Cornell alumnus Charles S. Brown bequeathed his Shackelton Point property to the University upon his death. In 1955, Brown’s wife, Iola Warrior Brown, turned the property over to Cornell. Professor Gustav Swanson, an ornithologist and head of Cornell’s Department of Conservation, proposed that the unique property at Shackelton Point be developed as a biological field station, with a resident director and a vessel for lake sampling.
Six decades of research on Oneida Lake, New York State’s largest interior lake has produced a unique long-term ecosystem study, begun by John Forney in 1956, which has become a model for other fresh water lakes around the world. Also unique is the continuous long-term collaboration and support of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
In more recent years, national and international collaborations on the Great Lakes have resulted in a more in-depth understanding of those lakes’ food webs and the effects of invasive species.