Your biology degree from Lock Haven University allows you a variety of different options. Whatever track or program you choose, you will have hands-on experience beginning in your freshman year, both in the lab and in off-campus field settings. The relatively small class sizes give you personalized attention from highly-qualified and dedicated professors to help you succeed.
You may also choose to do independent research under faculty supervision. Recent student independent studies have included research in cytotaxonomy, microbiology, entomology, ornithology, aquatic ecology, molecular biology and wildlife management. Some of these projects have been so successful that the results have been published in scientific journals.
- Cellular/Organismal Track
- B.S. Secondary Education - Biology
- DNA Analysis Methods Track
- Ecology/Environmental Track
- Marine Biology Track
- Secondary Education - Biology
This major prepares you to teach biology in grades 7 - 12. Along with your extensive coursework in biology, you will also study teaching theory and methods of classroom management. You will have a variety of hands-on field experiences as well as a semester of student teaching in your senior year in both middle school and high school settings.
This track emphasizes laboratory studies to prepare you for a career in molecular biology, forensics, genetics, or other medical or health-related fields or to continue your studies in medical, dental, veterinary or graduate school. Our students have a high rate of acceptance into professional studies at schools such as Thomas Jefferson Medical School, Hershey Medical Center, Temple University and others. The upper level classes include a variety of specialized courses such as: DNA genotyping, endocrinology, developmental biology, and organismal biology just to name a few.
DNA Analysis Methods Track
While you may think immediately of DNA analysis associated with criminal forensics, the power of DNA-based methods influences all fields of biology... medicine, evolutionary biology, ecology, species identification, and more. That's why, along with still providing you with hands-on experience in DNA Forensics, the LHU program has widened its scope to include broad applications in biology.
In our laboratories, you will learn to isolate, quantify, cut, clone, copy, and sequence DNA from bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. Examples include studying and identifying the evolution of cell-signaling genes, identification of breeding trout stock, cloning the genes for glowing in the dark from marine bacteria, and more. You will also learn forensic identification of humans using crime laboratory methods and the DNA sequencing methods used by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory.
You will be able to copy DNA using a forensic/medical-grade PCR thermal cycler, then genotype or sequence DNA using an ABI 310 Genetic Analyzer, an automated capillary-electrophoresis instrument. With DNA sequences in hand, you will search national databases in our Wi-Fi-ready Ulmer Hall science building.
Internships play a vital role in this track. Some recent student interns have used DNA sequencing to verify a strain of virus infecting salmon for the Fish and Wildlife Service. Other students have conducted research to identify bacteria using DNA sequencing. Future areas of student research include animal typing for wildlife crimes, such as poaching, smuggling, and illegal trading of wildlife remains.
Upon graduation, you will be prepared to work in medical, research or forensic laboratories, or to continue on to graduate school.
This track focuses on the relationship between living things and their environments to prepare you for a career in fields such as environmental resource management, fisheries and wildlife biology, public health, pollution abatement, conservation, environmental education, and others. The natural habitats surrounding the LHU campus in central Pennsylvania provide an excellent “laboratory” for hands-on field experiences. You will also experience field trips to area rivers, streams and wetlands such as the Sieg Center operated by the University where you will research the freshwater life of central Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, you may choose to work in various state and federal agencies, private consulting firms or industry. Our graduates have also continued their education in graduate schools including Colorado State University, Penn State University and State University of New York.
Marine Biology Track
Classroom study, laboratory research and extensive hands-on experiences in marine environments will prepare you for a career as a marine biologist. LHU is a member of the Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium which operates the Marine Science Center on the Delmarva Peninsula in Virginia. This location provides ready access to wetlands and barrier islands as well as inshore and offshore ocean habitats. In this track, you will be required to spend three summer sessions (three weeks each - nine semester hours) at the Wallops Island facility where you will collect data and perform research on a diverse variety of aquatic life. You will use ocean-going research boats to reach points of study and to collect samples. Other resources near Wallops Island for student use include Chincoteague
National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague National Seashore. You may complete all nine hours in one summer, but it is recommended that you spread this experience over two or more summers.
The Biology Department lecture rooms and laboratories are housed in Ulmer Hall. The cell and molecular biology laboratory provides equipment to perform many of the sophisticated molecular techniques used in today's biotechnology labs. A capillary electrophoresis instrument (ABI 310) is used for DNA sequencing. State-of-the-art computers are ready for gene searches or DNA sequence comparisons. For microscopy, each student uses a top-of-the-line Olympus research-grade microscope.
The organismal physiology lab is newly computerized with state-of-the-art equipment to study the fundamental principles or membrane, muscle, cardiovascular and respiratory physiology in animals and humans. This includes force and displacement transducers, micromanipulators and intracellular electrodes, respirometers and oxygen electrodes an EKG/EMG apparati.
The botany lab has CO2 and O2 analyzers to measure plant photosynthesis and respiration, a green house to provide controlled environment, dissecting microscopes and a wide variety of prepared specimens for study.
The microbiology lab houses Phase S fluorescent microscopes, a Coylab anaerobic chamber and many varied incubators for controlled growth of both bacterial and fungal cultures.
Internships, Employment, Graduate Schools
As a biology major, you will have ample opportunity to gain hands-on experience in real-life settings with a wide range of internship choices. Recent internships have included the Clinton County Conservation District, Hershey Medical Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Kettle Creek Watershed Association, U. S. Park Service and more. These internships are invaluable in gaining future employment or for entrance into graduate school. Some recent employers include Woodstream Corporation, Merck, SmithKline, and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Graduate schools have included Johns Hopkins University, Thomas Jefferson Medical College, Ohio State University, Hershey Medical Center and Cornell University.
Biology Department Faculty
The Biology Department tenure track faculty all hold their doctoral degrees and have extensive teaching and research experience. They belong to professional organizations such as the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Entomological Society of America, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Fisheries Society, the Ecological Society of America, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the Council for Undergraduate Research, and the American Society for Microbiology.
Faculty also conduct research in which students are active participants. Some examples of recent research include fish chromosome studies, bird studies, wetland studies, water quality monitoring, microbiology, molecular biology, genotyping, taxometry, and endocrinology. All professors are committed to classroom teaching and give their students individual attention to help them succeed.
Joseph Calabrese (1995)
Ph.D., West Virginia University
Academic Areas: Microbiology, Introductory Biology
Research Interests: Environmental Microbiology
Ralph Harnishfeger (1990)
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
Academic Areas: Field Natural History, Environmental Policy and Regulations
Research Areas: Vertebrate Ecology
Carina Endres Howell (2005)
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Academic Areas: Genetics, Developmental Biology
Research Areas: Genetics, Developmental Biology
Shonah Hunter (1989)
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
Academic Areas: Principles of Biology, Field Ecology, Ornithology
Research Areas: Population & Community Ecology, Ornithology
Amy Kutay (2001)
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Academic Areas: Toxicology, Entomology, Immunology
Research Areas: Entomology & Toxicology
Jonathan Lindzey (2005)
Ph.D., University of Texas-Austin
Academic Areas: Animal Physiology, Endocrinology
Research Areas: Endocrinology, Reproductive Physiology
Stephen Marvel (1998)
Ph.D., University of Montana
Academic Areas: Botany, Plant Physiology
Research Areas: Physiological Plant Ecology
Joseph Newhouse (2003)
Ph.D., West Virginia University
Academic Areas: Microbiology, Basic Biology
Research Areas: Plant Pathology, Mycology, Biological Control
Ted Nuttall (1990)
Ph.D., Florida Institute of Technology
Academic Areas: Molecular Biology, DNA Forensics
Research Areas: DNA-Based Taxonomy, Crayfish
Barrie Overton (2006)
Ph.D., Penn State University
Academic Areas: Basic Biology, Mycology
Research Areas: Plant Pathology, Mycology
David Smith (1995)
Ph.D., Syracuse University
Academic Areas: Basic Biology, Zoology, Evolution
Research Areas: Invertebrate Biology
Ken Thompson (1987)
Ph.D., University of Texas
Academic Areas: Ecology, Aquatic Biology, Comparative Anatomy, Ichthyology
This interdisciplinary degree is a joint program with both the Biology and Chemistry Departments. Whichever track you choose, you will study theory in both disciplines along with extensive hands-on work in laboratories. All courses are taught by dedicated professors, not graduate assistants. You will get the individual attention you need to succeed. This
degree will prepare you for careers in research and development labs, the pharmaceutical industry, a variety of healthcare settings or government agencies.
- Pre-Veterinary Medicine
- Medical Technology
With an aging population, the demand for doctors of all types will continue to increase. Biology/Chemistry is the ideal major if you are planning to attend medical school. LHU graduates have had great success in gaining admission to leading medical schools.
The demand for dentists remains strong. This track will provide you with a solid foundation in biology and chemistry to qualify you for admission to a professional dental school.
Since pharmacists use chemical compounds to treat biological conditions, the biology/chemistry degree is a natural choice for preparation for pharmacy school. You will have a strong foundation on how the two sciences are interconnected. With an aging population, pharmacists will continue to play a very important role in healthcare and remain in high demand.
Animals are an important part of our lives, whether as pets or as part of our agricultural industry. Therefore, their health and maintenance is important. This track will provide a strong emphasis on animal biology and physiology to prepare you for admission to veterinary school.
For the first three years, you will take classes at the Lock Haven University campus. The senior year will be spent in an approved clinical setting, such as one of our affiliates: Susquehanna Health, St. Vincent Hospital, Altoona Hospital, or Robert Packer Hospital. After completing this track, you will be qualified to take the state medical technology certification examination. Once certified, you will be able to work in a variety of healthcare settings such as doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, and diagnostic centers.
Faculty & Facilities
Since this is an interdisciplinary degree, you will use the facilities of both the chemistry and biology departments and will take classes taught by professors from both departments.
Employment, Graduate Schools
Recent graduates have been accepted into medical studies at Hershey Medical Center, Thomas Jefferson College, University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry, LECOM School of Pharmacy, and Western University of Sciences School of Veterinary Medicine. Others have found employment at such comapnies as Charles River Laboratories, Croda, Inc. and the Department of Environmental Protection Agency.
Nanotechnology is the study of science on the nanometer scale and can encompass anything from microelectronics to nanoelectronics to medicine. Its applications are truly endless.
This cutting edge program at Lock Haven University is partly funded by grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the National Science Foundation.
You have these options in pursuing your education in this program:
- Complete the A.A.S. degree in two years. After graduation, you can enter the workforce or continue on for another two years to earn your B.S. degree in:
- Computer Science
- Engineering (3+2, 4+2 programs)
You can major in any of the above B.S. degree programs and also earn your A.A.S. degree with the additional coursework as follows. Only two classes are required at LHU totaling five credits plus an 18-credit Summer Capstone Semester at Penn State University for most programs.
- You can minor in Nanotechology if your major is in the sciences.
You will be studying at the state-of-the art $30 million Nanofabrication Center at Penn State for an intense 12-week summer semester which provides the core technical skills and knowledge. The difference in the tuition between Penn State and LHU is paid for by the Commonwealth for PA residents.
The interdisciplinary nanotechnology faculty offer research projects for undergraduate students in diverse research areas such as material synthesis, device fabrication, submicron imaging, and electrical and optical characterization. You will be trained to use our advanced equipment and critically analyze the experimental results. Some topics have included dye-sensitized solar cells, nanoparticle platforms for drug delivery systems, polymer light-emitting diodes, scanning probe studies of graphite surfaces, gold nanoparticles as sensors and DNA self-assembled monolayers. LHU Nanotechnology department website
LHU has developed five Nanotechnology labs, where our students gain hands-on experience in fabrication techniques, device development and analytical tools including the scanning probe laboratory. You will learn to fabricate structures from the microscale to the nanoscale that can be visualized using our Optical, Fluorescent, Atomic Force, Scanning Tunneling, and Scanning Electron microscopes. Other equipment includes a sculptured thin film deposition system, a sputter coater, an evaporator, a sonicator, a furnace, a profilometer, a 4-point probe, and DC/AC electrical characterization equipment.
Gaining hands-on experience in real-life situations is invaluable in future employment or entrance into graduate school. Some recent internships have include Hershey Medical Center, Plextronics, Inc, Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Penn State Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization.
All nanotechnology faculty have their doctoral degrees. Your small classes and labs will be taught by these professors, not graduate assistants.
A $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation has made it possible for LHU to offer sizable scholarships to incoming freshmen. For more information on these scholarships, contact the Office of Student Financial Services.