Ecology. Research. Education.

6378 Hart Drive, Kalamazoo, MI  49009
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Engaging High School Students Over the Summer 

Over the summer, nine high school students took part in a free Environmental Education Retreat. It was an outdoor, hands-on learning and skill building retreat, aiming to give students a taste of the kinds of work field biologists do in the field. The course was taught by Kalamazoo Nature Center Biologists and local experts. Students learned about a wide variety of topics. They gained skills such as how to identify plant species and use a dichotomous key, how to take and analyze soil core samples, and how to sample rivers for macro invertebrates. The students also took part in an Adopt-a-Beach clean up and watched a bird banding demonstration. 

After the retreat, the students began taking part in the Michigan Butterfly Network after being trained on how to identify butterflies. The Michigan Butterfly Network is a project of the Kalamazoo Nature Center and is a state-wide butterfly monitoring program. To learn more or become involved, visit   

The Nature Center felt fortunate to work with such enthusiastic students 

The Heronwood Field Station is a 5000 square foot home that was generously donated to the Kalamazoo Nature Center and converted into an ecological field station. The field station sits on over 60 acres of Oak forest with wetlands and a large pond. Heronwood  is the home to several projects and programs. With fully equipped laboratories, a GIS station, and plenty of room for projects, Heronwood is an ideal place to work with high school students, college students, and graduates on a wide variety of research projects. Plans for upcoming work include butterfly and moth research and rearing. 

Working with High Schools 

KNC’s “Out of the Wild” class, offered by the Kalamazoo Regional Education Services Agency’s (KRESA), Education for Employment (EFE) program, is now in full swing!  “Out of the Wild” is a Natural Resources and Conservation based curriculum, so it was only natural that the 32 students participating in this year’s program spent nearly every day this fall outside!  They worked on fine tuning their observation skills, learned to properly identify plants and wildlife using field guides, got up close and personal with the wonderful world of soil, and worked alongside many of the Nature Center’s conservationists and wildlife biologists. 
To learn how students can earn college credits while still in high school, visit or call 269-250-9300.  

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Kalamazoo Nature Center  •  7000 North Westnedge Avenue  •  Kalamazoo, MI 49009
PHONE (269) 381-1574  •  FAX (269) 381-2557