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November 6, 2013
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Students to prepare for green careers with NSF grant

Bowie State University students will soon be able to conduct hands-on research to prepare for careers tackling global challenges, such as the search for sustainable energy and climate change solutions, thanks to a more than $399,000 National Science Foundation grant.

Over the next three years, more than 100 undergraduate biology students will participate in cutting-edge research led by BSU faculty, learn the latest laboratory techniques in a new specialized course and use state-of the-art equipment in campus labs. The grant also lays the foundation for Bowie State University to launch a plant science program combining the expertise of biology and chemistry faculty.

Lead investigator, Dr. Anne Osano, assistant professor of biology, developed the plant science initiative to strengthen the pipeline of minority undergraduate students training for green careers and to make research a central component of the biology curriculum. As a result, more biology students may be attracted to such increasingly high-demand green jobs.

The initiative will equip a new laboratory and add a course to the biology curriculum focusing on the emerging field of plant metabolomics, the study of the chemical compounds produced by plants. Taught by Drs. Osano and Eric Bonsu, assistant professor of chemistry, the course will allow students to conduct experiments on vegetables grown in the campus greenhouse, using a device that measures compounds found in plants that could potentially be enhanced. Dr. Alan Anderson, assistant professor of chemistry, will assist Dr. Bonsu in training students to use the new lab equipment.

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