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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

· For the BS Physiology Concentration and the BA, 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>

· Be critical as you look at DegreeWorks.  Occasionally we find new programming errors and it sometimes assigns courses to a requirement category that isn't the best choice for the student.  

· 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

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

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.

Advising Alerts for Fall 2016

· The new class BIOL 494 The Human Microbiome should appear in the schedule soon.  Because it was late to appear, students may overlook it, but it would be a good class for students with interests in human health, microbiology, and genetics.  

· More seats will soon be available in BIOL F402 Biomedical Research Ethics. (4/18/2016)

Looking for a W or O class in fall?  There are lots to choose from.  BIOL 402W Biomedical Research Ethics, BIOL 403W Metabolism and Biochemistry, BIOL 417O Neurobiology, BIOL 425W, Mammalogy, BIOL 441W O/2 Animal Behavior, BIOL 455O Environmental Toxicology, BIOL 472W Community Ecology, BIOL 485W Global Change Biology.  Be warned: the pickings will be slimmer during the spring semester.  

· Looking for a capstone course in fall?  BIOL 403W Metabolism and Biochemistry, BIOL 441W O/2 Animal Behavior, BIOL 455O, BIOL 472W Community Ecology. If you plan to do your capstone project in fall, be sure to register for BIOL 400 (0 credits) as well. In spring, there will be two capstone options: BIOL 434W Structure and Function of Vascular Plants and BIOL 466 Advanced Cell and Molecular Laboratory.  

· Wildlife majors looking to satisfy course requirements for WLF 460 Wildlife Nutrition, WLF 410 Wildlife Populations & Management, or BIOL 317 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates should meet with their advisor to choose suitable alternatives that will both meet degree requirements and maintain the option to be certified.  

· Be aware that upper division biology courses that are new, special topics (BIOL 393 or 493) or trial (BIOL 394 or 494) will satisfy degree requirements for special elective courses in particular subject areas (e.g. the course lists A-D in the catalog), but only by petition.  

· Consider the special offering Biology of Aging this fall (BIOL 493/693, 3 credits, TR 5:20-6:50pm).  You can petition to count this course as either a list A (cell & molecular) or list B (physiology) elective toward your biology degree.

Advising Alerts for Spring 2016

· Synthetic Biology (BIOL 393) may be used to satisfy the capstone requirement in Biological Sciences. Synthetic Biology is the only designated capstone course being offered  this spring. For more information about the capstone requirement, click here. (11/6/2015)

· Looking for a W or O course in spring? Ornithology BIOL 426W,O/2; Environmental Microbiology (BIOL 457W); Ecology and Management of Birds (WLF 425O). (11/6/2015)

· Advanced Laboratory in Cell and Molecular Biology is being offered in spring 2016.  Students pursuing a concentration in cell and molecular biology, and particularly those with interests in biotechnology, cell biology, physiology, and medicine, are strongly encouraged to take this course, which teaches important modern techniques in the discipline.  Labs focus on the cellular effects exercise. Lecture T 2 - 3:30, Lab Thus 2 - 4.  (10/20/2015)

· Wildlife students facing a scheduling conflict between Animal Physiology (BIOL 310) and STAT 401 may substitute one of the following courses by petition: MSL 494 Data Analysis for Marine Science for STAT 401, or Medical Physiology (BIOL 393) for Animal Physiology.  (11/6/2015)

Advising Alerts for Fall 2015

· The fall 2015 offering of BIOL 466 Advanced Laboratory in Cell and Molecular Biology has been canceled for low enrollment.  The course will be offered in spring.  (9/1/2015)

· If you are trying to get into Evolution BIOL 481 in fall, hang in there.  More space will open up shortly.  (5/14/2015)

· There is a new way to combine MATH 151/107 and MATH 152/108 to save yourself a semester in math.  MATH 156 (4 credits) will combine precalculus and trig, and the one course will satisfy the prerequisite for calculus. You'll need an ALEKS score of 65 or higher to take advantage of the course. 

· Starting in Fall 2015, there will be changes to the capstone project.  (a) Regardless of how a student plans to complete their capstone project (using a class or working individually with a research mentor), all students must register for the new BIOL 400 (0 credits) to declare their intent to complete the capstone. A passing grade in BIOL 400 on the transcript will signal that the capstone has been completed.  (b) Within a designated capstone class, a student must receive a passing grade on the capstone project to complete the capstone requirement, whether or not they pass the class. You can read more about the capstone here.

· Looking for a W or O class? There are lots offered in fall 2015: BIOL F402W Biomed & Res Ethics; BIOL F403W Metabolism & Biochem; BIOL F17O Neurobiology; BIOL F425W Mammalogy; BIOL F441W,O/2 Animal Behavior; BIOL F473W Limnology; BIOL F485W Global Change Biology; BIOL F490W Research Exp in Biology. Be aware that there are fewer biology W classes in spring than in fall. 

· Starting in Fall semester 2015, C- is the minimum passing grade for the Biological Sciences and Wildlife Biology and Conservation majors.

· Wildlife Nutrition (WLF F460/BIOL F459 O/2) – We have been unable to find a suitable replacement for the instructor of this course in fall 2015, and as a result the course has been canceled.  For Wildlife majors, the following courses may be used as replacements for WLF F460 in terms of certification and petitioned to replace WLF F460 for graduation.  Note that these courses also serve as options for completing requirement #B of the curriculum (#D in the 2015-16 catalog), and cannot be double-counted.  Rather, an additional course from this list may be used to replace WLF F460.  

·  WLF F421 Ecology and Management of Large Mammals (fall)

·  WLF F425W Mammalogy (fall)

·  BIOL F406 Entomology (fall)

·  FISH F494 Fish Disease and Pathology (fall)

·  BIOL F412 Exercise Physiology (fall)

·  BIOL F417O Neurophysiology (fall)

· BIOL F426O Ornithology (spring)

·  WLF F425O Ecology and Management of Birds (spring)

· BIOL F441W,O/2 Animal Behavior (offered every fall, but please note that there is a time conflict between this course and WLF F410 in fall 2015) 

· WLF F305 Wildife Diseases (offered spring 2016)

· BIOL/WLF F433 Conservation Genetics (offered every spring). Note that you cannot double count this course for other requirements in the major.

·  BIOL F427 Ichthyology (every spring) 

If you do not care about certification, you may petition to replace WLF F460 with any 300 or 400-level biology, wildlife, fisheries, marine science, or natural resources management course that your advisor approves as relevant to your degree program. 

·  Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates BIOL F317 – This course will not be taught in 2015-16.  For wildlife majors, it is no longer a degree requirement under the 2015-16 catalog, but is replaced by with any 300 or 400-level wildlife, biology, fisheries, marine science, or natural resources management class approved by the advisor.  Those of you graduating under an earlier catalog may change your catalog year to 2015-16 once the catalog is released, or petition to do the same.  Regardless of catalog, the best choice to replace this course would be one of those listed in the item above, which will contribute to the zoology section of the certification requirements. 

· Animal Physiology (BIOL 310) is switching to the spring semester (every year).  It will be offered spring 2016, but not fall 2015. It will also be offered Summer 2015. 

· Immunology (BIOL 465) is switching to fall semester (every year). If will be offered fall 2015.

· Environmental Microbiology (BIOL 457W) is switching to spring even years.  It will next be taught spring 2016.  

· Wildlife Diseases (WLF 305) will be offered off-sequence in Spring 2016.

· Be aware that Cell & Molecular Biology (BIOL F360) is offered in spring only, and Principles of Ecology (BIOL F371) is offered in fall only. 

Advising Alerts for Spring 2015

·  11/14/14 - More seats will soon be made available for Principles of Evolution (BIOL F481), Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL F360), and Design of Wildlife Studies (WLF F301).  For now, students should join the wait list.

 ·  Biological Sciences BS majors must declare a concentration by the end of their second semester. Concentrations choices are: Cell & Molecular Biology; Physiology; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; and No Concentration. To declare or change a concentrations, students should simply send an email to the Registrar ( on their official account.  Be sure to include the UAF ID number.

 ·  Be aware that Cell & Molecular Biology (BIOL F360) is offered in spring only, and Principles of Ecology (BIOL F371) is offered in fall only. 

 ·  Looking for a W class this spring?  Check out Ornithology (BIOL 246W,O/2), Structure and Function of Vascular Plants (BIOL F434W), and Research Experience in Biology (BIOL F490W). Most W courses are offered during fall.

·  Looking for an O class this spring?  Check out Ornithology (BIOL F425W,O/2), Landscape Ecology and Wildlife Habitat (BIOL/WLF 469O), and Ecosystem Ecology (BIOL F476O)

 Looking for a capstone course this spring?  Check out Structure and Function of Vascular Plants (BIOL F434W).

Advising Alerts for Fall 2014

  • All biology students are invited to take the Biological Sciences Seminar (BIOL 194) in fall 2014.  All biological sciences faculty will rotate through this class to introduce their area of biological research. 1 credit, 1 hour/week, pass/fail. This is a great way for students to get excited about biology and to choose a concentration and capstone.    
  • Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 360) will be offered spring 2015 only, not fall.  Students who need this class to graduate in fall 2014 may take CHEM 450: General Biochemistry-Macromolecules (3 credits) instead. (Note that this applies to fall 2014 only, with permission from the B&W chair).
  • Introduction to Plant Biology (BIOL 239) will be offered spring 2015 next year, not fall as it appears in the catalog.
  • Neurobiology (BIOL 417O/617) will be offered Fall 2014, not spring.  
  • BIOL 489/689 Vegetation Description & Analysis will not be offered in Fall 2014. It will be offered next in Fall 2016.  
  • BIOL 485 Global Change Biology will not be offered in Fall 2014.  We hope to offer the course next in Fall 2015.  The next time the course is taught it will carry a writing-intensive (W) designator.  
  • BIOL 101X Biology of Sex will not be taught in Fall 2014.  

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

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All images courtesy of UAF Biology & Wildlife unless otherwise noted.