The Biology Department is housed in Samson Talbot Hall. Talbot is a state-of-the-art facility, constructed in 2003. Teaching spaces, research spaces, and office spaces sit side-by-side throughout the building, creating an integrated experience for students and faculty alike. All of classrooms in Talbot are “Smart Classrooms,” equipped with digital projectors and internet access that allow students and professors to use technology in the classroom.
Classrooms were also designed to fit the style of classes taught in the department—they are the right size and layout for our small interactive courses. Since every course in the Biology Department has laboratory component, there are six well-equipped teaching labs where students conduct experiments in everything from rearranging genes to model ecosystems. Faculty and students also engage in cutting-edge research at Denison. Each faculty member has a dedicated research lab as well as access to shared equipment and resources within the department.
The Department of Biology Greenhouse is located on the sixth floor of Samson Talbot Hall. It houses a small, permanent teaching collection, members of which are kept in different controlled environments. The greenhouse is divided into a head house and four separate greenhouses: The Desert Room, The Tropical Room, The Temperate Room, and The Experimental Room.
In addition, professors of the departments of Biology and Chemistry & Biochemistry use the greenhouse to grow plants of particular research interest. The greenhouse is used for biology courses that focus at least in part on some aspect of botany. The collection is used extensively in Plant Systematics and Plant Diversity, and the facility is used for short and long term experiments by students in Bio 150 and Ecology and Evolution.
The greenhouse is maintained by 1-3 Denison student employees each year, who are supervised by Whitney Stocker or Warren Hauk.
Students interested in a part-time job in the greenhouse should contact Whitney Stocker.
Denison's Biological Reserve was established by the Board of Trustees in 1966 through the efforts of Professor Robert Alrutz, who served as director until his retirement in 1990. The Reserve encompasses 350 acres in three contiguous sections that are within easy walking distance of campus. The purpose of the Reserve is to enhance the education of students in Biology and the Environmental Sciences through their courses, independent research and casual visitation to the Reserve.
Students taking Introduction to the Science of Biology, and Animal Behavior frequently meet their labs at the Bio Reserve to conduct field experiments. Other courses, such as Plant Ecology and Entomology, have used the Reserve as a base of operations for the entire semester. Students in Environmental Studies and Geology also utilize the Reserve as a resource to learn about field techniques, land management.
The Polly Anderson Field Station, erected in 1995, houses a large laboratory for class meetings as well as research space for students and faculty. Astronomy students use the telescope mount at the station for night viewing.
The Reserve also provides a haven for members of the Denison and Granville communities who enjoy walking in natural surroundings. The Reserve is open to the public from dawn to dusk every day. A well-marked trail system has been established that allows the visitor to explore a variety of habitats and terrain. Hunting, firearms, campfires, camping, horseback riding and disturbance of natural features are prohibited. Trail bikes are permitted on certain trails during the summer and fall.
The Reserve is maintained year-round with the assistance of two Denison students employed each summer as well as by full-time Manager, Whitney Stocker.