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Bachelor of Science in Biology: Concentration in Ecology

barrel cactusEcology emphasizes the study of the interactions among and between organisms and the environment, the conservation and management of populations and communities of species, and the pattern and process of evolutionary diversification that leads to the generation and maintenance of biodiversity.

The San Francisco State University campus is uniquely located to enhance the study of ecology because of its proximity to a variety of natural and human altered environments. A variety of terrestrial, marine, and aquatic habitats are within an easy drive from campus, including estuarine, open coast, marsh, lake, chaparral, forest, and grassland environments. In addition, the College of Science and Engineering supports the Sierra Nevada Field Campus in the Sierra Nevada north of Truckee and the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies on San Francisco Bay for extended study in ecology. The Department of Biology has a close association with the California Academy of Sciences located in nearby Golden Gate Park. The Academy's extensive research collection of plants and animals is available for a wide variety of studies in ecology and evolution. Also located in Golden Gate Park, is the San Francisco Botanical Garden, a 40-acre collection of choice plant specimens, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, which houses an excellent collection of tropical plants. The San Francisco Zoological Garden, where opportunities for ecological and behavioral studies of native and exotic animals are readily available, is also situated near the campus. Considerable emphasis is placed on field studies, and students can expect to spend time on organized field trips and individual study projects.

In addition to continuing instruction and research in the traditional areas of biology, botany, ecology, and zoology, we offer coursework and research opportunities for students in biosystematics, conservation, resource management, population biology, biometry, entomology, evolutionary biology, and behavioral biology. The curriculum covers a wide range of ecosystems and organisms. The department also offers a Master of Science degree in Biology: Concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology.

The facilities available for instruction and research in our fully equipped modern 8-story building include: a variety of teaching collections of plants and animals, controlled environmental chambers, greenhouses, seawater aquaria, the Genomics and Trancriptomics Analysis Core for study and analysis of DNA variation, the Cell and Molecular Imaging Center, and many other laboratories.

Lower-Division Requirements (34-35 units)
Units
BIOL 230
Introductory Biology I
5
BIOL 240
Introductory Biology II
5
CHEM 115
General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry
5
CHEM 130
General Organic Chemistry
3
Units selected from the following:
16-17
CHEM 215/216
General Chemistry II and Laboratory (3/2) 5
 
MATH 226
Calculus I 4
 
MATH 227
Calculus II 4
 
PHYS 111/112
General Physics I and Laboratory (3/1)
 
PHYS 121/122
General Physics II and Laboratory (3/1)
 
Total lower-division requirements
34-35
Upper-Division Requirements (32-33 units)
BIOL 337
Evolution
3
BIOL 355
Genetics
3
BIOL 458
Biometry
4
Units selected from the following on advisement:
3
BIOL 525
Plant Physiology
 
BIOL 630
Animal Physiology
 
Units selected from the following ecology courses upon advisement:
6-8
BIOL 482
Ecology (4)
 
BIOL 529
Plant Ecology (4)
 
BIOL 530
Conservation Biology (3)
 
BIOL 532
Restoration Ecology (3)
 
BIOL 534
Wetland Ecology (4)
 
BIOL 577
Ecological and Environmental Modeling (4)
 
BIOL 580
Limnology (3)
 
BIOL 582
Biological Oceanography (4)
 
BIOL 585
Marine Ecology (3)
 
BIOL 586
Marine Ecology Laboratory (2)
 
Upon advisement, electives from the alternates not used in fulfilling the requirements listed above or any other upper division undergraduate biology courses not specifically excluded for majors credit, or any graduate course in biology:
11-14
Total upper-division requirements
32-33
Total units for major
67

By working individually with a program advisor, students may design programs to fit interests and career goals. Many graduates in Ecology go into the fields of teaching, governmental regulatory agencies, the park services, agricultural sciences, conservation work, museums, and zoological and botanical gardens, as well as continuing on to graduate degrees leading to research and/or teaching appointments. Many opportunities for employment are open in applied fields such as mosquito abatement, water quality analysis and control, environmental impact analysis either in governmental agencies or in private industry, consulting in environmental sciences, animal husbandry, biological control practice or research, industrial ecology, and community planning.

B.S. in Biology:  Concentration in Ecology Degree Description (pdf)

Recommended 4-year course plan for B.S. in Biology, Concentration in Ecology

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