The Skidmore Analytical Interdisciplinary Laboratory (SAIL) is a suite of instruments suitable for elemental analysis, ion analysis, molecular analysis, as well as direct functional analysis. The inter-relatedness of composition, structure and function is fundamental to many scientific systems and understanding these relations is a central question in biology, chemistry and anthropology. The generality of this question can foster unique collaborations among faculty and students in seemingly disparate disciplines, especially when the instrumentation necessary to answer the question is housed together. Our goal is to enhance the level of inquiry, scholarship and research training at our institution.
Skidmore College has a strong tradition of faculty-undergraduate research and the college has significantly increased its commitment to the sciences, with a concomitant increase in scholarship by its faculty and the proportion of students that pursue advanced degrees in the sciences. The establishment of SAIL is the next step in the college’s efforts to train a new generation of scientists. In addition to the training of our own faculty and undergraduates, the SAIL facility is available for use by local community colleges and high schools.