Biological and Environmental Sciences

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Dr. Robert S. Whyte (chair) | Dr. David G. Argent | Dr. Summer Arrigo-Nelson | Dr. Carol Bocetti | Dr. David Boehm | Dr. Paula Caffrey | Dr. Jesse Eiben | Dr. Chadwick Hanna | Dr. Sarah Meiss | Dr. Louise Nicholson | Dr. Brian Paulson | Dr. Nancy Pugh | Dr. Mark Tebbitt | Dr. Ed Zuchelkowski


To advance the University's mission of building character and careers of students, the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences will facilitate the fundamental understanding of the biological basis of life and provide programs that promote excellence in our students' academic and professional development.


A wide variety of majors and concentrations in various degree programs are offered by the department. Students may decide to pursue the Bachelor of Science in biology, the pre-professional track, fisheries and wildlife, veterinary technology or environmental studies.

Those interested in teaching may choose the B.S.Ed. in biology. A cooperative program allows students to pursue a career in mortuary science. The department also offers minors in biology and environmental science.


The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences is housed in a four-story building equipped with an array of scientific instruments. Specialized areas include the animal room, greenhouse, herbarium and vertebrate teaching museum.

Academic Societies and Department Clubs

Beta Beta Beta is the national honor society for biological sciences. Students can earn membership if they maintain a GPA of 3.25 in the biological sciences and 3.00 overall after completing 45 credit-hours and are extended an invitation to join.

California University has a student chapter of the Wildlife Society, which was chartered in 1996. The mission of the Wildlife Society is to represent and serve the professional community of scientists, managers, educators, technicians, planners and others who work actively to study, manage and conserve wildlife and their habitats worldwide.

Biology Club is open to all interested students. Members explore careers in biology through guest speakers and behind-the-scenes tours of research facilities, the zoo, botanical gardens and museums. Other activities include camping and whitewater rafting; fundraising events, such as races and bake sales to benefit cancer research and other charities; and judging science competitions of local K-12 students.

Medical Interest Club offers guidance to undergraduates on the many requirements for application to medical graduate schools. This club enables members pursuing health care careers to explore career choices through speakers and touring medical education programs.

The Cal U Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is open to all environmental studies and fisheries and wildlife biology majors. The AFS promotes issues dealing with the management of North American game and non-game fish resources and their associated habitats. The professional society offers opportunities for public outreach and professional development. Members can elect to participate in various activities ranging from workshops to conferencing to hands-on field work. 


Career opportunities include preparation for graduate work in biology and related fields, for industrial, nonprofit and government research and for careers in public health and the many health-related fields. A steady demand exists for environmental scientists, wildlife biologists, ecologists, natural resource managers, fishery biologists, environmental monitoring technicians and interpretative naturalists.