Facilities and Services

The Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research (MPCER) has helped support the creation of facilities and services that support research and education, including the Geospatial Research and Information Laboratory and Merriam-Powell Research Station. Additionally, the MPCER is affiliated with or collaborates with a wide range of partners that provide critical support to the research and educational communities.

Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center

The Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center (CPBC) promotes the preservation of biological diversity through research, education, and public outreach. In its various collections, the CPBA houses more than 500,000 biological specimens.  The CPBC brings together the various life sciences collections to improve communication and collaboration.

Environmental Genetics and Genomics Laboratory

The Environmental Genetics and Genomics Laboratory (EnGGen) is a research facility used by a wide range of public and private institutions throughout northern Arizona to support genetic analysis. Genetics and genomics provide powerful tools not only for medicine, but also for a range of environmental science fields. The EnGGen laboratory also creates education and training opportunities for students and professionals.

Merriam-Powell Research Station

The Merriam-Powell Research Station (MPRS) offers affordable housing and research facilities to scientists and students conducting field work. MPRS facilities are also available to educational, scientific, and environmental organizations for day-long or multi-day meetings and workshops. 

Geospatial Research and Information Laboratory

The Geospatial Research and Information Laboratory (GRAIL) provides NAU researchers and partners with technological support to conduct geographic information system (GIS)-related research. The laboratory operates a state-of-the-art training facility, offering a wide spectrum of instruction that ranges from Esri-authorized courses and Federal standards training to workshops and custom-designed courses. Poster printing services are also available through GRAIL.

Southwest Experimental Garden Array

In late 2011, the National Science Foundation awarded a grant to NAU to develop the Southwest Experimental Garden Array (SEGA) for Integrating Genetics and Climate Change. The garden array will be a system of 10 experimental gardens across northern Arizona that encompasses habitat types ranging from desert to mixed-conifer forests. Raising plants with
the same genetic makeup, or genotype, in an array of sites along an elevational gradient of temperature and moisture will allow scientists to examine how different genotypes perform under different climatic conditions.

Walnut Creek Center for Education and Research

The Walnut Creek Center for Education and Research (WCCER) offers housing and research facilities to scientists, students, and classes conducting field work. The WCCER occupies the Forest Service's decommissioned Walnut Creek Station and administrative site. Each year a wide range of researchers, students, and public visitors use the 250-acre site, which contains Arizona uplands and riparian gallery forest.