LLCC Chemistry Club sponsors sixth annual “Haunted Lab” Oct. 26

The LLCC Chemistry Club will host the sixth annual “Haunted Lab” Friday, Oct. 26 from 5-6:30 p.m. in upper Sangamon Hall.

Children ages five and older and their parents/guardians are invited to the free event. Pre-registration is required at

Children will see “spooky” science demonstrations and learn about experiments they can do at home. Experiments will be conducted by club members under the guidance of Jennifer Ramm, LLCC professor of chemistry.

Science demonstration shows will run about 20 minutes and will take place in Sangamon Hall Rooms 2213 and 2215. Children will see bubbles, color changes, fire and much more as they learn about science.

Shows begin every 15 minutes at 5, 5:15, 5:30, 5:45, 6 and 6:15 p.m. While waiting for shows to begin, children can participate in hands-on activities and face painting across the hall in Room 2216.

Children are welcome to wear Halloween costumes to the event. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.

Spring bird banding highlights

Tony Rothering, professor of biology, reports that the spring season at the LLCC bird banding station saw a new season high for number of species. Below are highlights and the entire report is attached. The 2018 fall banding season will begin Monday, Aug. 20.

  • A total of 1,687 birds were banded of 87 species (new season high!) over 52 banding days (the previous season high for any season was 82 species).
  • Of these, 146 returns (birds banded during an earlier season) were captured.
  • The average capture rate of unbanded birds was 32.4 birds per day.
  • Three new species for the banding station were captured this spring: Black-billed Cuckoo, Scarlet Tanager and Vesper Sparrow.
  • Over 12 banding seasons, we have banded 20,089 birds of 122 species.
  • Over 250 LLCC students visited the LLCC bird banding station.

View spring bird banding final report.

Annual tomato plant sale

The LLCC Environmental Club is holding their annual sale of heirloom tomato plants. Plants will be ready for pick up during finals week. Plants were a little slow to take off this year, so they will be a bit smaller than usual. You can still count on the same beautiful tomatoes and great heirloom flavor — a bargain, at any price! All plants are $1 each.

Please complete and send the attached order form to Becky Croteau via interoffice mail, or e-mail it to

Environmental Club Heirloom Tomato Sale 2018 Order Form

Tomato Pictures

LLCC’s bird banding research project on Illinois Stories

Be sure to watch PBS’ Illinois Stories program on the bird banding research project at LLCC! It will air on WSEC, WQEC and WMEC:

  • This evening, April 19, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 22 at 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Tony Rothering, professor of biology; Lawrence Strubhart, horticulturist and Introduction to Bird Identification student; along with other bird banding participants were interviewed by Mark McDonald.

Presentation on clinical laboratory science

Do you know of a student interested in clinical laboratory science? Encourage them to attend a presentation on the field of clinical laboratory science (CLS) on Monday, April 16 from 2:30-3 p.m. in S2216. Students in the CLS program at UIS will be discussing the different fields in clinical laboratory science, career opportunities and how to earn a degree in CLS. All students and staff are invited. Snacks will be provided!

Chimney Swift tower erected on campus prairie

Tony Rothering, professor of biology, reports that a student (Maureen Hurd) from UIUC is conducting her graduate research project on chimney swifts. This bird species historically used hollow trees for nesting, constructing a rather haphazard nest out of sticks and saliva. They adapted readily to using the human-made equivalent of a hollow tree … chimneys. As we have progressed to high efficiency furnaces, etc., the construction of traditional brick chimneys (that are not capped) has declined. This in turn has caused a decline in chimney swift populations. One aspect of Maureen’s project is to look at the effectiveness of artificial “chimneys” or towers as an alternate nesting site for this species. Maureen was looking for locations around central Illinois to place her towers where they could, hopefully, be monitored on a regular basis. Upon hearing about the bird monitoring/banding activities here at LLCC, she elected to erect a tower in the prairie between the lake and the softball field. If the nesting tower is used by chimney swifts, Maureen will monitor the nesting activities with an internal camera and possibly attach GPS locators to a bird to monitor the short-term movements of that individual bird.

Biology students learn about dendrochronology

During a recent class, Professor David Cox’s biology students learned about dendrochronology, the study of dating tree rings. Professor Cox brought in tree ring sections from two historic trees from the Springfield area for students to study in order to compare their age and growth.

The first piece is from the Gudgel Oak, found on Gudgel Avenue, west of Athens, near New Salem.  The Gudgel Oak is a tree that was present prior to the founding of the United States. The tree dates back to the late 1700s.  The other ring is from an oak tree that grew near the Lincoln Vault in Springfield. Professor Cox acquired the pieces from Guy Sternberg, an arborist who maintains Starhill Forest Arboretum.  You can learn more at