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10 Things To Do in the New Lincoln and Edmunds Buildings

Pomona College's newest pair of academic buildings were dedicated March 2. Check out our list of 10 things for students to do in the Lincoln and Edmunds buildings, once all of the departments are set up and settled in:

  1. Spit. Whoa, now. Let us explain. The Psychology Department's new space includes a Saliva Room, to be used by Professors Nicole Weekes' and Richard Lewis' students to gather saliva samples for their research on how examination stress influences health, memory and brain activity. They collect salivary samples during times of high and low test-stress, analyzing them for stress and immune markers such as cortisol. See, it's all very scientific.
  2. Lounge a bit -- with a purpose. The buildings include nine lounges, one for each department, to encourage the sort of casual academic interactions than can lead to intellectual breakthroughs, friendly debates or stress-relieving fun.
  3. Watch the waves. Once everything is in place, the Geology Department's new Hydro Lab will include a 20-foot-long, six-foot-high wave tank to help students understand the process of beach erosion. With Pomona's Southern California location, it's easy for Professor Linda Reinen to bring students to locales such as San Onofre State Beach as part of their research. But the wave tank will allow students to see more of the erosion process, as they watch what goes on under water.
  4. Write on the walls. Again, let's explain. The hallways and labs of the Computer Science Department are covered from floor to ceiling with dry-erase wall boards, allowing near-endless space for students to scrawl. Professors arrive in the morning and discover what students have been thinking about the night before. The writings sometimes reach beyond comp-sci into chemistry, economics, music and far beyond. "It has proved both to be academically valuable and an interesting sociological window into our students' lives and interests," says Professor Kim Bruce.
  5. Catch a view. Look north from the third floor of the Lincoln Building and you'll discover a sweeping view of north campus, the city of Claremont and the towering, snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains. Feel relaxed? Now get back to the books.
  6. Save the planet. The buildings' green-friendly features range from rooftop solar panels (seen at right) to waterless urinals to nearby carpool spaces, all designed to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. Construction involved the elimination of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) and halon refrigerants and the use of recycled materials and rapidly renewable materials, such as the bamboo flooring used in parts of the buildings.
  7. Go acoustic. The new audiometric testing room, which reduces noise and optimizes acoustics for sound recording, will be used by Linguistics and Cognitive Science Professor Mary Paster in her work studying phonetics as well as dying languages and dialects. Paster concedes the room can be a tad eerie at first. "It's completely dead,'' she says. "There's no echo at all. I've never experienced anything like it."
  8. Try on a funky visor. In Professor Martin Hackl's Eye Tracker Lab, research subjects will sit in front of a computer screen, donning a visor-like piece of equipment that holds two tiny cameras and a small infrared light. By tracking the movements of his subjects’ eyes as they respond to questions involving the on-screen imagery, Hackl searches for new understandings of how the mind works and of the relationship between thought and language.
  9. Play. OK, OK, it's actually the tykes who get to enjoy the toys or practice social or cognitive tasks in the new child development research room overseen by Psychology Professor Patricia Smiley. Your job is to observe from behind the one-way mirror. The new room is larger and offers more sophisticated DVD-recording equipment than what the College had before, according to Smiley.
  10. Be inspired. In the Lincoln Building, the Intercollegiate Department of Chicano/a Studies is home to "The Struggle for a Home," a mural created by noted L.A. muralist Paul Botello, who teaches here. The vibrant mural tells the story of the successful effort to create a Chicano Studies Department at the Claremont Colleges during the tumultuous '60s. Rody Lopez '09 likes to hang out in the glass-walled study room where the mural is displayed. "The first few days I just kept staring at it," says Lopez, who decided to become a studio art major after taking one of Botello's classes.