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Biology and Wildlife Undergraduate Advising

Your academic advisor will guide you through your program of study, helping you to identify the courses required for you to meet your degree goals. Carolyn Chapin is the Advising Coordinator for the Biology and Wildlife Department. Her office is located at 101A Murie on West Ridge near the Museum. Carolyn typically advises all incoming freshman and transfer students interested in biology and wildlife. She assists students with transferring credits, petitioning for course credit, math and English placement exams, as well as short- and long-term degree planning. Most students will be assigned to a Biology and Wildlife faculty member as their advisor by their second semester at UAF. However, premajors, students with complicated transfer situations, and students working on math and/or English deficiencies may continue to see Carolyn. Carolyn works part-time and the best way to reach her for an appointment is via email at

While Carolyn can assist you with planning the early phases of your degree program, a faculty advisor has more relevant experience in areas that may be of interest to you. Faculty advisors can play a key role in your career development - whether it's writing letters of recommendation for graduate school, internships or employment, or assisting you with finding exciting research opportunities on campus. Getting to know your faculty advisor is important. Prior to the start of every semester, you must contact your advisor to register for classes, but feel free to contact them throughout the semester as well. Let them know early in the semester if you need additional assistance with classes, or advice on dropping, adding, or changing courses.

• Undergraduate Advising Alerts •

General Alerts 

(page down for semester-specific alerts)

· Be critical when you look at DegreeWorks (DW).  We are working with the registrar, but there are still programming errors cropping up.  Sometimes DW assigns courses to a requirement category that isn't the best choice for the student.  A persistent problem is mis-assignment of the lab physiology classes to BIOS major vs concentration requirements.  Sometimes DW even places the Human A&P classes into the open electives bin, where they are not applied to the major at all.  If you see a problem in a student's DW record, write the registrar to correct it ( or ask Diane ( to deal with it.  

· The Biomedical Science concentration will become available in Fall 2017-18 catalog.  Once the semester starts, students under previous catalog years may switch to the new catalog year and choose this concentration if they wish by sending an email to the registrar ( Until the 2017-18 catalog is released, you can see upcoming changes here.  

· Be aware that courses not formally listed in the catalog during a student's catalog year will not automatically count as viable elective courses (e.g. List A, List C) within DegreeWorks.  Some of these include BIOL 312 Medical Physiology, BIOL 412 Exercise Physiology, BIOL 493 Biology of Aging; any trial course (BIOL 394 or 494), and any special topics course (BIOL 393 and 493). The student must petition to have these courses count toward the degree requirements.  

· For the BA and BS Physiology Concentration, BIOL F402W Biomedical Research Ethics may be petitioned to meet the requirement for "one additional biology course from lists A,B,C, or D".   <applies to catalog years 2013-2016>

· Biological Sciences BS majors should declare a concentration by the end of their second semester. To declare or change a concentration, students simply send an email to the Registrar ( on their official account, including their UA ID#.  Until that is completed, use the "What-If" function of DegreeWorks to figure out course requirements under a particular concentration.

Advising Alerts for Fall 2017

· In Fall 2017, new rules for capstone projects will take effect, including the requirement that students present their work orally (short talk or poster) and submit a short non-technical summary of the work. Details will be posted on the BW website (Undergraduate / Capstone) in mid-April.  

· BIOL 494 The Human Microbiome may be petitioned for O credit and students may do their capstone project in the course.  

· Looking for a W, O, or capstone course this semester?  Here they are: Mammalogy (BIOL F425W), Limnology (BIOL F473W, cap), Animal Behavior (BIOL F441W,O/2 cap), Environmental Toxicology (BIOL F455O), Ecosystem Ecology (BIOL F476O), Human Microbiome (BIOL 494; optional O, optional cap).

· Please remember that students initiating a BIOS capstone project in fall (by enrolling in a capstone-designated course or starting a mentored research project) should register for BIOL F400 Capstone Project (0 credits).  

· Our new Pre-Med Advisors for Biological Sciences are Andrea Bersamin ( and Andrej Podlutsky ( If you are advising a pre-med student, you may want to consider shifting them to one of these advisors.  Contact Carolyn or Diane Wagner to make that happen.  

Advising Alerts for Spring 2017

· Looking for a Biological Sciences CAPSTONE COURSE?  There are three in spring:  BIOL 434W Structure and Function of Vascular Plants (4 credits), BIOL 466 Advanced Cell and Molecular Laboratory (3 credits), and BIOL 394 MORE Behavioral Neurobiology Research (3 credits, online). A W can be arranged as well in BIOL 466 and B394 - see the instructor.

· Looking for a W or O course?  BIOL 402W Biomedical Research Ethics, BIOL 426W, O/2 Ornithology, BIOL 434W Structure and Function of Vascular Plants, BIOL 462O Concepts of Infectious Disease, BIOL/WLF 469O Landscape Ecology and Wildlife Habitat

· BIOS BS STUDENTS SHOULD DECLARE A CONCENTRATION ASAP but at end of sophomore year at the latest.  Please encourage students to get this done by emailing one the account; include concentration and UAID.  Changing the concentration is easy - another email will do it.


B&W Advising

Carolyn Chapin, Advising Coordinator
101A Murie
Hours for Fall Semester 2013:
Walk-ins 9:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m. M-F


Students in BIOL 112 Human Anatomy and Physiology lab. Photo Credit: Todd Paris

University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Biology and Wildlife ©2010-17

101 Murie      907.474.7671

UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution.
All images courtesy of UAF Biology & Wildlife unless otherwise noted.