The William & Mary campus contains aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that provide habitat for a diverse flora and fauna characteristic of the southeastern coastal plain. Lake Matoaka, part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, provides outdoor laboratory and research space for aquatic ecology classes (as well as canoeing opportunities for recreation at the boathouse). The Keck Environmental Field Lab, adjacent to Lake Matoaka, supports environmental field work and indoor laboratory work with canoes, a wet lab with tanks, an analytic lab with elemental analyzers and fume hood, a walk-in cold room for sample storage, a GIS computer room for student and faculty use, and a conference room equipped for videoconferencing.
The surrounding College Woods is the largest remaining contiguous stand of second-growth forest in the city of Williamsburg. Student and faculty researchers have the opportunity to study a wide array of environments, including pristine forests and streams, freshwater lakes, and tidal wetlands.
On the main campus, a Wildflower Refuge links Crim Dell to the College Woods and provides habitat for a number of native plants rescued from local/regional development. The refuge is maintained for that purpose by order of the College’s Board of Visitors.
Contact Randy Chambers for information about Keck Lab, College Woods, and Lake Matoaka.