Ohio Wesleyan University has received a five-year $494,980 National Science Foundation research grant to establish an ecological research and education network among 12 primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs). The network likely will expand over time.

Ohio Wesleyan University has received a five-year $494,980 National Science Foundation research grant to establish an ecological research and education network among 12 primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs). The network likely will expand over time.

Associate professor of botany-microbiology Laurel Anderson is the network coordinator and will be chairwoman of the leadership working group.

The faculty members will develop collaborative research projects focused on regional to continental-scale ecological issues, engaging students while teaching them basic ecology. They will create a continental-scale ecology course module using research data that will be team-taught by scientist-educators from the participating institutions and establish an online database.

The project began in March 2009 when Anderson received a NSF workshop grant, which funded meetings of scientists from PUIs. The new award provides full funding for the project.

The planners will meet in June at Sewanee to develop a tree-growth project and to establish administrative aspects of the network.