Think Globally

Ecosystems Studies Field Laboratory
at Altona Flat Rock

Learn Locally



ESFL Overview

ESFL Site Map

Aerial Photo of ESFL Site




Origin of the "Flat Rocks"

Regional Deglaciation




Stream Hydrographs

Well Hydrographs



Wildlife Ecology

Forest Ecology

Wetland Ecology

The 1998 Ice Storm


Epicormic branching on an ice-storm-damaged pitch pine.


     The Ecosystems Studies Field Laboratory was created in 1992 as a joint initiative between Plattsburgh State University and the W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute to enhance undergraduate instruction and provide research opportunities for students in geology and environmental science.   The laboratory site occupies approximately 100 hectares on Altona Flat Rock in the upper Little Chazy River watershed, approximately 13 kilometers north of the Plattsburgh State University campus. 

     The field site offers an excellent geological, hydrological and ecological setting for illustrating the interdependence of natural processes and the effects of human activities on natural ecosystems.  The diverse forests, wetland ecosystems, and hydrological and meteorological instrumentation at the site provide the focus for problem-based learning in several geology and environmental science courses and undergraduate research projects.  Use of real-world data from a familiar and accessible field site in courses from different but related scientific disciplines fosters an integrated, interdisciplinary perspective that enhances a student's understanding and appreciation for ecosystem function and value. 


 [ ESFL Site Map ]    [ Aerial Photo of ESFL Site ]    [ Acknowledgements ]


Center for Earth &
Environmental Science
Franzi Home Little Chazy River 
Watershed Project
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program Lake Champlain 
Research Institute


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