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behavioral testing that we do requires large equipment, so having more lab space would help.” Lopez explains, “We only have space to run one research project at a time. But with our new labs I can foresee perhaps running three differ- ent projects in summer research and accommodating two different thesis students during the academic year. That means more productivity for my research and more learning for more students.”


He also believes the CIS “will help Skidmore attract more strong science students. Lab facilities are a key factor for stu- dents deciding where they want to study.” Updating the infrastructure is high on Bonner’s list too: “Dana’s ven- tilation, temperature, purified water systems—they’re old and need frequent repairs. No one notices those things be- hind the walls, but they’re indispensa- ble to both teaching and research.” An expert on firefighter health and safety, Smith says,


“THAT MEANS MORE PRODUCTIVITY FOR MY RESEARCH AND MORE LEARNING FOR MORE STUDENTS.”


“We have good instrumentation now, but it’s in labs that we carved out of some pretty strange spaces—like our climate chamber over the racquetball courts!” Her CIS labs “will be designed as labs, and also simply bigger—which we really need. We’ll be able to have up to four students working on four different exercise sessions at the same time.” Environmental scientist Josh Ness won’t gain space, but


he’s still smiling. Students in his courses will have access to what Kellogg and other planners are calling “ancillary proj- ect spaces” for experiments or other course-related work. Di- rectly adjacent to but separate from classrooms, these spaces


allow students to leave projects up and running even when another class is in session, Ness says. For Kellogg, that means “we can design more real-world projects, not just those that fit within the three-hour period of a lab section.” Like Ness, she’s optimistic about the independence and community that such spaces can foster: “A couple of my students could have a project going next to a team of Josh’s students next to a student from a third course . . . Imagine the conversations among them as they peek over each other’s shoulders, work- ing on their projects when we’re not even around.” Ness, a scholar of plant-animal mutualisms, will be part of the field- methods cluster but will have lab space in the new greenhouse, “which will be designed for research, with climate- adjustable modules for different eco- logical studies,” he says. “Being able


to do desert-ecology research in upstate New York? That’s pretty sweet.”


Most important, he says, “The clustering of resources for ES, bio, and biochem faculty, who are all pursuing their own disciplines but are asking related questions and using similar techniques to answer them, is exactly how we want students to experience science: applying one learning method or set of knowledge to other fields.”


Bonner has noticed that “the years of extensive planning for this new building have already brought faculty together across disciplines. So we really are ready and primed for more collaborations—and not only in the sciences but with other fields.”


CIS | LEVEL 2: biology and enviro field methodology


Field Equipment Mud Room


Specimen Storage


Outdoor Field Methods Prep





20 SCOPE WINTER 2014


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