Daycamp Session Dates

Week One: June 2nd-6th – Grades 2-4
Week Two: June 9th – 13th – Grades 2-4
Week Three: June 23rd – 27th – Grades 5-6
Week Four: July 7th – 11th - Grades 5-6
Registration Opens Monday, April 21st

Welcome to the Field Station!

The UM Field Station is a research and educational facility designed to serve visiting faculty and students, public and private schools, government agencies and the broader community of the Mid-South. The Field Station is located on a 740-acre site 11 miles northeast of the UM Oxford campus off of County Road 202.

About Us

The UM Field Station is a research and educational facility designed to serve visiting faculty and students, public and private schools, government agencies and the broader community of the Mid-South. The Field Station is located on a 740-acre site 11 miles northeast of the UM Oxford campus off of County Road 202.

Habitats

The UM Field Station lies within the Eocene Hills of the interior coastal plain of the Southeastern U.S. and is characterized primarily by sandy and sandy-loam soils. Research opportunities include wetlands, grasslands and closed-canopy forests. The forested stands are mixtures of shortleaf pine and oaks with loblolly pine, sweetgum, red maple, winged elm and black gum. Sandy seepage areas at the base of slopes support the highest plant diversity. Natural and constructed wetlands, including more than 200 experimental ponds ranging from 0.1 to 2 acres available for comparative studies, are fed by springs and small streams. Pond water depths are typically about 1 meter but can be adjusted. An aviary for study of wild turkeys is located in a remote area.

Facilities

The main research building and an adjoining building at the Field Station house several offices and laboratories. Two 200-square-foot and three 500-square-foot laboratories have hoods and are suitable for studies utilizing chemicals. Also there is a 500-square-foot culturing laboratory, a 400-square-foot aquarium room and a computer lab. Adjoining the offices is a 400-square-foot conference room suitable for a maximum of 15 to 20 people. A 1,900-square-foot greenhouse is available for use by researchers.

The primary teaching facility has a 1,450- square-foot auditorium, two 1,000-square-foot teaching laboratories, an 800-square-foot general office area and three small laboratory rooms, one with a hood.

A two-bedroom cabin with bath and kitchen is available for use by visiting students and researchers. There is also a small four-bunk cabin without utilities available for overnight use.

Research

Our state-of-the-art facilities attract research scientists from across the United States and abroad. The research conducted here covers a broad spectrum of disciplines, from the potential healing properties of plants to turkey behavior, fish growth and reproduction, controlling invasive insect species and mitigating pesticide run-off from farm fields.

Approximately 30 research projects are conducted at the Field Station each year by faculty, graduate students, agency and institute partners, and visiting scientists. The numerous ponds provide opportunities for controlled experiments and large-scale projects.

Education

The UM Field Station is an excellent location for field trips and a number of faculty utilize the station for instruction during the academic year. Typically, about 2,000 students and others visit UMFS each year, including introductory visits for incoming freshmen. UM courses utilizing the station range from Wetland's Ecology to Wetlands Law and Regulation in the School of Law. A number of science courses visit the station for day trips or to conduct projects during the semester and include such topics as geology and hydrology, entomology, ichthyology, mammology and ecology. Graduate students, primarily in the Department of Biology, utilize the Field Station for their thesis research.

Service

The UM Field Station staff take great pleasure in hosting events for the public and for the university, especially when they involve children, the next generation of stewards for our state. Each summer we have Ecology Day Camp and Math & Science Camp for kids and we play host for the USDA's Adopt-A-School program. Each program teaches kids the importance of preserving our habitats and ecosystems.

Many teachers also take advantage of the facilities and bring their students for tours of the laboratories, ponds and other facilities. The Field Station offers something for every age, from elementary to high school.

The kids don't get to have all the fun though - our auditorium is filled several times per year with beginning teachers taking part in Project Learning Tree, and we have hosted workshops, open houses and Natural Resource Council meetings.

Available Field Guides

Turtles of the University of Mississippi Field Station

Salamanders of the University of Mississippi Field Station

Frogs of the University of Mississippi Field Station

A Field Guide to the Butterflies Common to the University of Mississippi Field Station

A Guide to Representative Plants at the University of Mississippi Field Station

Medicinal and Edible Plants of the University of Mississippi Field Station

Guide to the Eagle Scout Nature Trail

Guide to the Eagle Scout Nature Trail: Kindergarten to Fourth-Grade Curriculum

Guide to the Young Scholars Nature Trail

Research at The University of Mississippi Field Station

and

The Center for Water and Wetland Resources

The University of Mississippi Field Station (UMFS) has a mission to provide opportunities for a broad range of research and training for a diverse user constituency. Activities in both research and education will focus on an integrated programmatic approach for meeting these responsibilities. Emphasis will be placed on integrating research with training exercises in "hands on" field experiences for individuals of a wide range of ages. An especially important part of the Station is the Center for Water and Wetlands Resources (CWWR).

It is the goal of the Center, with support facilities available at the Station, to provide the best possible aquatic/ wetlands/terrestrial research and education program possible.

Biogeochemisty and Groundwater Analysis Laboratory

The Biogeochemisty and Groundwater Analysis Laboratory was established with funding from the National Science Foundation to facilitate interdisciplinary research in aquatic and groundwater systems.

Faculty, staff and students utilize chemical and stable isotope measurements obtained in the laboratory to investigate processes and interactions that take place at the interface of biology, geology and hydrology.

The primary objective of the laboratory is to conduct original research in areas of environmental interest, but it is also available for collaborative research in other scientific disciplines and for contract analyses.

The laboratory is equipped to analyze bulk and trace element chemistry in soils, water and waste water samples, nutrient chemistry in natural waters and waste water, and the stable isotope composition of gases, liquids, solutions and solids for C, N, O, H and S.

Research Equipment

Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometer

The Perkin-Elmer 4300DV is capable of analyzing over 72 elements simultaneously in either axial and radial viewing modes. It is used to measure bulk cation and trace element concentrations in aqueous solutions down to ppb levels. Concentrations in sediment and organic material can also be measured after digesting or combusting samples and bringing the residue into solution.

Elemental Analyzer / Isotope Ration Mass Spectrophotometer

ThermoFinnigan Delta Plus with Universal Triple Collector and a Costech Elemental Analyzer accesory. The Delta XL+ can routinely measure the ratios of 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O, 2H/1H and 34S/32S. Using the EA, solid samples can be directly loaded, combusted and analyzed for all but oxygen (oxygen is added to combust samples) in continuous flow mode. Gas, liquid, aqueous and solid samples can also be prepared off line for injection through the Delta XL +'s dual inlet system.

Dionex Ion Chromatograph

Dionex DX 500 is used to measure cation or anion concentrations in aqueous solution. The IC is particularly useful for measuring the concentration of nutrients in water and waste water samples.

A Little Bit More About Us

The beginnings of the University of Mississippi Field Station can be traced to a spring-fed swampy area that was converted to a bait farm with several large rearing ponds. Ole Miss Fisheries Inc, was established in July 1947 and, after acquisition by the Herbert Kohn Corp. of Memphis was known as Minnows Inc.

The original bait-fish farm, with the exception of two acres where the Bay Springs Baptist Church is located, consisted of 165 acres purchased from the Hickey family. This fertile bottom land lies in the flood plain along the headwaters of the Bay Springs Branch of Puskus Creek. Bay Springs Branch and an unnamed creek that flows from the southwest converge at the eastern boundary of the fish farm to form Puskus Creek. Puskus Creek is a tributary of the Little Tallahatchie River drainage and receives runoff from the many seeps and springs found throughout the area.

While the farm was at its peak, between 3 and 4 million fish were produced annually, 80 percent of which were golden shiners, and the remainder goldfish. Most were sold in Mississippi because of the expensive $500 license required for transporting the fish out of state.

The fish-rearing operations stopped in the early 1980s and the facility was sold to the Weyerhaeuser Co. which owned adjoining forest land. The farm lay fallow for two or three years until the university began negotiations to purchase the land. During that interval, much of the open land area and most of the ponds became overgrown with alders, willows, other shrubs, blackberry vines and honeysuckle. The majority of the ponds were reclaimed as the property was converted to a research station. Efforts to bring the facility back into shape for teaching and research required concerted efforts of many individuals and organizations.

The Field Station, dedicated in May 1985, was originally administered by the UM Department of Biology and was known as the Biological Field Station. Dr. Luther Knight was appointed the director and served until January 1991. Subsequent directors were Drs. John Rogers and Marjorie Holland. Dr. Ray Highsmith became director in 2005 and remained director until his death in 2013. In 1995, the station was transferred to the university's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs which currently oversees the daily operations. With the change in administration and usage by other disciplines, such as geology and environmental law, the property was renamed the UM Field Station.

Today the UM Field Station is a modern teaching and research facility with state-of-the-art buildings and labs. Many new projects are under way and we are excited about the possibilities the future holds! Dr. Charlie Cooper, former Supervisory Ecologist at the USDA Sedimentation Lab and a vital influence in the early days of the Field Station, said it best, "You have everything out here from wetlands to hills; the variety and versatility are a treasure."

User Fees

Visitor Cabins

Two on-site cabins, one available for short-term stays and another with a full kitchen and bath for long-term stays.

Short term cabin - $10 per person per night

Long term cabin - $25 per person per night

Field Sites

$20 per week

Labs

$100 per week

Ponds

Available for rent, prices are per year

Small pond cell - $200

Regular Pond - $500

Mesocosm and Constructed Wetland Cell - $1,000

Teaching Laboratories

$20 per day

Greenhouse

Researchers should submit a request to the director to use the greenhouse facilities.

Auditorium

Available for large groups - $100 per day

Conference Room

Holds 15 - 20 people - $50 per day

Aquarium Room

400-square-foot with photoperiod control - $100 per week

Our Mission

The mission of the University of Mississippi Field Station is to foster ecosystem stewardship by providing a natural laboratory and infrastructure for research, education and service, and by cultivating scientific information and understanding of upland watersheds in the lower Mississippi River Basin and similar habitats.

Our Vision

The UMFS is located at the headwaters of the Little Tallahatchie River, which drains into the Yazoo River. These waters eventually flow into the Mississippi River, ultimately emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The facility, with assistance from a knowledgeable and professional staff, supports research, educational, and service programs appropriate to the site. All UMFS programs are high quality sustainable efforts that respect both the participants and the natural environment.

The UMFS provides sophisticated indoor and outdoor research and teaching spaces that together comprise a natural laboratory, located 11 miles from the University of Mississippi campus at Oxford, MS. There are more than 740 acres of pine and mixed hardwood forest, bottomland forest, open fields, wetlands (including eight constructed wetlands), ponds and springs. There are also 200 constructed small ponds that allow for experimental manipulation and replication. Scientific questions may be posed related to processes operating at the interface between surface and groundwater systems, and between upland forests and seeps. Diverse disciplines, from academic, governmental and private institutions, are encouraged. Partnerships are developed to address questions relating to hydrological, ecological, chemical, environmental engineering, educational, biological, geological or other related topics.

The primary focus of the UMFS is research. As a research facility, the UMFS serves as a barometer against which spatial and temporal changes can be measured. With data from several similar facilities, information can be combined to characterize regional, national, and/or international trends. The facility collects and stores long-term data for weather, vegetation, water quality and other environmental parameters. The focus is on current University of Mississippi research strengths from a variety of departments and disciplines.

As an important part of a national network of biological field stations, the UMFS supports the six research priorities identified by the National Science Foundation for field stations and marine laboratories nationwide. These are (1) studying the fundamentals of basic biology and ecology, (2) assessing environmental change, (3) maintaining biodiversity, (4) sustaining ecological systems, (5) developing principles for predictive environmental management, and (6) studying environmental restoration and rehabilitation.

As an educational facility, the UMFS allows for "hands-on" field experiences, integrating research with training exercises. This is a facility where graduate, undergraduate, and post-graduate field research can be undertaken. In addition, this is a facility that hosts upper-level undergraduate and graduate level courses on topics that are best presented at the facility.

The UMFS provides a service to the surrounding community by hosting programs for the general public, and by providing facilities for groups with similar missions. A spacious auditorium offers space for hosting research groups and conferences in a peaceful, rustic setting. And as a node within the larger network currently under development by the Organization of Biological Field Stations to collect long-term ecological data throughout North America, the UMFS fosters collaborations with other field stations, and can become an active participant in similar networks.

With beautiful new buildings housing state-of-the-art analytical and computing laboratories, opportunities abound for linking long-term results from monitoring with unbiased compatible datasets obtained at other long-term field locations. Examples of biological monitoring include studying avian migration patterns, analyzing the effects of pollutants on mussels, understanding and tracking invasive species, and assessing types of coliform contamination in water. When combined, these datasets may facilitate regional- to continental-scale assessments.

The UMFS facility provides a physical home for the Center for Water and Wetlands Resources (CWWR). The Center constitutes the largest research program currently residing at the UMFS. In the future there will be additional research centers using UMFS facilities, perhaps equal to or greater than the CWWR in scope and effort. One role of the UMFS is to interpret to the general citizenry the excellent science resulting from research efforts undertaken at the CWWR. The sum of all research and educational programs hosted by the UMFS provides an intellectual community of scholarly endeavor, the synergy of which contributes significantly to the national scientific agenda.

The University Administration envisions that in five years the UMFS will be regionally and nationally recognized for the high quality research, education and service programs of the field station that increase scientific understanding of upland watersheds and promote environmental stewardship. The UMFS places great value on sharing information, and will continue to foster collaborations with other researchers and organizations in the collection, analysis and distribution of ecological data.

Contact Information

The University of Mississippi Field Station

15 County Road 2078

Abbeville, MS 38601

Phone: (662) 915-5479

Fax: (662) 915-6554

umfs@olemiss.edu

Ecology Day Camp is an educational and fun annual activity hosted by The University of Mississippi Field Station during the summer months starting from June until late July. There are 5 sessions offered during the summer camp to different age groups. Dates and availability for the current year can be seen in the column to the right. Please note that the dates vary from year to year.

Campers will be exposed to various aspects of Biology and Environmental Science through hands on interaction and lectures provided from local resources. Past camps have included such activities and topics as: bug collection and identification, water quality, tree identification, fire ants and spiders and various arts & crafts activities. Please remember that the children will frequently be outdoors. When your child comes to camp, please ensure they bring the following items:

  • Insect Repellant
  • Hat with wide brim
  • Towel
  • Change of clothes for messy activities
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit/Shorts
  • Closed Toe Shoes**
  • Water Shoes
  • Lunch

**Closed toe shoes are REQUIRED for daily outdoor activities; any child that arrives in open toe shoes will not be permitted to participate in the outdoor activities.

Lockers will be provided where the children can keep the above listed items during the camp. Additionally, PLEASE PACK A LUNCH FOR YOUR CHILD DAILY. Lunches may be cold as they will be kept in a refrigerator. However, we will not be responsible for providing lunch.

A typical day runs from 7:30 to 5:30. Organized activities will begin at 9:00 a.m., or earlier if all campers have arrived, and they will conclude at 4:30 p.m. Every effort should be made to ensure the campers are picked up no later than 5:30 p.m. at which time the front gate and buildings will be locked. (If there is an emergency, please call and let someone know that you will be late)

Registration is on a first come first serve basis. Each session is offered at a cost of $120.00 which includes a $15.00 non refundable registration fee. Scholarships will be available to those in need on a first come first serve basis and will be limited to 1 scholarship per person. All forms must be completed for registration to be confirmed and spot(s) to be held.

Long Term Monitoring Plots (LTMP)

In the Spring of 1996, a Geographic Information System (GIS) was created for the UMFS and a map of the UMFS was produced. In the Fall of 1996, a long term vegetation monitoring plan was established. A 100 m x 100 m coordinate system was set up to identify location so the property and 20 randomly chosen Long Term Monitoring Plots (LTMPs) were located. The LTMPs have been sampled on a biannual basis since their establishment.

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