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, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), Raman, microwave, atomic absorption, fluorescence, and nuclear magnetic resonance. In addition to numerous standard items of equipment, instruments are available for gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, high- and ultra-performance liquid chromatography, and x-ray diffraction.
Psychology labs are equipped for research in the areas of human cognition, perception, development, and social behavior. Lab facilities include sound-attenuated suites for neurocognitive testing and electroencephalography, and computer lab spaces for conducting observational, behavioral, and experimental research. Students interested in child development may intern or work at the on-campus Purchase College Children’s Center.
Environmental studies labs are equipped with field gear and bench equipment, designed to enable students to evaluate the sources, causes, and effects of environmental concerns in locally affected areas. Opportunities in these labs exist for students to learn standard analytical methods used by state and federal environmental regulatory agencies, and to explore new methods of ecological sampling and environmental modeling. The marine ecology and watershed science research labs were renovated in 2014–15. The college’s 550-acre successional forest, along with its two streams and developed core infrastructure, provide an outdoor classroom for a variety of hands-on terrestrial, urban, and aquatic ecology studies. The college’s proximity to Long Island Sound, the Hudson River, and more than 15 large, local nature preserves and state and county parks affords students many opportunities for advanced environmental study across multiple ecosystems through our relationships with neighboring conservation and land management organizations.
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 Planetarium, located in the Natural Sciences Building, 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. There are also several small areas equipped with computers and specialized software (e.g., for geographic information systems and computational chemistry). In the Social Sciences Building, there is an instructional computer lab with a connected projector and interactive whiteboard. Along with dedicated computing labs, student research and connectivity are supported with high-speed wireless Internet access on a secure network in multiple student lounges and in all classrooms and labs.
For additional information and updates during 2016–2018, please visit the natural sciences program sites at www.purchase.edu/sciences and the Campus Technology Services computer labs site, www.purchase.edu/Departments/cts/ctscomputerlabs.aspx.