One of Belwin Conservancy’s primary goals is to facilitate the understanding and recovery of natural systems in the Upper Midwest using the best science available. Working with numerous colleges and universities as well as other non-profit groups and governmental agencies, Belwin is involved in numerous research projects including multiple-year bird migration and census studies, stream research on trout and aquatic insects, and water quality monitoring in Valley Creek.

Belwin Conservancy seeks to expand its research program substantially by giving scientists from all over the world the opportunity to use the preserve as a safe site for long-term research. Few places offer the diversity, size and security that the Belwin Conservancy preserve can provide for ecological research. For more specific information, see Research Policies and Guidelines and Liability Waiver. For information on scheduling a fieldtrip, look for information under Visiting Belwin.

For more information about research at the Belwin Conservancy, please contact us or email

Potential projects:

  • Baseline surveys on the flora, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and invertebrates at the Belwin Conservancy preserve.
  • Land use / land cover mapping of the Belwin Conservancy preserve.
  • Surveying and monitoring known rare and threatened species populations listed under Land Management.
  • Bison and prairie ecology including their foraging behavior, physical and chemical differences in soil properties, and responses in the plant community.
  • Grassland bird surveys, breeding patterns, and responses to bison grazing and prescribed burning.
  • Responses in savanna restoration, coarse woody debris, oak regeneration and age class structure, distribution of plant species along a light gradient, responses in faunal community to buckthorn removal and prescribed burning.
  • Oak woodland bird nesting success and predator behavior, winter bird communities, wildlife radio tracking, foraging patterns in nocturnal and diurnal species.
  • Distribution of wetland communities such as rich fen, sedge meadow and shrub carr and marsh along gradients of moisture and nutrients, patterns in reed canary grass invasion.
  • Restoration and land conservation in the context of climate change; carbon storage and sequestration in prairie, forest, and wetland communities in the Upper Midwest; trade-offs in land management techniques to manage biodiversity and invasive species versus carbon emissions.