St. Thomas Biology Department Receives National Science Foundation Grant

St. Thomas has received a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant for a research project aiming to make biology education more accessible.

“Training Undergraduate Biologists through Urban Agriculture” (TUBA) aims to reduce attrition from biology by engaging students in socially- and environmentally-connected science through urban agriculture. It also aims to develop a national network of educators to integrate urban agriculture in undergraduate education. College of Arts and Sciences Biology Professor Adam Kay served as principal investigator on the project. Dr. Eric Chapman (Biology) contributed to grant development and served as senior personnel on the project.

The grant will provide the opportunity to use resources such as the Stewardship Garden to develop educational experiences at St. Thomas and partner institutions, while also learning about and incorporating ideas from community farming and food organizations. St. Thomas students also will have the opportunity to participate in semester exchange programs at other institutions in the national network, as well as study abroad experiences.

The National Science Foundation funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the United States. The foundation accounts for about one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions for basic research.