27,000 Acre Laboratory
Situated on 27,000 acres, Berry College land is ripe with natural diversity and provides for our students an outdoor classroom and research laboratory beyond compare. Rare species of plants and animals have been identified as well as various ecosystems, soils, and topography.
Faculty and outside guests who wish to conduct activities on the land are encouraged to register their intent. With this unique outdoor laboratory, Berry has begun to establish itself as a world-class destination for studying the environmental sciences.
Establishment of Berry's 27,000-acre Laboratory
In July 1997, an ambitious new initiative was launched to convert Berry College’s vast 27,000-acre land tract into the nation’s largest outdoor academic laboratory, to be viewed under the concept that land owned and controlled by an institution of higher learning should be managed with education and research as its primary resource. Prior to 1997, most of the land was inaccessible for teaching and research, with the exception of the agricultural operations administered by the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Historically, the land had been used primarily as a site for timber production, seasonal hunting, and limited mining operations. Under the new model developed by Dr. Bruce Conn, the newly installed dean of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, these traditional uses of natural resources would continue, but would become fully integrated with research and educational programs that would provide opportunities for students and researchers from Berry and other institutions to study and learn, while providing expert advice to Berry’s land managers.