The Natural Sciences Department at Castleton offers programs that are challenging and fun.
Students Angela Golding, Cassidy Yrsha, and Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Christine Palmer joined a group of researchers at Barro Colorado Island, home of a Smithsonian research facility, where they spent ten days collecting and studying katydids.
The faculty brings diverse expertise and interests to the classroom and laboratories, teaching classes that combine solid scientific understanding with practical skills and valuable field experiences. Faculty lead their own field trips, from weekly labs to programs in the Virgin Islands and the Mojave Desert. Science faculty are also involved in other student-centered and community activities, including teaching rock climbing, opening the telescope for community planet- and stargazing, and integrating technology into the classroom and laboratory. They also involve students in their own professional research projects, such as evolutionary genetic research in plant adaptation, the effects of quercetin and other substances on aerobic performance at high altitude, molecular microbiology research studying the metabolism of genetically altered symbiotic bacteria, geological mapping in the Adirondack Mountains, and collecting animal diversity data on Caribbean reefs. Over the last six years our science faculty have been awarded more than $750,000 in external grants to support their research with students.
Internships and other forms of independent study are available for students wishing to deepen their understanding of a particular discipline and better prepare themselves for post-graduate life. The Natural Sciences Department has a friendly and collegial atmosphere, and students participate in a variety of activities, sponsored by the Student Science Association, Geology Society, and Sigma Zeta Honor Society.