The F.W. Olin Science Center,
completed for the fall of 1996, houses five new biology laboratories, a greenhouse,
support facilities, and extensive data analysis facilities. The building houses
the department's field biology program. The remainder of the department's programs
are located in the Arey Life Sciences Building with the two buildings being connected
by a bridge. The F. W. Olin building provides outstanding laboratory and greenhouse
space for biological teaching and student independent research, technologically
advanced classrooms, and a greatly enlarged (by four times) science library housing
a fine collection of biological journals, monographs and reference books.
The department has an excellent collection of state-of-the-art equipment to support our teaching and research programs. In recent years, fourteen million dollars in institutional grants for our science programs have helped us expand our existing equipment holdings. None of our instrumentation is held exclusively for faculty research - no laboratories or equipment are "out of bounds" to students. Instrumentation training is an integral part of all laboratory coursework, beginning with introductory courses. Upper-level science majors receive sufficient training to assist in the oversight of instrument use by beginning students, and of course, faculty are virtually always close at hand to provide guidance and advice. Coursework emphasizes familiarity with relevant instruments as basic research tool for investigating scientific questions.