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Lifestyle Intervention Olfert Research Lab

Olfert Research Lab

As a core member of the West Virginia University – Davis College of Agriculture, the Lifestyle Intervention Olfert Research Lab is located on the ground floor of the brand-new WVU Agricultural Sciences Building. The recently opened, 128,000-square foot facility is part of a $159.5 million investment by the university to overhaul its growing Evansdale campus, providing both students and faculty with state-of-the-art infrastructure and services. Learn more about the WVU building campaign and the 2016 dedication of our new Agricultural Sciences Building.


utensils, bowl, etc. on countertop

The lab includes multiple movable desks, ample storage, and a mirrored wall which can be used for exercise classes or similar physical intervention.

The space is also equipped with a large refrigerator, a stove, two blenders, a microwave, a sink, and multiple cooking utensils to accommodate cooking demonstrations.

Our lab contains several technological pieces of equipment: one desktop and five laptops with current Microsoft, Actilife, Nutritionist Pro, and Statistical (SAS, SPSS etc) softwares; color printers; and copy/scanner/fax machine. Anthropometric and human research apparatus include a Tanita Scale, 20 gulic tape measures, four automatic blood pressure cuffs, an electronic stadiometer, and close to 50 accelerometers/actigraphs.


The Lifestyle Intervention Olfert Research Lab is committed to conducting human research using a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach focused on lifestyle intervention. As such, our space is muli-purposeful and used by faculty, staff, and graduate students to support daily activities including intervention sessions, data analysis, and report production, dissertations, manuscripts, and classroom curriculum. Classes/lectures, laboratory meetings, and conference calls are held at the facility as needed.

image of Animal Farm sign and building in the background The Farm

Since 2013, the Lifestyle Intervention Olfert Research Lab has also had a satellite location at the West Virginia University Animal Sciences Farm, a 935-acre property on the outskirts of campus. The WVU Animal Sciences farm is a staple in the community and a well-known site to many local residents as it hosts a yearly Kiddie Days event in the spring, bringing in schools and families from several nearby counties. In the past, iCook 4-H Project cooking demonstrations have also taken place at the farm, with plans to continue that practice in the future.

This 400-square foot space houses research equipment as well as provides generous multi-purpose rooms for interventions, lifestyle/nutritional counseling sessions, various classes, video production, and research presentations. Our space is highly functional, with mobile furniture enabling us to taylor it to specific needs as they arise. We are equipped with five movable desktops, one stationary counter-top, and 30 feet of cupboard/drawer space. The lab is also used as an additional location for anthropometric and survey assessments. 

Melissa working with students

The farm is a comfortable and easy-to-access location with ample free parking, providing a welcoming and functional environment for both adults and children!

Note that as an essential component of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, the Animal Sciences Farm is the site of several research projects including environmental and economic impacts of nutrient flows in dairy forage, muscle growth regulation, processed muscle foods, and shifting breeding time for ewe flocks to increase farm income. For more information on the Animal Sciences Farm.

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

As mentioned above, we are a part of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design at West Virginia University. Here is a brief introduction to the Davis College’s rich history and its extensive research space and equipment. For additional information, please go to the Davis College website .

Ag Sciences building

Facilities and Equipment

The Davis College, one of 13 colleges within WVU, is the University’s oldest academic unit. It has 108 faculty and 150 full-time staff, an enrollment of 1,700 undergraduate, and 280 graduate students. It has a full spectrum of degree programs housed in five academic divisions. The Davis dean also serves as director of the West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, managing the research facilities of the college, including farms and forests. The College, from design to animal and plant sciences, from forest science to landscape management, is central to WVU’s mission to advance the people and places of West Virginia and beyond.

The Davis College was renamed in 2001 for two Morgantown sisters: Gladys Gwendolyn Davis and Vivian Davis-Michael, in recognition of their $18.4 million gift. The College offers 22 undergraduate majors, as well as 17 masters programs, and seven doctoral degree programs. Today’s Davis College students have access to 3,425 acres of farmland and 8,134 acres of forest, as well as a new greenhouse, dairy and the Rumen Fermentation Laboratory. All of these resources provide opportunities for learning and studying beyond the classroom, and they facilitate valuable community service.

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design is composed of five Divisions: Animal and Nutritional Science, Design and Merchandising, Plant and Soil Science, Forestry and Natural Resources, and Resource Management. The College footprint is spread among five buildings on the Evansdale campus of West Virginia University, as well as ten off-campus research farms and forests.


On campus, the Davis College has 61,527 square feet of laboratory space dedicated to research. An additional 34,685 square feet are dedicated to teaching labs, and there are 16,375 square feet of undesignated lab space used for both research and teaching. This total does not include greenhouse facilities (24,929 square feet), the mechanical high-bay strengths and materials lab used by both engineering and forestry students (7,230 square feet), or dedicated hazardous material (188 square feet) and central storage locations (1,756 square feet).

The off-campus facilities include 3,425 acres of farmland and 8,134 acres of forest spread throughout the state.


The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design has its own IT department responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all computers and associated hardware/software. There are five general-use computer labs with more than 123 units. Additionally, there is a staffed Natural Resource Analysis Center (NRAC) specifically dedicated to research, teaching, and service in environmental and natural resource issues with a geo-spatial context.


The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design has adequate office space for all personnel involved in any project. This includes 44,862 square feet for office and office services such as copy machines, mail rooms, and more. The office space is used by faculty, staff, and graduate students to support day-to-day activities including data analysis and creation of reports, dissertations, manuscripts, and classroom curriculum.

Major Equipment

There are multiple labs throughout the College generally equipped with fume hoods, drying ovens, electronic balances, centrifuges, electronic shakes, speed-vas, cold rooms, refrigerators, freezers, and approved storage for chemicals.