The new Ken Olsen Science Center has just finished its first year of classes and labs. Entire new fields of research and teaching are now open to faculty and students. Mariwyn Light '09, a communication arts major, took these photos of several science classes and lab sessions one afternoon during the spring 2009 semester.
Greg Keller's class in a conference room overlooking Coy Pond and the woods surrounding Gordon. Keller, associate professor of biology, says of the new facilities, "I've been able to pursue the field of landscape ecology, teaching students in the classroom and in the specialized labs about the ways in which organisms are impacted by broad-scale human activities such as habitat fragmentation. We have space for labs, and even more importantly, space to put EVERYTHING."
Science students learn about faculty research and, during the course of their studies, assist and participate in it. Greg Keller specializes in conservation biology and is curator of birds and mammals for the Gordon College Museum of Natural History. "I am researching spring and fall bird migration to understand habitat use patterns by forest songbirds in sites that are adjacent to different types of forest openings with different levels of fragmentation, with an emphasis on Nearctic-Neotropic migrants (birds that breed in North America and winter in the tropics). As a group, these birds have shown significant population declines. With our new building and technology, I can look at how these birds are influenced at several scales, from the on-site vegetation to the broader landscape using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)."
Molly Lowry feels the effects of hot and cold water on sensory nerves in her hands as part of Animal Physiology lab. Biology students prepare for careers and graduate work in many areas including the health professions; teaching at the elementary, secondary and college levels; environmental science; and biotechnology.
Jonathan Harris tests for nerve density on Grant Eilers' tongue in Animal Physiology Lab, accompanying Biology II. Students aiming for careers in the health professions benefit from Gordon's liberal arts context. They explore issues of medical ethics in a senior capstone seminar; meet health professionals, including doctors, nurse practitioners, medical students and others; gain real-world medical experience through local internships and medical missions trips; and build close relationships with professors in small-class environments.
Grant Eilers tests bone conduction of sound with a tuning fork as part of his Animal Physiology lab.
Natalie D'Angona performs hearing tests on Emily Lonzo as part of Animal Physiology Lab. The Animal Physiology course and lab sessions analyze animal functions: oxygen transport; nervous systems; coordination; muscles and movement; hormone systems; digestion; excretion; and osmotic and ionic regulation.
Teaching Assistant Rachel Harris helps explain an aspect of Human Biology lab to a fellow student. This lab is a Core Curriculum life science option.
A student in Cells and Genetics lab counts her fruit flies. Because of their brief life spans and ease of manipulation, fruit flies are one of the most important species used for genetics research.
Craig Story, associate professor of biology at Gordon, has done significant research exploring microengraving technology. This new technology provides a way to obtain an extremely detailed snapshot of how thousands of single immune cells are responding to vaccination by separating cells into a individual microscopic chambers. In the photo, biochemistry students analyze anti-Hepatitis B monoclonal antibodies produced using microengraving technology.