ANNOUNCING THE SAINT JOSEPH’S COLLEGE
“ENVIRONMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL FIELD STATION:
FOR THE STUDY OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITATS”
Field courses and undergraduate research are important components for the academic development of biology, environmental science, and science education majors. These activities provide real-world experience and are components that help develop students into formal operational thinkers capable of critical evaluation and abstraction. Therefore we have taken steps to preserve some of the representative habitats on the college campus by establishing an Environmental and Biological Field Station under the direction of the Chair of the Biology Department.
Having field sites on campus is a valuable resource because the alternatives include added time and travel costs to visit sites off-campus. A preserve on-campus also permits uninterrupted long-term studies and short-term experiments on manipulated plots. Students are currently involved in on-going studies on college lands that range from 5-8 years since inception.
Three tracts of land on campus have been designated as nature preserves for the Environmental and Biological Field Station. These lands contain a variety of habitat types (forest, prairie, oak savanna, old-field, wetland) that are in a natural state and are sufficiently large enough (16-23 acre parcels) to provide habitat for populations of plants and animals. Some native habitats (wetlands, prairie) will be restored and constructed so that long-term studies with experimental manipulations can be conducted on replicated field plots. Biology and environmental science students were involved in the planning stages and will be involved in the restoration process as well as the research.
The mission of the Environmental and Biological Field Station is to promote the survival of native Indiana plants and animals and for the long-term study of plants and animals in their natural habitats. The goals are to promote conservation, education and research.
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