4/8/09
Moravian Awarded $40,000
Environmental Education Fund Grant

The LI-6400XT will allow students and faculty members to monitor photosynthesis under different conditions, measure soil microbe respiration, study chlorophyll fluorescence, and much more.

Moravian College has been awarded the LI-COR Environmental Education Fund (LEEF) Grant for the purchase of the LEEF III Package. Diane Husic, professor and chair of biological sciences, submitted the grant application in February with the help of Sue Schamberger, director of foundation relations. 

The state-of-the-art equipment features a portable photosynthesis and fluorescence system that can be used in the lab and the field by Moravian students and faculty members. The grant also includes all of the supporting equipment and software for the system, a 5-year service package, a 5-year training program, $500 of consumables, and a $500 travel award for presentation of qualifying undergraduate research. Total value of the package is $86,500; the LI-COR grant will cover $40,000 of the cost, and Moravian will cover the remaining $46,500. (Sue Schamberger will be writing matching grants). 

Professor Husic estimates that the package could be used in as many as thirteen different courses—not only by biology and environmental science majors, but also by the many non-science majors who take a life science lab. Honors and SOAR projects also will benefit. The equipment will be ordered this spring for use this summer.

Professor Husic offers several tips for obtaining a grant award:

  • Be aware of opportunities. "I heard about the LI-COR program last summer at a professional Plant Biology conference. I talked at length with the reps and they encouraged us to apply."
  • Collaborate to develop and articulate ideas. "Frank Kuserk and Sue Schamberger contributed ideas and helped edit the proposal. I am grateful to Gordy Weil, Dennis Domchek, and PBC, as well. The proposal went from idea to reality in a very short time."
  • Invest a little, gain a lot. Be willing to "dedicate a bit of time and take the risk of having your ideas judged by others. It's worth it. If you succeed, you enhance the resources and opportunities for students and for your own work. If your proposal is not accepted, you gain valuable feedback to improve your next submission."