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Biology Curriculum
Wildlife Management
Biology Education
Course Descriptions
Student Experiences

Biology Department Faculty

Tim MullicanDr. Tim Mullican
Professor of Biology
Department of Biological Sciences
Website - myweb.dwu.edu/timullic

Dr. Mullican has taught at Dakota Wesleyan University since 1989. He teaches a wide range of courses including animal development, comparative zoology, human anatomy and physiology I and II, mammalogy, microbiology and ornithology.  His research expertise is mainly concerned with small mammal ecology and has published 12 articles in professional journals.

Dr. Mullican’s current research involves a study of the distribution and habitat associations of the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  In 2011, Dr. Mullican published an article in which he reported the first record of the least weasel in the Black Hills, a species previously known only from the eastern three-fourths of the state.  His main hobbies are building custom-made muzzleloaders, hunting with blackpowder rifles, and playing with Andy, his yellow lab.

Dr. L. Brian PatrickDr. L. Brian Patrick
Assistant Professor of Biology and Chair

Department of Biological Sciences
Office: 605-995-2712
Lab: 605-995-2670

Dr. Patrick joined DWU during the fall 2009 semester. His research interests include: human influences on biological communities and ecosystems; biodiversity inventorying to catalogue the abundance and distribution of species of the Great Plains states – particularly spiders and beetles; and recycling and waste management issues in the community and the state.

As part of his interest in cataloguing the biological diversity of the Great Plains states, Dr. Patrick has established the South Dakota Spider Survey (SDSS). The goals of the SDSS are: 1) to document the diversity of the spider fauna of South Dakota; 2) to document the distributions and abundances of these spider species within the state; 3) to educate students and the public about spiders and their ecological roles in the various habitats in the state of South Dakota; and 4) to establish a repository for specimens from the Great Plains states for education and research purposes. Everyone is invited to participate! Just contact Dr. Patrick by phone or e-mail to ask how!

Bethany Melroe LehramDr. Bethany Melroe Lehrman
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Department of Physical Sciences

Office: 995-2706

Bethany Melroe Lehram joined DWU during the fall 2011 semester. Her courses include: physiological chemistry, general chemistry and organic chemistry, as well as other upper level chemistry courses. She has taught courses for South Dakota State University both in a classroom and online. 

Her educational background includes work in biochemistry and chemical education. Her current research interests include: inquiry in the teaching laboratory and research experience for undergraduates (REU).  She has published work in the area of REU.

Bethany enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, going to cattle and hog shows, photography, and digital scrapbooking.

Dr. Paula Mazzer
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
Department of Physical Sciences
Office: 995-2899

Paula Mazzer came to DWU in 2011 from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., where she was an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Before becoming a professor, she was a lecturer in chemistry at ODU, and did her post-doctoral research with Dr. Patrick Hatcher at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, from 2002-2005.

She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, in 2002, and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in biology with a minor in history from the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, in 1991.

She received the ODU Shining Star Award from Old Dominion University in 2011, has been published in the following journals: Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry; Chemical Research in Toxicology; Lipids; and Nucleic Acids Research. Her research interests include health effects of airborne particulate matter; transformation of airborne particulate matter during environmental transit, and toxicological metabonomics/lipidomics.

Dr. Michael N. Farney
Professor of Mathematics
Department of Physical Sciences & Mathematics

Office: 995-2675

Mike Farney received his B.S. and M.A. degrees in physics. He earned his doctorate in science education. Dr. Farney has been at DWU since 1979 and currently teaches courses in physics, mathematics and astronomy, as well as an interdisciplinary course in general education along with Mike Catalano.

Dr. Farney runs the South Central South Dakota Science and Engineering Fair. Since 1996, his science fair students have won numerous awards and scholarships at the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Mark E. SteichenMark E. Steichen
Department of Biological Sciences
Huron and Mitchell campuses

(605) 539-9148

Mark Steichen began teaching at DWU in the summer of 2008. He is also the biological sciences instructor at DWU’s Huron Community Campus. His courses include microbiology, chemistry, anatomy and human physiology.

Steichen has previous teaching experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil where he established a microbiology laboratory and taught classes at a pharmacy school. He also taught science courses at Capital University Center in Pierre. Steichen has 15 years of experience in the health, environmental and natural resources fields with the State of South Dakota in Pierre. He also operates a crop and cattle farm in Jerauld County.

Bob BrownBob Brown
Adjunct Instructor


Brown joined the staff at DWU in 2007, and teaches Wildlife Management (Bio 325).

His academic background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife and fisheries biology from South Dakota State University, Brookings, and a master’s degree in biology from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. His thesis in graduate school was on mercury contamination in birds from a polluted watershed in western South Dakota.

His professional background has been entirely with the Wildlife Division of the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department. He began as a conservation officer in 1972 in Britton. In 1978, he transferred to Chamberlain and held the positions of assistant regional law enforcement supervisor, regional game management supervisor, regional supervisor and boating law enforcement administrator. He retired from the GFP in 2008. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and music.

Julie OlsonJulie Olson
Adjunct Instructor

Olson joined DWU in the summer of 1998 teaching biology and microbiology. She teaches microbiology during the summer and has taught human physiology, environmental science and general biology at DWU. Her main accomplishments include the development of the environmental science class and integrating technology into the science classroom for MHS.

She was awarded the National Assoc. of Biology Teachers Teacher of the Year award in 2005 and is a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She is also on the board for the state of South Dakota’s Science on the Move mobile science lab helping develop curriculum and training teachers to utilize the resources available. Her main hobbies are TaeKwonDo, reading, and traveling.

Robert TatinaDr. Robert Tatina
Professor Emeritus

Dr. Tatina served as a leading faculty member at DWU from 1975 to 2007. He is currently the editor of the Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science and the author of some 25 notes and articles about prairie ecology, South Dakota flora and science teaching. His current research interests focus on forest plant community structure and composition. A discussion with him was published in the Summer 2007 issue of the Wesleyan Today.

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Last updated: 10/5/12