School of Natural and Social Sciences: Facilities

The Natural Sciences Building is well equipped for undergraduate research. The BioLab Suite, a molecular and cellular biology research lab, was newly renovated in 2012–13 with funds from a National Science Foundation grant. Students learning molecular biology use instrumentation for molecular and subcellular fractionation, electrophoresis, and high-performance liquid chromatography. Cell and tissue culture facilities and a radioisotope lab with a liquid scintillation counter are also available. In addition to phase and fluorescence light microscopes, there is a well-equipped microscopy suite with both scanning and transmission electron microscopes. Physiology instruments include oscilloscopes and multichannel physiographs. Genetics labs are equipped for recombinant DNA research and for research and instruction with classical genetic organisms and microorganisms. Facilities for study of the chemical sciences include the following spectrometers: ultraviolet/visible, diffraction infrared, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), atomic absorption, luminescence, and nuclear magnetic resonance. In addition to numerous standard items of equipment, instruments are available for gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography, and high-pressured synthesis. Electrophysiological data (including both behavioral and physiological) can be recorded using the 40-channel EEG system.

Lab facilities include spaces designed for observational studies and experimental research in psychology, particularly studies of human cognition and perception. The on-campus Purchase College Children’s Center offers supervised teaching experience and research opportunities for students interested in the development of young children. The campus and its environs—nearby preserves and wildlife sanctuaries, numerous lakes and streams, and the Hudson River and Long Island Sound—also provide a variety of sites for terrestrial, aquatic, estuarine, and field study.

Computing Facilities
Computing facilities in the School of Natural and Social Sciences include two computer classrooms, satellite labs for different disciplines, a research lab, and several servers used to support courses, research projects, and general faculty use. The main natural sciences lab—the Planetarium—has 20 computers for student use, with general and specialized software used in psychology, chemistry, biology, environmental studies, mathematics, and computer science. In addition, the biology lab has 12 computers available for shared use during class. The new-media lab, which contains 24 computers, is used by both students majoring in new media and students enrolled in computer science courses. Both the Planetarium and new-media labs are managed by Campus Technology Services. There are also several small areas equipped with computers and specialized software (e.g., for geographic information systems and computational chemistry).

Computers are connected within the Natural Sciences Building and externally to the Internet. These facilities are used to support a range of projects, including electron microscopy image processing; computational chemistry; research that uses aircraft data to study the jet stream; and the development of peer-to-peer games and activities for children with special needs and their families.

In the Social Sciences Building, there is an instructional computer lab with a connected projector and interactive whiteboard, which is also managed by Campus Technology Services.

For additional information and updates during 2013–2015, please visit the natural sciences program sites at and the Campus Technology Services computer labs site,

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