Davidson Colleges provides state-of-the-art research facilities for student-faculty research in the sciences, social sciences and humanities with top of the line laboratories, instrumentation, student studio space and soundproof music spaces.
The Wall Academic Center features teaching laboratory spaces for classroom experiments and group investigations, research labs for independent faculty research and student collaboration, faculty offices for the departments of biology, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience, and environmental science, shared faculty and student common areas to facilitate both formal and information learning, and open forum space that provides a gathering place for the campus community and encourages collaboration among faculty, students, and staff.
The Wall Center is expansive, impressive and a stunning addition to Davidson College. By the numbers, the space features 149,000 sq. ft., 49 faculty offices, 36 research labs, 20 teaching labs, 16 academic disciplines represented, five learning environments, and one transformative space that exemplifies liberal arts education for the 21st century.
The Dana Science Building contains classrooms and laboratories for instruction and research in physics and biology. Two floors house the Physics Department, where there are special facilities for student-faculty research in the areas of atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, laser spectroscopy, theoretical physics, and computational physics. Student laboratories are used for the study of astronomy, introductory physics, electronics, optics, and advanced physics. All labs contain networked computers. Major physics instrumentation includes a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser coupled to a Ti-sapphire ring cavity, a pulsed frequency-doubled optical parametric oscillator and a pulsed Nd:YAG dye laser system, dual-beam optical tweezers, a 1.3-m scanning monochromator, a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, a differential scanning calorimeter, wavemeters and spectrum analyzers, a transient capacitance spectroscopy system, liquid helium and nitrogen cryostats, a Penning ion trap, and a 2-Tesla electromagnet. This equipment is used to study alkali atoms, negative ions, cellular and molecular biophysics, semiconductors, and doped insulators. Dana also houses the Physics Computation Center, which contains high-end workstations for science computation.
The second floor of the Dana Science Building includes cell and molecular facilities for the Biology Department. There are two teaching laboratories where upper-level courses including biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, microbiology, immunology, neurobiology, and developmental biology are taught. Student-faculty research facilities include research laboratories in genetics, immunology, genomics, and synthetic biology. Specialized equipment rooms support student-faculty research and house major instrumentation including a flow cytometer, DNA and RNA hybridization systems, PCR equipment, 96-well microplate reader for visible and fluorescence detection, tissue culture facilities, inverted microscopes, epifluorescence microscopes, image analysis work stations, real-time RT PCT machine, microarray printer and scanner, auroclave, -80ºC freezer, and growth chamber.
The four floors of the Watson Life Sciences Building house laboratories for instruction and research in biology, psychology, and geology/environmental studies. Special facilities are available for student-faculty research and laboratory courses in the areas of developmental neurobiology, statistics, animal behavior, behavioral neuroscience, cell biology, child development, clinical psychology, conservation biology, ecology, entomology, industrial-organizational psychology, microbiology, physiology, population biology, psychopharmacology, attention and perception, social psychology, socioecology, and virology. Major instrumentation includes computer stations in all teaching laboratories, a laser-scanning confocal microscope, cryostat, PCR machines, spectrophotometers, water purification systems, incubators and growth chambers, centrifuges, phase contrast microscopes, an autoclave, a -80° freezer, ecological sampling equipment, global positioning system, computer-based physiology equipment, operant chambers, a computer-controlled radial maze, and equipment to measure motor behavior, locomotor activity, and the conditioned rewarding effects of drugs.
This 43,000 square foot building houses classroom and laboratory facilities for painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. The Semans Lecture Hall is equipped with video and sound technology. Declared majors with an emphasis in studio art may apply for one of the seven individual student studios in the building.
The Music Department occupies the Sloan Music Center. The wing devoted to the Music Library preserves and maintains collections of music scores, reference books, videos, DVDs and CDs, and has four listening stations, four computer-based multi-media stations, and a small group listening/viewing room. The lower level houses piano, voice, and string studios and includes instructional spaces for string, wind, and brass teachers. A state-of-the-art recording studio suite and a keyboard laboratory are located here. There are six spacious practice rooms, fully soundproofed and equipped with pianos and stands, as a well as multi-functional classroom/small ensemble rehearsal space.
Production support facilities within the Cunningham Theatre Center include a 3,000 square foot scene shop with woodworking and metalworking capabilities, a paint shop with integrated spray booth, the Thomas Design Classroom with a dedicated theatrical lighting lab, a sound studio with digital recording and editing equipment, the Studio 145 Rehearsal Room with dedicated lighting and audio system, and props and costume storage. The Cunningham Theatre Center is also home to the Zuravel Green Room, which houses the Script Library, and departmental offices and production meeting spaces.