West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Biology

Faculty
Department Faculty

Department Chair:

Michelle Geary 
408-741-2572
michelle.geary@westvalley.edu

Division: Science and Mathematics

Division Chair:
Rebecca Wong

Why Should One Study Biology? It is an exciting time to study biology. The last 30 years have brought an enormous insight into the dynamic interactions of the millions of species existing on our planet. The field of cell and molecular biology has explored the intricacy of DNA - the molecule of heredity. The human genome has recently been sequenced giving us the possibility of peering into the molecular machinery of the cell in even more detail. The potential changes in the field of medicine are enormous. An understanding of our own anatomy and physiology combined with an understanding of the recent advances in molecular biology would give you the tools to make decisions in the ever changing field of medicine.

We live in a difficult and challenging time. The human population level on planet Earth is now approaching 7 billion individuals. More than five children are born every second! For every day that goes by our species puts even more pressure on the species that we share the planet with. The glaciers and ice fields of our poles are breaking up contributing to the evidence that global warming is a fact. Wildlife habitats on the continents is disappearing at an alarming rate. Even the great Amazonian rainforest is predicted to be depleted within the next few decades. Life on Earth is under great pressure and many species are going extinct. The fields of ecology and organismal biology would give you an awareness that could lead to a change in your perception of these problems. The environmental challenge of this century is a difficult one that we all need to meet with hope and energy.

The Biology Department at West Valley College: To help you navigate through the biological realm our department offers a wide array of courses from cell and molecular biology to ecology. We also offer different types of courses for majors versus non-majors depending on your interests and need. Laboratory experiences, indoors and out, make up an integral part of most of our courses. Throughout the curriculum, the department emphasizes use of knowledge, rather than rote recognition of specific terms and structures. We seek to develop critical thinking and foster an awareness of humans and the dynamic natural world of which we are a part. Our courses meet general education and transfer requirements in natural sciences. In addition, courses can be taken to satisfy requirements for an Associate of Science degree in Biological Science or transfer major requirements in biochemistry, botany, cell biology, forestry, microbiology, zoology, or a variety of pre-medical areas. The biology department is part of the Science and Math Division located in the SM building, as well as in the portable units on the north side of the West Valley College campus.

We invite you to come along on an amazing journey to explore the lifeforms on our planet....

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