With a plethora of collegiate and university programs covering a range of scientific study areas, and a mandatory emphasis on the coverage of biology, chemistry & physics in the public education system; Houston, Texas is home to a profusion of science enthusiasts.
An ever-increasing population, currently at 2.3 million (as of 2018), Houston is recognized as a leader in several diverse categories, these being the culinary scene, breadth of historical, architectural, and science museums as well as being considered as the world's capital for space exploration; the world-renowned space center is located in the heart of the city and is open to the public throughout the course of the year.
Houston Space Center
Since the centers grand opening in 1992, the complex has welcomed over 22 million visits with an annual visitor average of over 1.25 million.
Asides from being one of the city's main tourist attractions, the center is also accredited for its contributions toward education.
With a reported 400+ space-related artifacts, as well as being home to the world's largest collection of lunar samples; the center hosts thousands of students in different levels of their education; each year, the facilities play host to several leading space scientists across the world to present scientific theories a well as discussing recent findings.
Working hard in math and science classes could pay off with a career as a spacecraft designer or astronaut.
What better incentive would a student with an interest in the sciences need?
In this article, we will continue to highlight the various landmarks and science-related museums that are dotted across the city.
For aspiring biologists intrigued in studying/working in Houston, we will also look at some current job opportunities in the area as well as highlighting the various undergraduate and postgraduate courses available in the city for those that are looking to embark upon further education.
Unique Landmarks for Science Enthusiasts
People have a tendency to overlook other major US cities and instead believe in the likes of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago is home to a larger concentration of cultural landmarks; this couldn't be more wrong when taking into account the diverse range of landmarks and educational setting that Houston, Texas has to offer.
Proud of being one of the most socially diverse cities in the United States, Houston contains a wealth of exciting public places, museums, and exhibits accessible for both the locals and tourists to divulge.
Are you looking for a little cultural insight?
Well, across the city, there are a variety of options to choose from.
Let Houston Arboretum and Nature Center be the first stop. For all of those interested in wildlife (from rabbits, snakes & coyotes), botany, ornithology (the study of birds) & forestry, this is a popular destination for nature lovers.
Located in Memorial Park (Woodway Drive), it covers over 4 miles of land and is open to all members of the public free of admission. Boasting a five-star review on Tripadvisor from thousands of previous visitors, it is a fantastic way to develop more understanding of the ecology and wildlife that exists in the city.
How about spending the day at one of the most attended Science museums in the world?
Well, considering there are over 180 science museums across the United States, as well as others that are located in some of the most populous cities in the world (London, Munich, Paris & Lisbon), this is a rather impressive feat.
Located on the Northern border of Hermann Park, The Houston Museum of Natural Science is known for its vast range of temporary and full-time exhibitions that stem across the three main areas of the subject: Biology, Chemistry & Physics.
They have everything from a giant screen theatre showcasing daily, science-related movies to a butterfly center, as well as it's very own observatory in which amateurs and professionals can become astrologists when using the 36-inch Gueymard Research Telescope; one of the countries largest telescopes open to the general public.
For those with more of an interest in the field of Biology, a simple search on the museum's website will present you with a wealth of different activities and opportunities reflective of the topic area.
Some of these exciting opportunities for budding biologists include:
- Virtual Group Labs: Struggling to get out of the house this weekend? Worry not, because HMNS conducts regular virtual workshops that can be joined and watched through such platforms as Skype and Zoom!
- Science Podcasts: The development of technology has allowed us to endorse the information in new ways. A unique series on the discussion of bone research is available on their main website and can be downloaded for free.
- The Texas Invasive Bird Project: Established in 2008, this campaign is led by a P.h.D. Biology student that had set out to preserve six different species found within the state. Information regarding the study can be accessed online.
- Gems of the Sea: This is one of the latest acquisitions for one of the HMNS's latest exhibitions. It is one of the most extensive assemblages of marine mollusks from a single Indo-Pacific region and is now available for viewing by the general public.
Studying Biology in Houston, Texas
So, why choose Houston over the likes of Philadelphia or Boston when it comes to studying a biology-related course? Well, Houston is home to some of the most respected higher educational establishments in the country.
Over 17 colleges & universities based in and around the city offer either undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate courses for subjects-related to the learning of biology.
With a biology & biochemistry department consisting of over 45 members of faculty, The University of Houston is home to one of the largest science departments in the state.
The establishment offers four separate undergraduate courses including a major in general biology, biochemical and biophysical sciences as well as a B.S. in mathematical biology.
With access to the university's laboratories and further postgraduate programs including the study of cell and molecular biology and ecology and evolution, those who complete their four-year foundation have the opportunity to continue their studies in the same setting.
Rice University, located on a 300-acre campus near the Huston museum district, is particularly well known for its biochemistry undergraduate and doctorate courses.
With the latest student satisfaction ratings at 97%, Zippia recently ranked Rice University as the most recommended provider for a Biology major in the state of Texas.
The Department of BioSciences employs faculty members that have received national recognition for contributions toward scientific findings and the research conducting within the various programs stems from animal behavior, biochemistry, biophysics, cancer biology, cell biology, computational biology, conservation biology, developmental biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, microbiology, neurobiology and plant biology.
Other establishments that offer similar courses in the city of Houston include:
- The University of St. Thomas
- Houston Baptist University
- The University of Houston Clear Lake
- Texas Southern University
- Baylor College of Medicine
Exploring Prospects: Science Jobs in the City
A brief check using the keywords 'Biology' & 'Houston' will present over 450 current available job opportunities within the city.
From private tutoring, assistant professorship, a research scientist in cancer biology to a laboratory assistant for a pharmaceutical company; there is a breadth of varying employment prospects for those that have studied biology in some capacity at a higher educational level.
The important thing to understand is that biology is a branch of science that comprises living organisms and their vital processes. Within this area, there are various sub-categories from botany, conservation, ecology, evolution, marine biology, zoology, and medicine.
Due to it covering such a vast scope of topic areas, a large number of job opportunities require the applicant to possess a P.h.D./Doctorate in a field reflective of the employment responsibilities.
Let's analyze two current job opportunities that list different academic backgrounds for eligible candidates.
A molecular biologist (lab-based) requires the applicant to possess at least an undergraduate from an accredited university in either microbiology or molecular biology as well as having at least one year of relative work experience.
Compare this to a recent job post in which the employer is looking to fill a position for a research scientist in bioinformatics and computational biology.
The job post explicitly highlights that candidates must have completed their P.h.d. in a medical-related field.
Usually, the more scientifically technical the job opportunity is, the employer requires the candidate to have undergone rigorous education and considering most biology-related degrees are principally academic subjects, a high percentage of graduates continue to postgraduates and doctorates to enhance their chances of being employed within an area reflective of their interests.
Are you amid a biology-degree, or are you currently applying for job prospects across the city of Houston?
There are hundreds of specialists across the city that are willing to part with their knowledge and teaching expertise to support individuals in such situations.
Whether it is that you require support for an upcoming interview or you have an upcoming exam upon a biology-related learning principle you aren't particularly confident in, there are a wealth of science tutors currently taking on new students across the Houston area so make sure you get in touch today!