Allegheny’s Bousson Environmental Research Reserve, a couple miles east of campus is 283 acres of woodlands, ponds, streams, wetlands, diverse habitats and native wildlife.   While the property had many owners over the past two centuries, the Bousson family owned the property for 34 years.  They farmed the land; built a two-story mansion, barns, and a sawmill; created lily ponds and a lake; and established a cheese factory, fishery and sugar maple plantation.  After several more owners, Allegheny College acquired the property in 1935.  Since then Allegheny has maintained the tract as an unmanaged recovering forest, reserved for research and limited recreation uses.  Professors have engaged students in research at Bousson including investigations into soil organic matter, aquatic habitats, hydrology, and soil types.

Find more detailed information on the land-use and glacial history, vegetation, hydrology, soil characterization and chemistry, recent environmental research, and many maps at A Characterization of Bousson Forest.

Students have created many geographical information systems (GIS) maps over the years as part of the curriculum, including those of Bousson highlighted below.  To learn more about the GIS program at Allegheny College, visit the GIS website.

Bousson Trails and Ecological Features
Source: Brandon Goeller ’10, Allegheny College, 2009.

Bousson Topographic Map  Source:  Digital Raster Graphics (DRG) 1:24,000 scale: U.S. Geological Survey, 1996.

Bousson Land Cover Map  Source:  National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) 2006: U.S. Geological Survey, 2011.

Bousson Aerial Photo Map  Source:  PAMAP Program 2005 Color Orthophotos: PA DCNR, 2006.