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National Science Foundation Funds Renovations to Eckerd's Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory

posted on 09/29/2010


The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a grant of $870,720 to MARINE: Modernizing Academic Research INfrastructure at Eckerd for the renovation of five research training areas in Eckerd College's Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory (GMSL).

Under the direction of Laura Wetzel, Natural Sciences Collegium Chair and Associate Professor of Marine Science and Geosciences, and Jon Cohen, Assistant Professor of Biology and Marine Science, the project will update the 16-year-old building to accommodate the needs of Eckerd's most popular major - Marine Science.

In the last 10 years, 279 undergraduates have participated in research training projects in the GMSL. Such experiences have resulted in Eckerd students receiving more NOAA Hollings Scholarships than any other institution and numerous Goldwater, Fulbright and NSF Graduate Fellowships.

Of the 495 proposals submitted to NSF's Academic Research Infrastructure, Recovery and Reinvestment Program, Eckerd's was among the 25 percent to receive an award. Previously, Eckerd received a grant in 2008 for the NSF International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) competition, which supported six Marine Science students who conducted research in China at Xiamen University and Hong Kong Baptist University this summer.

In addition to bolstering the Marine Science program, renovations to the GMSL will complement the top priority of Many Experiences, One Spirit: The Campaign for Eckerd College - the $30 million Center for Molecular and Life Sciences. This top Campaign priority also will refurbish existing Sheen Science buildings, which currently house the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science disciplines of the Natural Sciences Collegium. The Center will provide much-needed laboratory space to support the more than 50 percent of Eckerd students who come to Eckerd to study Science.

Renovations to the GMSL - including the W.M. Keck Lab and the unique flow-through seawater system connected to Boca Ciega Bay - are slated for the summer of 2011. Eckerd faculty and students will use the renovated training areas for research in marine ecology, marine genomics and the sensory biology of marine invertebrates, among other projects.

Recent Campaign announcements:
Eckerd College Breaks Ground for GO Pavilion
Eckerd College's $25 Million Collier Challenge Fulfilled
Eckerd Trustee Helmar Nielsen Establishes $1 Million Endowment to Fund The Lloyd W. Chapin Faculty Development Program

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