Facilities and Resources

Through on-site research and engagement, students develop and refine skills in the areas of observation, data collection, experimentation, land management, and stewardship. 

Ursinus College is set within the Perkiomen Watershed and is close to numerous natural areas in the Philadelphia Metropolitan area. From a range of on campus facilities to myriad field sites in the area, our students have access to a diverse learning perspectives and opportunities. Whether on campus or off, these sites provide experiential learning about climate, soil, insect, aquatic, terrestrial ecology; the use and management of diverse greenspaces in the form of the campus, nearby parks, conservation areas; and other environmental management facilities.

Whittaker Environmental Research Station (WERS)

The Robert and Shurley Knaefler Whittaker Environmental Research Station (WERS) is home to research on sustainable agriculture and associated land management practices. In Spring 2013, the departments of Environmental Studies and Biology were recipients of a generous donation from Ursinus almumni Donald Whittaker, Andrew Whittaker, and Elizabeth Magrann. Two separate land management systems make up the site. Experimental research is currently underway on several acres planted in perennial species used for livestock forage. Experimental land management in the form of a “food forest” is now underway on another acre. This system features perennial trees and shrubs planted for the variety of fruits, berries, and nuts they produce. This new food forest will grow to two acres in the coming years. These projects are intended to support student experiential learning, while developing insights for regional land managers and owners. 

Whittaker Environmental Research Station

Campus Farm

In addition to WERS, ENV students regularly spend time learning and working at the campus organic farm. In fact, ENV students were key actors in creating Ursinus’ organic farm, which serves as a resource for campus food, and designing the campus’ constructed wetland behind the baseball field. 

Students help prepare community gardening plots for a new season of planting.

Hunsberger Woods Natural Area

Students in ENV classes lead projects intended to enhance the habitat and improve local water quality in Hunsberger Woods, a borough owned park/ These efforts include the installation of rain gardens featuring native species of wetland plants as well as planting several hundred native tree and shrub species

Reforesting Hunsberger Woods



Environmental Studies