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Facilities and Resources

Students in Pomona College's Brackett Observatory

Built in 1908, the Brackett Observatory is continually updated with new equipment, including computer-controlled 14" telescopes and modern electronic CCD cameras.

Few undergraduate institutions can match the range of special resources the College provides to its students. An artificial intelligence lab, an award-winning theatre, an 85-acre field station and a scanning electron microscope are just a few examples. Even the list that follows is only a sampling of the cutting-edge equipment, specialized spaces and other academic resources available.

Natural Sciences

The Seaver Biology and Lincoln and Edmunds buildings are the latest additions to Pomona’s extensive and up-todate science complex. Completed in 2007, Lincoln and Edmunds were designed to bring related fields together, including psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, cognitive science and computer science in one grouping and environmental analysis and geology in another. Research in geology is supported by a laser particle size analyzer, x-radiograph and carbon coulometer, along with paleomagnetics and geophysics equipment.

Psychology students work in a cognition and aging lab or use one-way vision rooms for observational study.

Chemistry students have access to extensive resources, including a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer, adaptable for use as an MRI system, an atomic absorption spectrometer, a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer, an infrared spectrometer, a capillary gas chromatograph, a laser-pumped dye laser system, a plasma spectrometer, atomic emission detectors, and much more.

Physics houses a field emission scanning electron microscope (also used by geology and chemistry) with an EDS spectrometer and pattern generator. Students use an atomic force microscope for imaging surface topography on the nanometer scale. A full machine shop and electronics laboratory enable students to build custom experimental apparatuses for research.

Astronomy students have access to the largest telescope regularly available to undergraduates in the country—a one-meter telescope located at the Table Mountain Observatory and controlled remotely from campus—as well as two 14-inch telescopes and IR camera equipment at the on-campus Brackett Observatory.

Computer science resources include labs of up-to-date computers, a security lab and an AI and robotics lab configured for designing artificial intelligence programs and programming robots.

Biology students use equipment for recombinant DNA methods and a range of other cutting-edge techniques. Students use fluorescent microscopes interfaced with computers, a microarray scanner, a real-time PCR machine, a confocal microscope, spectrophotometers, an oxygen polarograph, a flash spectrophotometer, and a pulsemodulated fluorimeter. There are also greenhouses and an AAALAC-certified animal care facility. Biology students can conduct research off campus at a range of college-related sites, from the 85-acre Bernard Biological Field Station to sites in Monterey County and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Neuroscience equipment includes systems for brain activity recording and enzyme analysis, a near-infrared spectroscope and an fMRI data analysis lab.

Humanities and Fine Arts

Studio art facilities are available 24 hours a day and include a digital art lab and drawing, painting, photography and sculpture studios. Among the facilities are a black and white and color photo lab, lighting studio, computer graphics lab, bronze and aluminum casting foundry, metalworking facility, CNC router, sculptural clay working areas and sandblasting and ventilated spraying area. The fine art collections of the Pomona College Museum of Art are available for individual study and research and are frequently used for classes.

The Seaver Theatre Complex houses a 335-seat modified-thrust proscenium theatre, a flexible “black box” theatre, two performance-ready studio classrooms, a design studio, smart classroom, scene shop and costume shop. The Pendleton Dance Studio includes two fully equipped dance studios (one a studio theatre), dressing rooms and a classroom/rehearsal studio.

Music performances are held at the 600-seat Bridges Hall of Music and the 250-seat Lyman Hall in the Thatcher Music Building, which also houses a state-of-the-art electronic music studio, the student radio station KSPC, and individual practice rooms. Keyboard instruments include four pipe organs, two harpsichords, one fortepiano and nearly 50 Steinway pianos, including four 9-foot concert grands. The department also has a collection of Western and non-Western instruments ranging from violins and trumpets to West African drums and Balinese gamelan gongs and metallophones.

The new Foreign Language Resource Center in Mason Hall offers access to a large collection of media and specialized foreign language software and hardware. Students can video-chat with native speakers, get help from tutors or play foreign language video games. The Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages and International Relations also has opportunities for daily language practice in the residence and dining halls, as well as cultural programming and a satellite feed for foreign radio and television programs.

Social Sciences

Students in the social sciences enjoy specialized library collections on campus and access to the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research and the European Union Center of California at Scripps College.

Pomona’s International Relations Colloquium (IRC) offers frequent discussions on international issues, with guest speakers including ambassadors, State Department officials, journalists and distinguished foreign visitors. Also based at Pomona, the Pacific Basin Institute sponsors film and lecture programs and is a noted study, media production and research center.

Economics students have two opportunities to manage investment portfolios through The Pomona College Investment Group and Sagehen Capital Management (SCM). SCM, established in 2007 through an anonymous million-dollar gift, has 40 members organized into three committees—Team Europe, Team Asia and Team Americas. The funds were committed for a minimum of four years, with SCM setting a benchmark return of inflation plus 2.5 percent.


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