The UM Field Station is a research and educational facility designed to serve visiting faculty and students, public and private schools, government agencies and the broader community of the Mid-South. The Field Station, at approxamately ~34°25’N:89°23’W, is located on a 740-acre site 11 miles northeast of the UM Oxford campus.
The UM Field Station lies within the Eocene Hills of the interior coastal plain of the Southeastern U.S. and is characterized primarily by sandy and sandy-loam soils. Research opportunities include wetlands, grasslands and closed-canopy forests. The forested stands are mixtures of shortleaf pine and oaks with loblolly pine, sweetgum, red maple, winged elm and black gum. Sandy seepage areas at the base of slopes support the highest plant diversity. Natural and constructed wetlands, including more than 200 experimental ponds ranging from 0.1 to 2 acres available for comparative studies, are fed by springs and small streams. Pond water depths are typically about 1 meter but can be adjusted. An aviary for study of wild turkeys is located in a remote area.
The main research building and an adjoining building at the Field Station house several offices and laboratories. Two 200-square-foot and three 500-square-foot laboratories have hoods and are suitable for studies utilizing chemicals. Also there is a 500-square-foot culturing laboratory, a 400-square-foot aquarium room and a computer lab. Adjoining the offices is a 400-square-foot conference room suitable for a maximum of 15 to 20 people. A 1,900-square-foot greenhouse is available for use by researchers.
The primary teaching facility has a 1,450- square-foot auditorium, two 1,000-square-foot teaching laboratories, an 800-square-foot general office area and three small laboratory rooms, one with a hood.
A two-bedroom cabin with bath and kitchen is available for use by visiting students and researchers. There is also a small four-bunk cabin without utilities available for overnight use.
Our state-of-the-art facilities attract research scientists from across the United States and abroad. The research conducted here covers a broad spectrum of disciplines, from the potential healing properties of plants to turkey behavior, fish growth and reproduction, controlling invasive insect species and mitigating pesticide run-off from farm fields.Approximately 30 research projects are conducted at the Field Station each year by faculty, graduate students, agency and institute partners, and visiting scientists. The numerous ponds provide opportunities for controlled experiments and large-scale projects.
The UM Field Station is an excellent location for field trips and a number of faculty utilize the station for instruction during the academic year. Typically, about 2,000 students and others visit UMFS each year, including introductory visits for incoming freshmen. UM courses utilizing the station range from Wetland's Ecology to Wetlands Law and Regulation in the School of Law. A number of science courses visit the station for day trips or to conduct projects during the semester and include such topics as geology and hydrology, entomology, ichthyology, mammology and ecology. Graduate students, primarily in the Department of Biology, utilize the Field Station for their thesis research.
The UM Field Station staff take great pleasure in hosting events for the public and for the university, especially when they involve children, the next generation of stewards for our state. Each summer we have Ecology Day Camp and Math & Science Camp for kids and we play host for the USDA's Adopt-A-School program. Each program teaches kids the importance of preserving our habitats and ecosystems.
Many teachers also take advantage of the facilities and bring their students for tours of the laboratories, ponds and other facilities. The Field Station offers something for every age, from elementary to high school.
The kids don't get to have all the fun though - our auditorium is filled several times per year with beginning teachers taking part in Project Learning Tree, and we have hosted workshops, open houses and Natural Resource Council meetings.