Understanding our environment

The mission of the Kansas Biological Survey, a KU Designated Research Center, is to pursue a deeper understanding of and appreciation for our biological resources through world-class research, education and service that enlightens, engages and empowers people in our state and beyond. View our 2018 Annual Report. The Survey, established in 1911, is a nexus for natural sciences research, environmental mapping, conservation and education. Our scientists — working with graduate and undergraduate students, as well as visiting scholars — conduct research that affects our health, our state and our world. This research covers a broad spectrum and includes subjects such as water, air and soil quality; land use; threatened and endangered species; global change biology; environmental engineering; and aquatic ecology and watersheds.

The University of Kansas Field Station

The Survey also manages the 3,700-acre KU Field Station. The Field Station, established in 1947, protects wildlife habitat, preserves remnants of native prairie and old-growth forest, and serves as a living laboratory. Just 15 minutes from main campus, it provides a site for study in the sciences, arts, humanities and professional schools. Five miles of public trails are open year-round, dawn to dusk, at the Field Station's Research and Operations Area, an 1,800-acre site just north of Lawrence, Kansas.

Interactive environmental maps

The Natural Resource Planner is an interactive online Kansas map that enables users to choose from and view, separately or simultaneously, more than 20 categories of natural resource and infrastructure data. These data sets include water bodies, native grasslands, oil and gas wells, electric transmission lines, wind speed and much more. This map was designed to help users make informed decisions in the planning of development projects, so Kansans may benefit from natural resources while protecting sensitive wildlife and habitat.

This is one of several data-rich interactive maps developed and hosted by Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS), a program of the Kansas Biological Survey. Access all the Survey's interactive maps.


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

Ecology seminars are held each week during the spring and fall terms. Three types of seminars are held during a typical week at KU. See the Fall 2019 schedule.


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