Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog [Current] 
2023-2024 General Catalog [Current]

Department of Biology

Person IconDepartment Chair
Fredric Govedich – SC 303C
Faculty IconFaculty & Staff
Person IconAssociate Department Chair
Mary Jo Tufte – SC 303B
Advisor IconStudent Success Advisors
Person IconGreenhouse Manager
Angela Patino-Acevedo – SCA 303
WebsiteWebsite Icon
Admin Assistant IconAdministrative Assistant
Tana Jorgensen – SC 303

Overview of Programs

The Department of Biology provides quality lecture, laboratory, and field instructional experiences that foster student inquiry into science. We also provide a personalized learning environment where students are educated in critical thinking, effective communication, and lifelong learning skills. To produce well-rounded students, the Department of Biology provides their students with competitive opportunities for research, scholarship, internships, and employment with experienced and qualified faculty mentors. This combination of coursework and experiential learning will prepare students for post-baccalaureate pursuits including: professional health programs, graduate programs, science teaching careers, and other biology-related careers.


The mission of the Department of Biology is to provide our students with personalized, participative educational experiences over a broad range of biological disciplines that promote critical thinking, effective communication, and lifelong learning skills. We provide learning opportunities where students can gain the knowledge, develop integrity, and acquire the empathy needed to become independent researchers in the advancement of science.


The Department of Biology strives to provide its students with quality lecture, laboratory, and field instructional experiences which foster student inquiry into science, and prepare them for post-baccalaureate pursuits.

Department/Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Maintain a highly qualified faculty, with diverse areas of specialization covering the scope of the biological world.
  2. Foster student inquiry into science and experiential education using a variety of pedagogical approaches including laboratory and field-based activities.
  3. Provide a personalized learning environment where students are educated in critical thinking, effective communication, and lifelong learning skills in scientific literacy.
  4. Provide opportunities for research, scholarship, and other professional experiences with qualified faculty mentors.
  5. Prepare students for post-baccalaureate pursuits including:
    • graduate programs
    • professional health programs
    • science teaching careers
    • natural resources management
    • other biology-related careers
  6. Provide service courses for general education purposes that adequately prepare students for acceptance to and success in other academic programs.
  7. Establish short-term and long-term goals defining the future direction of the department and establish specific policies to describe departmental governance.
  8. Develop departmental criteria to define excellence in teaching, exceptional service, and outstanding scholarly activities and establish support mechanisms to encourage and reward those efforts.
  9. Periodically review and modify curriculum to ensure that we are meeting our students’ needs while remaining current within our discipline and with the evolving goals of SUU.

Other Information

Departmental Resources

  • The Jim Bowns Herbarium: A repository of plant specimens available for teaching and research. Specimens date back to the 1890s and emphasize species found in the Southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau regions.
  • The Joe and Beverly Burgess Molecular Genetics Laboratory: A modern molecular genetics lab with DNA sequencing capability.
  • The Don & Sylvia Bulloch Anatomy Laboratory: A fully equipped lab for teaching all aspects of anatomy, including cadaver practicum.
  • The Cline M. and Jane O. Dahle Greenhouse Terrace: A climate-controlled environment housing an extensive educational collection focused on plant diversity and space to accommodate faculty and student research projects.
  • The Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History: A facility displaying national and regional natural history specimens with a focus on outreach and education. (This facility is shared with other units within the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Natural Sciences.)
  • The Nakken Family Histology Laboratory: A fully equipped lab to prepare and observe the anatomy of cells and tissues.
  • Animal Care Facilities: These fully licensed facilities were specifically designed to house animals being used as part of faculty and student research projects.
  • Cooperative Educational Agreements with National Park Service and other agencies providing students with many opportunities for hands on internship and research experiences.
  • Study Abroad Opportunities: Periodic offerings are made available, giving students experience in a diversity of biological environments.
  • A unique geographical location providing countless outdoor classrooms.


    Bachelor’s DegreeMinor