Yukon College opens new research lab
Yukon College officials hope its new $2.7 million Yukon Research Centre will attract students and faculty to the North.
"We never had anything like this before and it allows us to do research, pure research," said Clint Sawicki, director of the Yukon Research Centre. "It's specifically a research building. It's not a teaching lab or anything else so we'll be doing hard sciences."
The new two-storey building at the campus in Whitehorse has a Class 2 Biohazard lab facility, space for receiving and securing samples, office space for visiting researchers, and a collections room.
The money to build the new research centre came from the federal government’s Arctic Research Infrastructure Fund.
There were labs at Yukon College before but they were part of classrooms. Scientists had said they needed a dedicated research space.
A graduate student from the University of British Columbia is now in the facility working on her master’s degree in biology. She's studying the eating habits of boreal owls.
"One of the areas that we'll be working on is building that capacity at the college student level, the university level," said Sawicki.
The college hopes to have at least 15 researchers and their projects housed in the new lab by January.