LIMA — Students interested in studying animals no longer have to head out of Lima to finish their degrees. Ohio State Lima will now be offering four years of zoology coursework beginning in the fall for the prospective class of 2022.
Zoology degrees, the 12th complete bachelor’s degree program to be offered at Ohio State Lima, aids students looking for a future in the natural sciences, conservation or veterinary fields. Students earning zoology degrees may go on to graduate school to become a full-fledged veterinarian, which senior Samantha Newman plans to do, or utilize their experience with lab work to enter a variety of science-related careers.
Newman’s experience working at a nature center rehabilitating animals triggered her interest in the field. Since then, she’s shadowed veterinarians at a few clinics and is looking to eventually be accepted into the veterinary medicine program at The Ohio State University, where she hopes to pursue the exotic animal specialization.
“I’ve always loved animals and this was an opportunity to learn about them and earn a degree,” Newman said. “I get to spend my life working with (animals) and helping them, so its kind of a win-win.”
As for what students might be learning in the classroom, zoology covers a broad range of topics related to the study of animals. Students might be comparing swaths of the animal kingdom with lesser-known subsets to see how biological diversity is related to the environment, or examining the gas exchange systems of cold environment creatures.
“What’s really exciting is to see that diversity and how they’re uniquely adapted to the environment,” Jackie Augustine, associate professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology, said.
Outside of broad lessons of evolutionary biology and physiology, students also study specific local wildlife, such as small mammals and birds, and can be involved with zoological research undertaken by professors.
“We have students who have used a zoology degree as a springboard to professional schools such as veterinary medicine or as a path to graduate school and a research career,” Assistant Professor Ryan Norris said. “Others have gone directly into the workforce as naturalists and educators. Offering the zoology degree will give our students more flexibility in scheduling and allow them to specialize.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.