A 10-acre classroom

Southwest of Rolla, 10 acres of land once farmed by some of the area’s earliest settlers is now being explored by pioneers of a different sort — Missouri S&T students.

Working with the Missouri Department of Conservation and the family of Dr. George Bohigian, a St. Louis ophthalmologist, Missouri S&T is turning the property into a field station that will become a living laboratory and classroom for students in a variety of majors.

“This field station idea goes hand in hand with the S&T concept of taking learning out of the classrooms and out of the labs and into the real world,” says Stephen Roberts, vice provost and dean for the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business.

Students who took Field Ecology, Cave Biology or Vegetation of the Ozarks courses last summer were among the first to study in and alongside three spring-fed ponds, a wetland fen, a nearby stream, and countless flora and fauna.

“This is a great learning opportunity,” says Dev Niyogi, an associate professor of biological sciences. “There are some subjects you just can’t learn in a lab, and field ecology is one of them.”

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