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The Research Office

Wilson Hall
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2762
(248) 370-4111
[email protected]

People working with plants in a greenhouse.

Laboratory for Outdoor Research, Agriculture, Conservation, and Sustainability (LORACS)

OU-LORACS supports outdoor research and educational activities related to ecology, agriculture, conservation, and sustainability. Located on the SE corner of campus, it supports scholarly and educational activities by affiliated faculty and student groups from throughout Oakland University.

The OU-LORACS facility fosters research collaborations within and across OU departments, schools, and colleges, advancing our understanding of the natural environment and creating an active culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship. It supports the development of creative and learning activities within the OU community and its broader community partners.

OU-LORACS resources include hoop houses, garden beds, indoor lab spaces, the Campus Student Organic Farm, and a facility for conducting temperature-controlled aquatic mesocosm experiments at large spatial scales.

If you or your organization would like to collaborate with an OU-LORACS affiliated faculty member on anything related to ecological research, agriculture, conservation, or sustainability, please send an email to [email protected].  

Location: 3070 Butler Rd (intersection of Adams & Butler roads)

Affiliated faculty:

  • Fay Hansen, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Thomas Raffel, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Mary Jamieson, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Jonathan Maisonneuve, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Sarah Beetham, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Ecological Research
  • OU-LORACS supports outdoor research projects by OU faculty and students studying a variety of ecological questions, including:
    • Temperature dependence of disease transmission in frog populations. (Supported by NSF grant IOS-1651888 to T. Raffel)
    • Influence of urbanization on wild bee communities. (Supported by a Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research grant to M. Jamieson)
    • Drivers of strawberry productivity across an urban-rural gradient. (Supported by a Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research grant to M. Jamieson)
    • How temperature variability and leaf litter quality affect tadpole development and susceptibility to parasitic infections. (Supported by NSF grant IOS-1121529 to T. Raffel)
  • Interested in getting involved with ecological research at OU-LORACS? Contact researchers Tom Raffel or Mary Jamieson.
  • OU-LORACS houses the Campus Student Organic Farm (CSOF), which supports multiple academic and community engagement programs. Academic programs and courses supported by CSOF include:
    • S. and B.A. in Biological Sciences
    • Urban Agriculture and Agroecology Minor
    • BIO 3360 Organic Farming
    • BIO 3361 Applied Organic Farming
    • BIO 3362 Permaculture
    • BIO 3363 Permaculture Laboratory
    • BIO 4338 Food Systems Biology
  • Interested in the Campus Student Organic Farm? Contact CSOF Director Fay Hansen.
  • OU-LORACS supports research, education, and outreach activities promoting conservation and restoration ecology.
    • Restoring pollinator habitat in urban ecosystems – Mary Jamieson
    • Protecting amphibians from climate-dependent infectious diseases – Tom Raffel
  • Interested in supporting conservation efforts at OU-LORACS? Contact us at [email protected].

OU-LORACS supports research and teaching initiatives to develop and promote environmental sustainability, including in agriculture, natural resource management, and energy production.