Ecology Research Center
The Ecology Research Center (ERC) is the focal point for ecological field research at Miami University and provides a venue for educational opportunities for middle, high school, and university students. This 69-hectare field station contains a diversity of field sites and facilities that support both aquatic and terrestrial research.
About the ERC
The ERC is home to a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and DOE (US Department of Energy) meteorological station. In addition to collecting data on precipitation quality (since 1979), the station also monitors:
- dry deposition quality
- lightning frequency
- spatial and temporal fluctuations in solar radiation
Education and Outreach Opportunities
The ERC staff will assist educators, group leaders at all levels in developing age-appropriate exercises for their class or group. The staff are happy to identify and help to implement activities, when appropriate relying on the expertise at the Miami University's Center for Environmental Education. Tours can be customized to meet the needs of a specific age or interest level. Tours can be as brief as 1 hour or as long as a half of a day.
The Ecology Research Center is unique because it provides opportunities for real manipulative research that are typically not possible at environmental education facilities. For example, landscape manipulation and collection of plants, insects and other invertebrates can be done without the need for special permits. The ERC has a variety of habitats that are close to one another, providing many opportunities for comparisons among various terrestrial and aquatic habitats.
The ERC provides exceptional educational opportunities for students of all ages. There is a large weather station, a bird-watching area, numerous beehives, and nature trails. Visitors can take a guided tour of the center facilities or participate in exciting field research projects. The ERC is a site for field exercises that are part of many Miami University classes and new activities are always welcome.