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2014 Fall Linfield Magazine

Boot camp for “We see first-year students in Students kick off flip-flops and wade kneedeep research labs because of iFOCUS. into the Pacific surf, armed with vials and tubes, collecting seawater and microscopic organisms buried in the sand. That doesn’t happen at other On another day, they peer through microscopes, searching for tiny fruit fly characteristics schools. Generally students don’t with names like “Captain Crunch” and “white eyes.” They program circuit boards with brightly colored wires, explore mathematical graph theory and examine the get to go into research until their impact of heavy metals on chlorophyll in spinach leaves. Welcome to iFOCUS,* an innovative week-long science program in which first-year Linfield students work alongside faculty junior or senior year, which may and student researchers before the academic year begins. Over the course of six days, 11 students had a hands-on be too late for them to decide preview of science research across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, math and physics. They scrutinized fruit flies, marine life, mathematical theory, complex circuit boards, chlorophyll interactions, about a career.” and more. At the end, as researchers do, they designed – Anne Kruchten, associate professor of biology, iFOCUS coordinator and presented posters outlining their findings. Connell Crabtree ’18 peers through a microscope, scanning for Captain Crunch. Not the breakfast cereal, but the fruit fly. “Okay, we have Captain Crunch and white eyes,” he calls out moments later. Students are identifying traits of the tiny fruit fly: different body colors, curled wings and distinct patterns of shoulder bristles (i.e. Captain Crunch). As they gently sort specimens with small paint brushes, biology Professor Catherine Reinke encourages them to chime in and records the results on the whiteboard. It’s a lively discussion, centered on gene mutations and DNA genotypes. “I’m getting to experience little bits of every type of science,” said Crabtree. “We’ve looked at electronics, genetics, marine biology and more. We’re seeing what each program has to offer.” At right, Cheyenne Maio-Silva ’18 and Peter Schafer ’18 gather core samples of sand at Seal Rock near Newport, one of four beaches they studied during an overnight trip to the coast. The data revealed an increase in the amount of organisms the farther inland they sampled. Left, the marine biology section was led by Jeremy Weisz, assistant professor of biology. *Interdisciplinary First-year Orientation Camp for Undergraduate Sciences 6 - l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e Fall 2014


2014 Fall Linfield Magazine
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