The Department of Biology is located in the Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center. Phase One of a major renovation and new construction for the biology, chemistry and physics departments was completed in 1997. Phase Two, a substantial renovation and partial construction, was completed in 2007. This phase renovated the Science Library, greenhouse facilities and created additional research laboratories, in addition to meeting other biology requests.
More than $2,500,000 in grants over the past five years has given the department excellent equipment to support its academic program. Included are two large awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support a new major in biological chemistry and a developing program in neuroscience.
The more important facilities and specialized equipment in the department include equipment for sequencing and quantifying DNA, several thermal cyclers, tissue culture suites for animal and plant material, biological safety cabinets, two Beckman high speed centrifuges and an ultracentrifuge (Beckman model L7-55), an assortment of rotors, UV/visible spectrophotometers (some can measure enzyme kinetics), fluorometers, a liquid scintillation spectrometer, protein and nucleic acid electrophoresis chambers, capillary electrophoresis system, hybridization ovens, a darkroom, -20 and -80° C freezers, cold cabinets, plant growth chambers, large capacity incubators, electrophysiology equipment, image analysis systems (for gels, plates, and blots), a cryostat, five fluorescence photomicroscopes, a Noran laser scanning confocal microscope, and plant ecophysiology instrumentation, and a suite of instruments for nutrient analyses, including a Shimadzu TOC/N, a ThermoFinnigan Flash CN, and a Lachat flow-injection system.
The department has a large greenhouse for the teaching and research collections, and it also manages a 365-acre field station located about 12 miles from campus. The station includes a recently constructed Environmental Education Center that houses laboratory, classroom, collection, and greenhouse facilities.