Students of Green Life Science at the University of Michigan have access to many high-caliber research facilities and outdoor properties.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two properties in different locations operating as one unit within the University of Michigan.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens is located in northeast Ann Arbor at 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. Here you’ll find the conservatory; gift shop; classroom and meeting spaces; display gardens such as the Gaffield Children’s Garden, Bonsai & Penjing Garden, Great Lakes Gardens, and others; and many trails and natural areas. The Botanical Gardens are free and open 7 days a week. Visit our Hours & Directions page for more information.
Nichols Arboretum is located at 1610 Washington Hts. on the University of Michigan’s central campus next to the U-M hospital. The Arb is a haven for students, hospital staff, and visitors year-round. It’s also home to the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden and several collections of historic or native plants such as the Julie Norris Post Collection of Ericaceous and Appalachian Plants, Centennial Shrub Collection, prairie, and others. The Arb is free and open 7 days a week sunrise to sunset. Visit our Hours & Directions page for more information.
Since 1930, the University of Michigan has maintained the Edwin S. George Reserve (ESGR) for the purposes of providing research and education opportunities in the natural sciences and preserving the native flora and fauna. The ESGR is a 525-hectare (ca. 1300 acre) fenced preserve located in Livingston County, Michigan (about 25 miles Northwest of Ann Arbor), which was presented to the University as a gift by Edwin S. George in 1930. The ESGR is characterized by a rugged moraine and basin topography supporting a rich fauna and flora (species lists). The ESGR is administered by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan.
The University of Michigan Herbarium is home to some of the finest botanical collections in the world. The 1.7 million specimens of vascular plants, algae, bryophytes, fungi, and lichens combined with the expertise of the faculty-curators, students, and staff provide a world-class facility for teaching and research in systematic biology and biodiversity studies. The organismal and genetic resource collections such as those in the Herbarium provide the best tangible record we have of life on Earth and constitute a crucial resource for use in research and education benefiting science, society, and the university. Working collaboratively with the highly regarded Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, our goal is to make UM a leading center for training and research in studies of the history, the change mechanisms, and the conservation of Earth’s diverse life forms.
- Saginaw Forest is an 80-acre parcel of land comprising about 55 acres of plantations, Third Sister Lake, and surrounding wetlands. Located 5 miles west of the university campus on Liberty Road, Saginaw Forest lends itself well to the study of forest and sustainable ecosystem management. It serves as a setting for research on diverse topics, including woody plants, forest ecology, freshwater ecology, and soil properties and processes.
The land was a gift to the university from University Regent Arthur Hill of Saginaw in 1903. Some of the land had been used for farming and the soil was in poor condition. So students and faculty in the newly established Department of Forestry (forerunner of SEAS) set to work planting trees. Planting continued until 1937. Several tree species, both native and exotic, make this a rich environment for training and research.
- Stinchfield Woods, northwest of Ann Arbor off North Territorial Road, is a larger area where training in forest and sustainable ecosystem management takes place. The land was acquired in piecemeal fashion beginning in 1925. Now it comprises 777 acres of rolling hills reforested with hardwoods and evergreens. It serves as a field research area for demonstration of forest and sustainable ecosystem management for SEAS faculty and students.
The University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) was founded in 1909. UMBS students and faculty have been studying environmental change since day one.
UMBS was established on land acquired from lumber barons after virtually all the trees had been cleared. Student and faculty researchers studied the biota of a landscape ravaged by catastrophic logging and subsequent fires, allowing them to learn first-hand how land exploitation impacted the natural environment.
The station’s 10,000-acre property has since been reforested via natural processes. But new environmental challenges have emerged, climate change and invasive species foremost among them. Fortunately, dedicated student and faculty researchers continue to roll up their scientific sleeves at the station, and they do so with an increasingly interdisciplinary approach. Natural historians collaborate with microbiologists, ecologists with climatologists, geologists with atmospheric scientists. These cross-disciplinary interactions – strengths of UMBS – foster a greater understanding of the natural world.
Today, UMBS students engage in and learn about biology and environmental science by studying directly in the field and by developing relationships with some of the world’s most respected experts. UMBS is a highly interactive community where students, faculty and researchers come together to learn about the natural world, to examine environmental change, and to seek solutions to the critical environmental challenges of our times.
Nestled in the mountains just south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and tucked between the Hoback River and Bridger Teton National Forest, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Rocky Mountain Field Station has provided an unparalleled learning experience each summer, since 1929. Camp Davis hosts courses in Introductory Geology, Geological Mapping, Ecosystem Science and the History and Literature of the West. Located within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and nearby Grand Teton National Park, our location provides a wealth of instructional opportunities.
This ideal outdoor classroom offers some of the most scenic and interesting geology, ecology and history in North America. Mountain uplifts and deep erosion have exposed a variety of Earth structures and rocks of diverse age and origin. The dramatic landscape provides a wide variety of soils, plants and alpine ecosystems and the mountain weather and hydrology make for interesting research and discussion. The Camp location in western Wyoming also makes it an idea home base for excursions throughout the western United States.
Students from the University of Michigan as well as other colleges and universities are invited to attend. Students have the opportunity to earn natural science or humanities credits in a tight-knit and friendly academic environment. Student to instructor ratios are typically 8:1. Hiking, camping and exploring are part of your course work. Recreational possibilities are nearly endless, and our remote location provides for a truly inspiring summer.