Innovative Technology/Lab Support Proposal Online Form

Proposal Author Derek S. Sikes   Contact Email
Area Innovative Technology & Education   Contact Phone +1 907 474 6278
Amount Reqested 15,225   Group/Department University of Alaska Museum
Year Fall 2012   College CSNM
Proposal Summary
The University of Alaska Museum currently lacks an adequate number of stereo microscopes for university education and outreach purposes. For students of whole-organismal biology, mastery of the microscope is probably the single most essential technical skill they must develop and use consistently throughout their training. We propose the purchase of 12 Zeiss Stemi DV4 Apochromat student stereo microscopes to aid in teaching and community outreach.

The museum currently has only five stereomicroscopes (3 different Bausch & Lomb student models). All are of unknown age but appear to be 20-30 years old, only 2 have built-in lights, one external light is available for a third scope, and at least one scope is in need of repair and is not fully functional.  At best there are only three functional microscopes for educational use in the museum. Research micrscopes are sometimes pulled from museum preparation labs for teaching purposes to help compensate for the lack of adequate microscope numbers. These older student microscopes are likely not worth maintaining (even when new, their magnification and resolving power was lower than ideal). Given the importance of the mastery of microscope use to the educational experience of UAF science students, the replacement of these too-few and aging microscopes will be a vast improvement.

Budget detail: Requested from TAB Provided by Unit Total Cost
Personnel $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Contractual Services (Installation/Training) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Supplies $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
(Hardware & software)
$14,805.00 $0.00 $14,805.00
Shipping Costs $420.00 $0.00 $420.00
TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED $15,225.00 $0.00 $15,225.00

Justification for any personnel or supplies requested:
Describe who will benefit in terms of numbers of students and classes:
BIO 615 Systematics and Comparative Biology, BIO 195 Introduction to Field Entomology (Summer), BIO 195 Introduction to Alaska's Flora (Summer), BIO 331 Systematic Botany, BIO 406 Entomology, BIO 474 Plant Ecology, BIO 475 Vegetation Description and Analysis, FISH 427 Ichthyology, and BIO/GEOS 492 Vertebrate Paleontology. These microscopes will serve approximately 170 students in the Department of Biology and Wildlife, the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Furthermore, these microscopes would be used in highschool bridging and outreach programs such as the Alaska Statewide High School Science Symposium (ASHSSS), Alaska Summer Research Academy (ASRA), and other community outreach efforts that are conducted at the UA Museum of the North.
How does your proposal fit into UAF strategic goals and objectives?:
These new microscopes will help UAF provide "high-quality academic programs that meet student and state needs." In particular within UAF's Strategic Vision – Teaching and Learning for Student Success document the success of this proposal would address Objective C: "To provide academic programs with sufficient support to maintain and improve quality." This proposal also addresses UAF's goal IV "to have state-of-the-art technology and facilities for teaching and learning."

With respect to UAF's goal to increase community engagement these microscopes can be used during the Museum's open house and family day events. These events bring thousands of local citizens into the museum to interact with the museum's research and education staff (and children love to look through microscopes!)
Outline the implementation schedule and staff responsible for the implementation and oversight:
LED low energy lights on the microscopes will reduce energy consumption relative to traditional lighting systems. Dr. Sikes, Associate Professor of Entomology and Curator of Insects, will oversee the purchase and installation of these microscopes and will be responsible for their oversight. Purchasing will occur as soon as funds are available, and given the need to ship from Germany, the microscopes should be installed within 1 month of purchase.
Please specify the building (with room numbers, if appropriate) where the technology will be stored, installed or used:
University of Alaska Museum of the North classroom (room 151).
Northern Focus Optical provides a 6 year warranty on parts and labor and free on-sight installation. The microscopes are designed to be durable and are essentially maintenance free. The proposed Zeiss Stemi DV4 Apochromat Stereo Microscopes (see attached quote for details) with transmitted long-life LED illumination for cold and white light are rugged for student use but high quality. These microscopes can easily be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of heights of samples frequently used in these organismal courses. The Museum classroom, which doubles as a lab space, comfortably seats 12 students so we are asking for 12 microscopes.  These microscopes will be housed on a dedicated cart in the secure (no-public access) research area of the museum but accessible to instructors. A set of six of this same model Zeiss microscopes was recently purchased for use by Dr. Sarah Fowell in the UAF Geology department. Dr. Fowell says she "really likes them, and so do the students. They are durable with nice zoom features."

Items Description
# of Units Unit Price Total Price
Zeiss Stemi DV4 Apochromat Student Stereo Microscope 12 1233.75 14,805
shipping 420 420
Total     $15,225

Back to Top