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Program Features

Bemidji State University is the only institution in Minnesota to offer a four-year degree program leading a Bachelor of Science degree in Aquatic Biology.

Aquatic Biology is a special program within the Biology Department. This arrangement provides complementary breadth to the depth of training in Aquatic Biology.

The aquatic biology faculty, Drs. Cloutman, Guelda, and Koch have expertise in lake, riverine and wetland ecology studying aspects such as water chemistry, carbon dynamics, invertebrates, plankton, aquatic plants, and fish.

students walking in a river

Our program is centered in the H.T. Peters Aquatics Laboratory, a 4000 square foot facility situated on Lake Bemidji. This facility features a classroom, water laboratory, computer room, and areas for student projects. A recent addition to the classroom area is a display aquarium honoring the late Dr. Charles S. Holt, Emeritus Professor of Aquatic Biology.

Located in the lake district of Minnesota, our close proximity to many lakes, wetlands, and rivers makes our campus an ideal place to study aquatic biology in summer and winter. Bemidji is located at the convergence of three major biomes and three major river systems allowing unique research and learning opportunities for our students. The Mississippi River begins in Lake Itasca, about sixty kilometers upstream of Lake Bemidji, and the Big Bog State Park, the largest contiguous bog in North America, is just to our north.

Hobson Memorial Forest, privately owned by BSU, is just a few miles away and a favorite place for both faculty and student research and recreation.

Fourth year students participate in individual research projects that are collaboratively designed, executed and analyzed. These are then presented to fellow students in a senior seminar or at professional meetings. Many senior research projects are submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

All students complete an internship with an agency or company that deals with water resources.

These experiences provide students with training and exposure to various sub-fields of aquatic biology and fisheries, and often lead directly to employment with these agencies. Our Aquatic Biology program is small and selective - The small size of our program assures one-on-one interactions with faculty and allows students to tailor their program to meet specific needs.