RFS

Student working with injured bird

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What is a Field Station?

In most parks and natural areas, regulations discourage or prohibit collecting specimens, manipulating habitats, and disturbing plants and animals. While such restrictions can be important in protecting the integrity of the environment, they also make it difficult, if not impossible, to conduct many types of scientific activities. Furthermore, most parks lack classroom and laboratory facilities, and park visitors may disturb research apparatus or survey markers. Field Stations provide us with a place to study nature with fewer distractions and greater flexibility - a place where you can establish experiments without worrying about someone pulling up your survey flags, stepping on your study organisms, or walking away with your expensive data logger. Therefore, it is no surprise that field stations have been at the forefront of biological research and education for more than a century. Most field stations are associated with major universities; it is unusual for a small, private school such as Juniata to have such an active field program.

The Raystown Field Station is a member of The Organization of Biological Field Station, a network of almost 200 stations across North America.