Dean: James Porter
Associate Dean: Rick Jellen
Courses offered in the life sciences give students a general understanding of the fundamental principles of life that extend from the tiniest microbes to plants, animals, and human beings. Students also obtain the knowledge, skills, and motivation necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Specialized courses emphasizing teaching and research in various life science disciplines are also offered. Disciplines range from basic science to applied science.
Microbiology and Molecular Biology
Nutrition Dietetics and Food Science
Physiology and Developmental Biology
Plant and Wildlife Sciences
M. L. Bean Life Science Museum
Mike Whiting, Director
Leigh Johnson, Associate Director for Research and Collections
Marta Adair, Assistant Director for Education
Robert Johnson, Collections Manager, Herbarium
Byron Adams, Curator of Meiofauna
John Bell, Curator of Mollusks and Crustaceans
Shawn Clark, Collections Manager, Arthropods
Jerald Johnson, Assistant Curator of Fish
Leigh Johnson, Curator, Herbarium
Randy Larsen, Assistant Curator of Birds
Riley Nelson, Assistant Curator of Insects
Duke Rogers, Curator of Mammals
Dennis Shiozawa, Curator of Fish
Jack Sites, Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians
Larry St. Clair, Curator of Nonvascular Cryptogams
Michael Whiting, Curator of Insects
The Bean Life Science Museum is fully accredited with the American Alliance of Museums. A major addition and remodel of the museum was completed in 2014. Its vast teaching and research collections include more than two million arthropods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, meiofauna and mollusks, and more than 700,000 plants, fungi, algae, and bryophytes. Specimens for these collections, which represent creative work by university faculty members and students, have been gathered from around the world, making the museum a major repository of scientific-quality, biological collections in the western United States.
The museum and its collections are utilized by university classes in biology, plant and wildlife sciences, education, art, geography, and other disciplines. The museum also maintains and manages the Lytle Ranch Preserve. Located in the northernmost extension of the Mojave Desert southwest of St. George, Utah, this 600-acre desert "classroom" is situated in a part of Utah that is unique not only for its plant and animal communities, but also for its setting at the crossroads of three major bioregions.
Public programs at the museum include temporary and permanent exhibits of natural communities that illustrate complex relationships between plants, animals, and their physical environment. Educational programs serve more than 150,000 annual visitors and provide classes and programs for public and private schools and many other organizations. Museum hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Sunday. Admission is free.
The Western North American Naturalist, a nationally recognized peer-reviewed natural history journal, is administered by the museum. Other museum publications include professional and popular works such as A Utah Flora, Bark and Ambrosia Beetles of South America, Snakes of Utah, and Common Rocky Mountain Lichens.