Log-Cutting at the OSBS Inaugurates New Field Laboratory
A 4,081 square-foot field laboratory at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station (OSBS) held its grand opening on April 16 with a “log-cutting” ceremony. Fifty invited guests toured the facility after watching UF Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources Jack Payne and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Dean for Research Jackie Burns commemorate the occasion by cutting a log in half with a two-man crosscut saw.
The multi-room facility was built to help advance the mission of UF/IFAS by providing infrastructural support to the dozens of faculty and graduate students who conduct research at the station.
“Before this lab was built, it was just a picnic table with grad students clinging to spotty wifi,” said Andrew Rappe, OSBS Assistant Director. “Now they have a collaborative space where our researchers and students can discuss ideas, analyze field data, cool down to eat lunch, and even take showers.”
The event was well-attended by UF/IFAS scientists and National Ecological Observation Network (NEON) field ecologists who actively utilize the station for research and data collection. Kirsten Ruiz, Director of Field Operations at NEON, also attended the event. OSBS is one of 20 “core sites” for the 30-year, continental-scale project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Ruiz said that she considers the partnership between NEON and UF an ideal model for the other core sites.
“The number of researchers already using NEON data before the network is even fully operational, and the way that UF is leveraging NEON to get more researchers involved with this site, shows true collaboration,” Ruiz said. “This new field lab will help advance the efforts of all involved parties at Ordway.”
The laboratory is the first facility of its kind on the OSBS property. Funds for the $540,594 structure were provided by the UF/IFAS Dean for Research, the OSBS, and the UF Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources.