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Did You Know

Acclaimed field biologist George Schaller was an alum of UAF’s biology program. He graduated in 1955 with bachelor’s degrees in vertebrate zoology and anthropology. During four decades of field research, Schaller has contributed significantly to wildlife protection efforts worldwide and the understanding of endangered species. His work was important in the establishment of five of the world’s wildlife reserves, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Biology and Wildlife Department


The Biology & Wildlife Department has 40 faculty members, and the diversity of their expertise gives students an amazing number of courses to choose including those that take advantage of the greatest natural laboratory of all – Alaska.

While the department boasts strong programs in ecology, animal physiology and wildlife management, its biomedicine programs are rapidly growing. Many students prepare themselves for health professions by getting a comprehensive biology degree that give them hands-on learning.

The school’s location in a state with so many natural resources shapes its program and students’ research. Part of the state is in the Arctic and many faculty and students are investigating how climate change is affecting Alaska’s lands, wildlife and people.

Why study biology and wildlife with us in Alaska?

  • Alaska is one of the greatest natural laboratories in the world. Its mountains, tundra, forests, waterways, wildlife and climate all make for riveting research and study. The Arctic is six hours north of Fairbanks, and the university is at the forefront of research about climate change.
  • The Biology & Wildlife Department has more than 40 faculty members with a wide range of expertise.
  • The department is based in one of the newest buildings on campus – the Margaret Murie Building – which has nearly 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms.
  • There are many opportunities for undergraduate research including a research classes.
  • Students interested in wildlife conservation can apply for internships or jobs at the many different federal and state agencies protecting public lands in Alaska. About 80% of the state’s land is public.

 Our classes allow you to explore

  • Human nutrition
  • Entomology
  • Microbiology
  • Fish and fisheries
  • Botany
  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Environmental toxicology
  • Winter ecology
  • Virology, immunology and infectious disease
  • Stream ecology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Genetics
  • Arctic vegetation: geobotany
  • Ornithology
  • Mammology
  • And more …

Research opportunities on campus

Some questions researchers are asking

  • Can drones help industries on the North Slope find polar bear dens so that they don’t operate near the dens, disturb the polar bears and incur a federal fine
  • How is climate change affecting insects
  • If there were an oil spill in Arctic marine waters, would a certain chemical dispersant be effective in reducing the toxicity of the oil spill and its harmful affects on marine life

Some UAF institutes, programs and labs that foster student and faculty research

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