University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

BioCON Experiment

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is a University of Minnesota biological field station with many ecosystems and species found throughout the forests and grasslands of North America. Faculty, staff and students who work at Cedar Creek are dedicated to understanding how human activities, such as agriculture and fossil fuel combustion, are changing ecosystems. 
Many of the experiments at Cedar Creek consider the long-term consequences of human-driven environmental changes. These include ecosystem responses to:
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Nitrogen deposition
  • Elevated carbon dioxide
  • Warming and changes in precipitation
  • Exotic species invasions

Cedar Creek is part of the College of Biological Sciences and a member of the Long Term Ecological Network.



Bison Season Ends

What a great season! Over the nearly 5 months the 2019 herd was onsite, hundreds of visitors from all over the world stopped by to learn about our research (we had visitors from Sweden and England!). Thank you to our naturalist volunteers for providing programming each weekend, and to everyone who participated. We hope you'll be back again next year! Open hours at the gazebo are now closed, and for safety and security reasons, the extension trail is also closed. 

Once there is a decent amount of snow on the ground, we will reopen the extension trail as well as some of the internal roads inside the bison enclosure for skiing and snowshoeing. The Fish Lake Nature Trail is open year round for hiking, walking, geocaching, bird-watching and more so you can still stop by for a visit! Directions are at
Over the winter, we also recommend you check out Cedar Creek's trail camera project, Eyes on the Wild. You can help our scientists classify images of wildlife on the property, and there are PLENTY of pictures of the herd for you to enjoy!