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Dear Friends,

With this new page on our web site we are hoping to begin a new era of discourse and interaction with our alumni, one in which you will become an integral part of the Department of Biology. Through this page we solicit your input through comments, your help in fulfilling our mission and, yes, your donations. We have appreciated your continued interest and support for our educational mission and our research mission and hope to involve you even more in the workings of the department.

The dramatic and ever-accelerating knowledge base in the biological sciences promises to significantly affect the way humanity views itself in the 21st century, providing the impetus for unparalleled cultural changes comparable to the contributions of physics in the early 20th century. New research - basic and applied - presents extraordinary opportunities and challenges that society will have to address. Growth of knowledge in the biological sciences is central to the development of new and better health care through preventive medicine, a better understanding of disease, and new technologies for treatment. It is also essential to the development of sustainable environmental policy in concert with the need for growth in agriculture and animal husbandry. Because of the centrality of biology to every aspect of our lives it has come to occupy a unique place in the public consciousness and in the halls of state and federal legislative government. Our nightly news or daily papers reinforce this each day.

Because of the unique niche that biology occupies in contemporary society we are striving not only to fulfill our role as a research intensive department, but to insure that college level instruction in biology is of the highest quality. Our undergraduates must be prepared for the challenges ahead. Our Ph.D. students are also the college teachers of tomorrow contributing to the education of future undergraduates who will need an ever-more-sophisticated understanding of biology if they are to play an informed role in the ethical and political decisions facing our society and if they are to make informed decisions regarding their own and their families future wellbeing. This dual mission in research and education in the biological sciences is unique to our department on this campus, encompassing research areas and educational goals not addressed or subscribed to by any other college.

In order to continue the important task of education and research, we must continually reinvent ourselves; hiring new faculty involved in the newest cutting edge research, recruiting the best graduate students and acquiring the latest in technology essential for teaching and research. To accomplish these goals we need your help.