Jul 19, 2024  
2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Professor Mark R. Fregeau, Chairperson

Professors: Juditha C. A. Burchsted, Joseph K. Buttner, Susan M. Case, Lisa J. Delissio, Paul Kelly, Larry M. Lewis, Gwen E. Scottgale, T. Nelson Scottgale, David W. Tapley, Tracy L. Ware, Alan M. Young

Associate Professors: Ryan Fisher, Mildred A. Hoover, Amy B. Sprenkle

Assistant Professors: Gary J. Heisermann, David Mercer, Harold Pariser

Laboratory Instructors: Peter Alachi, Christine M. Maney, Edward J. Maney

Faculty Emeriti

Professors: Elvin M. Fowell, Antonio E. Harrises, Richard P. Keville, Virginia F. Keville, Rita N. McCauley, Johnes K. Moore, James B. Schooley, Anita V. M. Shea, Edward F. Sweeney

Programs Offered

Bachelor of Arts – Biology

Bachelor of Science – Biology


Biomedical Sciences 
Cell and Molecular Biology  
Environmental Biology  
Marine Biology  
Medical Technology  
Nuclear Medicine Technology  

Melinda Walker, Program Director
Himanshu Gupta, M.D., Medical Director


Human Biology  
Secondary Education -leading to Initial Licensure


Special Programs

Marine Studies Consortium


Biology Programs          

Students in any Biology program (BA or BS) complete a strong, general series of Biology and support courses that allows pursuit of a wide variety of careers such as professional work (e.g. physician, dentist, veterinarian), governmental work, (e.g. conservation Biologist, fisheries Biologist), field work (e.g. oceanographer, wildlife specialist), high school teaching, industrial or clinical research, aquaculture etc. Many Biology majors continue into graduate programs in a specialized subfield.

It is the goal of the department to provide solid Biology degrees that expose students to all areas of Biology while allowing each student flexibility when entering the job market. The five areas identified are: Plant Biology, Animal Biology, Cell & Molecular Biology, Structure & Function, and Ecology & Evolution.

Students are introduced to all areas of biology in a two-semester introductory sequence (BIO 131 - Introduction to Organisms  and BIO 132 - Introduction to Cells ), followed by three courses in the second year that expand on these areas in greater detail and introduce social and ethical issues to some extent. This second group of courses includes BIO 208  (Environmental Problems), BIO 212  (Cell Biology) and BIO 220  (Evolutionary Morphology). In their junior/senior year all students are required to take BIO 402  (Genetics) and either BIO 415N  (Biology Seminar), BIO 417N  (Environmental Biology Seminar) or NMT 415  (Nuclear Medicine Seminar), depending on their specific program. Students complete their program by taking BIO electives at the 300-400 level. They generally must have one course from each of the five major areas (although there are some exceptions in specialty concentrations), plus other major electives that can be chosen from any group or from internship, directed study or research courses. To ensure that students develop more advanced lab skills, several programs limit the Cell & Molecular Biology elective to either BIO 406  (Microbiology) or BIO 409  (Biological Chemistry). Some specialty concentrations also specify courses in one or more of the other major areas. A complete listing of 300-400 level courses included in each group is provided below.

BIO 300-400 level courses in each group

Plant Biology                       

BIO 300 - Botany 
BIO 326 - Marine Botany 

Animal Biology

BIO 305 - Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 
BIO 308 - Entomology 
BIO 310 - Invertebrate Zoology 
BIO 315 - Natural History of the Vertebrates 
BIO 316 - Parasitology 
BIO 323 - Fish Biology 
BIO 341 - Biology of Marine Mammals 
BIO 342N - Biology of Whales 
BIO 406 - Microbiology 

Cell & Molecular Biology

BIO 312N - Developmental Biology 
BIO 313 - Molecular Biology 
BIO 330 - Molecular Forensics 
BIO 406 - Microbiology 
BIO 409 - Biological Chemistry 
BIO 423 - Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology 

Structure & Function

BIO 305 - Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 
BIO 312N - Developmental Biology 
BIO 314 - Vertebrate Histology 
BIO 340 - General Pathology 
BIO 400 - Neuroanatomy 
BIO 405 - General Physiology 
BIO 411 - Immunology 
BIO 412 - Endocrinology 
BIO 421 - Comparative Animal Physiology 

Ecology & Evolution

BIO 301 - Conservation Biology 
BIO 315 - Natural History of the Vertebrates 
BIO 320 - General Ecology 
BIO 322 - Biological Oceanography 
BIO 401 - Vertebrate Evolution 
BIO 414N - Evolutionary Theory 

Student may select, but are not required to, one of the specialized concentrations offered under the Biology BS major:

The Aquaculture Concentration  focuses on the controlled cultivation and harvest of aquatic plants and animals. Students will gain practical skills in the husbandry of aquatic organisms through applying knowledge gained from courses in Biology, Chemistry, Business, and other disciplines. Skills learned will provide graduates a hands-on appreciation of the aquatic environment and aquaculture systems. Graduates will possess the skills needed to set-up and operate their own facility, to work at a private or public hatchery, and to pursue employment in a parallel field such as resource management, fisheries biology, marine or environmental science.

The new Biomedical Sciences Concentration  supports students that are interested in pursuing a career in the health fields. This concentration allows for flexibility in course selection, so both medical and veterinary students can be equally accommodated.

The Cell and Molecular Biology Concentration  places this field within a broad context while focusing on both the theoretical and practical skills needed in the study of cell and molecular biology. A choice of some support courses allows the student to explore different applications such as chemistry and bioinformatics in greater depth.

The Environmental Biology Concentration Environmental Biology Concentration  includes courses in both Biology and other environmentally-related fields such as geology, geography, ethics, and the social sciences. In the process of completing a degree in biology in this concentration, each student has the opportunity to select courses in other related areas which support the specific goals and interests of the student.

The Marine Biology Concentration  provides a broad science background supported by observations of marine organisms and their environment. The ocean and marshes of the North Shore offer a unique learning laboratory.

Students in the Medical Technology Concentration  will have completed, upon graduation, all necessary “pre-clinical” courses as required by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) for such a program. Students who intend to become certified as Medical Technologists, [MT (ASCP)] or [CLS (NCA)], may apply for admission to a hospital-based medical technology program for their clinical experience which takes place following completion of the B.S. Biology (Medical Technology Concentration) degree. Placement in hospital-based programs is competitive and cannot be guaranteed by the University; however, the University makes every effort to recommend qualified students (generally minimum 2.75 quality point average in science and mathematics courses) for suitable hospital placement.

Students following the Nuclear Medicine Technology Concentration  complete the on-campus component in 3 years and spend their 4th year (and preceding summer) in the Nuclear Medicine laboratories of affiliated hospitals. Registration for the summer component is through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education. Completion of the program leads to a B.S. in Biology with a Concentration in Nuclear Medicine Technology and prepares the student for examinations leading to national certification as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist.

Students in the Nuclear Medicine Technology Concentration are required to achieve and maintain a 2.75 quality point average in science and mathematics courses. Grades for courses taken at other institutions will not be used in computing this average. At least half of these required courses must be completed at Salem State University. An NMT student may not repeat any more than two of the preclinical science or mathematics courses nor any one of these courses more than once to achieve the 2.75 GPA. During the second semester of the sophomore year, the student’s performance will be evaluated by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Advisory Committee which makes recommendations concerning continuation in the program.

Final admission to the clinical phase of this program is competitive and requires completion of a formal, separate admissions application in January prior to potential entry into clinical courses. The NMT Program officials use this application, the student’s university record, and the number of available spaces to determine admission into the clinical courses.

The Salem State University Nuclear Medicine Program is accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation in cooperation with the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

All students participating in clinical aspects of the Nuclear Medicine Concentration will be expected to carry their own personal liability insurance (cost approximately $35) and should be prepared to provide their own transportation to clinical agencies. They will also be required to have Hepatitis B vaccination before entering the clinical phase.

Also see Student Life  section regarding procedures for students involved in off-campus accidents.

Special Programs

Pre-medical, Pre-dental, Pre-veterinary programs

Medical, dental and veterinary schools typically require applicants to include general biology, general and organic chemistry, physics and one year of college mathematics in their undergraduate preparation. A student in the B.S. Biology degree program satisfies these minimum admissions requirements, and, in addition, takes numerous content courses such as Genetics and General Physiology which are of help in preparing for standardized entrance examinations and professional courses.

Whether or not a student majors in Biology in preparation for these health professions, every student interested in such a career should contact the Pre-Professional Advisor no later than the end of the sophomore year regarding the complex admissions process.

Dr. Susan M. Case in the Biology Department is the advisor for the health related professions. All students interested in applying to medical, dental, veterinary, or other professional health schools should consult her.

Honors Program

Biology majors who are admitted to the University Honors Program should contact the Biology Department Chairperson immediately upon admission to the college. Biology Honors students follow the required Honors Curriculum described under the “Honors Program” including completion of a 3 credits Honors project, Research in Biology (BIO 408N ) in the senior year.

Marine Studies Consortium

Salem State University is a member of the Marine Studies Consortium, an association of Massachusetts teaching and research institutions which share marine science and policy curricula. The Consortium currently offers four courses which are listed in this catalog and available for Salem State University  credits: BIO 216 - Introduction to Marine Mammals , BIO 342N - Biology of Whales IDS 220 - Water Resources Planning and Management , and IDS 325 - Coastal Zone Management . Students must register with the Marine Studies Consortium in addition to registering with SSC to enroll in their courses. Two additional courses, Biology of Fishes and Maritime History of New England, are not listed in this catalog with Salem State University course numbers but may be taken and transferred. Students interested in taking either of these two courses need to complete a “Request for Outside Course” form for approval by the relevant department. Student must register with and pay an additional tuition fee to the Consortium for all MSC courses. Each course is taught one evening per week in either the Fall or Spring semester at one of the twenty member institutions. Interested students should contact the Marine Studies Consortium Campus Representative, Dr. Alan M. Young, for registration forms and more information.

Special Facilities

The Cat Cove Marine Laboratory

The Cat Cove Marine Laboratory managed by Salem State College and home to the Northeastern Massachusetts Aquaculture Center includes a 16 acre site, 8 acre tide pool and 5,500 square foot Wet Laboratory. Students can explore estuarine biology in a protected and managed tidal pool. The environmentally controlled Laboratory facilitates controlled experiments and propagation of both marine and freshwater aquatic organisms. Major emphasis targets shellfish culture and mariculture of fishes with aquaculture potential in New England. Freshwater fishes are maintained and reproduced for use in primary, middle and secondary school classrooms. The Laboratory is fully equipped with tanks, computers, analytical instrumentation, and all the materials needed to run a hatchery effectively. Resources are accessible to students through classes and independent studies. The primary function of NEMAC and the Cat Cove Marine Laboratory is to provide students with a hands-on learning experience and to nurture the development of a sustainable, environmentally/socially acceptable, commercial aquaculture industry on Massachusetts’ North Shore.


Biology Minor 

Human Biology Minor 

Secondary Education Minor