The sciences reside in four contiguous buildings, fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration, and in Rockefeller and Ely halls and the Class of 1951 Observatory. These buildings have “smart” classrooms, faculty offices, labs, and sophisticated instrumentation specific to each discipline in addition to resources shared across the natural science departments and related interdepartmental and multidisciplinary programs.
The science cluster includes Olmsted Hall, Sanders Physics, and New England Building as well as the spectacular new science laboratories building, spanning the Fonteyn Kill and connected to Olmsted. This science-focused area of campus houses the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy, and Psychology as well as labs supporting Biochemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Studies, and Neuroscience and Behavior.
The Biology Department (Olmsted Hall) supports the process of biological inquiry from molecules to ecosystems. Major instrumentation and facilities include genomic/proteomic/biochemical instrumentation, with a DNA microarray scanner; a cell imaging facility, including epiflorescent, confocal, and 3D microscopes with image acquisition and analysis tools; physiological instruments, such as microinjection tools; cell, plant, and animal culturing facilities, including sterile cell culture; a large greenhouse; electroencephalographic (EEG) recording systems; eye tracking systems; and a vivarium supporting animal research in biology, neuroscience and behavior, and psychology. A phytotron with a dozen controlled-environment chambers and an herbarium are housed in the new science laboratories building connected to Olmsted Hall.
In mid-year 2015-16, the Chemistry Department will move from the Seeley G. Mudd Building to the new science laboratories building. Chemistry faculty and students carry out experiments using an extensive array of state-of-the-art instrumentation for molecular structure determination, spectroscopy, chromatography, and other specialized techniques. Recent acquisitions include a liquid chromatography electrospray ionization quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometer (LC-ESI-MS) used to study the structure and composition of lipids and proteins, and a charge-coupled device (CCD) dual source X-ray diffractometer used to determine the three-dimensional arrangement of atoms in molecules.