Rice Creek Field Station comprises a 7640-square-foot, LEED Gold certified energy-efficient main building, with an observatory and a 350-acre nature preserve.

See below for details about the facility, its sustainable features, and how to reserve space.

Main Building

  • 24-seat classroom
  • 24-seat wet laboratory
  • 24-seat dry laboratory - wall can be raised to join dry lab with classroom
  • Research laboratory
  • Specimen collections room
  • Welcoming area with a library
  • Mudroom and a shower room for cleaning up after fieldwork
  • Administrative and visiting professor offices

Field and Laboratory Equipment

  • Laboratories equipped with stereo dissecting and compound microscopes and a stock of standard biology supplies and equipment
  • Standard botanical, zoological, and entomological collecting equipment
  • Ecological and limnological sampling equipment, including: Chest and hip waders, boots, snowshoes, binoculars, spotting scopes, GPS units, trail cameras, still and video cameras
  • Field identification guides
  • Classroom set of laptops
  • Boston Whaler and other small outboard motorboats and canoes/kayaks for use on Lake Ontario, the Oswego harbor and river, and other inland waters including Rice Pond
  • 12 passenger van, ATV, and field mowing equipment


The observatory structure contains a 12.5" telescope. In addition to night sky viewing, the telescope is outfitted with an H-alpha filter for solar viewing. For more information, contact Natalia Lewandowska.


The fully-wired pavilion serves as an outdoor classroom, a place to gather for special events, or simply a place to relax and enjoy a picnic.


As a research station area, Rice Creek is dedicated to the study, preservation, and management of the environment. It is a living laboratory for SUNY Oswego students and faculty and others interested in learning about local ecology and conservation. In an effort to increase environmental awareness, nature trails (almost 5 miles in total) provide access to the numerous habitats around Rice Creek.

Learn more about our Trails

Ruth Sachidanandan Herb Garden

For over 30 years, the Ruth Sachidanandan Herb Garden has provided a peaceful spot for both visitors and pollinators. Dozens of lush and fragrant herbs fill the garden each year. Completed in 1988, the herb garden was dedicated in 1991 to the memory of its designer, Ruth Sachidanandan.

View the Herb Garden Booklet Illustrated Flora of the Herb Garden


Energy-efficient, LEED Gold certified 7640 square-foot main building. Rice Creek was named the #41 50 Most Impressive Environmentally Friendly University Buildings and was the recipient of the Merit Award from AIA Western New York in 2014.

Green energy production
Carbon emissions
  • Structure designed to be close to net-zero in terms of carbon emissions
  • Limited parking encourages alternate means of transportation such as carpooling, public transportation (via Centro's Green Shuttle)shuttle, biking, bicycle, or walking
Energy saving features

Our energy-saving features reduce energy consumption by 30% compared to similar buildings of standard construction.

  • Photosensitive and motion detector monitors control many of the indoor lights
  • Outdoor LED street lamps are on a timer set to the photoperiod of the season
  • South-facing shade system allows sunlight in during winter and provides shade during summer
  • Heating and cooling as needed on a space-by-space basis
  • Energy-efficient metal roofs on pavilion and storage building that dissipate heat better than traditional shingled roofs.
Water conservation
  • Advanced stormwater retention basins (rain gardens) and fully engineered septic system to keep sediment and pollution out of the surrounding wetlands and creek
  • Bathroom toilets automatically use the most efficient amount of water needed for each flush and solar-powered automatic faucets
Waste reduction
  • Water bottle filling station, encouraging reuse rather than new purchases of plastic bottles

Reserve Space at Rice Creek

Community non-profit organizations and SUNY Oswego departments and groups can reserve space at Rice Creek Field Station free of charge for conferences, retreats, meetings, and special events. Please get in touch with us at rcfs@oswego.edu or 315-312-6677 to inquire about availability.

Rooms 123 & 121 set up for a conference, with tablecloths and a u-shaped arrangement of tables