Home Biological science Meera Komarraju: Advancing Human Knowledge: SIU Carbondale’s College of Agricultural, Life and Physical Sciences is at the Forefront | Education

Meera Komarraju: Advancing Human Knowledge: SIU Carbondale’s College of Agricultural, Life and Physical Sciences is at the Forefront | Education


Science is a constant process of asking questions and seeking answers – an endeavor pursued with passion by the faculty, staff and students of the College of Agricultural, Life and Physical Sciences (CALPS).

Answering big questions

CALPS faculty are awarded an abundance of highly competitive grants each year that provide funds to explore answers to questions facing society. From feeding the world to curing cancer, from pushing the boundaries with drone technologies to developing new fuels, materials and beyond, it’s all being researched right here in Southern Illinois through of CALPS.

The grant revenue generated supports both graduate and undergraduate students who are trained to answer these questions for themselves. Our highly accomplished faculty has been recognized by numerous awards from national and international organizations.

Student Opportunities

Formed just under two years ago, CALPS comprises six schools, including Agricultural Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences, Earth Systems and Sustainability, Forestry and Horticulture, and Physics and applied physics. These schools prepare students for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees as well as certificates.

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The Institute of Fermentation Sciences and University Farms provide experiential learning opportunities for students, and the Medical School offers the popular BS degree in Physiology through CALPS. Students enhance their education by gaining practical skills by actively engaging in undergraduate research, presentation, and publication opportunities and by being involved in their areas of interest. By hosting events like the Registered Student Organizations Fair and the Fall BBQ, we create a community atmosphere for our students, faculty, and staff.

Community involvement

In addition to formal education, CALPS outreach efforts bring agriculture and science to schoolchildren and the public.

Each summer, field days at our farms allow interested members of the community to discover the research that engages and fascinates our faculty. The sustainable farm holds summer workshops on vegetable planting, flower arranging and other topics, and sells fresh produce from our gardens.

We are delighted to host events accompanying major events such as the 2017 Solar Eclipse and are preparing for the 2024 Solar Eclipse in Carbondale. We regularly host STEM University for Scouts, youth fishing events, attend regional and national science fairs, and have thousands of FFA students on campus each year – and love collaborating with our many community stakeholders to promote agriculture, life and physical sciences.

Science and agriculture are closely linked and rapidly changing in our modern world. CALPS faculty, staff, and students continue to bring new opportunities to Southern Illinois. It’s an exciting journey, and we invite members of the Southern Illinois community to join us!

Meera Komarraju is president and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.