University of Minnesota
Environment & Sustainability Portal
Environment and Sustainability Portal

Field Stations & Research and Outreach Centers

From the Twin Cities metro to greater Minnesota, field stations and research and outreach centers at the University of Minnesota offer a wealth of environmental research, teaching and outreach opportunities.


Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve 

Cedar Creek is a large ecological research site in central Minnesota with natural habitats that represent the entire state. Just a 30-minute drive from the northern Twin Cities suburbs, Cedar Creek is a place of incomparable biological diversity. The reserve is owned and operated by the University of Minnesota in cooperation with the Minnesota Academy of Science.

Cloquet Forestry Center

The Cloquet Forestry Center is the University’s primary research and education forest. The center serves the research, teaching and education needs of the natural resources community. It is also home to Extension’s Cloquet regional office. The center includes 3,505 acres of land supporting research and education.

Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories

The Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories is one of the oldest continuously operated inland field stations in the United States. It is the perfect place to study many organisms in their natural environments because the station is near the intersection of the northern coniferous forest, the eastern deciduous forest and the western prairie.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The arboretum's mission is to be a resource for horticultural and environmental information, research and public education, and to inspire and delight visitors with quality plants in well-designed and maintained displays, collections, model landscapes and conservation areas.

North Central Research and Outreach Center

In addition to traditional crop and livestock research, scientists at NCROC research agricultural engineering, environmental issues, forestry, industrial byproduct utilization, horticulture, mycoherbicides, tourism and travel, and wild rice.  The unique soil, climate, social and economic environment in north central Minnesota provide opportunities to conduct research that contributes to sustainable economic systems and improved quality of life for the people of Minnesota.

Northwest Research and Outreach Center

The Northwest Research and Outreach Center serves the prairie and adjacent land area of northwestern Minnesota.  Its activities are part of broader agricultural research programs at the University of Minnesota. The research and outreach Center, located adjacent to the University of Minnesota's, Crookston, campus, owns approximately 1,500 acres of land.  The center provides laboratories, fields, and herds for use by UMC students enrolled in agriculture programs.

Southern Research and Outreach Center

Research at the Southern Research and Outreach Center includes the following areas: agronomy, dairy and beef, farm operations, horticulture, commercial vegetable production, nutraceutical crops, biohydrogen and biomethane production from animal wastes, biomass crop production systems for energy and other renewable resources, nematology, soil science and water quality, swine, water management and drainage, and weather information.

Southwest Research and Outreach Center

The Southwest Research and Outreach Center is a resource that builds quality of life through individuals working together providing research and education for agriculture, communities, and family. Areas of current research at the SWROC include soils, crops, entomology, pathology, horticulture, water quality, and forestry.

Turfgrass Research, Outreach and Education Center

The mission of the TROE Center is to develop low-input and environmentally responsible turfgrass cultural systems for commercial and residential turfgrass managers across the upper-Midwest.

UMore Park

The University of Minnesota Outreach, Research and Education (UMore) Park is a 5,000-acre site 25 miles southeast of the Twin Cities at the suburban-rural interface, near Rosemount, Minnesota. The plan for this new, sustainable community integrates environmental, sociocultural and economic opportunities with a specific focus on innovations in renewable energy, education and lifelong learning, health and wellness, the natural environment, and regional economic development. 

Urban Forestry Outreach & Research Nursery

Urban Forestry Outreach & Research Nursery was founded to provide teaching, research and outreach for the benefit of our urban and community forests and managed landscapes. We work closely with municipal foresters and horticulturalists, nursery growers, and green industry professionals to identify and resolve current issues in these fields.

West Central Research and Outreach Center

The WCROC responds to Minnesota's agricultural diversity by addressing topics and issues related to the broad range of agricultural systems in the region. WCROC faculty and staff work with farmers, rural leaders, faculty from other research and outreach centers and other University of Minnesota departments, and citizens to provide research and educational programming.

Edge of the Prairie

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

"Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt," the globally cited article by University of Minnesota ecologist David Tilman, originated from research at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.