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A visit to Kemp Natural Resources Station – Audio

A visit to Kemp Natural Resources Station - Audio

A visit to the Kemp Natural Resources Station

Thomas Steele, Superintendent
Kemp Natural Resources Station, Woodruff, Wisc.
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Phone (715) 356-9070(715) 358-5667

3:06 – Total Time
0:17 – Kemp Station in the North Woods
0:55 – Research, education, outreach
1:29 – Results of the research done at station
2:02 – Things found on the station
2:26 – Future role of the station
2:53 – Lead out


Sevie Kenyon: Tom can you describe for us the Kemp Resource Station?

Thomas Steele: Kemp is this really unique property; it’s 235 acres of land that sits on a peninsula in Northern Wisconsin, juts out over Tomahawk Lake. And what makes it really unique is that we support some of the last remnants of old growth, hemlock hardwood forest, in Wisconsin. So this makes Kemp station just a wonderful laboratory for researchers, and a wonderful classroom for students because they can literally step back in time and see what Wisconsin looked like 300 or 200 years ago.

Sevie Kenyon: Can you perhaps describe the mission of the research station? 

Thomas Steele: The mission of Kemp is three fold. The first is research. The second part is instruction, and we’ll host anywhere from oh 12 to 15 different field classes. The third is outreach, and that’s where we trying to link citizens with scientists. We want to take that information; we get it into the hands of decision makers, in the hand of landowners, so they can have the best possible scientific based information upon which to make their decisions. 

Sevie Kenyon: Can you give some examples of the results of some of the work done there? 

Thomas Steele: The station has a rich history of doing pioneering research in the area. Forestry, soils, forest insects, and forest disease. A lot of the work is tree physiology as well, and a lot of this pioneering work has increased our understanding from things even just as basic as how trees grow. And if we know how trees grow better, that allows us to do a better job of managing them, and taking care of them, and using them in a way that’s sustainable. 

Sevie Kenyon: Tom, can you describe for us what the station looks like?

Thomas Steele: It’s a place where you could easily walk through and see deer, see all kinds of wildlife, whether they be on the land or in the water. We’ve got this neat juxtaposition of bogs, and lakes, and land, so we support a wide variety of wildlife. So it’s a really healthy ecosystem.

Sevie Kenyon: And Tom, do you have a sense of how the mission may change, or the work may change in the future?

Thomas Steele: I would say that we’re putting increasing demands on our natural resources, and in order to be able to continue to meet those demands, and meet them in a sustainable way, we need to do good science, we need to train future resource professionals, and we need to get the word out. So if anything, I say our science programs actually advancing, the same with our instruction, and I see a larger outreach component occurring at the station.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Tom Steele, Superintendent of the Kemp Natural Resources Station, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, now celebrating 125 years, and I am Sevie Kenyon.