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Athens is located in one of the most scenic parts of Ohio, near 12 state parks and the Wayne National Forest. Because Athens usually enjoys a milder winter than much of the Midwest, many plant and animal species with southern distribution patterns can be found here.

The area also has a 200-year history in the extraction industries: Coal, oil and gas, timber, iron and more have all fueled the region’s economy for more than 200 years. Numerous research opportunities are available with both University and regional organizations focused on remediation of environmental damage from these activities. The Voinovich School and researchers across the University are currently focusing on the boom in hydraulic fracturing.

The Consortium for Energy, Economics, and the Environment
Formed in 2005, CE3 puts the University’s energy and environmental expertise to work. Faculty, staff, and students work together with local, state, and federal government officials, industry representatives, and Ohio nonprofit groups to develop solutions to energy and environmental problems that promote economic growth and sustainability.

Ohio University Research Facilities

Other research opportunities await in the university’s Dysart Woods Laboratory, which includes some of the last remnants of primary forest in the central-eastern United States.

The Bartley Herbarium contains more than 40,000 specimens of vascular plants and bryophytes.

A history of underground and surface mining of high-sulfur coal has compromised some watersheds with acid mine drainage. Research on stream remediation includes community involvement in sampling for water quality, biodiversity and other sustainability indicators.

Other environmental issues important to this area include hydraulic fracturing, hazardous waste disposal, agricultural runoff, timber resources and heavy industry located near the Ohio River.


Ohio University Libraries maintains more than 2 million bound volumes and 2.5 million other items in its collection. Library resources include access to on-line databases and other research tools, including direct interlibrary loans through the OhioLINK system, which encompasses more than 30 public and private colleges, medical, schools, and universities in Ohio. Alden Library, the Athens campus main library, is open seven days a week.

Research Equipment

Students can gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art research equipment from many different university departments. University-wide computer facilities, including a broad range of statistical packages, and scientific research equipment are available to all students. Scientific equipment available for student research includes:

  • Transmission and scanning electron microscopes
  • Digital imaging
  • Radioisotope, chromatographic, electrophoretic, and spectrophotometric facilities
  • Controlled environmental chambers
  • NMR
  • ESR
  • Automatic X-ray
  • IR Fourier-Transform
  • YSI and Myron Water Quality Meters
  • Long-line electrofishing unit