Archbold Biological Station
Biennial Report 1995-1996

P.O. Box 2057 Lake Placid, Florida 33862 USA
863-465-2571 FAX: 863-699-1927

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College Classes

Many college classes have visited Archbold Biological Station to experience the varied regional habitats and to learn the techniques of field ecology. Richard Archbold established a tradition of welcoming college classes and of providing comfortable facilities and an exciting "new" ecosystem for students to study. During 1995–96, 29 college classes visited the Station (see Appendix G), a 50% increase over the previous Biennial. About half of the classes came from Florida schools, and the remainder came from the U.S. and Canada as far west as Wisconsin and Illinois, but primarily from east coast states. We highlight several visiting classes.

Under the leadership of Fred Searcy, Jr., students majoring in biology, botany, and zoology at the South Campus of Broward Community College visit the Station twice each year. While at Archbold, the students learn to identify the biota of Florida's scrub. The students use the library, collections, labs, and trails to understand the distinctive plant and animal communities of the Lake Wales Ridge, and to understand the importance of fire as an ecological process.

In Spring of 1996, Penny Bernstein, Biology Professor at Kent State University, brought a group of biology majors to Archbold to study "Natural Areas of Subtropical Florida." This course includes visits to Payne’s Prairie, Sanibel Island, the Everglades, and the Florida Keys, as well as Archbold, and introduces the students to the varied habitats and biota of peninsular Florida as they begin to choose areas of specialization. At the Station the students conduct individual research projects with the advice of Staff research biologists and their graduate students.

Michael W. Binford and Richard T.T. Forman of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design have been bringing classes to the Station since 1989. In 1995 and 1996 they brought undergraduate students enrolled in the Environmental Science and Public Policy Major for the course, "Ecology and Land-Use Planning," one of several Junior Tutorials, which synthesize previous disciplinary course work. The first half of the semester is spent in Cambridge learning landscape planning and an ecological perspective to land-use changes. The Station visit is spent in field exercises in habitats on and off the Lake Wales Ridge. Student teams then devise land-use plans for southern Highlands County, centered around the Station, primarily with ecological and conservation-oriented goals and with some economic and social constraints. This approach is the reverse of traditional planning, which is normally economic and social in its goals, and is constrained by environmental factors. The teams present their plans to their class and to some of Archbold's staff.

Some college classes stop for only a day or overnight. In 1995, William Conner of Wake Forest University brought his Insect Biology Class Insect Biology Class to see the insects of Lake Wales Ridge habitats. While here they saw the sticky-foot beetle (Hemisphaerota cyanea), the Devil’s rider (Anisomporpha buprestoides), and the queen butterfly (Danaus gilippus), all made famous by Thomas Eisner and his colleagues from Cornell University while visiting Archbold. In the evening, at the blacklight, the students collected local moths and beetles for their synoptic collections.

--Nancy Deyrup



Lohrer, F.E. (Editor). 1998. Archbold Biological Station, Biennial Report 1995-1996. Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid. 62 pp.
Archbold Biological Station, 1998 October.
Webmaster: Fred Lohrer.