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Biology

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The Biology Major provides students with extensive training in a range of biological subject areas, principles and practices. The curriculum gives students a broad background in biology while providing for specialization in a particular sub-discipline such as environmental biology, organismal biology, plant biology or cell and molecular biology. Students also gain extensive experience in the processes of logical problem-solving and experimental design that characterize scientific investigation. Most biology majors pursue graduate work in biology or the health professions, but many enter careers in government, business, law, journalism, secondary school teaching, or with environmental consulting firms, conservation organizations or biotechnology companies. The department also offers a minor.

The faculty of the Biology Department believes strongly in the value of learning not just what is known about biology, but how biologists acquire that knowledge. Most courses include laboratories in which students gain first-hand experience with the processes of biological inquiry. Strong emphasis on learning to think scientifically is reflected in the department’s senior exercise, in which each student develops an original biological investigation of a problem of his or her choice. The faculty also encourages students to spend a summer and one or more semesters involved in biological research, either working with a faculty member on campus or through one of many available research internship programs or biological field station programs. Students particularly interested in plant biology can take advantage of course and research offerings among all The Claremont Colleges (see http://www.rsabg.org/research for details).

The department is housed in the Richard C. Seaver Biology Building, an innovative and energy-efficient building certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, and in the newly renovated Seaver South Building. Laboratories are equipped with advanced instrumentation for experimentation in all the major fields of biology, from molecular genetics and cell biology to physiology and ecology. Facilities include environmentally controlled greenhouses, walk-in warm and cold rooms and plant growth chambers. The local Robert J. Bernard Biological Field Station, owned by The Claremont Colleges, includes several natural habitats that serve courses in ecology, evolutionary and organismal biology and animal behavior. The department also uses the Pomona College-owned Herman Garner Ecological Preserve in Evey Canyon, Claremont and the Mildred Pitt Ranch in Monterey County for field research.

Three interdisciplinary majors are available for students who want to combine the study of biology with another discipline. The Molecular Biology Major combines chemical and biological approaches to the study of macromolecules, the Environmental Analysis Major integrates several fields focusing on sustainability and the management of environmental challenges and the Neuroscience Major combines approaches used in biology, psychology and other sciences. In addition, the joint Biology/Public Policy Analysis Major allows students to combine the study of how society formulates and implements policy with the core areas of the Biology Major. Interested students should consult with their biology advisors and the respective program coordinators.

Faculty
Name/ContactTitleProfileWebPhoneLocation
Nina KarnovskyAssociate Professor and Department Chair (909) 607-9794Seaver Biology 122
Staff
Name/ContactTitlePhoneLocation
Gail SundbergDepartment Coordinator (909) 607-2950Seaver Biology 108

Mailing AddressPomona College, Biology, 175 W. 6th Street, Claremont, CA 91711

Phone(909) 607-2950

Fax(909) 621-8878

Campus LocationRichard Seaver Biology Building

biology@pomona.edu