Month: February 2016

Information and General Facts About Zoology

Understanding Zoology as an Educational Field and Career Path

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, zoology is defined as,

“The branch of biology concerned with the classification, properties and vital phenomena of animals.”

Easily put, it is that division of biology that deals with everything related to animals, whether it is something as small as animal cells & embryology, or as vast and major as the actual classification of animals into categories. Since the discipline extends to a broad base of topics, it is almost impossible for people with careers in zoology to become the “jack of all trades.”

A famous joke amongst life-scientists goes,

“What is the favored means of communication among biologists?

The answer, a “cell” phone.

The broad spectrum of biological life-science disciplines covers the core subject of zoology as well. So, what exactly is zoology? Watching National Geographic or the Discovery Channel, you might have seen a deep-sea diver saying the words “marine biology”, or a guy with a safari-orientation watching an animal and mentioning things like, “ecology”, “geology” or “botany” and “ecology.”

That’s because at the end of the day, all these have something to do with the core of zoology information.

Facts, Information and a General Overview About Zoology

Exploring the Science and Its Subs

Implying, that just like the world of medical science, the subject of zoology is also divided amongst key research areas allowing for specialization amongst zoologists. However, the most critical attribute of a zoologist, regardless of the specialization, is a love for animals.

Whilst there are quite a few zoology schools relating to wildlife education, and the zoology salary can be quite handsome at times, it is almost impossible that someone without an innate interest in animals can progress in this field. To attain a bit more zoology information, it is important to have an overview of the individual sub-sections.

Cell & Its Structure, the Basic Building Matter

Thomas R. Cech, the famous bio-scientist, said it quite well. “Because all of biology is connected, one can often make a breakthrough with an organism that exaggerates a particular phenomenon, and later explore the generality.” The gist of the quote is that everything starts with the basic building-block of the cell. Hence, a huge sub-section of zoology is dedicated to the molecular and genetic bases of development.

How do cells behave in their environment and their interactions with other genetic elements in the ecosystem. The functionality of this science often determines the causes of epidemics amongst animals and helps develop vaccines to tackle those problems.

You might often hear things in the news such as “XYZ country beef exports to the European Union rejected.” That’s because the animals picked up a disease and cell biology allows for the proper vaccine to be developed. Typically cell biology in zoology might concern with topics like animal DNA, metabolism, movement of molecules into and out of cells etc.

Physiology: How Does the Nature Machine Work?

Physiology sheds light on how the individual animal species function as a whole, by probing their mechanical, physical, and biochemical processes. Topics might include the nervous system of animals, the respiratory network and circulatory systems, how do they interact and function together? In essence, the electrical and chemical systems in animal bodies.

How do they intertwine to keep the mammal healthy and going. Traditionally, the work is specialized into the types of animal species. For example, whilst some zoologists focus on aquatic life eg. Cardiorespiratory dynamics in fishes etc. Some might focus on other species of animals.

The most obvious impact of such zoology information is the development of advanced biomaterials that can be used to help animals in ways such as medical implants, tissue repair, robotic and kinetic applications etc.

Behavioral Ecology: Why do Animals Act the Way They Do?

In scientific jargon, it is the study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior, and the roles of behavior in enabling the animal to adapt to its environment. An example should simplify it. There’s quite a few species of birds that stay some places in the summers whilst they might migrate to other places in the winter.

Well, why do they do that? Similarly, southwest of the Yukon near Vancouver in Canada, zoological scientists have tried to study that why, every 3-4 years, vole and lemming populations reach a peak and then decline. Both of these belong to the mouse family. In case you think you’ve never seen a vole before, the famous kid’s storybook, “Wind in the Willows” has a vole called Ratty. So, such behavioral stuff forms another core segment of zoology.

Evolutionary: From “What It Was” to “What It’s Become”?

As the name suggests, this sub-section of zoology focuses on origin and descent of species, their change overtime etc. Because of the broad nature of this as well, such zoology information is usually dissected into focus areas such as mammalogy dealing with all sorts of mammals, ornithology dealing with birds, and herpetology dealing with amphibians, reptiles etc.

Interestingly, because the evolutionary nature of animals varies according to regions, people have not only specialized in this field but also in areas, eg. Studying evolutionary movements across species only in the African Savannah.

So, What About The Guy in the Zoo?

One might think that if zoology is really such a specialized field, is that guy standing near the bear cage in the local zoo just another high-school dropout? Not really. Even to deal with animals in the local zoo, if not the vast jungles of Africa, one needs to study zoology and wildlife management.

If an animal at the local zoo has become sick, the gamekeeper needs to possess the core knowledge to decipher what might be wrong with the animal given the signs and symptoms. That is where the specialized knowledge comes in.

The core application of zoology is always at wildlife parks or aquariums, when managing animals on display, zoo curators who are actually responsible for acquiring the animals or even conservationist work restricted to a specific regional ecosystem. And, if you’re extremely lucky, you might just end up holding an alligator up for Discovery Channel enthusiasts all over the world!

Perspectives in Sociology

What is a Perspective?

Concept & Meaning

Perspective is general refers to “wisdom” and “angle of approach” to a certain subject matter, problem, object or situation. However, when applied in theoretical terms to understand a certain subject matters it has a more specific meaning.

A working set of perspective may also be referred to as “an approach” or “paradigm”.

Sociological Perspective: Definition and Explanation

In sociology, a perspective can be defined as,

A set of broad assumptions about society and social behaviors which provides a basis and angle of approach to study and observe specific problems.

In order to observe, understand and study sociology we require a set of pre defined assumptions for our subject matter, its nature and working principles on the basis of which we can further our study hence the need of a sociological perspective arises.

4 Major Perspectives in Sociology

  1. Evolutionary Perspective
  2. Interactionist Perspective
  3. Functionalist Perspective
  4. Conflict Perspective

1) Evolutionary Perspective

The evolutionary perspective has originated from the works of August Comte (1789-1857) and Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) and is one of the earliest perspectives in sociology.

This perspective focuses on patterns of change and developmental cycles in different societies and synthesizes common sequences or trends. Making use mostly of the historical data, the evolutionary perspectives calls for objective observation and empirical interpretations on the part of a researcher.

The evolutionary perspective has now regained popularity with sociologists after it fell from favor in the later decades.

2) Interactionist Perspective

Maccionis has defined interactionist perspective as,

Its broad focus is on social structures that shape society as a whole.

This perspective draws inspiration from Max Weber in the sense that,

Understanding a social setup from the angle of the human beings who act and live within it.

Society, by large is composed of abstract components such as social institutions, social groups, economy and state which cannot be understood due to their abstractness and are unable to exist and act in individual capacity. Hence, it is the individuals who interact with each , these institutions and hence make the society a workable and understandable phenomenon.

Symbolic Interaction

This form of interaction was propagated by the symbolic interactionists like C.H. Cooley(1846-1929) and G.H. Mead (1863-1931). They believed that interaction takes place between individuals and groups by means of symbols; signs, language, gestures, signals, facial expressions and written or spoken words.

Words and symbols in their independent existence have no meaning. It is only their usage which lends them meaning hence rendering them usable for people. The interactionist perspective therefore inquires into the understandinginterpretation and response of people in a society to these symbols.

3) Functionalist (Order) Perspective

According to Maccionis,

Functionalist perspective is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and usability.

Drawn on the inspirations from the works of Herbert Spencer and Emile Durkheim, the functionalist perspective believes in society as a large organism composed of independent organs –each organ having its own functioning and contributing role.

The functioning role of each organ contributes to the overall stability of the whole society via interrelation.

It should be noted, however, that the functionalist theory refers to the concept that a society is in a state of organized, stable and well coordinated because all societies have an underlying tendency to be in a normal condition or state of equilibrium under adequate circumstances.

The changes in the society occur through the changes in the contributing components hence bringing a change in the whole society. Slow change progresses towards a new state of equilibrium whereas sudden or abrupt changes cause social disruption and state of instability.

4) Conflict Perspective

Maccionis has defined conflict perspective as,

A framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change.

The conflict perspective originates from the works of Karl Marx (1818-1883) who views society to be always in a stae of conflict due to the presence of haves and have nots present in a society.

He stratified society in two classes:

Bourgeoisie: The rich and powerful group who have the ownership and control over means of production and economical resources.

Proletariat: The poor laborers who are employed by the bourgeoisie class hence exploited and deprived by them.

inequality b/w societal classes > class conflict > class struggle=conflict > engine of social change

Colleges Offering Zoology Degrees

Degrees in Zoology Offered by Best Colleges and Universities

The rate with which sciences have progressed over the last century has been phenomenal. Whether its electrical sciences or natural sciences, the options flood has been non-stop for educators, students, enthusiasts, researchers etc.

One of these sciences is zoology, part of the bio/life sciences genre. With a host of universities offering zoology degrees, both, private and state university offering zoology degrees, which ones make it to the upper tier and are the optimum choices? The Gourman Report, a prestigious ranking of the high-standard colleges across educational disciplines, makes it easier.

Select List of Best Colleges Offering Zoology Degrees

  • University of Hawaii
  • UC San Diego
  • California State Long Beach
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Washington
  • Oregon State University (OSU)
  • University of Florida

Texas A & M

One recognized university offering zoology degrees is Texas A & M. The TAMU Department of Biology is responsible for introducing biological foundations to students by providing modern and comprehensive B.S. and B.A. curricula in Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Microbiology and Zoology, for more than 1500 undergraduate biology majors.

These degrees prepare students for various life science careers and are also an excellent gateway to the health care profession. Core topics such as Biology, including Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Neurobiology and Behavior, Microbiology, Plant Biology, are covered.

Research Facilities Offered

One of the reasons that TAMU is one of the best colleges for zoology degrees is because of state-of-the-art research facilities. With a complete Gene Technologies lab, a separate Aquatic Animal Research facility & Microscopy Center, it makes up a complete zoology experience.

SUNY-College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Another one of the colleges giving zoology degrees is the State University of New York. Also a contender in the Gourman Report, SUNY offers a B.S. in Wildlife Science that is ideal for high-level jobs in the biological profession.

Research and teaching in wildlife science began at SUNY in 1914, one of the first such programs in America, and was quickly followed by establishment of the Roosevelt Wild Life Station in 1919. Hence, it is one of the pioneers of colleges providing zoology degrees.

Job Market Strength

One of the greatest strengths of the program is the job market focus towards its graduates. Students have been known to find careers with state and federal agencies as well as an array of domestic and international non-governmental organizations.

Diverse job opportunities include management of wildlife on state, federal or private lands; inventory and assessment of wildlife populations and associated habitats etc.

Oregon State University

The OSU Zoology Department is credited for creating the Oregon State Anthropod Collection, the world’s largest repository of Pacific Northwest insects. Additionally, the program has a unique educational model with 25 faculty, approx. 180 undergraduate majors, and nearly 70 graduate students and post-doctorates.

Innovation and Facilities

The on-campus structure of educational facilities pertaining to biological life-sciences is inter-connected, which makes it very enthusiastic for a passionate student to literally “live in the world of sciences.”

For example, the Botany and Biology facilities are linked to the Agricultural and Life Sciences Building, as well as other life-science departments such as Biochemistry and Biophysics, Horticulture, Microbiology, and Fisheries and Wildlife.

Specialist Research

If you are a bird enthusiast and seek to specialize in this area of zoology, the Malheur Field Station research facility is excellent for you. The Malheur Field Station is a nonprofit education and research center dedicated to lifelong learning in and about the northern Great Basin region, and since the area has a lot to do with birds, most programs and activities are scheduled around the science of ornithology.

For example, earlier this summer, an activity was constructed around studying the life-zones of south-east Oregon, as well as its blooms, butterflies and birds.

University of California-Riverside

Part of the University of California family, the Biology department at the Riverside campus is a multi-departmental unit dedicated to instruction and basic research in the Physical and Life Sciences. The Biology major is a popular undergrad major on the UC Riverside campus, containing approximately 1000 students.

The University also provides much of the undergraduate instruction for majors in other life science departments such as Biomedical Sciences, Plant Sciences, Biochemistry, Entomology, including a new program in Conservation Biology.

Culture of Improvement

One of the most key features of Riverside’s program is the culture of constant information dissemination. A series of weekly seminars on a separate area of animal life-sciences is hosted, adding to the wealth of knowledge available.

Structuralism: First School of Thought in Psychology

Structuralism in Psychology

Structuralism was the first school of psychology and focused on breaking down mental processes into the most basic components.

Structuralism is based on the theory founded by Edward B. Titchener (1867-1923), and is based on describing the structure of the mindby breaking down the mental processes into three basic components:

  1. Individual elements of consciousness
  2. Organization of elements of consciousness into complex experiences
  3. Correlation of this mental phenomena with physical events

Titchener was student of Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) at the University of Leipzig and his ideas on the working o mind were heavily influenced by Wundt’s theory of voluntarism and his ideas of association and apperception (the passive and active combinations of elements of consciousness respectively). Titchener attempted to classify the structures of the mind, like chemists classify the elements of nature into the periodic table.

The mental elements structure themselves in such a way to allow conscious experience. Structuralists used techniques such as introspection to analyze the inner processes of the human mind.

The main tool that Titchener used to try and determine the different components of consciousness was introspection. Titchener writes in his Systematic Psychology,

The state of consciousness which is to be the matter of psychology … can become an object of immediate knowledge only by way of introspection or self-awareness.

and in his book An Outline of Psychology,

…within the sphere of psychology, introspection is the final and only court of appeal, that psychological evidence cannot be other than introspective evidence.

Schools of Thought in Psychology

Basic Schools of Psychology

The discipline of Psychology encompasses an extensive body of knowledge and theories validated and tested with time. This leads to the formulation of psychology into an elaborative subject matter comprising of various schools of thought, advancing with age.

  • Structuralism
  • Functionalism
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Behaviorism
  • Humanism
  • Gestalt
  • Environmental psychology
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Existentialism
  • Cognitivism
  • Biological psychology
  • Discursive psychology
  • Critical psychology
  • Descriptive psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Transpersonal psychology
5 Major Schools of Psychology
  1. Psychodynamics
  2. Behaviorism
  3. Humanism
  4. Cognitive
  5. Neuroscience
Early Schools
  • Structuralism
  • Functionalism

Psychodynamic Perspective

Sigmund Freud was the founder of the psychodynamic perspective or school of thought. This psychological model believes that human behavior is controlled and motivated by inner forces and conflicts with whom an individual is little aware of and hence has little power and control upon – “unconscious determinants of human behavior”.

Dreams and slip of tongue is viewed as indicators to gauge the true feelings and emotions of a person.

Cognitive Perspective

This school of thought has evolved partly from structuralism and partly from reaction to behaviorism in psychology. Contrary to both, the cognitive perspective focuses on how people think, understand and process the world and happening around them.

The cognitive perspective focuses on what people bring home from the outside world and process on a personal level thereby affecting their progression in life, reactions and decision making.

Behavioral Perspective

The behavioral perspective model rejects the effect of inner workings of the brain on the behavior of a person as propagated by the neuroscience or biological perspective. It rather emphasizes on analyzing observable behavior which can be measured and studied objectively.

The perspective believes external surroundings and environmental causes to be the major detrimental factor in shaping the behavior of an individual. Behaviorism became the main school of thought in psychology during the 1950s.

Major propagator of the behavioral perspective was John B. Watson who believed the operating environment has a great role in understanding the behavioral patterns of human beings.

Humanistic Perspective

The humanistic perspective originated as a contradicting response to psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Under to this psychological perspective, people naturally tend to grow, develop and acquire control of their lives. One of the main goal of each person to attain his/her full potential.

Neuroscience/Biological Perspective

The biological perspective school attempts to understand human behavior on the basis of biological basis which includes genetics, immune system and nervous system. The psychological model in this perspective analyzes the role and functioning of biological settings in shaping human behavior.

Neuroscience considers the following biological components:

  • Inheritance of individual characteristics from parents
  • Influence of ancestors on behavior
  • How nerve cells are joined together

Definition and Importance of Zoology

Defining the Discipline of Zoology

When probing into the definition of Zoology, one would instinctively be tempted to pick up a dictionary or an encyclopedia and jump right to the letter ‘Z’. So for those curious souls, let us check out a dictionary definition of Zoology. One off the finer definition that delivers the importance of Zoology in a well-structured manner does so with the following words:

That part of biology which relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct.

Other decent explanations of the study of Zoology stating the definition in simpler verbiage:

The study of the properties & characteristics of an animal breed, species or group within a particular region or area


The offshoot of biological sciences that pertains to the examination, development, anatomy, physiology, breeding patterns, classification, habitat/living preferences of animals as individuals & in their communities (groups)

Main Branches or Divisions of Zoology

Delving slightly a little more deep into the science, by evaluating it through information and facts let us touch upon the various divisions of Zoology which will enable the reader to gain a better understanding of the definition of Zoology.

Over the years, Zoologists have worked effortlessly to unearth so many differences within the same breed of a particular animal group that we now have a whole list of species and also sub-species available for studying.

  • An aspiring zoology professional can study extinct animals by specializing in Paleozoology.
  • Similarly, Ornithology opens the doors to the kingdom of birds.
  • The world of snakes and spiders can be observed & explored through Herpetology and Arachnology respectively.
  • Fish remain no mysterious creatures after diving into Ichthyology; with the option of further concentration on dolphins & whales through Cetology.

One of the most liveliest of career paths, the pursuit of zoology  as a career will take you to parts & corners of the world you didn’t even think existed before!

A Comprehensive Guide to Distance Learning Phd Programs

Looking Into the Prospect of Acquiring a PhD Degree…

Times are competitive and it’s important to outperform others in the job market. However, not a lot of people end up doing something beyond a Master’s degree, mostly because of time constraints.

That problem stands solved through the distance learning PhD option. Whether it’s a distance learning PhD in USA, or any accredited distance learning PhD program anywhere in the world, the decision must be very calculated. To find synergy with the right distance learning PhD program is key to success. There are a couple of leading distance learning PhD university programs with multiple education options.

University of Phoenix

In 1976, John Sperling founded the University of Phoenix so working professionals could go to college and earn their degree. What began in Phoenix, Arizona, grew to become the largest private university in North America, with more than 200 locations.

Doctor of Business Administration

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) offered by University of Phoenix provides learners who hold a professional master’s degree a means of exploring their personal readiness to become leaders in management professions. Learners gain a mastery of business administration literature and demonstrate their competence by applying this knowledge to current business environments.

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Psychology

The PhD I/O program prepares learners for academic inquiry into organizations and human behavior in operational environments, with foundational course work in the history and functions of I/O psychology as well as a rigorous research curriculum. Learners are prepared to utilize data-driven inquiry and responses to develop cultures of efficiency and high performance and enrich the workplace lives of employees.

Doctor of Health Administration

The Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) program prepares students to respond effectively to the dynamic and ever-changing health care industry. These individuals will have a capacity to critically examine and evaluate issues and trends and feel empowered to influence the destiny of the health care system.

Walden University

One of the genuinely accredited online PhD universities, Walden is distinguished by high academic standards, experienced faculty, and a rigorous curriculum.

Doctor of Business Administration – Social Impact Management

Walden’s DBA in Social Impact Management is designed for experienced business professionals who want to translate their expertise into leadership positions as consultants or executives. The Social Management specialization is an innovative edge in the job-market, allowing one to examine corporate responsibility issues, such as how to achieve greater transparency while protecting proprietary information, leverage social involvement in branding, improve operational efficiency through environmental initiatives etc.

PhD Public Policy –  Criminal Justice

This degree is designed for criminal justice professionals, including supervisors and managers in policing, courts, corrections, security, and associated support agencies, who aspire to move into upper-level management and administrative assignments. The coursework includes an in-depth review and discussion of contemporary decision-making models and issues that confront the federal criminal justice system.

Keiser University

Keiser University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) as a Level 5 institution eligible to award associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership

Keiser University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership degree prepares reflective scholars and capable professionals who apply theory, method, and research to dynamically improve educational institutes under their leadership. The program fosters lifelong learning and values leadership, ethical and informed decision-making, diversity, assessment, program evaluation, effective communication, and technology. This is one of the best online PhD programs.

North Central University

Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, NCU offers 100% distance learning degree programs for adult learners to obtain a college education online, mostly in Psychology and Business disciplines.

DBA- Public Administration

The DBA in Public Administration program serves as preparation for advanced positions of leadership in business, government, philanthropy, and policy and advocacy organizations. For practicing public administrators as well as those seeking entry into public administration, this specialization focuses on acquiring the administrative knowledge and skills in such diverse areas as budgeting, government relations, personnel policies, politics, and urban planning. Graduates possessing the wide range of skills in public administration are hired in government management at the local, state and federal levels.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University is the 10th largest independent university in the US, and a pioneer of non-traditional approaches to high-quality education. NSU has been included on Princeton Review’s list of The Best Distance Learning Graduate Schools.

PhD in Computer Science

This program offers a course of study leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University’s Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences. It is offered in a hybrid format, which combines traditional and online instruction to give professionals the opportunity to pursue graduate study while continuing to work in their current positions. The program is especially well suited to those in industry, education, or government who are involved with one of the many areas of computer science.

University of Liverpool – UK

Founded in 1881, the University of Liverpool is a hallmark of quality – internationally recognized for its long-standing tradition of excellence in teaching, research and innovation. The University of Liverpool is accredited as an educational institution by Royal Charter.

Doctorate of Education – Higher Education

The Ed.D program adopts an integrated holistic approach to learning, and focuses on the latest practice, research within Higher Education environments. The program places great emphasis on the deep understanding of universities, operating in a global context, as places of learning and as institutions. The focus is on the use of professional knowledge, academic and policy literature, and published and personal research to promote the leader at the heart of institutional development.