Life Science Education Learning Opportunities

  • Experiential learning is a significant aspect of the Life Science Education program at MSU Moorhead. Through exploration of local classrooms, tutoring, research, outreach, social gatherings and more, you’ll uncover countless abilities and opportunities.

  • If you want to live in an educational environment surrounded by others with the same passion for biosciences, this learning community is for you. The  Biosciences & Chemistry Learning Community  is for declared Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry or Biotechnology majors. You’ll get to participate in hands-on labs with fellow students while preparing for a science or health-related career. Or, you can choose to live in an Education Learning Community, which is for any student majoring in an education.

    Research experience provides you the opportunity to not just learn science, but to be a scientist – from collecting data, to presenting research results at regional and national meetings to publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals.

    Why research?

    • Research experience provides a strong, positive impact on applications for professional schools (medical school, physical therapy school, etc.), applications for advanced research at graduate programs, scholarships and general marketability for science jobs. Faculty mentors are able to write informed and enthusiastic letters of recommendation if you have conducted research in their lab.
    • You can attend regional and national conferences as a participant or poster presenter – it’s the best way to network with future colleagues and graduate school mentors.

    Current research opportunities

    We offer opportunities to study biology in the field through unique educational trips at home and abroad. Current opportunities:

    • Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity (BIOL 335) is a 12-day trip to Costa Rica to study strategies for balancing conservation of biological diversity with politico-economic forces.
    • Biological diversity, bio-physical and sociocultural aspects of the Pacific Northwest (BIOL 308) ecosystem includes a field trip to the temperate rainforest of Washington state.

    The Biosciences Department offers you the opportunity to be a Learning Assistant for courses you have already taken. It’s a competitive selection process and a privilege that not only deepens your topic knowledge but provides valuable teaching experience.

    The Prairie Restoration Project gives you the opportunity to engage in faculty-mentored research with MSUM faculty as well as research professors from other institutions. Current research projects include diversity of microbial community, effect of habitat restorations to native flora, diversity of small mammals, seed viability and the role of soil nutrients in prairie restoration, large birds of prey use of the region, archeological study of post-glacial use of the site by humans, and more.

    The MSUM Regional Science Center’s 300-acre Buffalo River Site is located 15 miles from campus and is part of a 5,000-acre tallgrass prairie that includes the Buffalo River with riparian woods and several wetlands. The Center also includes a museum and an observatory used by the Physics and Astronomy Department. The site is used as a tallgrass prairie field station that is used for research studies, laboratory field trips for several courses, and public education. Learn more about the Regional Science Center.

    Tri-Beta is an honorary and professional society for students in the biological sciences that is dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending the boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.

    Undergraduate Students in Science Research connects students with faculty who are doing research. As part of learning to apply the scientific method to problems in biology and other sciences, you can attend Biological Research Wednesday Seminars (BReWS), a weekly gathering of the science research community where you can share your work, discuss your research, or prepare for a presentation or conference. USSR also sponsors social events and underwrites travel costs for student research presentations at conferences.

    The local student chapter of the Wildlife Society aims to encourage student research in the wildlife profession and cultivate interest in wildlife.

    The Biosciences Seminar Series is a bi-weekly speaker series focusing on a wide array of topics, from sharing research progress to preparing for graduate school or internships. They are free and open to the public.

    FREE (Friday Research Exploration and Education) is a student research series that features students explaining their proposed, ongoing or completed research.

    The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Grant provides scholarships and internships for talented science and math undergraduates. Interns work with our partners, including Fargo and Moorhead Public School Districts and Lakes Country Service Cooperative, to assist in the delivery of summer opportunities for K-12 students in the subjects of science and math. Scholars will receive up to three years of forgivable loans and partial living expenses to pursue secondary licensure in mathematics or science (physics, chemistry, earth or life science) in the state of Minnesota. Scholars will also receive special training in best practices for teaching science and math to English language learners (ELL), have the opportunity to attend regional and national conferences, and be part of a mentoring network. Scholars agree to teach in a high needs school district upon receiving licensure, providing invaluable service to the diverse K-12 students and numerous districts in our region.

    As a Life Science Education major, you’ll spend time observing, assisting and teaching in local classrooms and have a great deal of  field experience  prior to your final semester of student teaching. As you are immersed in classrooms of different grade levels and with varying teaching styles, you will be able to develop your own effective teaching method.