Supporting Biology Students

As an independent nonprofit university, PLU has two primary sources of revenue – tuition and gift support. In order to keep tuition at a level that enables the university to serve the broadest possible range of students, PLU relies on the generous support of alumni, friends, corporations and foundations.

There are many ways you can support our biology students and department – scholarship and research funds, travel assistance, instruments and equipment purchases, mentor salaries, or general department funds.

Below are some of our recent donor-funded projects, upgrades, and instrument purchases. You might notice that many students are wearing Bjug Beards  of our Bjug Days of Giving!

New Imaging System

The imaging system used for imaging these students’ agarose gels is brand new and donor funded. This instrument brings us into this century, technologically speaking. We use it in BIOL 225 (Introductory Biology) for protein imaging and DNA imaging, in BIOL 330 (Genetics), and in many other upper division Biology courses. This imaging system will also be used for student- faculty research and individual faculty research projects. This imaging system moves us from old-fashioned film development imaging to electronic imaging and removes our need to handle and dispose of noxious developing chemicals.

Rieke 212 Renovation

In the spring of 2016, renovations for Rieke classroom 212 took place, partially financed with donor funds. New carpet covered the outdated linoleum. Static tables were replaced with smaller, rolling tables that can be reconfigured to meet the needs of a lecture as well as small group work. Walls were painted, white boards were placed and in mid-June, technical renovations took place to include an interactive projector and computer system. This space was designed to encourage group interactions during class. Students use the 360 degrees of whiteboards that surround the room to better visualize problems and to find solutions in collaboration with their peers. This interactive method of teaching highlights Pacific Lutheran University’s commitment to activate individual curiosity, guide inquiry, give meaning and purpose to student learning and shape vocational calling in the service of the common good. These photos include Biology professor Dr. Neva Laurie-Berry’s capstone class workshopping their papers and taking advantage of the room’s increased functionality.

Rieke 136 Intro Bio Lab Remodel

The 2011 renovation of this laboratory space was funded through donor support. This laboratory is used for BIOL 225 (Introductory Biology). This renovation allowed for significant upgrades, including technology upgrades. This technology-rich lab with portable computer stations, a SMART board, and an overhead projector allows faculty members to more efficiently and effectively engage students in multiple learning modalities at a deeper level. For example, students collect and analyze data from student-centered, inquiry-based laboratory exercises. In addition, these technological innovations allow our instructors to demonstrate a given task or procedure as the students work at their own stations simultaneously.


The Carol Sheffels Quigg Greenhouse was funded by the accumulation of many donations, including a very generous donation by Carol Sheffels Quigg, a friend of the Division of Natural Sciences. The greenhouse was constructed in 2015 and consists of 1,700-square feet, a single growing space, and an adjacent head house. The greenhouse includes fine-grained temperature controls, and heating and cooling are provided by a separate zone in the existing geothermal system that powers the nearby Morken Center for Learning and Technology. The greenhouse has its own control system to manage the ground source heat pumps. The greenhouse supports both teaching and research activities for faculty and students and also houses a standing botanical collection. Classes that use the greenhouse include Introductory Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Plant Diversity and Distribution, and Plant Physiology.