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Neighbors Invited to View Austin College?s IDEA Center
Article By: by Austin College
Posted: 9/3/2013 Views: 3111  Impressions: 7353
Categories: Education, Entertainment: Events, Local News

SHERMAN, TEXAS-Austin College officials are inviting their neighbors to visit campus to see the new science and technology center that has been under construction on campus for the past 18 months.

A Community Open House is scheduled for Monday, September 9, offering local friends a chance to see the building for themselves. The event begins with a 1:30 p.m. presentation in IDEA Center, Room 127, by scientist David Campbell, whose book, A Land of Ghosts: The Braided Lives of People and the Forest in Far Western Amazonia, was the "common read" for the entering Class of 2017 this fall at Austin College. Following the approximately 30-minute author's talk, the public is invited to a reception with the author and to take part in tours of the building. At 3 p.m., David Baker, professor of physics and director of the IDEA Center's Adams Observatory, will offer a brief presentation.

The building's official dedication is scheduled for later this fall.

About the IDEA Center
Ground was broken for the three-story facility in June 2011, and construction began in earnest in November of that year. For many weeks, neighbors could see the giant crane hovering above the campus. Over the past year, the building has advanced toward completion, with faculty overseeing the move of equipment this summer so that classes could begin in the new building Tuesday, September 3.

The multi-disciplinary building of approximately 103,000 square feet includes contemporary classrooms and multi-purpose laboratories that support today's hands-on, experiential science curricula. Offering considerably more space than the previous science facility on campus, the IDEA Center expands opportunities for faculty-student research and facilitates global access to research and information. The building features 32 laboratory classrooms, 40 offices, 16 lecture rooms, a 108-seat auditorium, and a domed observatory housing a 24-inch telescope with an astronomical high-resolution image camera. Native landscaping and a small water feature was put in place last week to complete the project.

With the aim of achieving Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) certification, the design of the IDEA Center incorporates high performance green building standards including construction materials that support efficient energy consumption, ecologically friendly construction techniques, solar shading and natural light, and rooftop rainwater collection for irrigation of native landscaping.

About David Campbell
David G. Campbell is a scientist, educator, and author. He spent his childhood on Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas; in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Kalamazoo College, a master's degree in biology from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Campbell joined the scientific staff of the New York Botanical Garden after earning his Ph.D. He spent eight years in the field in the Brazilian Amazon conducting research on the biogeography of trees. In 1987, he joined the sixth Brazilian expedition to Antarctica, studying the life cycles and pathologies of the invertebrate parasites of crustaceans, fish, and seals.
He also has written The Ephemeral Islands: A Natural History of the Bahamas; The Crystal Desert: Summers in Antarctica; and Islands in Space and Time. Since 1991, Campbell has been a professor of biology, chair of environmental studies, and Henry R. Luce Professor in Nations and the Global Environment at Grinnell College in Iowa.

Amazon's Review of The Land of Ghosts
"The western Amazon is the last frontier, as wild a west as Earth has ever known. For 30 years, David G. Campbell has been exploring this lush wilderness, which contains more species than ever existed anywhere at any time in the four-billion-year history of life on our planet. With great artistic flair, Campbell takes us with him as he travels to the town of Cruzeiro do Sul, 2,800 miles from the mouth of the Amazon. Here he collects three old friends: Arito, a caiman hunter turned paleontologist; Tarzan, a street urchin brought up in a bordello; and Pimentel, a master canoe pilot. They travel together even farther into the rainforest, set up camp, and survey every living woody plant in a land so rich that an area of less than fifty acres contains three times as many tree species as all of North America.
Campbell knows the trees individually, has watched them grow from seedling to death. He also knows the people of the Amazon: the recently arrived colonists with their failing farms; the mixed-blood Caboclos, masters of hunting, fishing, and survival; and the refugee Native Americans. Campbell introduces us to two remarkable women, Dona Cabocla, a widow who raised six children on that lonely frontier, and Dona Ausira, A Nokini Native American who is the last speaker of her tribe's ages-old language. These people live in a land whose original inhabitants were wiped out by centuries of disease, slavery, and genocide, taking their traditions and languages with them - a land of ghosts."

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives.

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