map showing where the outdoor learning areas are located

Overview of the OLA

Located just outside the doors of The Science Building and Weston Hall, the Outdoor Learning Area is the perfect place to come experience the natural beauty of the Upper Peninsula.  The OLA boasts gorgeous examples of native vegetation and wildlife. 

The OLA is managed by the EEGS Department, but for the use and enjoyment of all NMU students and faculty. This area can be used for ecological and biological studies, artistic inspiration, writing prompts, growing cultural understanding, or simply studying and lounging.

OLA Interactive Guide

Learn more about the history and goals of the Outdoor Learning Area and understand the layout of our various garden beds by viewing the aerial maps of the GeoPark.  If you've taken a walk through the GeoPark and are trying to identify a species you saw, use the maps below.       

The OLA has a plethora of plant species.  Navigate the categories of plant types within the park to find more information about specific plant species.  Perennial Species are alphabetized by their common name.  The Perennial Index has both common names and scientific names for each plant.  Please note that plant names can vary greatly among people and these species may be listed under common names you're unfamiliar with.  

The GeoPark has a variety of boulders representing geologic features found across the Upper Peninsula.  Some information on the boulder types and each boulders' origin are listed below but check back soon for more details regarding the geological features in the GeoPark.

OLA Committee

susy ziegler

Dr. Susy Ziegler

OLA Committee Head 906-227-1104
Jelili Adebiyi

Dr. Jelili Adebiyi

OLA Committee Member 906-227-2634
Matthew Van Grinsven

Dr. Matthew Van Grinsven

OLA Committee Member 906-227-1161

Current Student Employees

Former Student Employees

Photo of Jane Fitkin

Jane Fitkin

Student Field Technician 2020-2021
jackie lenten

Jacklyn Lenten

Student Field Technician 2019-2021
emily gooch

Emilee Gooch

Student Field Technician 2022