By Zachary Gotthardt
SC Staff Writer
ESU’s Biology Department is one of the largest and most prolific departments on campus. One outlet for student-based activity in the department is the Biology Club. With the help of the biology professors, the club plans to make this semester the most successful in recent history.
As part of their big trip this semester, the Biology Club plans to travel to Wallops Island, Virginia, for the Chincoteague Bay Field Station’s Alternative Spring Break. This program is meant to give students in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) the opportunity to do some community service and benefit the environment. It is also meant to give students a chance to visit the beach during Spring Break.
Following this event, the club will continue on to Atlanta, Georgia, to visit the Georgia Aquarium with the Marine Science Club. The Georgia Aquarium is the largest in the world, and it showcases a wide variety of unique and exotic marine life.
In order to host these trips, the club plans to fundraise. Look for the club in the Union throughout the semester, where they will be having bake sales and flower sales. The next bake sale will be held on February 26.
Not only is the club going on this trip, but it is also hosting smaller excursions. To increase their knowledge of animal identification, the club will be taking several nature hikes in many locations around the Delaware Water Gap and the Appalachian Trail.
The club is involved on campus and has had a table at every annual Earth Day event, and they plan to continue this trend this year.
Additionally, the Biology Club plans to give back to the campus community this semester by hosting Adopt-A-Block events every month. During these events, the club members will pick up litter along South Green Street and East Brown Street.
“Biology Club is a great club. It takes an educational standpoint on biology, as well as makes it fun and exciting for everyone in the club,” said Andrew DeCredico, a marine science major who joined the club in the fall.
The Biology Club works closely with professors within the department. As practice for the future, and to compile data for the University, the club is in the process of cataloguing every species on campus. This endeavor is being led by the club advisor, Dr. Thomas LaDuke, who has decades more experience in the field than any club member.
Following the retirement of botany professor Dr. Raymond Milewski last year, the Biology Department lost a huge resource in the greenhouse on the third floor of Moore Biology Hall. The room, once filled, is now completely vacant, but the majority of equipment remains.The club wants to bring the greenhouse back with the assistance of Dr. Kathleen Brunkard. These plans are only preliminary, and require approval of the Biology Department and the Office of Housing.
Each year, Dr. Howard “Sandy” Whidden invites several professors from other universities to present their research in biology. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there are so many professors to choose from, and Dr. Whidden can only choose three each semester. Therefore, the Biology Club has allocated funds to sponsor a fourth professor for the Biocolloquium Series.
The Biology Club is looking for a new group of students to take over the organization after this semester. Majoring in biology is not a requirement. Anyone with an interest in animals, nature, or life itself is welcome to join.
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