The Department of Botany & Microbiology offers programs to prepare botanists, ecologists, microbiologists, environmental biologists, and health professionals. Students may elect major sequences in botany, microbiology, genetics, or biology. Special opportunities are available including Independent Study projects on campus using our Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope and off-campus working with scientists at the nearby USDA Forest Service Laboratories. Many of the department’s courses include regular field trips to the University’s two local nature preserves, as well as longer excursions to nearby states. Apprenticeships in clinical microbiology, plant pathology, biotechnology, and with landscaping firms are frequently offered. Additionally, the department provides laboratory and research assistantships to majors. Special student recognition is given through the annual presentation of the Burns-Shirling, Jane Decker-Allan Ichida, and Esther Carpenter Awards for departmental excellence. Also available are Kraus Research Fellowships, which support field research at the Kraus Nature Preserve.