Excellence in undergraduate education is the first priority of the SOU Department of Biology. We emphasize hands-on, exploratory learning in laboratory and field settings in a wide variety of specialty areas including ecology, molecular biology, microbiology, physiology, evolution, developmental biology, cell biology, and systematics. Students have opportunities to work closely with and get to know our faculty members in small laboratory sections starting in their first year. Students find faculty to be readily accessible and approachable.
We also make all of our research facilities available to undergraduates, including the SOU Biotechnology Center, the second-largest insect collection in Oregon, a four-room greenhouse, a herbarium, a Vertebrate Natural History Museum, and a cadaver lab. Many of our faculty also involve undergraduates in field research in ecology and environmental science.
SOU is located in one of the most diverse and interesting biologic regions in North America, at the junction of the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountain ranges, where plants and animals from several distinctive bioregions come together. Many Biology courses incorporate field trips to study the unique natural and biological resources in this area. Close to home, we venture to the Rogue River, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and Mount Ashland. Farther afield, we roam as far as the Pacific Ocean, Crater Lake, the Klamath-Tule marshes, the redwood forests, and the Oregon high desert.