Self Guided Walking Tour

Self Guided Walking Tour

***These events and self guided tours only take place on Decision day, Saturday, April 6th, 2019***

UCD College of Biological Sciences (CBS) Sciences Laboratory Building (SLB) Walking Tour

This approximately 15 minute self-guided tour allows you to experience what it is like to be a CBS student at UC Davis.

Start at the dino tracks in the lobby of the SLB, then the dino prints on the floor will guide you throughout the building. The point the way, like arrows!

Have fun and be sure to ask our student hosts all kinds of questions. They are wearing blue or green colored shirts, are located throughout the hallways.

1. Start at the Dino Tracks

Robert Rowley (a UCD alum), donated four castings of dinosaur footprints made from tracks left 65 million years ago by a Tyrannosaurus rex, Hadrosaurs (duckbilled dinosaurs), and a raptor.

The fiberglass footprint casts of the dinosaur tracks came from the ceiling of a coal mine near Price, Utah.  The dinosaurs left their footprints in ancient peat and, in times of flooding, the prints filled with sand. Over the ages, as the dinosaurs disappeared and mountains formed on top of the swamps, the sand turned to stone and the peat to coal. When miners dug out the coal, they discovered these footprints.

2. Chem Labs and Service Window (Chemistry dept. is actually Letters & Science)

The introductory chemistry courses are taught in other buildings on campus. At the time of the building’s design, the chemistry laboratories were old and outdated; it was important to move the chemistry program to new space.  There are ten laboratories for Chemistry 2A, B, C in the SLB. The Service Window supplies students with equipment students need for research.

Bio Brew

The Sciences Lab Building designers wanted to provide visitors, students, faculty and staff (in the sciences or not!) a sense of community by including Bio Brew.

Undergraduate Research Poster Sessions

Undergraduate poster sessions are an excellent way for our undergraduates to familiar themselves with the process and academic rigors of presenting research in a scholarly manner. The goal is to stimulate interaction between students and faculty, while encouraging undergraduates to pursue advanced degrees towards the goal of research and college teaching.

Go upstairs to the 2nd floor

5. Study areas and computer labs (various)

Part of the design concept of the SLB was to not only provide state of the art laboratories, but also a place to build a sense of community for CBS students. Some  features are an atrium, natural light, study areas and small group study or conference rooms. Additionally, the building houses an open access computer lab with printing.

6. Open Lab—Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior (NPB 101L), Room 2021

Lab participation extends the lessons of NPB 101 by providing students opportunities to observe  and analyze physiologic phenomena in the laboratory setting.   Each weekly lab tests a major physiologic mechanism, including motor control of skeletal muscle, cardiovascular responses to exercise and posture, the primary controllers of respiratory function, and gastrointestinal smooth muscle regulation by signal factors.  Students collect and process their data, present their findings during discussion sections and write two comprehensive laboratory reports.

Follow the dino prints to turn around and head to the  3rd floor

7. Open Lab—Biochemistry (MCB 120L), Room 3016

Introduction to laboratory methods and procedures employed in studying biochemical processes.  This is a required lab for the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major and a choice for students in the Biological Sciences major with the Molecular Biology emphasis.  This lab is excellent preparation for students who plan to go into Biotechnology research, medical school, or graduate school.

Turn around to go back to main corridor and to the left down the hall

8. Open Lab Cell Bio and Genetics Labs (MCB 140L & 160L), Rooms 3051/3059/3060

The Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Laboratory course teaches students current tools used in molecular biology and biochemistry research facilities. These are spectroscopy, protein assays, enzyme kinetics, electrophoresis, recombinant DNA methods for cloning and expressing proteins, and Western blot analysis for protein detection; plus an introduction to accessing online protein structure information. The open lab will have demonstrations of the Bradford Protein assay, affinity column chromatography, and the spectral analysis of a protein.

Continue to the center of the hall

UCD Legends Displays (8 and 9)

9. Katherine Esau (3 April 1898 – 4 June 1997) was a very successful botanist elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1957.  She was only the 6th woman to be so honored and in 1989 she was awarded the National Medal of Science.  Her early research was on developing sugar beets resistant to disease.  She worked at Davis in the late 1920’s when Davis was the agricultural arm of UC Berkeley.  When she completed her PhD, she came to Davis as an instructor and botanist.  Her pioneering work in plant anatomy led to the many very successful textbooks shown in the case.

Continue down the hall

10. George Ledyard Stebbins, Jr. (January 6, 1906 – January 19, 2000) was an American botanist and geneticist who is widely regarded as one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His most important publication was Variation and Evolution in Plants, which combined genetics and Darwin's theory of natural selection to describe plant speciation. Stebbins completed his PhD at Harvard and then came to Davis when it was part of UC Berkeley. From 1950, Stebbins was instrumental in the establishment of the Department of Genetics at the University of California, Davis. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the National Medal of Science , and helped develop evolution-based science programs for Calif. high schools.

11. Open Lab—BIS 2C, Room 3085

The Introduction to Biology (BIS) is a core foundational series (BIS 2A, 2B, 2C) for all Bio Sci students and was uniquely designed for the College of Biological Sciences. The BIS 2C course is focused on an introduction to organismal diversity, using the phylogenetic tree of life as an organizing theme. Lectures and laboratories cover methods of phylogenetic reconstruction, current knowledge of the tree of life, and the evolution of life's most important and interesting innovations. The course includes a broad survey of biodiversity ranging from Archaea, Bacteria, and microbial eukaryotes to plants, animals, and fungi. In the lab you will find a selection of activities from our labs and specimens that are used to support student learning.

12. Open Learning Center—Bio Learning Center, Room 3089

Teaching labs are Mon-Thurs, the BLC is open on Fridays for students to work on lab assignments.

Continue to South end of the hall

13. Open Lab—Teaching Greenhouse

The SLB greenhouse is a class production greenhouse used to grow plants needed on a regular basis by lower division and upper division courses such as BIS 2B and 2C, Plant Anatomy, Evolution of Weeds, and various other courses needing live plant specimens.  Special features include the epiphyte walls at the west end and "boxes" with habitat dioramas at various locations.  The greenhouse is situated to receive maximum light year round allowing for faster growing of plants with state of the art control systems such as automatic shade curtains, supplemental lighting, automatic watering, space saving rolling benches, and patterned glass for strong diffuse light.

Take stairs to 2nd floor (Note the lovely display garden to the left through the 2nd floor landing window)

14. Learning Center—BIS 2A Learning Center, Room 2089

BIS 2A is the introductory biology course at UCD.  BIS 2A will be the first biology class that science majors will take when attending UCD.  BIS 2A is a very large class, with over 1000 students every quarter.  To help the students learn the material taught in BIS 2A was have a designated learning center that is staffed with BIS 2A  TAs that give individual and group tutoring.  We also do a lot of hands on learning activities, which include making molecular models, and we have a lot of posters, pre-made models, and a small library in the learning center for students to use during open hours.

15. Open Lab—Microbiology Lab, Room 2098

Take a tour of the microbiology labs and discover the amazing diversity of microbial life.  Majoring in microbiology is excellent preparation for a variety of professions, including medicine, pharmacy, clinical laboratory science, biotechnology, environmental studies and PhD/MS graduate programs.

Turn around and take stairs to 1st floor

[You’re almost done…..have you talked to one of our fabulous students yet?!]

16. Learning Center—BIS 2B Learning Center, Room 1089

Introduction to basic principles of ecology and evolutionary biology, focusing on the fundamental mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity across scales ranging from molecules and genes to global processes and patterns.

17. BIS 2B Lab— Room 1090

The BIS 2B course is another course in the introduction to biological sciences sequence.  It acts as an introduction to basic principles of ecology and evolutionary biology focusing on the fundamental mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity. This diversity occurs across scales ranging from molecules and genes to global processes and atoms.


We hope you enjoyed the tour!

What makes Davis a great place to study biology?

Much of the UCD campus is devoted to teaching and research in the biological sciences and the associated professional schools (med school, vet school, nursing school, training in public health).  The College of Biological Sciences teaches the Introductory Biology core courses (BIS 2ABC) that serve the entire campus.

UCD is unusual because a lot of resources are devoted to Introductory Biology labs.  According to CBS philosophy, students should see and experience biology through hands-on labs early in their studies. Lab sections are small—24 students with a graduate student and undergraduate tutor as guides.  Many other schools have cut these labs to save money or use large scale demos instead. 

There are also state of the art upper division biochemistry labs—again labs have 24 students, a PhD level instructor and up to 4 undergraduate tutors—a very high instructor to student ratio that allows students to experience biology first-hand.

Sciences Laboratory Building Quick Facts

¨ Opened in 2005

¨ Total project cost $58 Million; funded by CA bond issue

¨ Three stories tall with 141,219 gross square feet and 80,495 assignable square feet

¨ Wireless building for computer access

¨ 34 state-of-the-art teaching laboratories (24 biology and 10 chemistry), clustered in academic neighborhoods by discipline

¨ Circulating salt water system for aquatic ecology laboratories

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