OSWEGO — After a year of construction on a new field station, SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek invites the public to a welcome-back afternoon of events titled “Celebrating Science at Rice Creek” on Oct. 12, to highlight science research, programming and fun with nature at the popular 400-acre living laboratory.
Dozens of family-oriented events, rain or shine from noon to 5 p.m., will include the following: guided trail walks — highlighting such topics as plant identification, invasive species, nature photography and butterfly research; children’s walks and an investigation station; facility tours and collection displays; and faculty, staff, student and community expert talks, information and demonstrations, including a keynote presentation by plant ecology expert and SUNY Oswego biological sciences faculty member Dr. C. Eric Hellquist.
The free public program will include shuttle service to Rice Creek from the parking area at Fallbrook Recreation Center. Both Rice Creek, 1 mile south of the main SUNY Oswego campus, and Fallbrook, about 1.5 miles, are on Thompson Road, just west of the main college entrance off State Route 104.
Events running concurrently all afternoon will include hands-on demonstrations of amphibian research and the chemistry of plants, a visit to the observatory to use the telescope and learn about daytime astronomy, a giant-pumpkin display, tours of the new, 7,700-square-foot field station and self-guided tours that include the Ruth Sachidanandan Herb Garden, whose new sign will have been dedicated in a ceremony that morning.
From noon to 3 p.m., “Celebrating Science” will offer information about bird migration and ecology; an information table for the facility’s community support group, Rice Creek Associates; a 20-minute media presentation titled “Rice Creek Field Station: A Journey to the Future,” wildlife viewing and tables for children to explore nature, art and more.
Hellquist’s 3 p.m. Rice Creek Reflections presentation, titled “The Great Lakes Watershed: Botanical Crossroads of a Continent,” will discuss the lakes’ notable position in the study of plant ecology, including some species found nowhere else in the world. Great Lakes ecosystems are home to a variety of plants whose presence reflects ecological conditions related to the lakes themselves, geological context and changing climate over the past 100,000 years, the scientist noted.
For a complete list of the day’s events, including the schedule of topic-specific guided trail walks and talks, visit oswego.edu/ricecreek or call 315-312-6677.