discipline of biology through a combination of course work, laboratory experiences, research, and fieldwork. The combination of instructional methods leads students to a balanced understanding of the scientific methods used by biologists to make observations, develop insights and create theories about the living organisms that populate our planet. Small class sizes within the biology program foster a close working relationship between faculty and students in an informal and nurturing atmosphere.
The biology faculty pursue a multifaceted charge at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The Program seeks to provide all biology students with fundamental knowledge of biology, as well as a deeper understanding of a selected focus area within the biological sciences. The curriculum and advising have been designed to prepare graduates for their professional future, whether they choose to work as field biologists specializing in botany or wildlife, or to pursue advanced degrees in the life sciences or health sciences. The biology program also provides the necessary fundamental knowledge of the life sciences to support the Nursing degree, the Environmental Studies degree, and the Associate of Science degree in Forest Technology. In addition, biology courses provide a key laboratory science experience for those students seeking to complete the general education requirements.
The biology curriculum consists of required courses and electives. To meet the needs of students with diverse backgrounds and interests, students have the opportunity to choose elective courses that reflect their individual interests and career paths. Students majoring in biology choose from two options: a major in biology with a minor in a field outside of biology; or a major in biology with a concentration in a specific area of biological science.
All students in the Biology Major will participate in a Field Experience Program as part of their coursework. This program consists of experiential learning activities that students participate in through short field trips in the local area, as well as through multi-day expeditions to destinations across the U.S. The courses included in the Field Experience Program each have a $150 fee, which helps to cover necessary costs including equipment, travel, entrance fees, and camping. It is important that students take courses during the designated year and semester to ensure that they have the background preparation needed to benefit fully from the field-based activities.
Biology Major with a Minor in a Field Outside of Biology
This option provides broad training in biology and offers students the maximum flexibility in selecting courses that meet their interests. Students complete all required and support courses for the biology major, and they complete all courses necessary for a minor in a field other than biology (see Index under “Minors” for a description of appropriate study areas).
Biology Major with a Concentration in a Specific Area of Biological Science
This option provides broad training in biology and offers students the opportunity to develop a more detailed knowledge of a specific area of biological science. Students complete all required and support courses for the biology major, and they complete all courses necessary for the concentration. These concentrations prepare students for continued study in graduate and professional schools, as well as providing preparation for many other career goals including teaching, technical, and field positions. Each concentration consists of courses which provide depth in the principal aspects of the subject. This academic track provides a broad exposure in laboratory work and extensive experience in field situations. Students choose to concentrate in one of the two following areas: Biomedical Sciences or Field Biology: Ecology and Conservation Biology.
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates with a major in Biology from the University of Maine at Fort Kent will:
- Acquire a comprehensive knowledge of biology in a diversity of organisms encompassing the molecular to ecosystem levels;
- Place biological knowledge in context and show an understanding of the way biologists think and of the historical development of biological thought;
- Demonstrate the ability to connect and apply biological knowledge to other disciplines and to integrate knowledge into their personal and professional lives;
- Demonstrate the ability to engage in critical, independent, and creative thinking; and
- Demonstrate proficiency in writing and speaking about biological concepts and research.