Director of Community and Media Relations
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4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
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James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences
Explore the Sciences
While at Eckerd, Jeff Ackley '08 studied a population of non-venomous watersnakes that live in one of the campus retention ponds. With the solid understanding of research methods and techniques gained through work with Eckerd's faculty, Jeff was able to secure a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship in Urban Ecology at Arizona State University.
The use of the City of St. Peterburg's reclaimed water in the HVAC system of the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences eliminates the need to evaporate potable water, saving 2,000-3,000 gallons per day. As a result, we have eliminated a cooling tower.
Eckerd College is surrounded by a watery, living laboratory, allowing students to get up close and personal with science through specimen collection, water analysis and more.
Peter Meylan, Richard R. Hallin Professor in Natural Sciences, knows more than a thing or two about turtles. He travels to Panama, Bermuda and beyond to study the evolutionary history, ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, especially turtles. Closer to home, he works with Eckerd students and especially the Eckerd Herpetology Club on studies of freshwater turtles of the Rainbow River, a spring near Dunnellon, Florida.
The Chemistry Department at Eckerd College offers Bachelor's degrees in chemistry, including a chemistry degree certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). We are one of only two Florida colleges where a student can earn an ACS-certified biochemistry degree.
Approximately two-thirds of Eckerd Biology graduates have continued with postgraduate study at many of the most prestigious medical and graduate schools in the nation.
Associate Professor of Biology Denise Flaherty maintains a vigorous research laboratory with Eckerd students. Together they use the model genetic organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, to understand the developmental, reproductive, molecular physiological stress and neuromuscular impact of several conditions including pesticide exposure.
Students thinking of allopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine or dentistry can take advantage of Eckerd's Pre-Health Program to put them on the path to medical school and beyond. Over the past 10 years, the admit rate for Eckerd students to medical school is about 60% while the national average hovers around 40%.
Our students have gone on to careers in fields such as forensics, atmospheric chemistry, and pharmaceutical chemistry as well as DNA structural research, cosmetic chemistry, and medicine.
The Fourth Annual Eckerd College Science Symposium will feature "The Art of Science," a photography exhibit and competition showcasing petrographic microscope art.
Three anthropology majors in the class of 2014 are among just 18 students college-wide to be selected for the prestigious Ford Apprentice Scholars program. They will participate in a two-year colloquium designed to develop the skills and habits of professional scholars, and they will undertake a collaborative research project with an anthropology faculty member during the summer of 2013.
Eckerd sits in the middle of one of America's Premier Tourist destinations, nestled between Fort De Soto State Park and downtown St. Petersburg, FL (pop. 250,000). The Sunshine City holds a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine (768).
"I have a passion for Neuroscience, water, travel, mixed media, and being barefoot. The first day I introduced myself to Dr. Gerdeman (Neuroscientist), we ended up talking for over an hour about inhibitory feedback loops, current research, and research opportunities." - Shannon Bean, Neuroscience concentration
The Eckerd College Community Garden started in January of 2010 when a group of students submitted a proposal for a sustainable vegetable garden on campus. After a generous gift, and support from Eckerd's dining services vendor Bon AppÃ©tit, the garden has produced a variety of crops including onions, okra, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers and a banana tree.
The geosciences major prepares students to become professional scientists capable of conducting research in terrestrial and marine geologic environments. Students majoring in geosciences gain knowledge regarding fundamental concepts of Earth systems history, structures, materials, and processes, as well as research methods employed by geoscientists.
Eckerd's 188-acre wooded campus sits on the Pinellas County peninsula of Florida's west coast. Palm trees line the avenues, flocks of white ibises wade in the ponds. Across the sparkling bay lies Tampa. With the creation of a walking tour plant trail in 2010, visitors can enjoy walking the campus and appreciating the wide variety of native plant life that grows at Eckerd.
Beth Forys, Professor of Marine Science and Environmental Science, is interested in protecting and recovering endangered species. Her past research includes the potential fire ant impact on sea turtles, biodiversity and the endangered Schaus swallowtail. Her current research is mainly focused on trying to protect waterbirds that nest on beaches.
For the next four summers, 8 Eckerd students will be selected to conduct research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Human Genetic Research (CHGR). Mass General is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Research at the CHGR is focused on understanding the molecular and genetic causes of diseases including Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease and disorders of the nervous system. This unique research opportunity is made possible by a National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) grant written by CHGR scientist Dr. Susan Slaugenhaupt '85, an Eckerd alumna and member of Eckerd's Dean's Council on Science.
When in season, Eckerd's dining services company, Bon AppÃ©tit, works with a vendor located within a 150-mile radius to buy oranges for freshly-squeezed orange juice. This effort is part of a Farm to Fork initiative that reflects the company's commitment to buying local produce and to maintaining sustainable farming practices.
Numerous coastal businesses, research centers and environmental organizations in the local area provide unique internship and employment opportunities for our students. The U.S. Geological Survey, the Estuarine and Coastal Marine Sciences department at Duke University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are just a few of the examples of opportunities found beyond Tampa Bay.
Located on the southwest corner of campus just seconds away from the sand, Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory houses several laboratory classrooms, aquarium rooms, a marine sediment core facility, an oceanography lab, a computer laboratory and a state-of-the-art auditorium. The continuous flow-thru sea water system is pumped directly from Tampa Bay into our classroom and research facilities, allowing animals and algae to be maintained for extensive periods of time.
Students of Marine Biology Professor Bill "Dr. Ski" Szelistowski's catch and measure stingrays at nearby Fort De Soto for a specific project. Dr. Ski's research interests include the ecology of mangrove and coral reef fishes, mangrove intertidal ecology, food web relationships, and fish population biology and evolution.
The Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team (EC-SAR) works closely with the US Coast Guard, 911 Emergency Medical Response, and other state and local agencies to provide maritime assistance to the boaters of Tampa Bay. Responding to 500 cases each year, these student volunteers are trained in technical rescue, boating safety, seamanship, searching, fire fighting, de-watering, navigation, medical response, and evening piloting rescue vessels.
Eckerd leads the nation in the number of NOAA Hollings Scholars: 46 since the scholarship was introduced in 2005. Hollings Scholarships are awarded annually to students interested in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education. Most notably, Eckerd is a private, liberal arts college in a sea of public research universities.
James Center Events
Celebration of Science Fellowship
Read President Eastman's remarks.
4th Annual Science Symposium
Featuring research, lectures, posters and more by Eckerd alumni, faculty and students.
Grand Opening Celebration
Images from the event
See the construction from ground breaking to grand opening on our Flickr account. See the photos here.