Research Takes Students to Panama

While the rest of the world welcomed the new year, Biology students Angela Golding, Cassidy Yrsha, and Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Christine Palmer joined a group of researchers at Barro Colorado Island, home of a Smithsonian research facility, where they spent ten days collecting and studying katydids.

Bachelor of Sciences in Biology

The Biology program is part of the Natural Sciences Department that is housed in the Jeffords Science Center. The biology major fosters rigorous learning in the science of life, from molecular biology to ecology, and is designed to help our graduates prepare for diverse careers as scientists, technicians, doctors, educators and other professionals.


Courses in the Biology Science program include Microbiology, Ecology, and Genetics, giving you knowledge and experience in areas that are directly relevant to jobs available in the biological sector. You can also elect to pursue defined concentrations in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology or Molecular Biology and Biomedicine.  During your second and third semesters you will have the opportunity to participate in Pathways to Science and Science Colloquium, which introduce students to guest scientists in academia and industry in order to expose students to the numerous opportunities available beyond Castleton. In addition, as a small institution all students have access to our state-of-the-art instrumentation in both our teaching and research labs.


BiologyThe nature of the Biology major allows our faculty to take advantage of the outside, natural laboratory as much as possible in both their lab and travel courses.  Labs may bring students to the array of natural ecosystems across Vermont, while in our numerous travel courses students may travel to places like the Mojave Desert, Belize, Iceland, or St. John, among other locations.


Many biology majors elect to participate in either internships or independent research in their field of study during their time at Castleton. Our faculty have diverse research interests.  Some of this research is funded externally through grants awarded to our faculty where students have the opportunity to work intensively with faculty over the summer months and get paid a stipend. Students wishing to pursue graduate school are strongly encouraged to work with faculty on independent projects. Some of the recent student research related to biology include: molecular microbiology research studying the metabolism of genetically altered symbiotic bacteria, salamander diversity in a local clear-cut forest, and molecular genetics of plant development in response to environmental stresses. Nearly all of our students that participate in research present their work at the Annual Castleton Scholars Celebration and at various regional and national conferences.


With a B.S. in Biology you will have the ability to pursue both laboratory and field careers in government, industry, and the non-profit sector. This program also prepares you for careers and professional or graduate degree programs in medicine, ecology, agriculture, biomedical research, conservation, and numerous other options. Recently, our students have moved on to attend graduate school for their Masters and Doctorates, have entered medical school, or have obtained jobs with various state park agencies on the east coast.