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Updates Under Way at Purdue Wildlife Area, Martell Forest

New buildings, upgraded facilities and infrastructure work for research have been ongoing at two off-campus Forestry and Natural Resources properties over the last year.

“While we are working on plans for a new FNR building on campus because that's most needed, we are continuing to make improvements in our off-campus research, education and extension facilities,” FNR department head Dr. Bob Wagner said. “A good example of that right now is the animal care building that we're finishing this year as a commitment to enhanced wildlife research capabilities at the Purdue Wildlife Area (PWA). It replaces a very outdated and insufficient animal care facility, and will greatly increase our capacity to conduct wildlife research.”WERF building foundation

Construction on the nearly $3 million building is expected to be completed by January 2022. The 4,700-square foot facility expands and improves FNR’s wildlife lab capabilities, while also enhancing teaching experiences and increasing researchers’ ability to run controlled experiments. The building, made possible by a $1 million donation from the estate of Roger (BS 1950) and Sarah Voyles, replaces the existing, outdated animal care building, which would have required extensive and costly repair for continued usage.

The Wildlife Ecology Research Facility (WERF) features animal care rooms, which are designed to allow users to study a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial species and research questions in ecology, ecotoxicology, and disease ecology. Rooms are ventilated separately from adjacent rooms to prevent airborne pathogens from spreading as well as to isolate any odors. The rooms also feature a high efficiency HVAC system with adjustable temperature and humidity controls, which allow changes based on the needs of occupants.WERF in progress

Photo galleries of the progress on the WERF building can be found on the FNR Facebook page and at the links below.

Another FNR property where improvements are ongoing is Martell Forest. Infrastructure for on-site personnel as well as preparations for upcoming research are taking place at the site, located 8.5 miles from campus.

As part of the Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative, connectivity is being improved on site by adding high capacity internet speeds and data transfers as well as a cellular boost, which will improved coverage across the nearly 500 acre property.WERF, front view

Space at the John S. Wright Forestry Center, a research, teaching and conference facility on site at Martell Forest, has also been allocated for the Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative. An office space and lab space will house research personnel and associated digital technology.

Another enhancement at Martell Forest is the addition of an indoor heated shop, located inside the existing pole barn on site. This shop offers on-site personnel a location to maintain and repair tractors and other ground vehicles used to work in the forest, while also providing space for storage and maintenance of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other instruments related to the digital forestry initiative.

A natural stream stabilization construction project also is ongoing at Martell.

 

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