Minnesota has prairies, deciduous and coniferous forests, vast agricultural landscapes, streams, wetlands, and bogs, as well as 14,000 lakes of diverse character including the largest lake in the world, an excellent landscape for ecological, evolutionary, and behavioral studies.
University field stations featuring unique ecological environments are frequently utilized by faculty and students for research. Popular courses are offered each summer at the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories, located at the junction of eastern deciduous, northern coniferous, and prairie biomes in northwestern Minnesota. The 6,000-acre Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, the site of a National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research Program, is just 30 miles north of campus. The University of Minnesota is a member of the Organization for Tropical Studies consortium, which offers field station experience in Costa Rica to students interested in tropical biology and conservation.
Most EEB students have office and lab space in the Ecology Building on the St. Paul portion of the Twin Cities campus. The Bell Museum's outstanding reference collections of Minnesota fauna is also located in the building. The Ecology Building has five floors of modern laboratories and office space with molecular biology and genetics research facilities, animal care facilities, and greenhouse space. A large herbarium located in the nearby Bioscience Building is associated with both the Department of Plant Biology and the Bell Museum.
Biodale, an NSF-funded facility, houses a modern sequencing, imaging facility, mass spectrometry, robot for high-throughput for screening, and a number of other facilities. The BioTechnology Institute next door maintains laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment for research and development in fermentation, animal cell culture technology, molecular biology, protein expression, and separation of a wide range of biological molecules.