Research has been part of the Arboretum landscape since its founding, beginning with the earliest plantings to establish tallgrass prairie in 1935 and subsequent experiments in fire ecology. “Advancing restoration ecology” is central to the Arboretum mission, and field studies are key to achieving that goal. Modern challenges require that we learn while restoring.
The Arboretum continues a long tradition of adaptive restoration. At the same time, it is a valuable research site for many fields – from botany, landscape ecology, and soil science to wildlife ecology, environmental engineering, and public health. Researchers are frequently from UW–Madison, but also Edgewood and other area colleges; city, county, and state divisions such as the DNR and City of Madison Engineering; and out-of-state schools and organizations.
Wetland restoration ecology research is a current focus at the Arboretum. Research Director, Dr. Joy Zedler together with other faculty, numerous graduate and undergraduate students and volunteers work on projects that help answer restoration questions not only at the Arboretum but around the world.
To learn more about research at the Arboretum, explore the related pages from the sidebar. Recent Findings highlights key articles and studies. Current Research features some of the research happening at the Arboretum. Published research is listed on the Publications page. Leaflets summarize findings for a general audience.
Science Day is an annual event for students to present their research projects.
See our Research Permits page to learn more about conducting research at the Arboretum.