An Award-Winning Micrograph
He wasn’t so much interested in the tick as he was the microscope when junior Seth Gerard ’12 got to “bombard a parasitic arthropod with a high-intensity beam of magnetically concentrated, super-charged, subatomic particles.” As much fun as using the microscope was though, Seth was amazed at what he saw in the looking glass.
Seth was being trained by his professor, Dr. Russ Camp, emeritus professor of biology, to use the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Camp was preparing him to be student manager of the SEM lab when they chanced upon a beautiful image of a tick.
Camp was so impressed he submitted Seth’s micrograph to a photo contest with the New England Society of Microscopy while Seth was away on an overnight trip with his Field Ornithology class. The image, a micrograph picture of the deer tick spiracle, won an award. “The very idea of looking at something using electrons (which are pretty unique in their own right),” says Seth, “is brilliant, and combining that with electromagnets and ticks is just amazing.”
The microscope uses electrons focused by magnets to look at detailed structures on a microscopic level. “Instead of using light,” says Seth, “it uses electrons, which let us see much smaller structures with greater clarity and detail.”
Dr. Dorothy Boorse, associate professor of biology and chair of the Biology Department, is proud that Seth won the award. “We are excited to see the beauty of nature captured with the tools of science, and pleased that the scanning electron microscope is so valuable in our students’ education.”
But Seth’s interests in science don’t stop at the image of this deer tick. “I’m interested in anything involving blood, immunology, pathology, behavior, human physiology, anatomy, neuroscience, you name it. I spent last summer working as a phlebotomist in a lab at a local hospital, handled a lot of blood and loved it,” says Seth. “But someday I’d like to be a physician.”
Gordon Green Goes to Washington
Gordon College students along with Professor Irv Levy, chair of the Chemistry Department, know green chemistry. This past summer four Gordon students attended the 14th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Washington, D.C. Our students trained 40+ undergraduates, graduate students and even postdocs how to do green chemistry outreach, serving as workshop leaders along with other Beyond Benign Fellows from Simmons College and Suffolk University. It was an impressive collaboration of green-thinking.
“The workshop culminated with an outreach event that brought about 150 children from Washington, D.C., and the metro area into the auditorium of the National Education Association,” said Levy. “There our newly minted outreach students ran five different green chemistry hands-on activities for the children.”
All four of the chemistry students were supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, covering their travel and registration expenses. Only 32 students from a pool of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students were selected to attend the prestigious ACS conference.
Photo Journal: Uganda 2010
Peter Morse ’10 created a photo journal of his travels in Uganda before graduating. Click here for an inside look at his semester in Africa.
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