WCU Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology

The Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology acts as a working laboratory in which students, under the guidance of our faculty, take part in all aspects of creating a museum exhibition—from examining objects in a collection to constructing a museological narrative; from aesthetically arranging artifacts to writing exhibit labels and other interpretive markers. Past exhibits have utilized the department’s rich archaeological collections spanning diverse time periods, as well as private collections, and have addressed topics such as the Silk Road, enculturation through children’s toys, feasting and foodways from prehistoric to modern times in Chester County, and human rights in Latin America. https://www.wcupa.edu/museum/

The Shinehouse Gishwati Research Station

The Anthropology program and Department of Psychology host a primatology field school at West Chester University’s own field station in Gishwati National Park, Rwanda. Students come face-to-face with non-human primates as they aid faculty in their study of chimpanzees and golden monkeys. They also travel to a nearby national park that is home to mountain gorillas and tour Rwanda, learning about its rich culture and difficult past. Tourism, heritage and museum students can also participate in a long-term research project with primatologists and cultural anthropologists examining the biological and psychological impact of visitors on great apes in the park. http://www.gishwatiresearchstation.org/

The Robert B. Gordon Natural Area for Environmental Studies

The Robert B. Gordon Natural Area for Environmental Studies (GNA) consists of about 135 acres of woodland, old field, and wetland habitat located on the university's South Campus. Because the GNA possesses so many different natural land types (including: old growth forest, high/low density woodland, wetlands, edge and stream buffer areas) as well as the numerous plant and tree species associated with these different areas, the GNA is a dynamic, living classroom for those interested in the many aspects of the natural world. https://www.wcupa.edu/gordonNaturalArea/

The Center for Microanalysis and Imaging Research and Training (CMIRT)

The Center for Microanalysis and Imaging Research and Training (CMIRT) is a core facility of the College of the Sciences & Mathematics that is housed in the Science Complex on the campus of WCU. The space encompasses approximately 4000 ft2 with nine instrument laboratories, one preparation lab, one teaching lab, one sectioning room, two offices, one work room and one storage room. The facilities are an integral part of the independent research carried out by undergraduate and masters students under the tutelage of WCU faculty. These faculty are drawn from the Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physics and Anthropology & Sociology departments. CMIRT provides an essential platform for the training of students within a naturally multidisciplinary setting. Beyond regular coursework, CMIRT is part of internship opportunities for undergraduates in several majors. Our facilities include instrumentation to perform scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and powder X-ray diffraction (XRD). https://www.wcupa.edu/sciences-mathematics/chemistry/cmirt/

Dr. Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Planetarium

The Mather Planetarium is equipped with a state-of-the-art SciDome XD Touch digital projector. The dome is a 32-foot nanoseam dome manufactured by Spitz, Inc. The Mather Planetarium is used for WCU astronomy classes, K-12 school groups, and public programs. Our programs are made possible by a variety of funding sources including the WCU College of the Science and Mathematics, admissions fees, and generous public donations. Approximately 50 schools and other groups attend the programs each year, and annual attendance approaches 3,000 visitors. We offer weekday shows for schools and other organized groups during the fall and spring semesters. Programs for the general public are offered on Friday evenings during the academic year.https://www.wcupa.edu/sciences-mathematics/earthSpaceSciences/planetarium/

Weather Station

The Earth and Space Sciences department maintains a weather station on the roof of the Merion Science Complex. Data collected from our local station is combined with satellite images, Doppler radar graphics, upper level atmospheric readings, and detailed surface maps which provide data concerning the conditions of the atmosphere world-wide. This data is used in classroom laboratory activities, as well as for student research projects. https://www.wcupa.edu/sciences-mathematics/earthSpaceSciences/whatWeOffer.aspx

Astronomical Observatory

The College of the Sciences and Mathematics maintains an astronomical observatory on the roof of the Science Complex which is overseen jointly by the Departments of Physics and Earth & Space Sciences. The main instrument is a 10-inch Meade reflecting telescope. The observatory has two SBIG CCD cameras and an SBIG stellar spectrograph. The telescope system can be used for basic observing, astrophotography, photometry, and spectroscopy. The observatory is used as an astronomical laboratory for astronomy courses and as a research area for independent study research projects. In addition to the permanently mounted telescope, there is also a suite of portable telescopes: seven 8" Dobsonian telescopes, three 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, and a 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. https://www.wcupa.edu/sciences-mathematics/earthSpaceSciences/whatWeOffer.aspx

Geology Museum

The WCU Geology Museum in the Science Complex displays specimens from collections of historic and scientific importance. The museum is unique in the U.S. because University students who are majors in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences have created each exhibit. These exhibits use minerals, rocks, and fossils from around the world drawn from notable 19th and 20th century collectors who lived in Chester County, including William Yocom, William Brinton, Hugh McKinstry, and Ruth Bass. Each exhibit highlights an interesting topic about minerals and rocks. Students can explore electricity and magnetism in minerals using an interactive display; discover how Chester County rocks have been mined and used for hundreds of years; find the beauty of fluorescent minerals under ultraviolet light, from the extensive collection of John Stolar, Sr.; and explore ancient life through the marine creatures preserved along waterways. The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters, and is open by appointment during summer and winter sessions. Please contact the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at 610-436-2727 for more information or to make an appointment.