The Biological Station is about to dramatically expand its academic offerings, its connections to the Ann Arbor campus, and number and diversity of students served. U-M Provost Martha Pollack approved the Station’s “Transforming Learning for a Third Century” program proposal Tuesday. The award totals nearly $1.5M and is funded through the Office of the Provost and the LSA Dean’s Office. In addition, Director Knute Nadelhoffer and the UMBS External Advisory Board have set a goal of raising an additional $500K in scholarship support from the Station’s donor community. This will ensure that students can participate in these new courses regardless of their financial status. 

“This is great news for the Station and for the university as a whole,” says Nadelhoffer. “We will be able to bring the benefits of the field science approach to classes and students across the campus.”

The program centers on the development of new courses which will offer a component held on the Ann Arbor campus and a linked field component at the Biological Station. The courses will focus on different environmental problems. Students will become grounded in relevant background and theory during a winter semester course in Ann Arbor. Then they will come to the Station for a field component involving data collection, analysis and synthesis. “We already have commitments for collaboration from departments, schools and colleges focused on social sciences, the arts, policy, design, engineering, and environmental law,” says Nadelhoffer.

The Station anticipates soliciting its first round of course proposals in 2016 and running the first courses in 2017.