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James I. Swenson Science Building, c. 2005

Department of Biology

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The James I. Swenson Science Building was completed in June 2005 with the first classes offered in its laboratories in July of 2005. This modern science laboratory building houses portions of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Biology. This $33 million facility has 2 and a half floors with an area of almost 100,000 square feet. The architect was Carol Ross Barney of Chicago.

This building is named for James Swenson, a 1959 graduate of the UMD Department of Chemistry, who completed a research project on peat when he was an undergraduate at UMD. There are 16 teaching labs for general, organic and bio-chemistry courses and general, cell, molecular and micro-biology courses. These labs were designed to integrate modern experimental methods with state of the art instrumentation to encourage student lab teamwork, to meet all safety regulations, and to allow for the expansion of undergraduate research.

There are 12 research labs for the faculty in both Biology and Chemistry Departments along with several rooms for specialty research support; these include cold, tissue culture, variable temperature, radioisotope, aquaria and equipment rooms. The posters you see in the building present the variety of projects being carried out in the research labs.

The pond has two functions. It is a biological experimental site for students and faculty and an integral part of the storm water handling system.

  • The sculpture that stands outside the Swenson Science Building is called Wild Ricing Moon. It stands 70ft high and was designed by Minnesota artist John David Mooney.
  • The spiral staircase outside casts a shadow of the Double Helix.
  • From the outside, the building resembles a ship pulling into the harbor.

Next Location

Return through the skyway and down two flights of stairs. Turn left into Life Sciences.

Tour Stops

Tour Home

  1. Solon Campus Center
  2. Darland Administration Building
  3. Chemistry Building
  4. School of Medicine
  5. Marshall W. Alworth Hall
  6. Swenson Science Building
  7. Life Science Building
  8. Heller Hall
  9. Kirby Student Center
  10. Residence Dining Center
  11. Housing
  12. Health Services
  13. Kirby Plaza
  14. Bohannon Hall
  15. Montague Hall
  16. Endazi-gikinoo'amaading
  17. Labovitz School of Business and Economics
  18. Library
  19. Swenson Civil Engineering Building
  20. Voss-Kovach Hall
  21. Engineering Building
  22. Visualization & Digital Imaging Lab
  23. Marshall Performing Arts Center
  24. Sports and Health Center
  25. Weber Music Hall
  26. Humanities Building
  27. A.B. Anderson Hall
  28. Tweed Museum of Art
  29. Cina Hall
  30. Chester Park
  31. Other Points of Interest


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Last modified on 10/05/11 02:58 PM
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