The Arb serves as an outdoor classroom for the Department. It consists of approximately 880 acres (360 hectares) of land adjacent to the College, including mesic forest and floodplain forest along the Cannon River, marshes, small patches of prairie, and pine plantations. Some of the ongoing projects include restoration of prairie and oak savanna habitats and monitoring of secondary succession in both upland and floodplain habitats. A wealth of information about the Arb has been gathered by students in formal courses and independent studies. To learn more on weekly activities, check the Current Arb Happenings.
McKnight Prairie is another area for outdoor studies. It consists of 33.5 acres (14 hectares) of native Minnesota prairie about seven miles east of campus. Biological studies are conducted each year by students in classes and in independent study.