UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH RESEARCH AND FIELD STUDIES CENTER:
ASSESSMENT AND FUTURE STRATEGIES PROPOSAL
The University of Minnesota Duluth Research and Field Studies Center (RFSC) is a 114-acre outdoor experiential learning space located four miles north of the UMD campus. The site has a long history of being a research landscape and educational resource for the university.
The Assessment and Future Strategies Proposal was developed to offer site context, research, and considerations for future sustainable land management. This approach engages with shifting timescales and gradients of change to best support RFSC long-term goals of diverse research and engagement.
Landscape context is explored at regional and site scales to consider hydrology, soils, and topography alongside RFSC’s academic and social history. Site users contributed survey responses which guided research questions and helped in determining future use considerations. Open-ended site investigation methods of observation, documentation, and drawing are used to better understand the value and character of the existing landscape.
Suggestions are coordinated to maximize identity, cohesiveness, and adaptability over different time scales. Way-finding strategies, trail systems, informational signage, boundary design, and structures are proposed as various physical interventions.