UC Center for Field Studies
Promoting inquiry and discovery about the natural world through a unique integration of research and education.
Origins and Setting
As part of the UC21 initiative, the University of Cincinnati (UC) has created the Center for In 2008, the University of Cincinnati created the UC Center for Field Studies (UCCFS) to serve as a field station designed as a nexus for environmental research and education for the Greater Cincinnati region and beyond. UCCFS is connected administratively to the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences with the initial involvement of the Center for Environmental Studies and the Departments of Biological Sciences, Geology, Anthropology and Geography.
The UCCFS is based in Hamilton County (11053 Oxford, Road, Harrison, OH, 45030) where native habitats include mixed mesophytic eastern deciduous forest, marshes, restored prairies and riparian forest. The age of the local forests vary from young secondary growth to old-growth forest, with trees over 200 years old. Â The Whitewater and Great Miami Rivers created the broad floodplains and steep topography exposing Ordovician limestone and shale bedrock, common in the area, and characteristic of the internationally renowned Cincinnati Arch.
Thanks to its partnership with the Hamilton County Park District, UCCFS is centered at the historic South Shaker Farm located at the epicenter of the 4,000-acre Miami Whitewater Forest.Â Only a 30-minute driving distance from the University, UCCFS and its 17.6 acre parcel of land, serves as a convenient base for field research studies and educational activities. Lab space, plots for common gardens, classrooms, conference space, and offices are housed on a farm once inhabited by Whitewater Shakers. Click here to read the UCCFS master plan.
UC Center for Field Studies has six principal objectives:
- Conduct research on natural ecosystems in a changing landscape
- Provide field-oriented educational activities in the form of formal academic classes, informal workshops and training programs
- Inform the management of natural lands for UCCFS, Hamilton County and the region
- Communicate science to the public and engage non-scientists in scientific study through the involvement of UCCFS scientists sharing expertise and research results
- Facilitate interaction between a variety of disciplines related to the environment
- Serve as a regional center for scientific exchange and informed discussion of environmental issues.
The UCCFS provides a base of operations for on-site and regional field research, a protected area for long-term environmental research, and a training center for interdisciplinary research and education activities, including:
- Individual and collaborative research on animal and plant populations as well as environmental processes (ecological, atmospheric and hydrological)
- Long-term monitoring / experimental studies of populations and environmental processes
- Studies involving geological, geographic and archaeological fieldwork.
Course OfferingsLearn in a spectacular outdoor and historic setting: The UC field station!
The University of Cincinnati has created a curriculum for outdoor learning this summer at the UC Center for Field Studies. Experience hands-on learning through courses that focus on geological processes, human prehistory and modern ecological methods at the Center for Field Studies in Miami Whitewater Forest.
- Geology of Cincinnati (Geol 1018C) Credits: 3, Undergraduate credits.Offered 1st mini-session in the summer term.May 6 to June 7, 2013. M, W, F. 9:00 AM -1:00 PM.
- Surviving Climate Change (Anth 4039) Credits: 6, Undergraduate or Graduate. There are no prerequisites. Offered 1st half-term this summer. May 6 to June 21, 2013. M, W, F. 8:00 AM -2:00 PM.
- Interdisciplinary Field Experiences (Biol 3090/7090) Credits: 3, Undergraduate or Graduate credits available. Offered 2nd half-term this summer. June 24 to August 10, 2013. M, W, F. 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.
- Experiential Learning in Environmental Research (18 CI6008 [Education]) Credits: 3, Undergraduate or Graduate credits. Offered 2nd half-term this summer. June 24 to August 10, 2013. M, W, F. 9:00 AM-12:00 PM.
- Environmental Field Techniques (Biol 3011C) Credits: 4, Undergraduate or Graduate credits available. Offered 2nd half-term this summer. June 24 to August 10, 2013. M, W, F. 9:00 AM -12:00 PM.
- Undergraduate and graduate course offerings; e.g. field components of lecture courses, field courses; specialized short duration field-based workshops, and unique summer offerings. Courses will be taught by UC faculty, graduate students or personnel from other organizations.
- Teacher education, including courses and internships to support the new Masters of Teaching Science
- Speakers Bureau providing programs and workshops in the local and regional community
- Interpretive exhibits share the findings of UCCFS research
- Opportunities for volunteers, teachers and students to participate in field research at UCCFS
- Informal science presentations for the public
Education and Outreach
The UCCFS is designed as a regional center for environmental research and education. It reaches out to colleges, universities and other schools, as well as governmental, non-profit and environmental organizations. A tremendous variety of educational programs are possible at UCCFS because of its unique setting and the collaboration of the partners. Targeted activities include
The opening of the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies at Miami Whitewater Forest was celebrated on October 04, 2008! (View a slide show of the opening festivities)
David L. Lentz, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
PO Box 210006
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006
UC telephone: (513) 556-9733;
fax: (513) 556-5299
Field station phone: (513) 738-0983