While emphasizing the unity of fundamental concepts in biology, the master of science (M.S.) curriculum provides an opportunity for developing a concentration in cell and molecular biology, ecology, neurobiology, or physiology. An emerging focus for interdisciplinary research at Rutgers University-Camden is the study of information processing in complex biological systems. A research thesis may be pursued in any of these areas.
The M.S. biology program has been in existence since 1971. Many students have completed the M.S. program at Rutgers-Camden and have gone on to Ph.D. programs in the biological sciences; professional schools; research institutions; and positions of responsibility in industry, education, and environmental management. Most members of the graduate faculty at Camden also are affiliated with Ph.D. programs at Rutgers University-New Brunswick or at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. A number of students receiving advanced degrees at Camden have continued their doctoral work with one of the Camden faculty through enrollment in one of these programs.
An electron microscope facility containing both transmission and scanning electron microscopes, a tissue culture laboratory, and a variety of modern molecular biological and electrophysiological instruments are available for research and instruction at the Camden Campus. In addition, opportunities exist for ecological fieldwork at the Pinelands Field Station in the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. Through arrangements with appropriate Camden faculty, ecological and marine research also can be performed at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station.
These field stations are major universitywide research facilities of
Rutgers' Institute for Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (IEOAS). The stations
are located in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest (Pinelands) and at the
mouth of Great Bay (Rutgers University Marine Field Station). These facilities
represent unique field resources for faculty and graduate students from
various campuses. Both facilities have strong ties with the Graduate
School-Camden. The marine station, established by Dr. James B. Durand in
1971, is directed by Dr. Kenneth Able of the IEOAS. The Pinelands
research station is directed by Dr. John Dighton.
coastal and environmental studies is the main thrust at these
ecologically linked facilities. Studies at the marine station include
near-shore circulation problems, the role of eel grass in detritus
stocks and nutrient cycling, marsh biogeochemistry, population dynamics
of the nekton (especially fishes), benthic invertebrate ecology, and
plankton ecology. Research activities at the Pinelands station include
soil and freshwater nutrient cycling, wetland ecology, ecosystem
fragmentation, mycorrhizae and fungal physiology, and the effects of pollutants and fire on ecosystem
processes. The stations are used as research centers by faculty and
students of a number of departments within and outside the university.
Both stations are surrounded by unspoiled habitats under state and/or
federal protection and offer excellent research opportunities on a
Students also have opportunities to participate in the research of the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, an interdisciplinary research center that promotes collaborations among biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics faculty.
Although fully capable of meeting the requirements of the full-time student, the design of the M.S. program, with classes offered in the late afternoon, evening, and on Saturday, also appeals to those students whose outside obligations limit their hours of attendance or the number of courses that can be completed each semester.