University Trustees explore future research partnerships at Temple Ambler

Campus research on display

Temple University is on the rise. The best word to describe the University in 2018 is “momentum.”

That energy extends well beyond Temple’s Main Campus and into Montgomery County.

Temple’s Board of Trustees and President Richard Englert recently headed out of the city for a different view of the University at the Temple Ambler Campus. While hosting their final meeting of the school year, the trustees had the opportunity to explore the history, current projects, unique research and diverse environments that comprise the campus.

“One of the things that I love about Temple Ambler is how much the campus and the gardens influence and inspire what is taking place within the classroom,” said Temple University Provost JoAnne Epps. “Students are learning by doing, designing and building landscape architecture projects, and learning plant science with the latest technology.”

According to Provost Epps, the trustees have directed her to examine a variety of potential research partnerships and other types of coordinated efforts with departments within the University and outside organizations “that would be of great benefit to students, faculty and Temple alumni in addition to the community as a whole.”

“There is great potential to conduct research at Temple Ambler that couldn’t take place anywhere else at the University,” she said. “There is also great potential to partner with outside organizations to provide new and innovative educational and career opportunities to our students.”

At Temple Ambler, Civil Engineering and Earth and Environmental Science professors are researching seismic waves while College of Science and Technology researchers study hydrology, weather and more. Criminal Justice experts are training new police officers and park rangers while psychology students explore the cognitive development of children in the Temple Infant and Child Lab.

While on campus, the trustees were shown research being conducted by Temple Ambler’s fully accredited aquaponics lab. In addition to touring the campus gardens, they also learned about the numerous programs offered by the Ambler Arboretum and Temple Ambler EarthFest that promote STEM, environmental education and citizen science.

In the Ambler Campus Technology Center, trustees had a chance to test drive virtual reality and augmented reality hardware, which students on campus are already putting to use envisioning the future of the campus in extraordinarily rendered 3D visualizations.

The trustees also had a hands-on look at how 3D printing is being used by several academic disciplines. The Ambler Campus Aquaponics Lab, for example, is working with the College of Engineering and the Mathematics, Engineering & Science Achievement (MESA) program to teach high school students in Philadelphia to build aquaponics systems of their own, in part using 3D printing.

“We’re all very grateful that the trustees are open to and interested in seeing how the unique features and resources of Temple Ambler can be put to the best uses,” said Dr. Vicki Lewis McGarvey, Vice Provost for University College. “We’re very excited to explore future partnerships that would mesh perfectly with the campus and work with us to support the mission of Temple Ambler and the University.”