Northern's biology education bachelor's degree program prepares you to share the excitement of science as a teacher.

    About The Program

    In addition to the student teaching experience, NSU's Biology Education B.S.Ed. program offers a practicum experience, which allows future biology teachers to obtain valuable experience.

    In a practicum experience, you might be a course student instructor offering STEM programs to local schools, or serve as a naturalist in a state park.


    Our biology education degree students historically have achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the Praxis II content certification exam, and the hire rate after completion of this program is near 100 percent. 

    In our small classes, you'll work one-on-one with faculty. Most upper-level courses have no more than 25 students - a great size for you to get to know your fellow students and professor. NSU's biology faculty members teach all their own labs, and they'll get to know you individually.


    We encourage you to explore you individual interests, work closely with professors on research projects, and present your research results at meetings including NSU's Undergraduate Scholarship and Activity Forum, or in publications.


    Most biology education graduates work as secondary school teachers. Others work as instructors in non-educational settings - for example, as corporate trainers; or in accounting or sales and marketing-related jobs.


    For more information on careers in your chosen major or help choosing a major, visit Career Services.

    Contact Information

    For more information about this degree, contact Jessica Ness, or call 605-626-2272 or 605-626-7900. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or

    Ph.D. Portland State University
    B.A. University of Oregon
    Dr. Amy Dolan joined Northern's faculty in 2018. She grew up on a homestead in Nikiski, Alaska. Dr. Dolan attended the University of Oregon and graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology and Spanish. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in biology at Portland State University, studying genetics, reproductive biology, mate choice, and reproductive success of eastern kingbirds. Dr. Dolan lives on a farm with her husband Ryan, and their three children: Oliver, Ruthie, and Zet.
    Courses Taught
    Biology Survey
    General Biology
    Environmental Biology
    Human Biology
    Gross Anatomy
    Christopher M, Chutter, Lucas J. Redmond, Nathan W. Cooper, Amy C…
    Ph.D. University of South Dakota
    M.S. South Dakota State University
    B.S. South Dakota State University
    A.A. Winona State University
    Dr. Alyssa Kiesow joined Northern’s faculty in August 2007. Born in Little Falls, Minn., and raised in St. Cloud, Minn., she is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, assists with sponsored grants and research, and serves on the South Dakota Academy of Science Executive Committee. She received multiple degrees from state institutions. Dr. Kiesow earned her Ph.D. in biological sciences with a research focus in genetics from the University of South Dakota.
    Research Interests
    Dr. Kiesow's primary research interests range from genetic structure of animal populations to epigenetics of developing embryos. Recent research focuses on the effects of various toxins on embryonic development in sea stars, sea urchins, and Xenopus laevis.…

    Ph.D. Montana State University

    M.S. Montana State University

    B.S. State University of New York


    Dr. John Long joined the NSU faculty in the summer of 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from the State University of New York, a master’s degree in environmental and ecological statistics and a Ph.D. in ecology and environmental sciences, both from Montana State University. His area of expertise is the mathematical and physical aspects of the environment.


    Dr. Long is a part of the SEA-PHAGES team trained by Howard Hughes Medical Institute to discover new viruses in environmental samples and to sequence their genome. Dr. Long is a retired U.S. Air Force major with 21 years of service as a B-52 electronic warfare officer. 


    Courses Taught

    Introduction to Physics I and II

    University Physics I and II

    Biological Statistics I and II

    R Programming

    Geographic Information…

    Ph.D. University of South Dakota

    M.S. North Dakota State University

    B.S. North Dakota State University

    Dr. Jodie Ramsay started at NSU in 2001. Her area of expertise is plant science. She grew up in Minnesota and spends much of the summer there, where she co-owns a greenhouse. Dr. Ramsay is the director of NSU Regional Science Fair and serves as the faculty mentor for Rising Scholar (dual credit) biology courses taught across eastern South Dakota.
    Courses Taught
    Environmental Biology
    Environmental Science and Conservation
    Freshman Seminar
    General Biology I
    General Biology II
    Plants and Civilization
    Plant Structure and Function
    Plant Systematics
    Senior Seminar
    Soils and the Environment


    Ph.D., Nutrition Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    B.S., Nutrition Science, Indiana University-Bloomington


    Courses Taught

    • Genetics
    • Cell and molecular biology
    • Nutrition and disease
    • Human health and biology

    Research Interests

    • Mechanisms of type II diabetes and diet-induces obesity in zebrafish (Danio rerio) 
    • Development of biological reasoning skills in undergraduate biology majors and non-majors


    Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of North Dakota

    B.S., Molecular Biology, Muskingum University


    Courses Taught

    Biology Survey

    Biochemistry Lab

    General Microbiology


    General Biology I Lab

    Freshman Seminar


    Research Interests

    Molecular mechanisms of early brain development