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Research at Kellogg Biological Station PDF Print E-mail

2006W.K. Kellogg Biological Station is a year-round research facility of Michigan State University located in SW Michigan, approximately 65 miles from the main campus in East Lansing. The Station includes over 1600 ha of land that provide researchers with a variety of natural and managed systems in which to conduct ecological research, including wetlands, lakes, ponds, old-fields and forests that are typical of the region, plus cropland and pasture.

KBS has a tradition of supporting ecological and evolutionary research that involves students (undergraduate and graduate) and visiting scholars from other institutions and MSU. The KBS-based faculty have research laboratories in the Academic-Stack complex, and share specialized instrumentation and facilities that are also available to visiting researchers, including growth chambers, a molecular lab and a research greenhouse.

Field laboratories provide additional research space and include the Long-term Ecological Research Field Lab, the Terrestrial Ecology Field Lab, the Experimental Ponds, and a lakeside Boathouse Lab.

KBS is also home to several major research programs that support research, education, and outreach in sustainable agricultural practices. The KBS Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) Program, established in 1988, studies the ecology of intensive cropping systems, including annual crops such as corn, soybean, and wheat, perennial crops such as alfalfa, and biofuel crops such as switchgrass and poplars. We also study the natural, unmanaged ecosystems that occur in agricultural landscapes.

As part of our long-term research efforts we have partnered with the University of Wisconsin to investigate the sustainability of cellulosic biofuels through the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). Our focus is on understanding the ecosystem services provided by alternative biofuel cropping systems – services that include both the fuel itself as well as environmental assets such as habitat for beneficial insects and soil carbon sequestration. In 2009 a pasture-based dairy facility opened to support research on animal welfare, ecosystem processes and social issues associated with animal production. The new free-stall barn is equipped with robotic milkers.