For Researchers

The UW–Madison Arboretum is an outdoor ecological laboratory. The advancement of ecological science is an important part of our mission, integrated with land stewardship and education. The Arboretum is used for research in various ways, including:

  • Faculty, staff, student, agency, and environmental organization research
  • Citizen science
  • Outdoor lab sections
  • Class research projects
  • Field trips

Research Locations

Research projects occur in the prairies, savannas, forests, wetlands, and shorelines of the 1,200-acre Arboretum in Madison, and at many of the 11 other properties we manage across the state. Dane County properties managed by the Arboretum include: Bolz Prairie, a 6-acre dry hillside prairie; McKenna Pond, a 6-acre wetland and oak forest with an isolated pond; New Observatory Woods, a 13-acre southern oak-hickory forest; and Pasque Flower Hill, a 6-acre dry lime prairie.

Outside of Dane County the Arboretum manages: Abraham’s Woods, a 40-acre southern mesic forest, and Oliver Prairie, a 4-acre dry lime prairie, both in Green County; Anderson’s Bottomland, a 139-acre river bottom forest in Iowa County; Lodde’s Mill Bluff, a 12-acre mesic basswood forest and sandstone bluff in Sauk County; Faville Prairie, a 92-acre mesic to wet prairie in Jefferson County; Hub City Bog, a 58-acre tamarack bog in Richland County; and Finnerud Forest, a 141-acre old growth red pine forest and bog in Oneida County.

Resources and Services

Researchers have access to resources and services including:

  • Field equipment
  • Mesocosm facility
  • Long-term datasets
  • Land management records
  • Daily weather records
  • Research support services
  • Staff expertise
  • Public connections
  • Meeting spaces

Policies

The Arboretum is a research center of the UW–Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE) and will follow campus policies, including:

Permits

A research permit is required to conduct research at any Arboretum property. Permits are available free of charge. Information and online application»

Funding

The UW–Madison Arboretum offers Arboretum Research Fellowships for graduate student research.

Staff Contacts

  • Brad Herrick: plant community ecology, jumping worm biology and ecology
  • Christy Lowney: forest ecology, fire ecology, spatial data
  • Karen Oberhauser: insect conservation, monarch butterflies, citizen science
  • Susan Carpenter: native plants bumblebees, pollinators
  • Jessica Ross: citizen science, fungal ecology, plant community ecology

Questions? Email research@arboretum.wisc.edu