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We consider research to be an integral part of the experience for undergraduate biology majors and have a long, successful history of research collaborations between students and faculty. These collaborations take place in many of our courses through hands-on, project-based inquiry opportunities, as well as research courses where students work closely with a faculty member on a real world question. Examples of student research collaborations include:

  • Bethany Johnson worked with Dr. Amy Dykstra to identify and create a species catalog of trees on campus. Using a highly accurate GPS, an accurate digital map of trees on campus was created. This map will serve as a key resource for future research and campus planning.
  • Hannah Manion worked with Dr. Joy Doan to study the amount of TNFa necessary to activate the inflammatory response in macrophages. Their work serves as the framework for future research involving the activation of macrophages. 

Through these experiences biology students develop the ability to:

  • Apply principles of research design and ethical conduct of research
  • Design and carry out a feasible scientific research plan
  • Perform appropriate statistical analyses
  • Synthesize original research and experimental data
  • Communicate research orally and in writing
  • Critically evaluate research proposals, oral and written presentations of research and scientific data

Students have the opportunity to present the results of their research at numerous venues. All senior students present at the department's Biology and Environmental Studies Research Symposium, held each semester. In addition, students have the opportunity to present at regional and national conferences including Minnesota Academy of Science and Tri-Beta National Honor Society and Sigma Zeta National Honor Society regional and national meetings.

Funded Research Opportunities

Students interested in research in environmental science or biology have the opportunity to apply for summer research funding through the biology department.

C. Weldon Jones Research Scholarships, named in honor of C. Weldon Jones, a beloved professor in the department, provide students with the opportunity to work closely with professors on intensive research projects over the summer. Weldon Jones Scholarships are awarded annually to students following a competitive proposal process.

In addition, students and faculty collaborators are invited to apply for institutional support such as the Edgren Scholars Program, a Bethel University funded program. Learn more about Bethel’s support for research on the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship website.

Other students take advantage of the opportunity to experience a large-university research environment by participating in REU programs across the country. Still others are offered summer internships in industry (both large and small companies) or at universities obtained through the professional and scientific network of collaborators of Bethel professors.


For more information on Biology and Environmental Science research opportunities, contact

Brian Hyatt
Biology Department Chair

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