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UC Field Station Opening Honors Nature, History — and the Future


Tree planting, research posters, conceptual building designs by DAAP students and storytelling by a Native American 'Olammapise' highlight the opening of the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies at Miami Whitewater Forest.

Date: 9/29/2008 12:00:00 AM
By: Wendy Beckman
Phone: (513) 556-1826

UC ingot  


The University of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Park District celebrate the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies (CCFS) with an open house on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Tree planting, research posters, conceptual building designs by DAAP students and storytelling by a Native American Olammapise highlight the opening of the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies (CCFS) at Miami Whitewater Forest. The public is invited to learn about the exciting plans for the future of this scientific field and research station as well as its history as part of the Knollman complex and as a Shaker farm.

“As part of the ceremonies we will be planting three trees along the roadway in tribute to donors who have enabled us to begin our work here,” says David Lentz, UC’s executive director of the CCFS. “The trees — two sugar maples and a white oak — were highly valued by the Shakers and will be planted in a line in keeping with Shaker tradition.”

“We’re very pleased to partner with the University of Cincinnati to provide students with the opportunity to participate in field study projects at Miami Whitewater Forest,” states Jack Sutton, Director of the Hamilton County Park District.


Although most of the researchers at the field station are from UC’s McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, they are not the extent of UC involvement in opening of the field station. Architectural students from UC’s top-ranked College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning have developed conceptual designs of what future research buildings might look like. Their concepts will be displayed at the open house, along with posters demonstrating ongoing and proposed scientific research projects from McMicken’s grad students in archaeology, biological science, geography, geology and environmental science.

“Students in the fields of biology, geology and other environmental sciences will benefit greatly from the field laboratory at Miami Whitewater Forest,” adds Jack Sutton. “The Park District will also benefit from the UC partnership through increased research in the park.”

UC plans to use the field station as a research site for students, faculty and scientists to conduct hands-on research in archaeology, geology, biology, geography and environmental studies, as well as a resource for area teachers.


Event details:

When: Saturday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Cincinnati Center for Field Studies, 11053 Oxford Road, New Haven

Reservations are not required. For information, contact Lindsey Theobald, 513-556-0912.

The celebration will be under cover, but outdoor footwear is recommended.

Refreshments will be served.

Each open house visitor will also receive a souvenir of the opening, including a Shaker Seed Trace Seed Nursery “wildflower mixture” seed pack. The seed was collected from remnant sites within 100 miles of Hamilton County to maintain native genotypes. Seedlings were hand raised, thanks in large part to a group of dedicated volunteers. These plants are then grown in the Hamilton County Park District parks so that Hamilton County residents can “invite local nature to their doorsteps” by growing native wildflower gardens from the seeds.


While the 17.6-acre property on Oxford Road will be the site of much celebration and activity for one morning with the open house, the excitement is just beginning. Already, UC grad students and faculty have begun research projects at the field station. Projects include studying invasive species, the hydrology of the area, using advanced computer software to plan future forest trails, spider communication and an archaeological study of the region.


About Hamilton County Park District
The mission of the Hamilton County Park District is to preserve and protect natural resources and to provide outdoor recreation and education in order to enhance the quality of life for present and future generations. Miami Whitewater Forest was the second park to join the Hamilton County Park District in 1949; it now spans 4,279 acres.

Other News About the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies and Executive Director David Lentz:

UC to Create 'Living Lab' in Park
The agreement with the Hamilton County Park District provides a Cincinnati Center for Field Studies — a living lab for students, teachers and scientists to conduct hands-on research in archeology, geology and environmental studies — and more.

Cincinnati Zoo Executive Director Thane Maynard interviewed David Lentz about the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies on WVXU's "Cincinnati Edition," Aug. 10, 2008.

Meet David Lentz
Whatever the season, there's a great view as well as a lesson to be learned at the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies.

McMicken’s Lentz Says That in Science, There’s Never a Final Answer — And That’s a Good Thing
UC Biologist David Lentz was interviewed for ScienceLives, a joint publication between LiveScience and the National Science Foundation that 'puts scientists under the microscope.'

Read David Lentz’s full interview with ScienceLives:
ScienceLives: In Science, There's Never a Final Answer