University News

Kibbe 40th Anniversary Celebration

November 6, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Alice L. Kibbe Life Science Station, located near the Mississippi River in Warsaw IL, Saturday, Nov. 10 at the field station.

The afternoon events - - hosted by Inessa Levi, dean of Western's College of Arts and Sciences; Richard Anderson, professor and chair of biological sciences; and Sean Jenkins, Kibbe director - - will begin with an invitation remembrance luncheon from 12:30-2:30 p.m. The luncheon will include the presentation of the inaugural George M. Ward Scholarship for Environmentally Concerned Students.

The public is invited to take a guided tour of Kibbe and its facilities from 2:30-4:30 p.m., followed by a social and fish fry.

Alice Kibbe, a well-known botanist, was chair of the biology department and a botany professor at nearby Carthage College from 1920-1956. She had wanted to start a field station at the site to promote teaching and research in field biology and ecology. It is her ideals of teaching, research and conservation which are the cornerstones of the Alice L. Kibbe Life Science Station.

In 1964, Kibbe donated 160 acres of land in Hancock County to Western Illinois University. Over the years, the natural area has grown to 1,680 acres due to a series of land purchases by the Illinois Chapter of the Nature Conservancy for the development of the Cedar Glen Natural Area.

The field station management area includes 415 acres owned by Western Illinois University and 1,284 acres owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The site is managed through a cooperative agreement between the three landowners. Kibbe Station manages onsite operations through Station Manager James Lamer, who lives at the field station and serves as caretaker, and Station Director Jenkins, who is a faculty member in the biological sciences department at Western Illinois University.

Biology began conducting summer classes at Kibbe in 1966, and has held summer sessions at the site ever since. This nature preserve, which is home to a diversity of plant and animal species, provides students with hands-on experience in field research, as well as offering the general public an opportunity to commune with nature.

Kibbe is unique as a field station because of its geographic location in the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS), an area of great ecological and economic importance, which in 1986 was recognized as a nationally significant ecosystem by Congress, according Anderson

For more information about the Nov. 10 anniversary celebration, contact Anderson in the biology department at 309/298-2408.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing