Science facilities

Knowlton Science Center - 20,000 square foot building

Nature Preserve - 160-acre, adjacent to campus

Moyer Nature Center - Located near the main entrance of the Nature Preserve

Shoker Science Center - 10,000 sq-ft underground building

Austin E. Knowlton Science Center, a 20,000 square foot building built on the west side of campus, is designed for 21st-century teaching and learning. The center features labs and collaborative spaces for biology, chemistry,  pre-medicine, pre-physical therapy, medical laboratory science and dietetics students. 
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Biology labs are housed in Knowlton Science Center. Standard equipment consists of  microscopes, walk-in refrigerator, sterilizer, a thermocycler. Various instruments are shared with chemistry such as spectrophotometers, microscopes and dissecting scopes with digital cameras, and other standard equipment. An anamotage table is a new tool housed in Knowlton.

The university maintains a 160-acre Nature Preserve adjacent to campus where students can observe and obtain specimens. Riley Creek runs through the nature preserve and Little Riley Creek runs through campus. 

The Moyer Nature Center is located near the main entrance of the nature preserve and serves as a place for field study in the sciences, programming for recreational leadership, and environmental and sustainability education for the public.


The chemistry labs in Knowlton Science Center contain a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance machine and other modern instrumentation such as FT-IR, Raman, FT-NMR, GC, HPLC, UV-VIS, AA, and other standard equipment. Students will use these instruments regularly as part of their laboratory experience.


The Wannemacher Food Science Lab in Knowlton Science Center includes six kitchen areas for 12 students. There are three gas and three electric stoves, all with state-of-the-art safety features. The lab’s centerpiece is the demonstration kitchen, which includes two cameras that allow professors to teach techniques during class or have educational events. Students can livestream their events and record them for evaluation.



Physics and pre-engineering are housed in Shoker Science Center, a 10,000 sq-ft underground building. Faculty offices, a student study area, reference library and computer work stations are also housed in Shoker Science Center. 

Physics labs include typical instructional equipment such as air tracks, as well as electronics work stations, radiation detection equipment and computer data-acquisition systems. A small machine shop is shared with other science disciplines.

Physics also maintains astronomy equipment including several small refracting telescopes and two computer-guided Schmidt-Cassegrainian telescopes (Meade LX-200 8-inch and Celestron Nexstar 5-inch). Astrophotography can be pursued with film cameras or with a Meade digital camera.

General education labs

One science course with a lab is requied of all Bluffton students. Non-science students select from several general education competencies science offerings. Labs for these courses are usually held in the Founders Hall Labs. Lab sections are limited to 18 students so everyone can receive a hands-on experience under direct supervision of a science professor.