The College of Life Sciences

College Resource Information


John A. Widtsoe Building

John A. Widstoe Building

History

John A. Widtsoe, once a BYU teacher, was a leading scientist in agriculture and soil chemistry. He was also an apostle of the LDS Church and a member of the BYU Board of Trustees. This building was completed in 1968.

Current Use

The nine-story building is the home of the College of Life Sciences. Numerous offices, laboratories, and classrooms are housed within the building. Each floor represents a specific area of study. Classrooms in the building's basement are dedicated to marine biology, and the hallways are lined with 15 live aquariums. On the fourth floor there is a small lab for mobile field equipment for teaching and research in plant physiology including: pressure bomb for measuring stem water potential, platinum oxygen electrode set up for measuring oxygen uptake and production on small plant samples. Lab facilities include, centrifuge and Beckman UV-Visible spectrophotometer and also a lot of high-vacuum glassware.

Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

History

The museum is a gift of Monte L. Bean, a prominent Seattle businessman, and his wife, Birdie. This building was completed in 1978.

Current Use

Exhibits and collections of biological specimens are housed in the M.L. Bean Life Science Museum. The exhibits include habitat studies of local as well as exotic plant and animal species and a large and valuable collection of trophies from North America, Africa, and Asia.

Carl F. Eyring Science Center

Carl F. Eyring Science Center

History

This center was dedicated in 1950 and named for Carl F. Eyring, who was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for nearly 30 years. In 1950, it was the largest academic building in the Mountain West at 167,000 square feet and BYU's first building to have an elevator.

It was renovated from 1995 through 1997. The building was completely gutted, and the steep lecture halls were removed. The structure was also strengthened for earthquake resistance.

Current Use

The building houses science departments including the Nutrition, Dietetics, & Food Science department. There are many hands-on physics demonstrations throughout the hallways and lobbies, along with a life-sized model of a dinosaur, the blue and yellow colored Allosaurus. A Foucault Pendulum swings in the lobby, and a new 16-inch telescope was donated and installed in the Orson Pratt Observatory during the renovation. Laboratories can be found throughout the building including the Sensory Lab with its Taste Panels, the Food Quality Assurance Lab, and the Pendulum Court Cafe - a full service cafeteria run by students and interns during the fall and winter semesters.

Ezra Taft Benson Building

Ezra Taft Benson Building

Current Use

This building facilitates many needs with its several computers and 8 microcalorimeters capable of measuring respiration and metabolic heat loss on small amounts of tissues at a range of temperatures. Located on the main level there is a walk-in growth room and two large plant growth chambers. An isotope ratio mass spectrometer with elemental analyzer is also located in this building. Also a carbon-14 dating laboratory is here to be found. The first ever in Utah.

Life Sciences Greenhouses

Life Sciences Greenhouses

Current Use

Located at 1000 East and 820 North next to Kiwanis Park in Provo, the new greenhouses offer sophisticated features that will provide enhanced research and educational opportunities. Two isolation, or exclusion rooms, are enclosed with fine nylon mesh screens to keep out insects that spread viruses. A sunken room allows growing specimen trees and taller tropical plants in the ground while an assortment of plants will be grown in maneuverable containers. Landscape Design students will be able to manipulate the plants to create new designs.

The greenhouses consist of four wings, each 30 by 125 feet. Two wings are dedicated to research, one wing as a classroom area, and the other set aside for plant collections. The new facility offers twelve-foot sidewalls, an additional four feet compared to the old greenhouses. This gives growers extra vertical room to grow specialty crops. The outside covering of the greenhouses consists of a double layer of a plastic-like polycarbonate material. “Ribs” between the layers provide strength and “dead air” that acts as insulation from outside heat and cold. A light sensor determines when more or less light is needed, and a shade cloth opens and closes automatically.

The Lytle Perserve

The Lytle Perserve

Current Use

The Lytle Preserve in southwestern Utah provides a 460-acre area as an outdoor classroom in the northernmost extension of the Mojave Desert. It is managed for natural study and ecological research in a unique desert setting.

Skaggs Ranch

Current Use

Farm and ranch applied agriculture is accomplished at the 9,388-acre BYU Skaggs Research Ranch near Malta, Idaho.

USDA Forest Service Shrub Science Laboratory

USDA Forest Service Shrub Science Laboratory

Current Use

Housed on the BYU campus, this laboratory supports one of the finest research programs on native shrubs in the world. Here eleven PhD research scientists with adjunct facility appointments work with BYU faculty members and graduate students. Laboratories, greenhouses, and gardens on campus and around the state support studies on desert shrubs.

Other Laboratory and Field Resources

On the Provo campus are an arboretum, a small animal vivarium, a tissue culture room, and several environmental chambers. Laboratory facilities include gas chromatographs-mass spectrometers, isotope ratio mass spectrometers, transmission and scanning electron microscopes, ultra centrifuges, visible ultraviolet and infrared spectrophotometers, gas chromatographs, high-performance liquid chromatographs, infrared gas analyzers, atomic absorption spectrophotometer, inductively coupled plasma spectrophotometer, ion chromatograph, near infrared spectrophotometer, and many other items. Besides excellent greenhouse facilities and environmental chambers, the college has a horticulture study area where all-American vegetable and flower selections are grown.

Faculty and graduate students are currently engaged in a number of significant and interesting research projects, funded both internally and externally. Some of these are: mineral uptake by plants; ecology and seed physiology; photosynthetic rate and water-use efficiency in plants; plant breeding and molecular genetics; forage research; and environmental science.