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College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Information

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

CSULB students study

Dean: Laura Kingsford

Associate Dean for Curriculum and Instruction: Henry C. Fung

Associate Dean for Research and External Support: Andrew Z. Mason

Director for Instructional and Research Facilities: Robert L. Loeschen

Director of Development: MaryAnne Horton

Administrative Services Manager: Henry Wu

Assistant to the Dean: Lane Olsen-Cooper

College Office: Faculty Office 5 (FO5), Room 104
Telephone / FAX: (562) 985-4707 / (562) 985-2315


  • Biological Sciences - Brian T. Livingston, Chair (562) 985-4806
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry - Jeffrey A. Coihlberg, Chair (562) 985-4941
  • Geological Sciences - Stanley C. Finney, Chair (562) 985-4809
  • Mathematics and Statistics - Robert A. Mena, Chair (562) 985-4721
  • Physics and Astronomy - Patrick F. Kenealy, Chair (562) 985-4924
  • Science Education - Laura Henriques, Chair (562) 985-4801

Student Access to Science and Mathematics Center

Co-Directors: Henry C. Fung, Aimee Arreygue

Office: FO5, Room 109
Telephone / FAX: (562) 985-4682 / (562) 985-5104


In a world where science plays an increasingly important role and where an understanding of the sciences is essential for a participating and informed citizenry, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics provides quality educational opportunities in the life, physical sciences, and mathematics. Students are provided a broad-based, fundamental education in the natural sciences and mathematics, and are challenged to think critically, analytically, and creatively. Alumni of the College demonstrate that science and mathematics graduates are well-prepared to enter graduate and professional schools or to assume responsible positions in industry or government. Employment opportunities for students with backgrounds in science and mathematics are traditionally excellent.

The College is dedicated to the concept that a university has a special responsibility toward academic excellence and the advancement of knowledge. The faculty and staff of the Departments of Biological Sciences (including the former departments of Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, and Microbiology), Chemistry and Biochemistry, Geological Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics and Astronomy, and Science Education are committed to providing an outstanding educational experience for all students.

The College takes its responsibilities in teacher preparation in the sciences and mathematics very seriously. It participates in projects that provide a stronger, more rigorous, and more engaging set of teacher preparation programs at CSULB. With funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Knight Foundation, and in collaboration with Colleges of Education and Liberal Arts, Long Beach Unified School District, and Long Beach City College, science and mathematics faculty members are working to enrich and align teacher preparation coursework and internship opportunities.

Degrees Offered

Five departments within the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics offer both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. The Department of Science Education offers the Master of Science degree. The Departments of Chemistry/Biochemistry, and Physics/Astronomy also offer the Bachelor of Arts degree. Each degree has unique requirements and students should refer to the particular department's section of this Catalog to determine specific requirements. Ideally, all students participate in the Science Safari to Success (for first time freshmen) or EONS (Enrollment and Orientation in Natural Sciences and Mathematics for transfer students). Programs offered each June-July (for those entering in August-September) and January (for those entering in January). A department advisor will be available to assist in developing an appropriate academic plan consistent with career goals. During the semester, students may obtain academic advising by contacting the appropriate advisor(s) in the department offering the chosen degree program.

Student Research Opportunities

Faculty members in the College involve more than 200 students annually, both undergraduate and graduate, in a wide variety of research activities. Many of these students are supported by research grants, especially during the summer months. Each year many of these students present the results of their research at scientific conferences. It is not unusual for a student to co-author an article appearing in a major scientific journal.
The faculty’s commitment to these students is based on the knowledge that involvement in scientific research makes the study of science more real and provides strong motivation for the student to pursue a career in science. Since the anticipated need for scientists far exceeds the enrollment of science majors, we are committed to meeting the short-fall by making the study of science at CSULB as “real world” as possible.

Early each fall semester, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in collaboration with its Jensen Student Access to Sciences and Mathematics Center hosts an Annual Research Symposium for students to present their findings of the research conducted in laboratories of CNSM faculty. This Symposium is open to the members of the University and greater Southern California community.

Jensen Student Access to Science and Mathematics (SAS) Center and Programs Offered

A student center (FO5-109) adjacent to the Dean’s office is dedicated to promoting success for students who pursue majors in the College and those who take courses in its departments. The Center also facilitates several externally funded programs including The National Institutes of Health (MARC, MBRS-RISE, and Bridges to the Baccalaureate), and National Science Foundation (CRUI, AMP, and Noyce). The Center provides space for studying, tutoring, mentoring, computer access, and meeting sites for student-centered activities. The SAS Center also serves as the resource center for health profession advising, graduate school opportunities, and summer research opportunities and fellowships.

SAS coordinates and assures effective integration of all of our mentoring, enrichment, and outreach programs - including those based on undergraduate research. SAS is dependent on external funding for its success.
There are a host of activities and programs that strive to involve students and promote their success in science and mathematics. Several federally funded programs focus on underrepresented students and address the diversity of our campus. In addition to fostering involvement of students in science and mathematics, they feature an ethnic identity that provides a unique encouragement for 250 of our science majors.

MARC/MBRS Programs. The College hosts both programs funded by The National Institutes of General Medical Sciences: Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) and Research Institute for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS-RISE). Both programs have the goal of increasing the number and quality of students from specifically targeted groups/populations who pursue careers in scientific research. The 30 students supported by these programs carry out state-of-the-art biomedical research projects in conjunction with a member of the faculty. Virtually all of these students continue study toward advanced degrees in science. The MARC program is an honors program (GPA 3.0) for upper division students, while the MBRS-RISE program can support students as early as the freshman year and also upper division transfer students. As a result of their research activities, most students present papers at scientific conferences and often co-author publications appearing in leading scientific journals. In addition to their research involvement, MARC/MBRS-RISE students are active in various outreach and mentoring activities.

Beckman Scholars Program. In 2003, CSULB was selected as one of 13 institutions nationwide to be the recipient of these prestigious Beckman Scholars Awards. The goal of the Beckman Scholars Program at CSULB is to advance the education, research training, and personal development of students who have the potential to achieve distinction in their academic field, as well as become outstanding leaders in their careers and professions. Support is provided for four students working toward bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, biology, or physics in the form of student stipends, laboratory supplies and funds for travel to appropriate scientific meetings. In their research experience, students will receive rigorous training by faculty members in the use and applications of a variety of different techniques involved in nucleic acid research, protein biochemistry, biophysics, etc. The program will also provide counseling and career opportunities for entrance into higher degree programs in the sciences.

Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program. This program is funded by the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences and its goal is to provide historically underrepresented community college students with research opportunities in the biomedical sciences and to facilitate their seamless transition into baccalaureate and doctorate granting institutions.

G-DEP Program. The Geoscience Diversity Enhancement Program (G-DEP) is an innovative, collaborative partnership between CSULB Departments of Geological Sciences, Geography, and Anthropology, and several community colleges and local high schools to improve the research and educational experiences of underrepresented students in geoscience (geologic, physical geographic, archaeologic and environmental sciences disciplines). The goals of G-DEP are to (1) increase the number of underrepresented students who have a broad educational and research experience in the geosciences; (2) enhance the quantity and quality of Geoscience research and teaching by faculty members from the University, community colleges and high schools; (3) increase the awareness by community college and high school students of the field of geoscience, and related research careers and educational requirements; (4) create a seamless transition of underrepresented students from community colleges to study geosciences at the undergraduate level; and (5) increase the number of geoscience majors who are retained in their disciplines.

LS-AMP Program. The College hosts the National Science Foundation's Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-AMP) program. Its goal is to improve the mathematics and science preparation for historically underrepresented students majoring in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering and to enhance their opportunities for graduate studies.

Noyce Program. The CSULB Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, funded by the National Science Foundation, encourages talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. This program is responding to the critical need for STEM teachers by encouraging CSULB students to pursue teaching careers in high-need school districts and increasing the number of teachers with strong STEM content knowledge. In an effort to address this need, Noyce provides scholarships for CSULB students to complete their bachelor's and/or a single subject credential in mathematics or science. Noyce Scholars receive $15,000 per year for two years maximum. Scholarship recipients, in return, must serve two years as a mathematics or science teacher in a high-need school district within six years following graduation or completion of the program.

Science Enrichment and Peer Mentor Programs. This program is designed to provide first time freshmen in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics with the guidance and personal support that are vitally important to their success at CSULB. This program allows students to enroll in classes appropriate for their major and background, provides them with enriched learning experiences, and peer role models during their first academic year. The Science Enrichment Program begins the week prior to the start of the fall semester. In order to be part of the program, students must be declared science or math majors and be enrolled in the presemester University 100 course. Peer mentoring provides our college students opportunities for tutoring to strengthen their academic and communication skills.

Honors in Biological Sciences. This program was initiated by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Open to students with majors or career goals in the life sciences or related fields, it features an honors curriculum including courses in bioinformatics and research design as well as undergraduate research leading to a senior honors thesis and presentation at scientific conferences.

Health Professions Advising Office (HPAO). The Health Professions Advising Office (HPAO) provides a wide range of advising and support services designed to meet the needs of CSULB students as they navigate through the often-complex process of preparation and application to professional schools. The HPAO offers individual counseling, academic planning, application assistance, and many other resources designed specialty for students interested in medicine, dentistry, veterinary, pharmacy, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, physician assistant, physical therapy, and graduate nursing.

The Electron Microscopy Facility

The study of the natural sciences requires observation of the macroscopic, microscopic, and sub-microscopic character of our universe. With this in mind, the College has established a modern Electron Microscope (EM) Facility which is used by several undergraduate courses in addition to undergraduate and graduate research projects. The pride of the EM Facility is the Joel-1200EXII transmission electron microscope (TEM), obtained through a National Science Foundation instrumentation grant. The Joel-1200EXII has a resolution of 0.14 nm and a magnification range of from 50 to 1,000,000 times. The EM Facility also houses additional TEMs and an AMR 1000 scanning electron microscope. The latter will be upgraded to include analytical capabilities.

Student Organizations

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Student Council sponsors annual events including: a fall open house and spring picnic, Science Career Days, and the Nobel Laureate Speaker series. Six departmental associations plan various social and academic-related programs that offer peer support, as well as opportunities for students and faculty to interact outside of the classroom.

Four other student-led groups offer activities for students who are planning careers in one of the health professions (medicine, dentistry, etc.). The Organization of PreProfessional Students (T.O.P.P.S.) and Association of Pre-Dental Students (A.P.D.S.) have speaker series with representatives from professional schools; the group also holds social functions and provides a peer advising network. Chicanos/Latinos for Community Medicine (CCM) sponsors community outreach activities, an annual workshop on interviewing techniques, and an annual conference on applying to medical/professional schools.

Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI)

The Institute operates a number of research vessels, and provides the mechanism whereby students from CSU Ocean Studies Consortium campuses at Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, Pomona, San Diego, and San Marcos, as well as Occidental College and the University of Southern California can share courses and degree programs. In addition, Institute staff conduct research and facilitate the research of CSU faculty. The major focus is on harbors and coastal areas, with emphasis on environmental issues.

California Desert Studies Consortium

CSULB participates in the California Desert Studies Consortium, which has a Desert Studies Center in the heart of the Mojave Desert at Soda Springs near the town of Baker. The surrounding area consists of typical Mojave Desert with dry lakes, sand dunes, and mountain ranges; it is the gateway to Death Valley and the Kelso Dunes. The Center has excellent facilities for teaching field classes and for research. California State Universities at Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, Pomona, and San Bernardino are the Consortia members.

Institute for Integrated Research in Materials, Environment, and Society (IIRMES)

IIRMES promotes and enhances educational and research opportunities for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students and the greater community at large. The major goals and accompanying benefits include research and scholarly activity; development of instructional programs to provide student training and research; and contribution to community service. IIRMES promotes cross-application of analytical techniques; facilitates access to state-of-the-art instrumentation for researchers; sponsors colloquia, lectures, and conferences; promotes interdisciplinary workshops and collaborations with other universities to create research possibilities for faculty and students; promotes educational programs and research opportunities for CSULB undergraduate and graduate students; provides analytical services for scientific community; and serves as a core CSU facility for elemental microanalysis.

CSUPERB Core Facility for Micro-Chemical Elemental Analysis (FEMCA)

California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) has created a core facility for elemental micro-chemical analysis (FEMCA). FEMCA’s principal goal is to enhance the educational and research opportunities of students and faculty members in the CSU system who wish to pursue novel research in biotechnology. The facility builds on strong interdisciplinary ties between the biological, chemical, and physical sciences. FEMCA is housed within IIRMES for molecular and elemental analysis; scanning, transmission and atomic force microscopy; as well as purpose-built clean-room facilities for organic and inorganic extractions and sample preparation.

Center for Education in Proteomics Analysis (CEPA)

A grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation and supplemental funds provided by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at CSULB enabled purchase of an Applied Biosystems 4800 Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization, tandem Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer for protein and polypeptide analysis and identification. CEPA is part of IIRMES’ Facility for Elemental Micro Chemical Analysis (FEMCA), and is the only one of its kind in the USA that focuses on the use of this technology for undergraduate training and research.