Macalester Under the Microscope
Macalester students, faculty, and staff use a variety of microscopic techniques for teaching and research. These include both optical and electron microscopy technologies. Optical microscopes are utilized routinely in every science department on campus and allow users to see millimeter to micron scale features at 2x to more than 1000x magnification. Several examples of optical microscope images displayed in the exhibit include a mouse spinal column and dinosaur bone histology. Many faculty and students also make use of a modern electron scanning microscope (SEM) housed in the Keck Laboratory at Macalester. The SEM permits magnification from 30x to more than 100,000x magnification. The SEM also permits the user to determine the chemistry of the substance being studied. SEM images in this exhibit include a rock from the earth's mantle and electrodeposited copper thin films. Curator: Jeff Thole, Geology.
The James R. Smail Natural History and Science Gallery was established in honor of James Smail, a beloved Biology professor and department chair, who died in 1993.