Field Trips

All field trips will be outside. Please dress appropriately as conditions in Northern Minnesota can vary by the hour. The following are recommended: rain gear, boots, suntan lotion, mosquito repellant, hats, etc.

All field trips, with the exception of the Red Soils field trip, will leave UMD at 12:45 p.m. and return at approximately 5:00 p.m. You will need to grab a box lunch before boarding your bus or vehicle.

Exception: The Red Soils field trip, will leave UMD at 10:30 a.m. You will need to grab a box lunch before boarding your bus or vehicle.

Bog Restoration and Northern White Cedar Habitat

Northern White Cedar detail
Trip Leaders
Tom Malterer, Research Soil Scientist with the Natural Resources Research Institute
Gary Walton, Northeast Minnesota Botanist
Trip Limit
50 people

In the past, bogs were mined of their peat, then abandoned. A project is underway aimed at restoring these bogs with native plant species. Visit a restoration site; hear how restoration takes place and which plant species are being used. This trip includes a stop at a native northern white cedar site where time will be spent on plant identification.

Red Soils, Wetland Characteristics and Constructed Wetlands

constructed wetland
Trip Leaders
Ulf Gafvert, National Park Service Soil Scientist
Steve Eggers, Army Corps of Engineers Botanist
Jesse Turk, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Scientist
Roger Risley & Mike Walczynski, NRCS Minnesota Soil Scientists
Trip Limit
40 people

Red Soils present unique challenges when looking for wetness indicators. Soil pits will enable us to examine soils with red lacustrine and fine till parent materials. Time will be spent at each pit for inspection, discussion, arguments, plant identification and the "Preponderance Test." We will also visit a constructed wetland and discuss the virtues of "natural" vs. "constructed" wetlands. Bring color books, soil knives, clipboard and other soil tools.

Wild Rice Restoration Pilot Project on the Lower St. Louis River

St. Louis River
Trip Leaders
Rick Gitar, Water Regulatory Specialist with the Fond du Lac Reservation
Tim Bates, UMD Outdoor Program Coordinator
Trip Limit
24 people

Travel by canoe to three sites on the St. Louis River that have been seeded in an attempt to restore wild rice populations. While paddling the river, learn about the cultural and natual history of this unique area. Opportunities will exist for viewing wildlife (especially birds) and other native aquatic plants. You'll also get the opportunity to view various "goose deterrents" being tested in the wild rice study plots.

Wetland and Stream Banking in Perspective, Considerations for Minnesota

Trip Leader
Sandy Verry, retired Research Hydrologist with the USDA Forest Service
Trip Limit
40 people

Wetland stream restoration may call for filling portions of a wetland to the normal floodplain elevation to achieve a properly functioning stream channel and floodplain. Some wetlands may be degraded because of unstable and entrenched stream channels in and downstream of a wetland. Sometimes both of these conditions are caused by undersized and improperly placed culverts at stream crossings. The Clean Water Act and Amendments provided the basis for both wetland and stream restoration; however, only wetland restoration protocols have been widely used. This is especially true in wetland banking options. The field trip will examine opportunities for doing wetland and stream restoration together, evaluate stream and wetland condition at stream crossings, and review a stream restoration protocol suitable for stream restoration banking opportunities.

Bark Bay Slough: Protected Coastal Wetland on Lake Superior

Bark Bay, Wisconsin - Lake Superior
Trip Leader
Janet Keough, Acting Director, US EPA Mid-Continent Division
Trip Limit
15 people

Bark Bay is a Wisconsin Natural Area on the south shore of Lake Superior. This unique coastal peat land is representative of the fens that were once prevalent along the shores of the Great Lakes. Bark Bay Slough is home to many unique plant species including orchids, bog bean, and wiregrass sedges. Wear waterproof boots (waders not necessary) and get into the unique habitat of this peatland.

Dinner Cruise

Vista Star

Vista Star cruising under aerial lift bridge

There are indoor and outdoor areas on the boat, but bring warm clothes. Evenings on Lake Superior can be very chilly at any time of the year, even in Mid-July. Local experts on the geomorphology of Lake Superior and the St. Louis River will be on board to share their knowledge with us as we tour the area. Extra tickets may be available for spouses/guests for $38 each and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Ask at the registration/check-in on Thursday.