Cal State Northridge
College of Science &
Dept. of Biology
The Biology Department Newsletter
Volume 14: No. 1, Editor: J. Maxwell, Publisher J.W. Dole
California State University, Northridge
Opportunity for Students to do
Research at VA Medical Centers
Prior to the 1994 earthquake the Biology Department had a very successful cooperative
student research program with the Sepulveda VA Medical Center. Unfortunately, the
program fell apart with the collapse of buildings at both the medical center and
at Cal State Northridge on January 17, 1994.
Effective this semester, an enlarged version of the program has been officially reinstated.
Under the new program qualified students can work in laboratories at the Sepulveda
or the Wadsworth (Westwood) VA facilities. More than 200 investigators are available
to take our students into their labs. Interested students must apply for the program;
only top students will be selected. The Honors Committee will oversee the program
for the department. Dr. Cheryl Hogue, chair of the Honors Committee, is program coordinator.
She will be assisted by Dr. Joyce Maxwell, campus program coordinator.
Students interested in the program are encouraged to talk with
Dr. Hogue (677-3349) or Dr. Maxwell (677-2620).
Faculty Welcome Students in Labs
Students interested in doing independent study with Dr. Steven
Oppenheimer in fall l999, should seek him out in his basement lab, Science 2005.
Over 200 student co-authors' names have appeared on Dr. Oppenheimer's publications.
Many of those students have gone on to doctoral programs at Cornell, Harvard, Johns
Hopkins, Stanford, Berkeley, and other equally prestigious universities.
Students in Oppenheimer's lab study the role of the cell surface
in cancer spread and embryonic development. Dr. Oppenheimer has been elected a Fellow
by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the nation's most
prestigious research honors.
Microbiology Students Assoc.
The Microbiology Students Association is off to a flying start
for the spring '99 semester, having sponsored a well-attended pizza luncheon in mid-February.
Last fall, the MSA sponsored several speakers and conducted a tour of two Santa Barbara
Scheduled events include a March 5 talk by former Cal State Northridge
microbiologist Dr. Charles Spotts on "The microbiology of fermentation"
and an April 30 talk by Richard Ruby of the Los Angeles FDA office. Ruby will talk
on "Salmonella in raw milk and employment opportunities within the FDA."
Watch for flyers indicating locations and times of other speakers and events.
Students wishing to join MSA or attend events should contact an
MSA officer: Karen Kesterson, President; Jennifer Reynolds, Vice-President;
Patricia Medina, Secretary; Andra Dumitrescu, Treasurer
and Michael Bauman, Web-Master.
What's New in the Garden?
One of the Biology Department's best kept secrets is its lush
Botanic Garden, just across Lindley Street from the Science Buildings. But this verdant
garden and its adjacent greenhouses full of exotic plants is a secret no longer!
As part of Cal State Northridge's 40th Anniversary celebration, the Botanic Garden
recently held its first open house and invited the public to view this campus treasure.
The more than 60 garden enthusiasts who attended were treated to a guided tour of
the garden, the greenhouses, and the new ecology pond.
The open house also marked the inauguration of "Friends of the Garden,"
a group of benefactors developed under the guidance of Barbara Caretto, Development
Director for the College of Science and Mathematics. A one-year "Friends"
membership is available for a tax-deductible gift of $30 per individual, $40 per
family. Contributions will be used to add labels to the plants, acquire garden benches,
obtain new and unusual plants, develop new theme areas, and insure disabled access.
For brochures and membership information call 818-677-3496.
The garden also welcomes volunteers from the University and community. Volunteers
participate in a wide variety of activities, from potting plants to tending the garden.
They also receive horticultural instruction and benefit from the theraupeutic effect
of working with plants. Volunteers meet at the greenhouse on Wednesdays, 9-12 a.m.
The New Ecology Pond
You may have noticed a lot of heavy machinery and construction
activity just south of the Botanic Garden. This soon-to-be Ecology Pond will be inherited
by the Biology Department from the University's Physical Plant Management (PPM) unit
upon completion. Over time, Botanic Garden plantings will be extended to include
the area around the pond.
The new pond will be stocked with the plants and fish from the old reflecting pond
on the west side of campus, dismantled to make way for a construction project. The
Ecology Pond will feature improved habitat for fish, greater plant diversity, a striking
waterfall feature and a shaded, restful viewing area.
Inspiration, design and funding for the pond were provided by PPM. The Biology Department
will provide continued maintenance. The Ecology Pond promises to be a popular campus