Barbara A. Beiser '49 recalled during Dedication Ceremony on Sept. 15

Ralph Voorhees says his late wife, Barbara A. Beiser '49, would be honored by his recent gift to Marietta College.

More than 50 family, friends and College employees felt privileged to attend Saturday's (Sept. 15) Barbara A. Beiser Field Station Dedication Ceremony on the steps of the Rickey Science Center.

Owned by the Beiser family for more than five generations, the land is being donated by Voorhees in honor of his late wife, who was raised in Marietta and is a Marietta alumna. The field station includes about 70 acres and 2,000 feet of riverfront property along the Little Muskingum River. The area also includes riparian forest, flood plains in various stages of succession, and steep wooded slopes with secondary forest including some mature tress.

"The Rickey Science Center allows us to offer state-of-the-art laboratory education to our students. The Barbara A. Beiser Field Station will allow us to offer a parallel experience in field biology to our students," said Dr. David McShaffrey, associate professor of biology. "Here they will be able to observe plants and animals in their natural surroundings and conduct experiments in succession, colonization and land restoration. Successive generations of students will draw on data gathered by earlier classes as well. Most importantly, the study of biology in the laboratories on campus will be reconnected to the natural world, something which is all the more important as cellular and molecular techniques increasingly isolate biologists in sterile laboratories far removed from the places where the organisms they study arise. We also see the field station as a place where students from other disciplines can observe and study nature first hand, whether for technical reasons, for inspiration, or simply for recreation. If funding becomes available, we also hope to bring local teachers and schoolchildren to the station as well."

Under an agreement with the Friends of the Lower Muskingum (FRLM), Marietta College will be able to manage the site and offer educational opportunities for students of all ages.

Marilyn Ortt, president of the FRLM, said one of the group's goals was to, "promote and engage in education regarding the preservation of natural areas, open spaces and farmland."

With the help of groups such as the FRLM and the donation of the new field station, Marietta science students will have more opportunities to perform experiments and other environmental field studies.