The Biology Building was completed in 2000, and is part of the Science Complex, a quadrangle of buildings which house Math, Chemistry, Physics, and the office of the Dean of Science. Upgrades and renovations to the complex were made in 2017-2018. Our research-based teaching and learning facilities rival those of much larger universities. The difference? Our modern labs and state-of-the art instrumentation are fully accessible to undergraduates, as teaching tools in research-intensive courses and as investigative tools in mentored research experiences.
Biology boasts 75,000 sq ft of space distributed over three floors and features large, state-of-the-art teaching labs. Each teaching lab serves six lab groups of four students. In the middle of the room, each lab group has a large work table, while around the perimeter of the room each group has a “mini-lab” at which the group can conduct experiments or computer exercises. Each mini-lab includes a computer that is linked both with the instructor’s computer at the front of the classroom and with the campus network. Each teaching lab has a complete multimedia teaching system and its own prep room.
Each faculty member has an individual research lab able to accommodate up to seven independent study students. Throughout the building there are instrumentation labs. The molecular biology facilities include an instrumentation lab, a cold room, a wet darkroom for developing radiographs, and a dry darkroom for image analysis of gels and blots; instruments include thermocyclers, DNA sequencer, real time PCR, NanoDrop, and electroporator. The analytical instrumentation room houses twelve spectrophotometers and a plate reader. The microscopy center includes TEM, SEM, confocal and fluorescence research light microscopes, and two photographic darkrooms, image analysis and digital photographic production capabilities. Other instrumentation labs include a tissue culture facility, centralized dishwashing and autoclave, radio-isotope facility with gamma counter and scintillation counter, animal rooms, aquatic rooms, a complete greenhouse with computerized climate control, and three walk-in environmental chambers.
The entire building is served by a centralized system that delivers deionized water to taps in each lab. There are networked computers in every room. Each classroom also is equipped with a multimedia teaching system. At the hub of each floor is a Student Commons to facilitate interaction among students and faculty. Each Commons area includes work tables, computer interfaces, and informal lounge seating; the second floor Commons also includes a group-study room and a computer lab.