- Linfield College

The Biology Department

The Linfield Biology Department has nine full-time faculty and instructors and two laboratory coordinators. The Biology Department oversees the Biology major and collaborates with the Chemistry Department on the interdisciplinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BCMB) major.

Our faculty are committed to excellence in teaching and research. The foundation of our department is the intelligent, motivated, creative, and hard-working students that we have the pleasure of working with in the classroom, the laboratory and the field. A male Fenders Blue Butterfly

The Biology major is designed to provide students with a strong education in the fundamental topics of Biology through our core curriculum. A major’s course of study begins with a year-long course introducing the Principles of Biology, followed by a series of four courses: Genetics, Principles of Ecology, Molecular Cell Biology, and Evolution. Students take an additional nine credits in Biology electives of their choosing, and four Chemistry courses to complete the major.

Biology elective courses include Animal Behavior, Animal Development, Animal Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Insect Biology, Microbiology, Plant Growth and Development, Plant Systematics, Woody Plants, Research Methods, and others.

Courses taught by the Biology department prepare Biology and BCMB majors for careers in the biological sciences as well as futures in graduate study; this may include research, teaching, or health-profession fields including medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry.

The Biology Department is also committed to teaching non-science majors through our Linfield Curriculum offerings. These courses help students understand the scientific process, develop the ability to critically analyze the results of scientific inquiry, and extend scientific findings to more general situations.  Though non-science majors may not enter a career in the sciences, contemporary citizenship demands a certain level of scientific competence to make decisions and form opinions about numerous issues with great societal importance.

Our Biology studies program is enhanced by field study at various locations, including the Siskiyou Mountains, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, and the California redwoods. Additionally, one of the unique features of Linfield is our January term during which we offer a diversity of travel courses. Recent Biology travel courses include:

  • Microbiology of Extreme Environments (Hawaii)
  • Literary Biology of the Sea of Cortez (Mexico)
  • Forests of Middle Earth: Landscape Ecology and the Politics of Conservation in New Zealand

Linfield College Biology students participating in a fossil dig

Advanced biology students have the opportunity to gain teaching experience by working as Teaching Assistants in our introductory and upper-division courses. Biology students also have many opportunities to gain research experience at Linfield, both for college credit and as a paid Research Assistant during the summer. Additionally, students participating in off-campus internship programs can receive college credit.

When not in the classroom, Biology Department faculty members are engaged in active research with student collaborators, and publish their work in peer-reviewed journals and books. Students work with faculty members during the academic year and during the summer, both in on-campus laboratories and in field locations around the U.S., Canada, and Central and South America.