This award will provide funding for the consolidation and modernization of the biological science research and research training facilities at Penn State-Erie, The Behrend College, by renovating the ground floor of the Nick Building, a 25 year old facility. Faculty and students in biology concentrate on research projects relating to the Lake Erie and western Pennsylvania regions. This research includes studies of species diversity of small mammals, biodiversity of aquatic insects of Pennsylvania, genetics and byssal morphology of indigenous species of Great Lakes mussels, and the succession of wetlands and associated changes of invertebrate diversity. Renovation of the biological research areas is of critical importance given the growth in the number of biology students. The renovations will include consolidation in the Nick Building of research space that is currently interspersed haphazardly with non-research space and spread out in three buildings: Nick, Science, and Hammermill. The Nick facility has never been renovated and is inadequate for modern biological research and training. Among the facility's deficiencies are: an outmoded workplace design, lack of air conditioning, poor lighting, and the deteriorating condition of lab casework. The renovated space will accommodate more students in faculty-mentored undergraduate research and facilitate the College's plan to strengthen and invigorate the biology program.
Modernizing the Nick Building for Research and Research Training in Biology