University lands used by the Biology Department


Surrounded by the Upper Peninsula wilderness, NMU is perfectly situated for field-based learning and scientific research. Biology faculty and students have access to several university-owned properties that offer varied landscapes and ecosystems to study.

Longyear Forest

The Longyear tract is 160 acres that were donated to the university (120 acres in 1949 and an additional 40 acres in 1958) by Abby Beecher Roberts as a memorial to her father, John Munro Longyear. Longyear is primarily a forest habitat composed of northern hardwoods with some conifers. It also includes northern bog habitat. The forest is used for research and for ecology field exercises. It is also used for recreation by students and the local community.

The Shiras Tract

The Shiras Tract is 205 acres that includes 100 acres acquired from the Michigan Department of Corrections in 1966 and another 105 acres received as a gift from Cleveland Cliffs Corporation (actually Cliffs Electric Service Company) in 1986. The area is used by some faculty for courses and research. The trails through the property are also extensively used by the local community.

The Triangle

The Triangle Tract was originally 46 acres that were purchased from the Royal Charcoal Company in 1969. In 1972 NMU did a land exchange with the City of Marquette so that the city could build Lakeview Arena. This dune, swale and lake shore area is available for courses and research.

The English Tract

The English Tract was donated to NMU by the family of Dr. John English in 2013.  This property of approximately 145 acres includes sandy dune and pine forest habitat and lies off of M28 southeast of Marquette. It is available for courses and research.