Research and Education

Fall into the Streets

Former Natural Areas and Preserves Manager Steve Keto with First Year Experience students at Asylum Lake

Supporting research and education is a primary goal established by the documents governing Asylum Lake Preserve. If you are interested in using Asylum Lake Preserve as your research or project site, please fill out an application.

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Recent events, research and field courses

2011-2014. WMU Biology Department

Sunflower at Asylulm LakeDr. Sharon Gill, Dr. Maarten Vonhof and research assistants will take an integrative, individual-level approach to test the hypothesis that animals that inhabit urban environments display altered behavior, health, and fitness compared with animals living in less urbanized landscapes. They will examine: singing and nest-building behavior; body condition, hematology and corticosterone levels; and reproductive success of chipping and field sparrows along an urban-rural gradient in southwest Michigan to determine whether these species meet the challenges of living in an urbanized world.

2009-2013. "MSU Entomology Study on Switchgrass," Dr. Doug Landis, and Dr. Doug Schemske, MSU.

This study proposes to examine how different biofuel crops may affect conservation outcomes. They are looking at of corn, switchgrass and mixed stands of prairie grasses and wildflowers to determine their impact on avian, insect and microbial communities. The assumption is that well chosen biofuel crops could enhance song and game bird numbers, increase numbers of beneficial insects and favor soil microbes that help reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

(offered yearly) GEOS Hydrogeology Field Course, Michael Durham, WMU.

Course emphasizes state-of-the-art techniques for sampling, monitoring and evaluation of groundwater systems.

(offered bi-yearly) BIOS 5535 Freshwater Ecology. Dr. Steven Kohler, WMU.

This course introduces students to standard techniques used in the examination of lentic ecosystems.

(offered yearly) ENVS 2260 Field Environmental Ecology. Dr. Steven Kohler, WMU.

Students in this course spend approximately two days at Asylum Lake Preserve assessing forest quality structure using two sampling techniques. They also walk through the preserve and focus on plant identification.

Past events, research and field courses