Austin Hall/Science Labs

Austin Hall/Science Labs

Initial campaign gifts of $350,000 updated science and math equipment and instrumentation giving USAO students hands-on experience on par with graduate school and industry standards. 

In addition, these gifts funded major improvements to the USAO habitat area—the University’s outdoor classroom. An astronomical observatory with a computerized telescope was installed, a marsh area was created, the entry road was relocated and resurfaced, and an extensive system of paths and nature observation areas was developed. 

The remaining Austin project includes a major retrofit of the historic science hall that will see the installation of energy efficient windows and doors along with cost-saving heating and cooling systems. 


  • New microscopes for advanced and beginning labs with photography capability
  • Anatomical models
  • Binoculars, spotting scopes, GPS units and animal and fish traps for field biology
  • A new autoclave, shaker bath and centrifuge for molecular biology
  • Autodispensing pipettes were added as a standard tool
  • Plant growth stands and plant presses for botany

  • A number of new balances, glassware kits and centrifuges
  • Quality spectrometers for general chemistry
  • The obsolete high performance liquid chromatograph was replaced
  • A conductivity meter and tensiometer for upper division chemistry classes

Habitat Area and Outdoor Classroom

  • A number of improvements have been made to the historic “Lodge” building
  • AddA small astronomical observatory with a permanently mounted telescope will provide opportunities for USAO students and the Chickasha public

Miscellaneous Improvements

  • Computer interfaced experimental apparatus for physics
  • Much needed optical equipment for physics
  • A telescope and numerous fossil kits for Earth sciences
  • raphing calculators to allow for uniform instruction in mathematics
  • Chalkboards were added to several classrooms and smart boards repositioned to allow for more effective teaching
  • The largest classroom in Austin Hall received multiple informational systems and later will be upgraded to a state-of-the-art conference room
  • Additional display cases for the Natural History Museum, the McGrath Herbarium and the Mather Zoological Collection
  • Necessary upgrades to the student lounge area on the first floor

The boost in student enthusiasm is obvious, but the improvements also have stimulated the faculty who understood that quality equipment is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry. USAO students now enjoy the wonderful combination of a talented and well-educated faculty and the equipment resources necessary for an educational experience that is comprehensive and competitive.

“The new equipment purchased for the science department will have a major impact on my experience as a science major specifically. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have this new equipment available. It will make my science courses more fulfilling because of the opportunity to do more hands-on work with better equipment, especially as I begin taking my upper level science classes and labs.”- SARA GIBBS, Biology & Business


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