Natural Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences

Natural Sciences

New treatments for Alzheimer’s, more sustainable land management, faster secure computer networks—major scientific innovations don’t just pop up out of nowhere.

While the public might only notice the end result, in the natural sciences, we know big breakthroughs are the result of years of step-by-step work: asking questions, gathering data, trial and failure and retrial. This is where you’ll learn to research health inheritance, to experiment on volcanic flow, to theorize about quantum computing, to model molecules and decode DNA. It’s where you’ll create theories about the human mind, cures for the human body, and ways to heal the environment. This is where we work together to create new knowledge daily so we can share it with the world.

Science of Speed

From prosthetic foot design to stress fracture prevention, the Bowerman Sports Science Clinic is the hot spot for health and fitness research. Faculty, grad students, and undergrads work together every day to find the limits of human potential—and then push them just a bit further.

Learn More About Natural Sciences     Natural Sciences Majors     STEM Opportunities

Samuel Prakel sitting for a headshot in a photography studio

Sam Prakel

Majors: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Hometown: Versailles, Ohio
Class: 2018

Reflecting on his decision to become a Duck, Sam says he fell in love with Eugene and the campus. Clark Honors College was a huge factor, as well as his belief that he could “write his own story” with the UO track team. His honors thesis—new chemical tools to detect hydrogen sulfide in the human body—passed with distinction, the highest honor possible. He envisions medical school in his future, but his current focus is running professionally.


Geri Richmond

Presidential Chair, Professor of Chemistry

National Medal of Science, Linus Pauling Legacy Award, Priestley Medal of the American Chemical Society—you’d be hard-pressed to find a scientist more decorated than Geri working with undergraduates. Because she’s passionate about helping students fall in love with science, she makes time in her busy schedule to lead two programs for undergraduate researchers.


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