Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2021

Biological and Environmental Sciences

Indiren Pillay, Chair

Professors: Dave Bachoon, Andrei Barkovskii, Melanie DeVore, Mike Gleason, Ashok Hegde, Kalina Manoylov, Al Mead, Indiren Pillay, and Tom Toney

Associate Professor: Ellen France, Kasey Karen, Sam Mutiti, and Allison VandeVoort

Assistant Professors: Gregory Glotzbecker, Gretchen Ionta, Matthew Milnes, Christine Mutiti, Bruce Snyder, and David Weese

Senior Lecturer: Kwan Christenson, Emily Parrish, and Lori Robinson

Instructors: Daniel Burt and Leeann Kelley

Department Contact Information:

Georgia College

Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences

Campus Box 81

Milledgeville, GA 31061


Chair, Indiren Pillay, indiren.pillay@gcsu.edu

Office Coordinator, Judith Sanders, judith.sanders@gcsu.edu

Administrative Assistant, Devonshay Smith, devonshay.smith@gcsu.edu




The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences supports the liberal arts mission of Georgia College. The faculty endeavor to provide challenging and rewarding programs for undergraduate Biology and Environmental Sciences majors, core students, and graduate students alike. Rigorous course work is intended to instill an appreciation for critical thinking, the scientific method, and the role of science in our technologically oriented society. All departmental majors will receive thorough instruction in the scientific process and interpretation of scientific data along with experimental design and experience with modern instrumentation. All graduates will exhibit proficiency in both oral and written communication. The BS in Biology will provide students with a sound understanding of cellular and molecular biology, organismal biology, evolution, and ecology. The BS in Environmental Science will prepare students to explore the interrelationships between human and natural systems and to think critically and analytically in order to solve the environmental problems facing our society. Our graduates will be well prepared for pursuing careers and advanced degrees in the field of biology and environmental sciences. Research opportunities are available at the undergraduate (biology and environmental science majors) and graduate (biology) levels. The faculty view active research as an effective teaching tool. Graduates of the programs will be well trained, have a broad perspective on current biological and/or environmental science topics and concerns, and have field and laboratory experience that will make them competitive in the job market or well prepared to continue their education.

Student Success

Earning a college degree is a significant milestone in one's life and requires dedication to one's studies and tremendous effort to succeed. In order to enable students to achieve this goal, we have dedicated ourselves to developing measures that help ensure student success in our department's programs. This process begins with the First-Year Academic Seminar, in which students are introduced to the faculty and students who make up the departmental community. First-year students will get an overview of the subject matter covered in the major, explore career possibilities, and to develop techniques for getting the most out of college courses and activities. Students will also learn about departmental and University expectations, policies, and resources. Because the college experience at Georgia College is more intense than at many other schools, we have designed the curriculum to help in each step of the way. In addition, we are committed to offering the courses necessary to ensure that students who follow the program of study will graduate in four years.

Career Information

The Biology and Environmental Sciences majors are designed to give students flexibility to prepare for a variety of career or graduate education tracks. Special advisement is provided to those who plan to enter education and professional schools to help students meet prerequisites for those programs. Internships afford majors the opportunity to learn by working for an industry, agency, or institution in a scientific capacity.

Department graduates usually go into one of four career tracks: industry, for example as microbiologists, food and drug technologists, environmental consultants, laboratory technicians, biotechnologists and scientists; state and federal government, for example as entomologists, environmental scientists, plant pathologists, zoo curators, horticulturists, agronomists, fisheries, wildlife and forest conservationists; or professional self-employment as physicians, veterinarians, dentists, optometrists, environmental attorneys, landscape architects; or K-16 educators, from the junior high school to college level. A small number of graduates pursue careers as academic scientists becoming faculty at masters and doctoral degree granting institutions.

A biology or environmental science degree qualifies graduates for immediate entry into some of these careers and enables them to qualify for others (especially in government and industry) with little additional work. The degree also qualifies graduates to apply to professional schools (i.e. medicine), graduate schools, and higher-level jobs in government and industry.

Teacher Certification

Students who plan to pursue teacher certification through GC's Four-Plus-One program, which allows the student to receive both certification and a master degree in one extra year of study, should receive a B.S. in biology first. In addition the department recommends that you become engaged as an undergraduate in programs that provide you teaching experience (e.g. the Early College program) in order to start making contacts in the John H. Lounsbury College of Education and to learn more about this Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree. Students who plan to pursue teacher education are encouraged to take the following courses: ASTR 1000; BIOL 4010, CHEM 1211, CHEM 1212, CHEM 3010, CHEM 4211, ENSC 1000, GEOL 1121, GEOL 1122, IDST 2405, PHSC 4010, PHYS 1111, PHYS 1112, PHYS 2211, PHYS 2212.

Students aspiring to earn a M.A.T. degree with a concentration in biology should take the two GACE Content Assessment tests in their senior year. There are separate tests for teaching life sciences in middle grades or in high school. Information on registering for the GACE tests is available at www.gace.nesinc.com. Both GACE content tests must be passed to obtain teacher certification in Georgia for teaching biology in grades 6-12. Students may also need to pass GACE Reading, Mathematics, and Writing tests for admission to the M.A.T. program and for Georgia certification.

For more information about the M.A.T. program and admission requirements, contact the College of Education.