Powdermill Nature Reserve

Research at Powdermill

For information on research opportunities at Powdermill, please visit the Research with Us page. obfs logo 

The research programs at Powdermill take advantage of the Reserve's unique combination of the wide variety of habitats found in the Allegheny Mountains. Powdermill is a member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) and the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA).

Powdermill bird migration research program

Birds1Avian research at Powdermill was started in 1961 by Senior Bird Bander Robert Leberman (pictured at right with the bird banding program's one hundred thousandth capture). Leberman founded what has since become the longest continuous banding program of its kind in the United States.

An excellent video describing some of the avian research underway at Powdermill is available on the Greenlife Pennsylvania website: http://greenlifepenn.org/?p=296 

For more information on Bird Banding at Powdermill, visit the Powdermill bird migration research program website.

Ongoing Avian Research 

hummingbirdAdopt A Bird Band 

The Adopt A Bird Band program invites nature lovers of all ages to become personally involved in supporting the vital biodiversity and conservation research at the core of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's mission. Adoptions make great gifts for bird lovers, budding naturalists, and conservation enthusiasts, or anyone who wants to celebrate in a unique and special way. Click here to explore the adoption website! 

Ongoing Research 

Other projects at Powdermill include:

  • several studies of distribution and abundance of Powdermill's amphibians and reptiles 
  • grassland ecology and bee diversity 
  • plant ecology and systematics
  • the influence of acid rain on tree growth
  • aquatic ecology
  • effects of the gypsy moth on the Appalachian forest
  • designated recording station for the national weather service since 1967

Higher Education 

Powdermill serves as a teaching site for many university-based classes in field biology and as a location for graduate and undergraduate biological research. Field and laboratory volunteers assist with several of the year-round research programs. Click here for information about student research opportunities.