Welcome to the Kansas Biological Survey

Black-eyed susans
Black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia hirta) at the KU Field Station.

The Kansas Biological Survey is a KU research center with more than 50 scientists, including joint-appointment KU faculty, affiliated KU faculty, staff scientists, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students. Each semester we also engage 35-50 undergraduates directly as members of individual labs or as employees. The Survey also is a nonregulatory agency of the State of Kansas. In addition, we manage the University of Kansas Field Station, which covers more than 3,700 acres over four sites in northeastern Kansas.

Our programs and activities meet mission-oriented goals relevant to state, regional, national, and global environmental and biological issues. The legislatively mandated mission of the Survey is to gather, by field census and other means, information on the kinds, distribution, and abundance of plants and animals; compile, analyze and interpret this information; and distribute this information. Our scope of activities has expanded over time to embrace both interdisciplinary and multi-investigator research initiatives that focus on a wide range of related activities, including:

  • holistic environmental analyses;
  • fundamental community and ecosystem ecology;
  • conservation and rehabilitation of ecosystems;
  • and remote sensing/GIS sciences (including systems analyses and data archiving).

To complement our official state mission and expanded research activities, the Survey maintains an active role in traditional and public education, especially through the formal classes and research mentorship its scientists offer to undergraduate and graduate students at KU and through diverse activities at the KU Field Station.

Survey scientists and staff also contribute to public outreach and service activities. While these activities focus on environmental issues important to the state of Kansas and Great Plains ecosystems, our scientific research extends to the Midwestern region, as well as national and global environments.

Visit the KU Field Station’s five-mile public nature trail system, just 15 minutes from downtown Lawrence.
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Weekly Ecology Seminars

Ecology seminars hosted by the Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research are held each week during the spring and fall terms. They are open to the public via Zoom. Join the mailing list! For notifications and reminders of upcoming seminars, share your name and email address using our quick webform. See our Spring 2022 schedule and visit our YouTube channel for video recordings of talks.


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