Fifty Years of Field Ecology
Cornell’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology has been offering graduate student field ecology courses at Archbold Biological Station in Florida since 1970. In March of that year, Assistant Professor Dick Root, first took a handful of Cornell graduate students to Archbold Biological Station (ABS) in South-Central Florida. Since that time, Root (until his retirement), Dr. Peter Marks (until his retirement), Dr. Jed Sparks, Dr. Harry Greene, and Dr. Kelly Zamudio have brought graduate field ecology classes to ABS. The full impact of these courses on students, the Station, and the field of ecology is immeasurable. In 2018, the course will be offered for the 25th time, spanning a total of 50 years. Now known as BIOEE 6602, the Florida field course is designed to give graduate students experience in defining questions and designing field investigations. Although the bulk of the class is conducted at ABS, strategic side trips are made to several other distinctive ecosystems, including sand pine scrub, cattle ranches, cypress swamps, and Everglades National Park.