A degree in biomimicry is usually a master’s degree and is intended for working professionals in biology, design, business and/or engineering that want to make the biomimicry practice a vital part of their careers. Some of the important aspects of a typical biomimicry degree are:
- Leading the implementation of biomimicry across many applications
- Transform or initiate a consulting practice in biomimicry
- Be able to incorporate biomimicry into educational materials
- Develop sustainable and innovative solutions for global challenges
Graduates of a biomimicry program should be able to transform the ways that people do business, design products and buildings, run governments and manufacture goods.
At this time, biomimicry is available only as a graduate degree on a limited basis, postgraduate study and various certificate courses. Each of the courses in the program allows the student or professional to build on their background, whether it is in ecology, biology, design or engineering. Typical subject matter in a biomimicry study program are:
- Principles and applications of biomimicry in life
- Engineering and biomimicry
- Business applications related to biomimicry
- Ethics and biomimicry
What Is Biomimicry?
Biomimicry is a new approach to innovation that intends to find sustainable solutions to challenges of human beings that emulate patterns and strategies that have been long established by nature. The idea behind biomimicry is to create new processes, products and policies – entire new ways of living – that are adapted to life on this planet in the long term. Nature has previously solved many of the problems that humans are trying to solve; plants, microbes and animals are ‘engineers’ in a sense, and we can learn from their successes and failures to transform our world. This is a field that is growing substantially as our understanding of the natural world is increasing with the development of computer technology.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for workers in life, physical and social science occupations is expected to rise by 10% by 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. This increase in demand should result in approximately 124,000 new jobs. It is anticipated that higher demand for experts in science, especially in biomimicry and biomedical research, energy management and environmental protection will create more jobs.
One of the most frequent career paths for professionals with a degree in biomimicry is biochemist and biophysicist. These science professionals study the physical and chemical properties of living organisms and biological processes, including growth, heredity, disease and cell development.
BLS reports there are 31,500 biochemists and biophysicists in 2016. The biggest employers of these science professionals are:
- Research and development in engineering, physical and life sciences: 47%
- Colleges, universities, and professionals schools: 15%
- Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing: 14%
- Wholesale trade: 3%
- Management, scientific and technical consulting services: 3%
BLS states the job outlook for biochemists and biophysicists is excellent and is projected to grow by 11% through 2026, which is faster than average. It is anticipated that more biochemists and biophysicists will be needed in coming years to do research in biomimicry and other fields that enhance scientific knowledge, and to research and develop new biological processes and products. Techniques and tools that relate to biochemistry and biophysics are expanding as knowledge and technology progress.
The median salary for biochemists and biophysicists in 2017 was $91,900, with the bottom 10% earning $48,400 and the top 10% earning more than $177,800. In May 2017, wages for these professionals were as follows in these fields:
- Wholesale trade: $110,000
- Research and development in the engineering, physical and life sciences: $104,200
- Management, scientific and technical consulting: $100,700
- Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing: $76,100
- Colleges, universities and professionals schools: $55,600
Online Degree Programs
Students who are interested in a biomimicry degree may be pleased to know that there are online degree options available. Earning a science degree online can make it possible to earn the degree without leaving your home. It also may allow you to engage with a program that is far from where you live.
A good option is the Master of Science in Biomimicry from Arizona State University. This two year, online master’s program will teach you the methodology and practice of how to use biomimicry through a broad number of applications.
This biomimicry MS degree is addressing the increasing demand for incorporating biomimicry principles into different industries and professions, such as design, sustainability, life science, business and engineering. Due to the practical application stress of this master’s program, students generally will benefit the most by having at least three years of experience in a related industry after earning their bachelor’s.
A biomimicry degree is a master’s program, you if you want to enter this field, you will need a bachelor’s degree first. A good background for this field is a bachelor of science in biology. A good option for a bachelor’s in biology is at the University of Houston-Downtown that will provide you with an excellent background in both the liberal arts and biology. This is a four year program that will teach you how the vital principles of biology and the scientific methods.
Required courses in biology include:
- General Microbiology with Lab
- General Genetics with Lab
- Biological Evolution
- Organic Chemistry with Lab
- Plant and Fungal Biology
- Cell and Molecular Biology
The only master’s degree in biomimicry that is currently available is the aforementioned Master of Science in Biomimicry at Arizona State University that is mentioned above.
For admission into a biomimicry master’s program, you may need the following qualifications:
- 3.0 GPA or higher in science courses
- 2.75 GPA or higher overall
- Three recommendations
- College transcripts
The curriculum for the Master of Science in Biomimicry from Arizona State University includes these classes:
- Essentials of Biomimicry
- Life’s Principles
- Biology Taught Functionality
- Biomimicry Thinking
- Biomimicry and Design
- Biomimicry and Business
- Human Nature Connection
- Communicating Biomimicry
- Virtual Design Lab
Students who are interested in a career in biology and biomimicry may want to consider applying for the following scholarships and grants:
- AAIA Elizabeth and Sherman Asche Memorial Scholarship: $1500
- UNCF Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Award: $30,000
- Supporting STEM Scholarship: $1000
- Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship: Up to $10,000
- ACIL Scholarship Alliance: $5000
- Nancy Foster Scholarship: $2500
- The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Excellence in Science Scholarship: $2000
- National Garden Clubs Scholarships: $3500
- Wildlife Leadership Awards: $2000
Students who want a career in biomimicry and earn a biomimicry degree may want to join these related associations to expand their networking and educational options:
- The Biomimicry Institute
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
- Human Biology Association
- The American Society for Cell Biology
- Tropical Biology Association
- Society for Conservation Biology
There is a strong future in biomimicry, and a professional with a master’s degree in this field will be able to look forward to an exciting career in science with an excellent salary.
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- Master of Science in Biomimicry. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://biomimicry.asu.edu/education/asu-online-masters-degree/
- What Is Biomimicry? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://biomimicry.org/what-is-biomimicry/
- Life, Physical and Social Science Occupations. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/home.htm