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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|E.L. Wiegand Foundation Awards GU $190,884|
The E.L. Wiegand Foundation, Reno, Nev., has awarded Gonzaga University a $190,884 grant to purchase three environmental growth chambers and related analytical equipment to study plant physiological responses to environmental change.
Specifically, the equipment will enable students to examine the responses of plants to a wide range of environmental stresses, explained David Boose, associate professor of biology. Boose led the effort to secure the biology equipment.
“We’re very excited about the opportunities this will create for both teaching and research.” Boose said. “The best way to teach science is to have students engaged in asking real questions about real scientific issues. With this equipment, majors and non-majors alike can carry out projects on plant responses to global climate change, local land-use patterns, invasive species, or any number of other environmentally related topics.”
The grant also will benefit Gonzaga’s new Environmental Studies Concentration, one of the fastest-growing programs on campus.
The environmental chambers can manipulate day and night air temperatures, the duration of daylight, light intensity, humidity, and even atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Together, the three chambers provide five independent growing spaces that can be controlled and monitored from a single computer connected through the campus network.
Additional equipment will allow students to monitor photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, and other aspects of plant health and performance, both in the chambers and on plants outdoors in natural environments. The department anticipates the equipment will be used in both introductory and advanced courses for majors, courses for non-majors, and for faculty-student research projects.
“The Wiegand Foundation has been a consistent supporter of science education at Gonzaga for nearly 15 years,” said Boose. “We are very grateful for this latest grant, and excited about how the equipment purchased with these funds will enrich our biology curriculum.”
The E.L. Wiegand Foundation, which has awarded Gonzaga three previous grants to help purchase science equipment, was established in Reno, Nev., in 1982. It supports programs and projects of exemplary organizations in the fields of education, health and medical research, civic and community affairs, arts and cultural affairs, and public affairs.
For more information, contact Carol Bonino, Gonzaga’s director of foundation relations, via e-mail or at (509) 323-6394.