The Sciences Technical Support Services department provides support for the occupants of McCardell Bicentennial Hall and across the sciences in many vital areas.

STSS staff are actively engaged in training and development to ensure that they remain up-to-date in their respective fields, and work closely with faculty to ensure that the work we perform optimally benefits the academic program.

Building support services

Tim Wickland, Director of Sciences Support Services, and Cathy Ekstrom, STSS Administrative Program Coordinator, oversee a variety of direct support services such as issuing building keys, providing card key access to the building, managing shared services such as printers and copiers, overseeing local computer backups, and coordinating various building activities. We serve as the primary interface with Facilities Services (including Custodial Services) and Public Safety, and we work to communicate and resolve issues with other College service departments such as Course Scheduling, Events Management, and ITS.

Technical Services

The Technical Services group, overseen by Associate Director for Sciences Technical Services Jody Smith, performs such essential functions as the design and fabrication of scientific apparatus, support and repair of laboratory and field equipment, and software development and implementation for various instruments. In addition to her management responsibilities, Jody provides extensive direct support and training for advanced analytical instruments and instrument systems. Instrument Technician Kevin Booth provides support for a subset of our instrumentation, with a focus on electrical and electromechanical systems. Eamon McMahon, Scientific Machinist, capably fabricates assemblies of plastic, wood, and welded steel, stainless steel and aluminum, in addition to performing precision machining in a variety of materials and servicing vacuum and other mechanical systems. Lance Ritchie, Senior Laboratory and Instrument Technician, has primary responsibility for the NMR spectrometer, and provides ancillary support to other computer-based instrument systems.

Safety and regulatory compliance

This vital area is overseen by Associate Director for Research Compliance Jake Pirkkanen. Jake is directly responsible for supporting the college’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which oversees and approves human subject research, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), while also overseeing our programs in animal care, chemical and laboratory safety, and biological and radiation safety.

Environmental and occupational safety

Tim Allen is a certified radiation safety technician, providing training, technical support, and emergency services to licensed users of radioactive materials and their students. Tim also oversees biohazardous waste management and disposal. Caitlin Carr oversees chemical safety as Chemical Hygiene Officer, and is responsible for many related laboratory safety functions, including hazardous waste accumulation, pickup, and disposal; chemical spill cleanup; management of safety data sheets; and testing eyewash stations. Caitlin also provides training for faculty, staff, and students on laboratory safety. Tim Wickland serves as Radiation Safety Officer.

Animal care

Our vivarium staff is dedicated to providing the highest level of care and support for Middlebury's AAALAC-accredited animal programs in both teaching and research. Megan Warner-Hough RLATg, Vivarium Manager, is team leader, and is joined by Animal Care Technicians Eliza Gardner-Morse RLAT and Nina Houser RALAT, and Assistant Animal Care Technician Karen Lasnier in providing daily care for the various vertebrate and invertebrate animal species housed in McCardell Bicentennial Hall, as well as the numerous animal-related services, support, and assistance used by faculty investigators and students. 

Greenhouse operations

Patti Padua, who has a wide-ranging background in academic and research horticulture, and who operates her own commercial greenhouse and nursery, is responsible for care of botanical specimens and operation of the greenhouses. Patti is a member of AERGC (the Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators).

Laboratory and instrument support

Tim Allen, whose degree is in microbiology and molecular genetics, is responsible for management of microorganisms and cell cultures and for reagent and media prep. He oversees operation of the autoclave facility and the laboratory glassware washer, as well as the calibration and monitoring of equipment such as incubators and micropipettors. Jody Smith offers guidance to faculty and students on the operation of various instrument systems, and assists in developing new analytical protocols. Lance Ritchie provides support to physics laboratories in addition to his work with the NMR spectrometer and other computer-based instrument systems. Jonathan Kemp, Telescope and Scientific Computing Specialist, works with faculty and students across the scientific disciplines on software selection and implementation, data analysis, and use of graphics and multimedia.

Purchasing and materials management

Caitlin Carr, Laboratory Stores and Safety Manager, oversees operation of the Laboratory Stores; shipping, receiving, and delivery of packages; and materials management within the building, including the organization and operation of the MBH 218 lecture prep room, and various other storage areas in and adjacent to McCardell Bicentennial Hall. Carrie Donohue, Sciences Purchasing Coordinator, provides support for ordering materials for the Biology Department and Neuroscience Program, and ancillary purchasing support for the Laboratory Stores and other departments within the building.


Jonathan Kemp, Telescope and Scientific Computing Specialist, has extensive knowledge of and experience with telescopes, ranging from amateur instruments to some of the most advanced optical and infrared telescope systems in the world. He provides support for astronomy classes and student-faculty research with the 24-inch and other telescopes that comprise the college's observatory, also conducting such outreach activities as public viewing nights and programs with local schools.

STSS staff directory





Tim Wickland

Director of Sciences Support Services



Cathy Ekstrom

Administrative Program Coordinator



Jake S. Pirkkanen

Associate Director for Research Compliance



Jody C. Smith

Associate Director for Sciences Technical Services




Tim Allen

Senior Laboratory Technician3615729

Kevin Booth

Instrument Technician1355420

Caitlin Carr

Laboratory Stores and Safety Manager1205619

Carrie Donohue

Sciences Purchasing Coordinator



Eliza Gardner-Morse

Animal Care Technician2485645

Nina Houser

Animal Care Technician




Jonathan Kemp

Telescope and Scientific Computing Specialist



Karen Lasnier

On-call Assistant Animal Care Technician



Eamon McMahon

Scientific Machinist




Patti Padua

Greenhouse Curator




Lance Ritchie

Senior Laboratory and Instrument Technician 5105643
Megan Warner-Hough

Vivarium Manager