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Field tours and presentations

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is known for our groundbreaking ecological research and long-term research data collection. Cedar Creek staff are excited to offer Cedar Creek presentations and field tours to community organizations. 

To schedule a presentation or group tour for your group, please email Kara Baldwin,

Cedar Creek field tours 

Walk through science at Cedar Creek! Visit Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and take a staff-guided tour through research sites. Tours last between 1-3 hours and may be coupled with a Cedar Creek presentation at no extra cost. Tours are scheduled based on staff availability. 

Cedar Creek field tour options

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Cedar Bog Lake

Enjoy a stroll and 'moving lecture' out to Cedar Bog Lake, where Ray and Eleanor Lindeman did their groundbreaking work on food webs in the 1930s. The walk is just over a mile round trip, and passes through natural examples of prairie, cedar swamp, mature deciduous forest, and tamarack swamp on the way to the lake itself. We can talk about past and present research into topics like ecosystem dynamics, aquatic biogeochemistry, phenology, restoration, groundwater hydrology, and more. 

  • Approximate tour time: 2 hours
  • Walking distance: ~1.25 mile
  • Activity level: gentle walking over a variety of surfaces (sand, dirt, boardwalk) 
  • Meets at Lindeman Lab Building; no vehicle transportation required
  • Season: Year Round (winter tours may require the use of provided snowshoes)

Big Biodiversity Experiment

A guided tour of the Big Biodiversity experiment, probably our most famous long-term experiment. Hear about the research process as practiced at Cedar Creek, the globally-relevant lessons we've learned about biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and the hundreds of other spin-off experiments that have been added to or inspired by Big Bio over the last 25 years. 

  • Approximate tour time: 1 hour
  • Walking distance: ~0.25 miles 
  • Activity level: fairly level grassy surface, accessible for wheelchair users
  • Meets at Lindeman Lab and requires group transportation from Lindeman Lab to experimental research sites
  • Season: spring, summer, fall

Fire, Woodpeckers, and Bison

Head out to Fish Lake at Cedar Creek and experience oak savannas. As you walk to the bison-viewing gazebo, you will learn more about oak savanna dynamics, bison and red-headed woodpecker research, and prescribed burning. 

  • Approximate tour time: 3 hours
  • Walking distance: ~2 miles 
  • Activity level: level dirt trails and primitive sand road; may not be appropriate for electric wheelchairs but route can be adapted with advance notice
  • Can meet at Lindeman Lab and carpool to site or meet directly at the Fish Lake parking area. Only porta potty facilities available at Fish Lake.  
  • Season: spring, summer, fall 

Cedar Creek presentations

Cedar Creek presentations begin with a brief introduction to Cedar Creek before diving into specific research experiments and findings. Presentations can be hosted at Cedar Creek, offsite, or virtually through Zoom. Presentations delivered in-person at the reserve can be coupled with a field tour of the research site being discussed. Presentations are lecture-style and last approximately 45 minutes with time for questions after. Presentations are scheduled based on staff availability.

Cedar Creek presentation program options

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History of Cedar Creek

Learn more about Cedar Creek and its 80+ year history. Your speaker will provide a decade-by-decade stroll through discoveries, innovations and major research projects.

Prairies and Biodiversity

In 1994, the Big Biodiversity experiment was established at Cedar Creek to explore how biodiversity impacts the functions of ecosystems. This on-going, long-term experiment continues to teach us about the importance of biodiversity within ecosystems. Your speaker will describe the Big Biodiversity experiment at Cedar Creek as well as key takeaways from decades of research. 


Predicting Climate Change

The BioCON experiment at Cedar Creek seeks to understand human impacts on the environment, including increased levels of carbon dioxide, nutrients, and heat. BioCON’s long-running manipulations provide insight into how prairie plants might respond to future, human induced factors. Your speaker will teach you more about the BioCON experiment and its work in attempting to predict how climate factors and other human activities impact prairie plant communities. 


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Group presentations and field tours fees

Standard field tour (2-3 hours), with or without presentation: $200

Standard presentation on site or virtual (1 hour): $100

Standard presentation offsite within 50 miles (<50 miles will be charged an additional mileage fee): $130

*UMN CBS internal groups and UMN affiliates, reach out to Kara Baldwin,, for discounted rates.


Fees for other types of programs and services are listed here.