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Learning, Research, & Teaching Facilities & Equipment

The Department of Biological Sciences has a wide variety of laboratory equipment such as spectrophotometers, an electron microscope, and a DNA sequencer. The department’s computer teaching lab has 16 laptop computers along with a large-scale plotter. Waggoner Hall, which houses the Department of Biological Sciences, has complete wireless Internet access. Waggoner Hall also has a large greenhouse and several climate-controlled rooms. There are many collections such as a plants, reptiles, and amphibians collection, and a fish, mammals, and birds collection.

The department also has access to several large natural areas for ecological research such as the LaMoine River (which runs right through campus) and the Fink Farm natural area.

The research station borders the Mississippi River and has a wide variety of sampling equipment and boats, including a 28-foot pontoon style vessel and an electrofishing boat. The Biological  Sciences department has relationships with both the Niabi Zoo in Moline, Illinois, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, which allows for unique classroom and research experiences.

The Alice L. Kibbe Life Science Station is a scientific research and instructional unit of Western Illinois University near Warsaw, Illinois, with 1,700 acres of natural area, which is a mix of restored prairie and woodlands. Designed and operated to offer opportunities for special study to qualified scientists, the facility has inspired and enriched the education and research opportunities for many students and persons interested in all branches of science. The University also operates the Station as a nature preserve to protect the unique natural features from unnecessary human disturbance. It is directed by Dr. Sean Jenkins.

The R.M. Myers Herbarium is the sixth-largest herbarium (a plant museum) in Illinois, and holds more than 75,000 specimens of vascular plants, nonvascular plants, and algae, with most specimens collected in Illinois.

Walter Natural Area is a natural area on the WIU campus between Waggoner Hall and the Recreational Center. It is a mixture of wetlands, woods, and prairie. For more information or other details concerning the Walter Natural Area, please contact: Jeff Hillyer, WNA caretaker and WIU Botany Greenhouse manager.

The WIU Department of Biology greenhouse grows plants used for teaching and for research by Biology faculty, and contains more than 4,500 square feet of space.

The Electron Microscope Lab has both a transmission and a scanning electron microscope, and classes are regularly taught in their use. 

The Laboratory of Sensory Biology coordinates teaching and research activities between the Department of Biological Sciences at Western Illinois University in Macomb and Moline with The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Dr. Jeanette Thomas is the Coordinator for the Laboratory of Sensory Biology.