Wet Lab for Environmental Science Dedicated


Students in the Environmental Science Program will no longer have to shuttle between borrowed biology, chemistry, and geology laboratories or lug equipment from place to place in order to conduct experiments—thanks to the completion of the George I. Alden Trust Environmental Sciences Wet Laboratory, located on the ground floor of McCook Hall. A group of faculty, staff, and students joined President Jones and trustees of the Alden Trust during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new wet lab, which was made possible through the generosity of the Alden Trust. Among those on hand for the April 11 event were Associate Professor of Biology Joan Morrison, Assistant Professor of Physics Christoph Geiss, Alison Draper, director of the Interdisciplinary Science Program, and Associate Academic Dean Stephen Peterson.

In addition to badly needed sinks—necessary for experiments involving water samples and chemical processes—the newly refurbished lab is home to a host of state-of-the-art equipment including sophisticated Global Positioning System data collection equipment, laptop computers that run geographic information systems to map locational data, instruments that analyze air and water samples, and portable pH meters designed to be used both in the field and in the lab. The Alden lab is located in McCook 115.

A fairly new program at Trinity, Environmental Science was launched in 2001 and became a major a year later. The interdisciplinary course of study includes a variety of skills and training, and incorporates aspects of traditional biology, chemistry, geology, and physics as well as economics, sociology, and political science. Aspects of public policy, zoning, and land-use regulations are also important. The study of environmental sciences is by necessity multi-faceted and the major requirements are among the most broadly based at the College. During remarks at the event, Draper noted that the Alden lab will help Trinity students to develop an appreciation for science while allowing them to serve society by studying the impact of human beings on the environment. She also pointed out that much of the research conducted by students in the Environmental Science Program is local in nature, focusing on the Greater Hartford region.

Morrison, director of the Environmental Science Program, says that the grant will enable more students to participate in the program—both majors and non majors alike—simply because of the increase in permanent laboratory space now available. And as for convenience, “This will just make the lab components of our courses much easier and more workable,” she explains. “Now we have a home; we’ll have more options. Our students will have full access to the equipment that they need to conduct research in an exciting field of scientific study. We couldn’t be happier.”

The Alden Trust, established in 1912, is named for George I. Alden, a successful industrialist and educator. Primarily interested in capital projects that impact as many students as possible, the Alden Trust previously supported the renovation and construction of the Raether Library and Information Technology Center.


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