Jones Farm Wetlands

John Petersen, Professor of Applied Systems Ecology at Oberlin College, partnered with Ohio State University and the NAC to establish a four acre experimental wetland restoration station at the Jones Farm.



The station features six hydrologically isolated wetland cells that each comprise their own miniature ecosystem. Working with graduate students from Ohio State University and undergraduates at Oberlin, Petersen is using the station to better understand the dynamics of ecosystem restoration on old commodity grain fields.

John adapted a kite to contain a cradle that houses a high resolution digital camera. The kite is flown above the wetland cells to take aerial photographs that can then be analyzed using imaging technology to track biodiversity and the progression of wetland plant communities in response to different restoration interventions.

The wetlands were restored on a former commodity grain field. John’s research is investigating the efficacy of different restoration management systems for old agricultural fields. Given that agriculture presents the number one threat to biodiversity world-wide, this research will provide useful information for better understanding how we can integrate habitat into productive agricultural systems.