The Collinson Ecological Preserve (67 acres) consists predominantly of upland hardwood forest. It contains two high quality native loess hill prairie openings on a slope within the bluff overlooking Mill Creek. The Beling Ecological Preserve (109 acres) contains flood plain forest that is adjacent to and seasonally flooded by the Rock River. Both preserves are within 10 miles of campus.
All three field stations are used for teaching and research. Courses that are taught include Local Flora, Entomology, Aquatic Biology, and Summer Research Experience in Field Biology. Research activities by students and professors revolve around plant ecology, animal ecology, and conservation biology.