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Instructional labs

The Biology Program’s instructional laboratory staff provide preparative support for instructional laboratories in the Departments of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, Plant Biology, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and Neuroscience. 

Generally, this means that solutions and media will be made for the labs, cultures will be prepared, labs and glassware will be cleaned, and equipment will be functional and ready to use. We also supply more specialized support for each course as we are able.

We appreciate any suggestions you have to improve our role and activities in the labs. We are ready to work with you; if any problems arise, please feel free to talk to us. Coordinator: Sandy Mand 612-626-2821 | sandym@umn.edu

Responsibilities of our unit
  1. Overall coordination of CBS Instructional Labs, including lab room scheduling, lab section size limits, equipment purchases, instructional lab safety, trouble shooting, budget.
  2. Lab course improvement and design, as needed and requested.
  3. TA training.
  4. Physical set up of laboratory space - equipment, supplies, media, reagents and cultures.
  5. Provide the “continuity” for a class. Even though faculty and lab instructors may change, we are here year round. This allows us to
    • demonstrate equipment use and precautions
    • orient lab instructors to the physical space in the lab
    • alert them to problems encountered in previous quarters so that mistakes are not repeated.
  6. Inform lab instructors about our policies for safety and hazardous waste disposal.
  7. When class is in session, check to assure that all supplies and equipment are in place and that students and instructors are finding them.
  8. When class is in session, alert lab instructor if a student is having a problem (safety hazard, technical difficulties).
  9. Inform lab instructors about clean-up policy. Remind instructors to announce clean-up time so that there is adequate clean-up/set-up time between sections.
  10. Pre-run experiments, either alone or with the lab instructors if they need the experience before leading the lab session, and trouble-shoot unexpected results.
  11. Maintain instructional cultures, animals and specimen collections.
  12. Help students with projects if required by course.
  13. Provide equipment and reagents for make-up labs. The lab instructors coach the student(s) making up the lab.
  14. Provide instructional equipment and supplies for courses offered at the Lake Itasca Forestry and Biological Station.
  15. Other responsibilities are discussed and divided between the faculty, lab instructors and lab coordinator each semester.