Students often take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved in biological research. Research gives you the chance to apply what you have learned in class, to discover something new about the natural world, and to get to know your professors better. Research is typically ongoing so that you can participate either during the school year or in the summer months. If you are interested, check out some of the research interests of our faculty, and complete the Undergraduate Research Application. Then speak to speak to the professor whose research is of interest to you to find out if you can participate.
Many students are able to get funds (an Undergraduate Research Scholar Award) from the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship to support their work. This office also supports the attendance and presentation of research results at large confererences - a chance to see how research happens in the larger scientific community.
In addition to research opportunities on-campus, many oppportunities exist for off-campus internships as well. For biotechnology majors, an on-campus research experience or off-campus internship is required. We recommend that this be done in the summer after your junior year. Of course, you have to plan well ahead of that time. We've put together a list of off-campus internship opportunities that may help you if you are interested in pursuing this.
A large number of our students find work within the department as Teaching Assistants. Typically these students assist during student labs, helping other students navigate the material that they successfully navigated in previous years. If you are interested in working as a Teaching Assistant for a lab in which you did well in a previous year, please contact the appropriate professor. They just might be looking for someone! Just like research, working as a Teaching Assistant helps you to develop new skills, to learn the material even better (there's no better way to learn than by teaching!), and to get to know your professors better.
There are a number of very active student clubs of interest to majors within the biology department.
Biophilia Biology Club: Biophilia organizes a number of events throughout the year of interest to those who just like exploring nature! Activities range from weekend camping trips (in 2014 Biophilia joined with the Paleobiology class to go fossil hunting in Ohio) to Vespers at the beach and Sabbath afternoon flower walks. There is lots of nature to explore here at Andrews and surrounding areas!
PreMed Club: Are you interested in Medicine? Then the PreMed Club has information for you! This club regularly organizes information sessions to help you through the hurdles of making it to Med School. But it's not just about information. Many friendships are formed through time spent at PreMed Vespers and other activities organized throughout the year.
PreDent Club: If Dentistry is the direction you are headed, then you will want to join the PreDent Club. Just like the others, you will find much information and friendship in the activities planned by this group.
Did you know that there is world of discovery waiting just at your door here in Michigan? And, well, if it's not at your door, then it's not too far away. Here are some examples of popular field trips that are enjoyed by many students from year to year.
FB Chicago Trip: Each year students in Foundations of Biology II take a 2-day field trip to Chicago. During this trip students explore Chicago's Field Museum, study the life and ecosystems supported by the dunes of Indiana Dunes State Park, and discover the ecology of Mud Lake Bog. It's a fun way to observe biology that you have learned about in action. Best of all, you get to spend time with friends that you have made throughout your year in FB.
Paleobiology: In 2014, the Paleobiology class spent a weekend camping in Ohio and hunting for Ordovician fossils near the Caesar Creek Dam and other nearby locations. In the brief time there, all were rewarded by many excellent specimens of brachiopods and bryozoans. Some good camping and a great brunch at the home of AU alumni Bob and Jeanette Smith were greatly enjoyed as well!
Ornithology: Each year that Ornithology has been offered, the class has gone on a 10-day Field Trip around Lake Michigan. They explore wildlife refuges in Michigan, as well as Michigan's SDA Camp AuSable looking for feathered friends on the wing. They also visit Point Pelee National Park in Canada.
Virology and Genomics: Not too far from Andrews are the world-class laboratories of the University of Notre Dame. The Virology class has taken advantage of this chance to observe next-generation genomics tools first-hand.
Everglades and Florida Keys: OK, so this isn't exactly just outside our door! But it is a very popular trip nonetheless! Every other year this course is offered. The class meets weekly until Spring Break, then heads to Florida for a "total immersion" 12 day trip, where they
• Explore cypress ecosystems at Corkscrew Swamp in southwestern Florida
• Canoe through a maze of mangroves in the Ten-Thousand Island region of the western Everglades, and camp overnight at Lulu Key facing the Gulf of Mexico.
• Snorkel along a tropical reef in Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary
• Explore rocky tide pools along the Atlantic face of the Florida Keys
• Immerse themselves in several ecosystems in the core of Everglades National Park, ending with a spectacular opportunities for wildlife viewing at Anhinga Trail
• Observe lots of wildlife: insects, frogs, turtles, snakes, alligators (and maybe crocodiles), many birds, and probably manatee and dolphins