“Vibrant Living Laboratory” donated to GS

Photo courtesy of stpal.org

George Andersen

A 1,400-acre scientific field station has been acquired by Georgia Southern University which will work as a “Vibrant Living Laboratory” for students and professors.

Known as the Effingham wetlands and donated by the Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land, the land consists of 841 acres of cutover and regenerating pine; 231 acres of riparian wetlands; 68 acres of hardwoods; 40 acres of mature pine; 15 acres of open grasslands and about 7 acres of small ponds, according to a press release from GS.

“Because this large tract of undeveloped natural wetland is embedded in one of the most rapidly developing areas in Georgia, just 12 miles northwest of downtown Savannah, we felt compelled to take advantage of the opportunities this property provides for the University. It will become a tremendous resource over time for our student and faculty scientists, especially those in the College of Science and Mathematics,” President Jaimie Hebert said in a press release.

The donated wetlands will act as a place of research for GS, allowing for the monitoring and studying of the varied ecology that exists inside its borders.

Some of the areas of study that will be available to student scientists and professors include the study of native plants, surface and subsurface water flow, insects, reptiles and amphibians.

“This wetland extends and enhances the learning environment beyond the classroom giving faculty, graduate students and undergrads advanced training in the scientific method by doing actual hands-on research in their chosen field of study,” Martha Abell, dean of the University’s College of Science and Mathematics, said in a press release.

The scientific field station was acquired in May of this year, but will serve as a resource for STEM students for years to come.