At Lake Superior State University class sizes are small and labs are taught by faculty rather than graduate students, Our faculty are not only experts in their field of interest but are also dedicated teachers. Hands-on experience includes working with sophisticated laboratory equipment and the opportunity to work at many diverse terrestrial and aquatic field sites. Graduates of the department complete a capstone senior thesis or service-learning project which they design, implement, analyze, and present their findings on a topic of their choosing. Student organizations play an active role in their professional and local communities and provide support to students presenting their work at local, state and regional conferences.
We maintain state-of-the art facilities, including the Aquatic Research Laboratory, Small Mammal Undergraduate Research Facility, Fish Disease Laboratory, as well as dedicated molecular, physiology, and ecology laboratories. Sophisticated instrumentation and equipment such asDNA sequencers, climate controlled environmental chambers, fish and wildlife sampling gear, etc. are dedicated to teaching and student research opportunities which provide valuable hands-on opportunities for students throughout their academic career at LSSU.
The Aquatic Research Laboratory (ARL) is one of only a few such facilities within the United States. Our students have the opportunity to work in the on-going hatchery operations to produce Atlantic salmon for release in the St. Marys River, as well as several other aquatic ecology research projects housed at the ARL. Students also can intern at the Fish Disease Lab (FDL) where they combine molecular skills with field biology to diagnose diseases found in fish and other freshwater samples.
We offer a variety of experiences outside of the classroom that will reinforce your knowledge base and extend your professional abilities. Each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor on your own senior project. You could also work in the department helping set up labs, on a faculty member’s research project, or at the ARL. You may complete an internship with a state or local agency or work for the Learning Center, helping other students excel in their biology classes. Our active student organizations (Fisheries and Wildlife Club, SEEK, Pre-Professional Club) also provide great opportunities for extra-curricular experiences in your chosen field.
Our location provides unsurpassed field sites for natural resource based labs. Students may be out on a boat in the fall or snowshoeing through the forests in the winter. Forests, grass lands, wetlands, inland lakes and rivers, the St. Marys River and of course all three of the Upper Great Lakes are within an hour’s drive of campus (some just minutes from campus!). Notable fish and wildlife species in these habitats include lake sturgeon, whitefish, moose, deer, fishers, wolves, bears, goshawks, piping plovers and many others, including threatened and endangered species of plants and animals. You will visit these sites often in labs and for other projects. No other university offers access to as many varied field sites as LSSU!
For those students interested in a career in the health professions, we offer excellent preparation for medical, dental and veterinary studies. We also prepare students to go on to graduate studies in chiropractic, podiatry, physician assistant and pharmacy
||Areas of Study
Evnironment & Ecology: The sustainability of freshwater, marine, or terrestrial ecosystems, the management of fish and game populations, or the conservation and ecology of natural resources. Our program prepares students for careers where
they can make a contribution to
mitigating wide-ranging challenges
such as invasive species, altered
landscapes, species extinctions,
or the restoration of degraded
aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Our selection of rigorous field
based courses in watersheds, soils,
forestry, ecology (general, fish,
wildlife or plant), and organisms
ichthyology, or entomology) offers
an unparalleled set of foundational
courses in the natural sciences.
Combining this coursework with
interdisciplinary courses in social
dimensions, political science,
communication and GIS technology
adds the breadth needed to
integrate biological, economic, and
policy issues in the formulation
of sustainable solutions. Electives
allow students to tailor the
program to their interests and
sustainable solutions. Electives
allow students to tailor the program
to their interests and career goals.
Students may choose as a capstone
experience a summer semester
internship working in a professional
capacity in conservation biology,
or a senior thesis research project.
Students will be prepared for
careers or for graduate work in
conservation biology or a broad range of related areas.
Biomedical & Laboratory Science: The health professions (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-vet, pre-pharmacy), medical laboratory science, or lab-based studies in botany, zoology, genetics, or molecular biology. Our Medical Laboratory Sciences program provides an excellent background for students who want to work in a medical support setting such as analyzing blood samples in a hospital or clinic. Students in the BS Medical Laboratory Sciences complete a year-long internship at an approved medical facility.
- Human Health
- Animal Health
- Lab Science
Education & Outreach: The development of public policy with regard to natural resources and the environment or teaching biology at the middle- or high-school level.
||Have a Question?
||Q&A with Professor Zimmerman
Is LSSU a good place to begin training as a veterinarian?
"Our pre-professional advisor knows all the ins and outs of applying to all the professional schools and provides excellent advice for that. Our pre-professional society (the student group for pre-professional students) is very active in ways that helps students enhance thier applications to professional schools. We have had a number of our students go on to vet school, last year our two applicants into vet school ended up going to Michigan State University and Purdue. This year of the six students that applied to professional schools, all six got it. But i want to emphasize that it's up to each individual student to gain the experience they need to have the best chance of success in veterinary or any other professional school. Our program helps, but it's up to the individual student. Our small classes, our individualized attention, our academically rigourous programs, our collaborative atmosphere, our senior thesis program all can help you prepare yourself for application to professional schools." -- Gregory Zimmerman, Professor
||Visit us on YouTube
Lake Superior State University's Biology 337 ecology class poses with an unexpected find they made along a Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, public hiking trail. Professor Greg Zimmerman discovered the "Himalayan Touch-Me-Not" after his class conducted a biomass sweep through the city's Minneapolis Woods area. Students subsequently pulled all of the plants they could find as a service project. Zimmerman hastens to add that the illegal alien should not be confused with the region's "Spotted Touch-Me-Not" or "Jewelweed," a perfectly welcome native plant.