Welcome to Conservation Biology at Heronwood Field Station!

KNC’s Conservation Biology class, offered in partnership with the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, introduces students to the exciting careers in Natural Resource Conservation and Wildlife Biology. This is a laboratory/field-based course which involves hands-on learning of ecological science, animal and plant studies (i.e. behavior, identification), job shadowing, and field trips.

Current Families & Students

Visit this page for monthly updates from Heronwood Field Station lead instructor, Allie Springer.

2022-23 CTE Conservation Biology Syllabus >

AllieOctober, 2022 update from Allie:

“Hello and happy October!

We had a fun and full September, and we are gearing up to head into fall. We’re wrapping up our insect unit and moving on through the curriculum, looking forward to our native plant and navigation units. We spent a lot of time in September collecting and pinning insects, and students will each come home with an insect collection of their own. We calculated the biodiversity of insects here at Heronwood and discussed the global insect biodiversity crisis that we’re currently facing. We also learned about the KNC’s efforts to protect a rare butterfly and took a field trip to visit its home habitat. This month we will be spending more time at the KNC, we’ll have the opportunity to learn from more of the KNC’s knowledgeable staff, and we will take our second field trip.

Later this month, we will officially announce the 2023 summer research expedition that all students have the opportunity to join. In June of 2023, we will spend 2 weeks researching in Dominica, an island in the Caribbean. Students will hear much more about this in class and they will be sent home with more information regarding the trip, including the details for a parent meeting regarding the trip.

I also have a few logistical announcements. First, student grades can now be accessed via PowerSchool. I sent students home with the login instructions, so I encourage parents and students to check their grades often. If you have any questions about this or need me to resend the login info, please send me an email. Second, a reminder that schools do not communicate absences to us here at Heronwood, so if you contact your school to excuse an absence, I will not hear about it. For me to mark an absence as excused, I will need a parent email and proof of the reason for absence.

There are a few upcoming due dates to note.

October 14th– All late work is due. At this time, I will accept any assignments from the entire year, and students can still get partial credit for any assignments turned in by this date.

October 25th– Industry Trends paper 1 is due. This is the first scientific writing assignment of the year. Students were given an article to read and a detailed rubric.

October 28th– First semester progress report grades are due. There will be no CTE classes on this day.”

Student Work Highlights

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative Agriculture Piktochart

A piktochart made by a student that describes the benefits of one tenant of regenerative agriculture, diverse cover crops.

Cooking For Sustainability

Cooking for Sustainability Website

As part of her independent project, one student made a website describing the ecological footprint of various food items at a local grocery store, ranking each item on a sustainability scale.

Glass Art Presentation

Glass art Presentation

For her independent project, Maia created glass art depictions of various types of endangered species native to Michigan, which were displayed at Glass Arts Kalamazoo.

Workday with Heronwood

Workday Project

For her independent project, this student coordinated with a local DNR officer to plan a work day at Fort Custer Recreation Area.



Students assembled an herbarium of native Michigan flora collected from the Kalamazoo Nature Center.