Nicholas A. Baer
Chair, Natural & Environmental Sciences
Participation in projects supported by the New Hampshire IDeA Network of Biological Research Excellence (NH-INBRE) opens educational, intellectual and professional doors that change lives.
Supported by the National Institutes of Health, NH-INBRE is led by the state's research institutions in collaboration with eight undergraduate institutions, including Colby-Sawyer. The partnership provides advanced research opportunities, including paid assistantships with Colby-Sawyer faculty, access to the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (ISURF) program at Dartmouth College and opportunities to participate in original research projects throughout the state network.
The small, close-knit feel of the biology major allows students to team up with a faculty member and dive into an ongoing research project.
Sophomore, junior and senior students are eligible to work as research assistants. Students work with a faculty member and the department chair to design their specific responsibilities for the project. Previous research assistantships include a NH-INBRE funded initiative to conduct lab-based DNA analysis on bees and a yearlong project that tested peptides and their ability to fight bacterial infections.
Applied courses take science theory beyond the classroom. Colby-Sawyer offers two classes that produce tangible, tasty products.
Follow the production of a sweet bottle of maple syrup, from tapping the dozens of maple trees on campus to boiling and bottling the sap in Sue’s Sugar House. While doing so, you’ll conduct research on the physiological aspects and sugar content of spring sap runs as well as learn strategies to maximize yields. Or, you could explore the science of brewing and apply the chemical principals of fermentation and isomerization to produce a pale, crisp pint of ale.