Science Lab websites

I just finished “reading” At the Helm by Kathy Barker.  Because I am a faculty member at an exclusively undergraduate institution, many aspects of the text do not apply to me so it was a quick read.  I definitely want to set up a lab manual as she instructs.  We have the beginnings of one with often used protocols, antibody spec sheets, and common recipes, but I think her ideas to add contact info for current members and lab alumni is good as well as lab policies.  I email a syllabus each semester to my students, but I feel having a hard copy in a known location would be a great idea.  Reading the book got me thinking about making a lab website again.  I’ve wanted to do this for some time, but always hesitate because I don’t feel the lab will have “news” or “publications” often enough.  I started wondering if this is true for many faculty at institutions like mine.  Anytime I’ve seen a lab website for someone at an exclusively undergraduate institution it usually looks like they set it up their first month on the job never to be touched again.  Part of this I am sure has to do with the busyness of the faculty member.  At an exclusively undergraduate institution it would be harder to delegate this task because students are so transient–they might only be in the lab for one semester or at absolute most three years.  Also I am notoriously bad at taking pictures/documenting memories, but I would like to have a website with many shots of lab members having fun in or out of the lab in addition to doing their science thing.  Making the lab website might be (one of) my post-sabbatical resolution…

What about you?  Do you have a lab website?  How do you keep it updated?  Have contacts or collaborations formed as a result?  Let us know in the comments!

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