Welcome to the Biology Department

About Us

Department of Biological Sciences:

Interested in the Life Sciences?  Our Biology courses will help you to make sense of the issues!  Bio 109 and Bio 110 reveal the wonders of the biological world and each one serves as a four credit lab science requirement.  The possibilities from the cellular level all the way to complex organisms are explored.

Introduction to Biotechnology (Bio 102) is being offered as a 4 credit lab science course for those who like the science behind such shows as CSI!  Here we will explore the potential for technology in helping to improve the quality of our lives, and we will discuss the issues surrounding its use.  This course will bring a basic understanding to beginners, while giving enough background to make it interesting for those who might like to explore a good scientific mystery!

For more information about the above, contact your advisor or see the course catalog! You may also contact Department Chair Heather Conn (telephone 978-630-9228) or in the Division of Business, Science, Technology and Math to find out more.


Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing Program – General Program Information

Open House! Join us to learn how MWCC can help you to reach your goals!

Funded, in part, by a grant awarded under the President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants, as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

The overall purpose of the new curriculum is to graduate students who possess the requisite skills for entry level positions in biotechnology, specifically biomanufacturing. The actual manufacturing of biotechnology products involves three main areas – 1) culturing cells which produce the product (upstream manufacturing), 2) purification of the product from the cell culture (downstream manufacturing), and 3)the quality control of the product during manufacture. Indeed, usually the testing and documentation of the production occupies many more workers than the actual production. At MWCC, we will focus on training workers in the three main areas of manufacturing and in the processes required by technicians in Quality Control and Quality Assurance.

Students who complete the proposed program would be expected to:

  1. Be familiar with the language of biotechnology.
  2. Be able to articulate, read and follow an SOP (standard operating procedure).
  3. Be able to conduct the mathematic and computational operations involved in biotechnology including use of applicable computer programs.
  4. Be able to understand and appreciate the regulatory requirements of cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices).
  5. Understand the basic biology behind the manufacturing processes.

An associate’s degree in Biotechnology/Biomanufacturing would allow graduates to enter into the following types of jobs:

  1. Process Development Associate
  2. Validation Specialist
  3. Manufacturing Technician-Upstream
  4. Manufacturing Technician-Downstream
  5. Instrumentation/Calibration Technician
  6. Chemistry QC Technician
  7. Microbiology QC Technician
  8. Environmental Health & Safety Technician
  9. QA Documentation Coordinator
  10. Facilities Technician

For information contact:

Call the Main Devens Campus number (978-630-9569) for more information.

Natural Resources Technology Program

Do you like to work outdoors?  Do you enjoy seeing the diversity of trees and wildlife here in our richly forested Northeast?  Do you like being in a greenhouse, growing plants?  Do you keep up with the current debate about global warming and alternative energy use?  Did you know that MWCC has a biomass plant that provides the school with all its heating needs?  If these questions pique your interest, then you should consider looking into our Natural Resources Degree program.  We offer a science based Associates Degree program which can prepare you for work in the vast field of Natural Resources.  The current emphasis of our program is in plant science with courses such as Horticulture, Ecology, Forestry, Soil Science, Plant Science, and Greenhouse Operations.  Graduates from our program can pursue entry-level jobs in horticulture/floriculture, landscaping, agriculture, forestry, and various local/state/private environmental organizations.  We also have a joint admissions agreement with UMASS Amherst and Mass. College of Liberal Arts.

The Natural Resources Technology Program will be offering a new science elective course for Spring ’06 semester in addition to two existing program courses.  The new 3 hr credit course, Renewable Energy Sources (NRT 104), will provides a comprehensive overview of renewable energies, including solar energy, wind power, hydropower, fuel cells, biomass, and alternative transportation options.  Students will investigate the potentials of renewable energy technologies to help solve environmental and economic problems within society.

Additionally, Horticulture (Bio 120, 3 hr) and Greenhouse Operations (NRT 120, 4 hr) will also be offered .  Both of these courses satisfy science electives as well as NRT program requirements.  Horticulture covers basic plant growth and culture while Greenhouse Operations provides theory and practice of commercial greenhouse operation and management.  These two courses will utilize our greenhouse here at the Mount.

If you have any questions or want more information on any of the above courses, please contact Dr. Tom Montagno, at or at 978-630-9241.

Contact Us

Janice Barney, Dean of the School of Business, Science and Technology
Rm 231

Heather Conn, Assistant Professor of Biology / Department Chair, Natural Sciences
Rm 223

Carrie Arnold, Phd, Assistant Professor of Biology
Rm 265

Linda LaRoche, Science Biology Senior Lab Technician 2
Rm 283

Samantha Johnson, Lab Technician 1

Jennifer Crandall, Lab Technician 1 (Devens)

William Lefrancois, Professor of Biology
Rm 261

Thomas Montagno, Ph.D., Dept. Chair Natural Resources/Professor of Biology
Rm 227

William Nutting, Professor of Microbiology/Biology
Rm 281

Lara Dowland, Ph.D., Dept. Chair Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing/Assistant Professor of Biotechnology
Devens Campus

Matthew Sheehan, Assistant Professor of Biology
Room 217

Luz Lopez, Administrative Assistant
Rm 215

Important Links

Faculty and Staff Directory
Online Registration
Division of Lifelong Learning
Online Course Catalog