About EREC

Research on the site of the Ecological Research and Education Center (see Facilities) began with the establishment of the University of Kentucky's Ecological Research Facility (ERF), a focus of field and semi-field research since 1995 (semi-field = outdoor replicated artificial systems). During 2010-2012, funding from Lexmark Inc. and the University of Kentucky allowed the purchase and complete renovation of the adjacent former Lexington library building, now the UK/Lexmark Center for Innovation in Math and Science Education (L-UK). The interactive combination of research site and outstanding meeting and teaching space has spawned a new biological field station as the Ecological Research and Education Center (EREC). The linkage of the two physical facilities has encouraged new inter-institutional research collaborations on site and nearby in the Bluegrass Ecoregion, along with rapid expansion of field-oriented teaching and community engagement (BIOTIC). Collaboration with our neighbor in the building, PIMSER (Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform), has spawned the SPARK program (Student-Powered Academic Research in Kentucky) and other research-teaching interactions. These activities provide the synergism and engagement that define the vision and mission:

Vision: EREC is a unique field station linked both directly and through advanced telecommunications to researchers, students, teachers, and citizens at a local-to-global scale. EREC advances knowledge of the natural and human-modified world and expands general awareness of the scientific enterprise.

Mission: EREC functions as a highly connected node in the regional and national ecological research and education network. EREC facilitates research, education, and community engagement, strongly emphasizing their integration. The accessible suburban location in the heart of the Bluegrass provides a hub for studies of the Bluegrass ecoregion.

 A complete overview of the current status of EREC and the plans and goals for the future are contained in EREC's Five-Year Plan.