Sep 16, 2011 6:57 PM by Irina Cates (KPAX News)
PABLO- The Salish Kootenai College Life Science program helps Native Americans succeed in areas of science where they are under-represented and on Friday morning, the college blessed and dedicated its recently completed, state-of-the-art science research labs.
"People come up from other universities and they see out instrumentation and they say, 'whoa, I wish we had that,'" SKC Head of Department of Life Sciences Doug Stevens said.
"The students here get hands-on experience very early. As early as sophomores they can come and work in the lab," says Elizabeth Rutledge, SKC Cellular and Molecular Biology Lab Director.
"Biomedical research is a significant economic engine in today's Montana economy and it offers great promise for tomorrow," added Rocky Mountain Labs Assistant Director Marshall Bloom.
The instructors prepare students for advanced degrees in cellular and molecular biology, environmental chemistry and toxicology.
"They can earn a bachelors degree here, learn hands-on techniques in research-skills that are needed in graduate school and to go on," Rutledge said.
"When a student from Fort Belknap, which is very rural and very disadvantage school system, can stand in lab in Harvard- which supposed to be our premier research institution- and says I can do that, that tells me I think we're doing something right here," Stevens concluded.