The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) is a year-round research facility of Michigan State University located in southwest Michigan, approximately 65 miles from the main campus in East Lansing. KBS includes over 1600 ha of land providing researchers with a variety of natural and managed systems in which to conduct ecological research.
Research facilities at KBS include labs and instrumentation in the main Academic Building as well as greenhouses, field labs, and a number of experimental field sites.
KBS Academic-Stack Building
The KBS Academic-Stack Building houses modern research labs, classrooms, and an MSU branch library as well as offices for faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and project staff; a biological collections room; and supporting service areas.
Service areas include dedicated spaces for microscopes, isotope counting, carbon and nitrogen analysis, and autoclaves as well as environmental chambers and labs dedicated to molecular genomics, GIS, and image analysis. Additional support areas include a computer workroom, wet and dry labs for field sample processing, and rooms for walk-in coolers and drying ovens.
KBS hosts a branch of the MSU library system staffed by full time librarian.
KBS Computer Services is staffed by two IT professionals who manage KBS computer and video conferencing resources. Centralized resources include file and backup services for the servers and desktop computers on the KBS gigabit fiber network. Servers are backed up nightly and backup tapes are rotated to safe storage locations in other buildings. Computer services also manages various common-use computers and printers including a 42-inch wide poster printer.
Common-use computers include 15 MSU Microlab computers managed remotely from the main campus, which make available for teaching and research software as SAS and Mathematica. These computers are located in a small classroom and in the library.
A 1Gb fiber optic connection provides KBS access to the Michnet backbone network. Most KBS buildings are connected by fiber optic ethernet. A few others are connected to the main network by point-to-point wireless. MSUnet wireless service is available at most buildings.
Two conference rooms at KBS are equipped with Polycom HDX videoconferencing equipment.
A number of analytical instruments are housed within the Academic-Stack Buildings. Common-area instrumentation includes floor centrifuges, autoclaves, a muffle furnace, sample drying ovens, walk-in coolers and incubators, a hydro-pneumatic root elutriator, and several controlled-environment chambers.
Instruments not in common areas remain available to KBS researchers on a negotiated basis as a matter of policy and collegiality. If you have need of a sponsored instrument, contact the responsible faculty member. Arrangements can be made for providing access to an instrument or analysis, although limitations related to sample backlogs, instrument complexity, and operating costs may sometimes restrict access.
The following equipment is maintained in sponsor laboratories; please contact the KBS Stock Room at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn who to contact for access.
- Several short- and long-pathlength spectrophotometers, most often used for colorimetric analyses of nutrients in surface waters and soil solutions;
- Several gas chromatographs equipped with TCD, FID, and ECD detectors, used for analyses of CO2, CH4, and N2O for studies of dissolved gases, gas emissions, and microbial processes;
- Several infrared gas absorption (IRGA) analyzers for measuring CO2 used for quantifying in situ gas fluxes and for soil and microbial incubations;
- A liquid scintillation counter, used for radioisotope assays;
- Multisensor sondes to measure dissolved O2, pH, conductance, and temperature in field measurements of aquatic habitats;
- A high-vacuum line and gas preparation bench for manipulation and purification of gas samples;
- A Costech Model 4010 Elemental Combustion analyzer for the analysis of total carbon and nitrogen in organic matter;
- A Lachat Quik Chem automated ion analyzer (Model 8500, Series 2) to measure concentrations of nitrate and ammonium in soil extracts;
- A Dionex Model ICS-1000 Ion Chromatograph (IC), for analyzing ions in water samples;
- A Shimadzu Model TOC-V total carbon analyzer for measuring dissolved carbon in aqueous samples;
- Two sub-meter Trimble GPS units for field use, including base station support;
- Standard lab equipment such as microscopes, balances, pH meters, and data loggers.
Field Facilities: Research Greenhouse and Field Labs and Facilities
Originally built in the 1920’s by W.K. Kellogg, it was extensively remodeled in 1986, 1996, and 2006. The greenhouse has seven separate growing rooms; all are equipped with 1000W high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting, microprocessor-based temperature controls, automatic rack and pinion vent controls, vent screening to reduce pest entry, and both well and reverse-osmosis water.
There is also an attached two-story head house with growth chambers and potting facilities. Greenhouse use is coordinated by Professor Jeff Conner
The Terrestrial Ecology field lab provides convenient access and support for sampling plant ecology experiments and includes space for sorting and drying of field samples.
The Long-term Ecological Research field lab provides convenient access to the main LTER site, and includes a sample processing workroom, plant and soil grinding equipment, a drying oven, coolers for short-term sample storage, and plant and soil archive rooms.
Sustainable Agriculture field lab:
Dairy field lab:
The Boathouse lab is original estate’s boathouse located on Gull Lake, renovated in 1980 to provide year-round research space for visiting and resident researchers. It includes a wet laboratory and dry laboratory on the ground level, and a dry laboratory and research cubicles on the upper level. Offices and labs in this building are connected to the KBS fiber optic backbone.
The Pond lab provides convenient access and support for the Experimental Ponds.
Experimental Pond Facility is coordinated by Professor Gary Mittelbach.
W.K. Kellogg Farm
The W.K. Kellogg Farm provides agronomic support for the Pasture Dairy Center, the Michigan Cover Crops Program at KBS, the LTER program, GLBRC sustainability research and general crops research. The farm oversees all managed crop and pasture lands at KBS, and provides research access and logistical support for all agricultural research at KBS.
Kellogg Farm use is coordinated and overseen by KBS Farm Manager Dr. Brook Wilke.