New Shortgrass Field Station Opens in Weld County

Colorado State University completed the first phase of an expansion of a field station located on shortgrass steppe at the edge of thousands of acres of rolling grasslands in rural Weld County.  

The Shortgrass Steppe Field Station has been the site of a National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research Station for 25 years, with scientists and students currently involved from CSU, University of Northern Colorado, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. The work conducted by these researchers is internationally recognized in the study of grassland ecology, including grazing management, plague and prairie dogs.  

The first phase of the new construction includes a new classroom and conference facility as well as two five-bedroom houses for researchers or conference participants.

"For the past 25 years we have been amazingly successful with our research, education and outreach efforts out at the field station, and because of that we are able to expand our efforts with this new facility," said Indy Burke, CSU  ecology professor. "The new facility will allow us to continue premiere grassland ecology research and education."

The $6 million second phase of the Shortgrass Steppe Field Station expansion includes a laboratory and four new five-bedroom houses.

Students and scientists from around the world have visited and conducted their research at the site located north of Nunn, Colo., about halfway between Greeley and Cheyenne. Currently, three Danish scientists are living at the station for an extended period to study the swift fox. The field station is located 35 minutes from Colorado State University or University of Northern Colorado. Bird-watchers also regularly flock to the site.

The field station is suitable for classes, retreats, workshops and conferences and is available to rent. The two new houses are a few yards away from the classroom/conference building, with double-occupancy capability, full kitchens and large porches. There is also a catering kitchen for group meals.  

The first phase of the field station expansion was funded by Colorado State University, the National Science Foundation and the University of Northern Colorado.

For more information, please contact the Shortgrass Steppe Field Station at (970) 491-4996 or Indy Burke at (970) 491-1620 or