Researcher Guide

Researching plantlife

Researching Overview

Scientific research is a vital activity in the campus wetlands. It allows us to understand its recovery and better manage the landscape. Lessons learned here are already being applied in ecological restoration elsewhere. We encourage faculty and student research through courses and independent projects, as well as research by other scientists wishing to use the wetlands for investigation. All research proposals are carefully scrutinized to make sure there are no substantial adverse impacts on the wetlands. If you would like to undertake research in the wetlands you must obtain a Wetlands Research Permit. Preliminary inquiries about research can be made on the Questions? page.

We allow research that can be done with minimal impacts to the natural resources of the site. Observational studies are encouraged. Experimental studies will be considered, but scrutinized very closely for potential impacts. We require that you (1) read and follow the Wetlands Access Regulations, (2) read and abide by the information on this page and on the Wetlands Research Permit web page, and (3) complete the application form on that web page to obtain a Wetlands Research Permit. This permit allows us to keep track of how the wetlands are being used by groups as well as altering campus security and the wetlands maintenance staff to your presence. We will strive to process permit requests as fast as possible, dependent upon the availability of experts to review potential impacts. Plan ahead - be sure to allow enough time for the permit process!

If you are not familiar with the wetlands you may request a field orientation visit where one of our wetland staff will lead you around the wetlands in relation to your research interests. Use the Questions? page to request this, indicating the nature and timing of the research you are considering.

Research Projects in the Wetlands

The wetlands have provided a valuable location for research by classes, individual students, faculty and other researchers. Some examples of past research projects in the wetlands:

  • Behavior and diversity of bats
  • Survey of terrestrial insects
  • Stream macroinvertebrates as measures of stream health in North Creek
  • The impacts of beaver activity on canopy development
  • The impacts of tent caterpillar outbreaks on the pace and trajectory of ecological restoration
  • Water quality of floodplain depressions through time and space – and links to the water quality of North Creek

Reporting on Your Research

You are required to submit a research report within 60 days of completing your research project. This report should detail your methodology, findings, and interpretations of those results. Submit your report to the UWB Wetland Advisor, Warren Gold, at Please contact the Wetland Advisor if you need an extension on this reporting requirement. We also request that you let us know of any publications that result from research conducted in the campus wetlands. All of this information is of great assistance in managing the wetlands and obtaining funding for support of future research.