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 >

AllieJanuary 2023 update from Allie:

Happy New Year!

In Conservation Biology class, we ended 2022 with our soil unit. It may seem like the soil unit is dry or boring, but you’d be surprised how fascinating soil really is! We learned about the physical properties of soil, where students got their hands in the dirt and dug holes around the Heronwood property to determine soil texture. We also talked about the biological and chemical aspects of soil and learned from a couple of expert guest speakers.

A highlight of the month was the tour of Delano Farm where the farmers taught us all about regenerative agriculture. Even though it started to get pretty cold and blustery, we were still able to spend lots of time outside and we even got to play in the snow a few times. The students decided they wanted to end the month with a spirit week, so they decided the theme for each day: overalls day, anything-but-a-hat day, slumber party day, fish day, and ugly holiday sweater day.  

Before that, we spent the entire month of November learning about climate change. We learned about climate science and how climate change is affecting people locally and around the world. We also focused on climate activists and chose our own class projects to address the climate crisis.  

We will bring in the new year in Con Bio class with a career unit, where students will explore potential careers with in conservation and natural resources. After that, we will begin a unit about human impacts on the natural world, then begin the forestry unit. We will continue to learn from experts in the field and spend some time on the Heronwood trails.  

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.