The Department of Biology supports teaching and research activities with excellent multi-user resources.
Applied Technology in Conservation Genetics (ATCG) Laboratory, a wildlife forensic laboratory specializing in genetic analyses, necropsies and diet analysis. The lab is fully equipped with two automated DNA sequencers, an isolated PCR room, and an isolated low copy DNA room with UV decontamination.
Brooks Astronomical Observatory houses a 16-inch (40 cm) computer-controlled classical Cassegrain reflector and is equipped for CCD direct imaging, medium-dispersion spectroscopy, 35 mm and plate photography, as well as UBVRI photometry for visual observing.
Central Michigan University Herbarium (CMC) serves as an archive for plant biodiversity. With over 26,000 plant specimens it serves as a vital teaching resource, houses research quality specimens for use at CMU and in the broader scientific community, and functions as a regional repository for plant specimens. Plants in the collection are primarily from the Great Lakes region, focusing on wetland plants and the flora of the Beaver Island Archipelago.
CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island (CMUBS) has a fleet of boats and research vehicles. Located on the sandy eastern shoreline of Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan, CMUBS is close to numerous pristine ecosystems. Academic courses are taught at the station during the spring and summer months, and research facilities are available year-round.
CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History stores natural history collections containing over 24,500 specimens including mammals, birds, fish, insects, amphibians, reptiles and some dry specimens including shells. The museum houses the second largest collection of birds in the state of Michigan, and contains examples of contraband species, rare and endangered species, historically important species and a few type species. The museum's geology collection consists of fossil plants, fossil animals, minerals and rocks.
DNA Sequencing and Analysis Core Facility (DNA-SACF) is equipped for molecular biology-based research. Existing equipment available for student and faculty research includes an automated DNA sequencer, DNA sequencing analysis software, microarray scanner, real-time PCR unit and gel documenting station.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center facilitates the use of spatially-referenced data for applied projects, research and teaching. State-of-the-art hardware, software and data sets enable students and faculty to engage in many types of projects.
Institute for Great Lakes Research (IGLR) builds on the research expertise of current faculty and resources available on campus and through the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island. Since a multidisciplinary approach is necessary to understand the complex issues surrounding the ecology of the Great Lakes, the IGLR draws faculty and students from a variety of academic departments for collaborative research projects. The institute also provides a point of contact and supplies information for external institutions and agencies interested in drawing on CMU's expertise for Great Lakes research.
Michigan Water Research Center (MWRC) facilitates interdisciplinary research in water sciences. Participating laboratories support comprehensive water quality analysis, and provide training and internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The water chemistry laboratory houses aBran + Luebbe Autoanalyzer and a Beckman DU 640 B spectrophotometer. Students analyze plankton and age fish with a Wild M 5A stereomicroscope and a Nikon phase contrast compound microscope. Field measurements are collected with a state-of-the-art Hydrolab minisonde multiprobe.
Microscopy Facility houses confocal, transmission electron and scanning electron microscopes.
Neithercut Woodland, a 252-acre tract of mixed hardwood forest that provides habitats suitable for both aquatic and terrestrial studies.
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, a biological field station located in Hastings, Michigan offers a number of rare qualities and habitats that make it attractive to students and faculty members in the natural sciences. CMU undergraduate students qualify to apply for a grant to conduct summer research, with a faculty mentor, in the natural sciences at the Institute. The grant includes a stipend and room and board. Students may also participate in a three-week college course held at the Institute in conjunction with other universities and colleges.
Veit's Woods provides a local natural learning environment for various lab exercises and offers research opportunities for students in areas including biology, geology and earth science. This 28-acre natural preserve along the Chippewa River is within walking distance of campus. Local plant communities in the preserve include hardwood forest, old fields, lowland deciduous forest, the Chippewa River, a small wetland and a series of vernal ponds.