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Science department wins $30,000 grant

Professor Suzanne Gollery worked with Director of Grants Sandra Wallace to secure a $30,000 grant from The Wiegand Foundation on Oct. 8, to buy new equipment for the Science department at Sierra Nevada College.

The general and organic Chemistry courses, Environmental Systems, field courses and the Biology Lab courses will use the new equipment that includes hot plates, binoculars, microscopes, UV safety goggles and glassware.

Wallace’s duty on campus is to help the school find funding opportunities. She writes three to five applications a month. She said that she is actively writing, and has seven applications pending at the moment.

In September, Wallace went to Executive Vice President and Provost Shannon Beets and President Lynn Gillette and asked what were the biggest issues on campus. They said that the Science department needed new equipment because of the increasing student population at SNC.

Wallace contacted The Wiegand Foundation, which gave the school a $10,000 grant a couple of years ago. The Wiegand Foundation is a non-profit organization that gives grants in California and Washoe County to help establish and develop educational programs according to its website.

Gollery gave Wallace a list of all the equipment the Science department wanted to purchase. Gollery said one new piece of equipment would be a digital melting point apparatus, which is used to determine the exact temperature at which a solid melts. The old melting point apparatus used a mercury thermometer, full of a toxic chemical. The switch to the digital equipment eliminates these risks.

“It’s important the Science department get more modern technology for the lab,” said Junior Joe Granado, an Environmental Science and Ecology major. “Technology is moving at such a fast rate, it helps to have experience with updated equipment in the lab.”

The Science department faculty hopes to receive additional grants that would benefit undergraduate students. Gollery said that Professor Andy Rost and Professor Chuck Levitan want to receive grants for environmental science research. Rost does research on algae to see how healthy the streams and lake are, and is interested in developing an earth science curriculum.

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