The facilities are available for use by other groups, organizations, or individuals seeking a meeting space with access to the diversity of organisms and habitats present at CERA. Contact the CERA Director for more information.
The well-equipped lab provides easy access to both field and lab equipment, a reference library with field guides, computer access, an herbarium, and an insect collection. A greenhouse was constructed next to the lab in 2000 to provide space for experimenting with and propagating native plants for transplanting at CERA. Built in 1983, the lab is named for Benjamin F. Graham, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Biology at Grinnell College.
Environmental Education Center (EEC)
Hours: M-F 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Photo by Dale Photographics, Pella IA
See Attachment below for PDF, formatted to be printed and tri-folded.
This facility is open to the public during normal weekday business hours. The classrooms may be in use during this time, but the restrooms, drinking fountains, information kiosk, and hallway displays are open to the public. Weekend tours of the facility can be accommodated if arrangements are made 1-2 weeks in advance. Please contact the CERA manager to arrange a tour.
The Environmental Education Center was completed in April 2005 (see photos from the dedication open house). At about 7000 sq. ft., plus an adjacent 1900 sq. ft. maintenance shed, it will allow us to expand research and teaching activities and safely carry out management activities. The new facilities are situated at the crest of the grasslands at the north central part of CERA, near the existing road and overlooking the valley that reaches Perry Pond (see map with building site). A classroom and a teaching lab will support 24 students each, and flexible layouts can be reconfigured for greater capacity when needed. A sweeping glass wall will open the teaching spaces to the south toward the grasslands. Support spaces include office, classroom, and greenhouse.
The construction of the EEC was part of PHASE II of the Noyce Science Center Renovation/Construction Project. In 2006, the building was the first in Iowa to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Rated designation. In 2007, Chicago architects Holabird&Root were awarded the Design Excellence Award for Sustainability for the project; the award is presented biennially by the Chicago Institute for Architects.
The 50 kW wind turbine will provide over 90% of the electricity needs for the Environmental Education Center. The wind power will reduce carbon dioxide emissions related to energy use by the facility by 200,000 pounds per year. Follow these links for photos or videos of the installation; videos courtesy of The Grinnell Magazine. The Spring 2007 issue of The Grinnell Magazine included an article about the wind turbine; copies available by request.
CERA Green Touchscreen Kiosk
The interactive kiosk explains the building's green design features (like the geothermal heating-cooling system, and cistern for gray water recycling), graphs real-time data on water and energy use (in comparison to similarly-sized buildings), summarizes curricular, research, restoration, and outreach uses of CERA, and provides real-time weather data from the CERA weather station.