Department Spotlight

Whitworth Biology Students to Study, Conduct Field Research in Oregon

A study tour is being planned for Whitworth biology students to examine the rocky coastline of southern Oregon. The tour, led by Whitworth professor and Biology Department Chair Craig Tsuchida, will take place in January 2005. The student-biologists will study at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology near Coos Bay, Ore.

Coos Bay is an ideal location for a study tour because it offers room, board and a marine lab in one location, Tsuchida says. Students participating in the trip will spend their time taking part in limited lectures, doing field exploration during nighttime tides, and conducting some field exercises; they will also have the responsibility of developing and carrying out an original field research investigation.

"The study tour will allow upper-division biology majors to gain some valuable field experience," Tsuchida says. "I hope it becomes a regular course offering every second or third Jan Term. Since my specialty is temperate marine ecology, Oregon will be a good fit since it has a variety of types of field sites: rocky coast, wetlands, sand and mud."

Whitworth's biology department led another study trip to Friday Harbor, in the San Juan Islands, in January 2002. The trip provided a chance for seven biology students to study a specific natural ecosystem and design an original research project. Photographs of the trip and student research are on display in the department.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

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