Clapp Laboratory provides laboratory and classroom space for biological sciences; geology and geography; mathematics and statistics; and computer science. Students studying biology have access to advanced microscopy facilities, including scanning and transmission electron microscopes, a confocal scanning laser microscope, complete video microscopy capabilities, and electrophysiology. For biochemistry and molecular biology students, facilities include thermal cyclers, ultracentrifuges, DNA sequencing equipment, an electrophoresis apparatus, and scintillation counters for measuring radioactivity.
Students interested in the ecological and environmental sciences use the facilities of the solar greenhouse, environmentally controlled growth chambers, and a 200-gallon marine aquarium to raise orchids, ferns, and starfish.
Mount Holyoke's geoprocessing laboratory is one of the largest geographic information systems (GIS) and remote-sensing laboratories in New England. Equipment includes a scanning electron microscope, an energy-dispersive spectrometer, a cathodoluminoscope, an X-radiograph machine, and an X-ray diffractometer. The department maintains a geology computer and microscope laboratory, a petrographic thin-section laboratory, and sedimentary geology and geochemistry laboratories. The department also houses exceptionally rich fossil, rock, and mineral collections.
Built in 1924, Clapp is named for a pioneering woman scientist, Cornelia Maria Clapp, class of 1871 and professor of zoology from 1872 to 1916.