College of Arts, Sciences, and Business

Where discovery comes naturally


At Missouri S&T’s Ozark Research Field Station (OFRS), you have the chance to make scientific discoveries in a natural outdoor classroom rich in ecological history.

Learn how you can get involved

   

Students at the field station watching a teachers demonstration

What is a field station?

It’s is a place to engage with the natural world — a good field station is interdisciplinary, multipurpose and serves a variety of interests and research targets like biology, chemistry, geology, art, literature, music, poetry and engineering.

The Ozark Research Field Station is a nine-acre biological resource site made available to S&T through its partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Located about 20 miles southwest of Rolla, Missouri on land settled in the 1860s, the site contains ponds, streams, woods, wildlife and a historical house.

Students outside the facility

What do field stations do?

  • Observe environmental change
  • Train new generation scientists, current educators and natural resources professionals
  • Engage the public in science and discovery of the natural world
  • Test new technologies and methods
  • Facilitate self-discovery and community enrichment
Closeup of researchers looking at a soil sample

Academic advantages

Our programs inspire an appreciation of natural history, land ethics and the scientific process.

As the only biological field station in the University of Missouri System, the ORFS gives you real life learning experiences that will help you prepare for meaningful careers involving biology, the environment, conservation, natural resources and more.

Collaboration and outreach

The ORFS offers unique, place-based courses taught by Missouri faculty from a variety of academic departments.

It also offers programs for students and the community that involve:  

  • Primary and secondary schools
  • Girl Scouts of America
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Future Farmers of America
  • 4-H Club
  • Audubon Society
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Master Naturalists

Meet the Staff

Dr. Robin M. Verble

Director, Ozark Research Field Station

Dr. Robin M. Verble joined Missouri S&T in 2018 as founding director of the Ozark Research Field Station (ORFS) and associate professor of biological sciences. From 2012 to 2018, Verble was director of the Center for Fire Ecology at Texas Tech in Lubbock and an assistant professor in the school’s Department of Natural Resources Management. Before that, she worked for three years as the curator of insects at the Watson Museum of Entomology at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. Verble’s research focuses on the effects of wildland fire on insect community and population structure and individual behavior. Learn more at Verble Fire Ecology Lab.


Education
  • Ph.D. applied ecology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • M.S. entomology, University of Arkansas
  • B.S biophysics, University of Southern Indiana

Theo Sumnicht

Caretaker, Ozark Research Field Station

Theo joined Missouri S&T in 2019 as caretaker of the ORFS and lecturer of biological sciences. Sumnicht has worked at field stations across the world for his own research and brings a diverse perspective and a wealth of enthusiasm to the position.


Education
  • M.S. biology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • B.S. entomology, University of California-Davis

Want to get involved?

Contact Dr. Robin Verble or consider visiting the field station. We're always looking for partners, volunteers, research collaborators, community participants and of course, interested students.

Visit our Facebook page and check out our on-site camera trap photos!

Ozark Research Field Station

16300 County Rd. Newburg, MO 65550
Phone: (573) 762-3771
Email: verbler@mst.edu

Operating Hours

Monday:Hours vary
Tuesday:Hours vary
Wednesday:Hours vary
Thursday:Hours vary
Friday:Hours vary
Saturday:Hours vary
Sunday:Hours vary