Joint Science Awarded Grant for Research on Increasing Science Graduates

The Joint Science Department has been awarded a grant in the amount of $488,711 from the National Science Foundation for research aimed at increasing the number of science graduates via interdisciplinary teaching and research. The four-year grant, Increasing Science Graduates Through Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research, will be under the direction of Newton H. Copp, professor of biology and department chair; Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert, associate professor of biology; Kathleen Purvis-Roberts, assistant professor of chemistry; Kersey A. Black, professor of chemistry; and Scot A. Gould, professor of physics.

Purvis says many students who pursue majors in physics, chemistry, or biology generally are not mindful of the link existing between the three sciences. “Our hope is that very early on, through an integrated course like this, students will come to see how all three disciplines fit together,” she says.

To that end, the project will utilize case studies to better illustrate those all-important linkages. “For example, we’ll do a case study on water,” Purvis says, “illustrating its physical and chemical properties, in addition to the fact that it’s a wellspring of life.”