Celebration to highlight 30th anniversary of Rice Creek Associates


February 25, 2016

Citizen support group Rice Creek Associates will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a gala open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at SUNY Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station. The event is free and open to the public.

Mike Holy, president of the group that for three decades has pursued its mission to sustain and advance the field station as a living laboratory, will make a presentation. There will be trail walks, games for children, a 30-minute slideshow on the history of the field station and its nearly 400 forever-wild acres of mixed terrain, sale of signed and numbered prints by charter Rice Creek Associates member John Weeks, and refreshments.

Dr. Peter Rosenbaum—professor of biological sciences at SUNY Oswego, vice president of Rice Creek Associates and the only continuously serving member of its board—said the event will highlight the many ways in which the organization has supported Rice Creek, RCA’s goals for the future and its ongoing campaign for new members.

RCA long has lived up to its mission to advance knowledge through ecological research, education and stewardship of the natural world at Rice Creek Field Station. It has sponsored undergraduate and citizen-scientist research through the annual small-grants program chaired by Rosenbaum, promoted the interests of young scientists through summertime Exploring Nature scholarships, bought equipment such as the computer connecting a new weather station to the building and the Internet, helped launch the Ruth Sachidanandan Herb Garden, produced informative brochures and a newsletter, sponsored the Rice Creek Associates Reflections speakers series, and funded the installation of a privacy fence, a pavilion and boardwalks.

Three decades of this labor of love are only the beginning, Rosenbaum said. With the constant infusion of new members, RCA aims to continue providing a research climate that results in fundamental discoveries about ecological and environmental processes, ensuring that Oswego faculty and students are the central element in science investigations, promoting participation in field station activities among visiting researchers and students, and communicating field science to the general public.

The impetus for Rice Creek Associates’ founding 30 years ago, Rosenbaum said, came from Weeks and Donald Cox, both former Oswego professors of biological sciences who had teamed with Leland Marsh and others to advocate for and work to develop the field station from former farmland in the early 1960s. Weeks and Cox invited Rosenbaum, Holy and others to form a steering committee in 1986 and articulated a structure, mission and a vision for the citizen support group.

Today, Rice Creek Field Station has a new headquarters building with a variety of energy-saving features, dry and wet laboratories, a research lab, library, mud room, field shower, offices and a control room for the observatory, which sits nearby and will be open for the March 13 celebration. The varied terrain features miles of trails and endless research opportunities. For more information, visit oswego.edu/rice-creek.

Limited parking is available next to the field station, with more spots near the Thompson Road entrance, a mile south of the main SUNY Oswego campus.

Students can join Rice Creek Associates for a year for $5, individuals for $10 and couples and families for $15. To join, visit oswego.edu/rice-creek/membership.

PHOTO CAPTION: Decades of support—Rice Creek Associates, the support group for the college’s Rice Creek Field Station, has provided scholarship assistance for young scientists in the summertime Exploring Nature program (pictured in an archive photo), as well as undergraduate and citizen-scientist research through the annual small-grants program, among other services. Rice Creek Associates will mark its 30th anniversary from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, with a free public celebration.