UF Logo

Visiting OSBS

Visiting OSBS

The Ordway-Swisher Biological Station is located in Melrose, Florida. The facility is available for use to approved science- or conservation-based academic and agency research as well as teaching and trainings activities. Please visit the appropriate area of interest on this website for further information. If you would like to speak with someone regarding use of OSBS, please call the Station at (352) 475-2300 and ask to speak with the Associate Director.

Due to the facility’s primary scientific support mission, OSBS is not open for public visits except for special-use arranged tours, professional meetings, or through volunteer activities.

Traveling across OSBS

OSBS has a network of roads that provide access to most areas of interest within the station. The roads are a combination of unimproved (dirt/clay) and improved (milling gravel). Normal two-wheel drive vehicles can drive on most roads except for along the station boundary. Vehicles are not permitted to leave designated roads or drive on fire breaks.

Weather Extremes

  • Summers – Weather in the summer months (May-Sept) can be intense as it relates to temperature and humidity. Expect daytime temps in the mid-90s (°F) with humidity between 50-80%. Daily rain events accompanied with lightning occur frequently and mainly in the afternoon.
  • Winters – Weather in the winter months Dec-Mar is pleasant with a mix of infrequent freezes and frontal rain events. Expect temperatures to average in the low to mid 60s (°F) during the day with nighttime temps ranging between the 30s-50s (°F).
  • Tropical Storms – Tropical storms may occur from June-Nov. When these events happen, the station may be closed to access.

Impacts from Wildlife/Insects

OSBS has several species of wildlife that need to be respected. There are four venomous species of snakes that can be found onsite: Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Dusky pigmy rattlesnake, Cottonmouth snake, and the Coral snake. American alligators frequent most medium to large lakes at the Station. Wild hogs occur and can mainly be found in the wetland areas. Biting & stinging insects are plentiful. Ticks and chiggers cause the most discomfort in the summer and dissipate during the winter months.

Prescribed Fires & Wildfire

  • Prescribed Fires - OSBS conducts frequent prescribed fires from late December through early August. Notifications of when and where these burns occur are sent out on the stations Listserv as well as posted at the entrance gate’s check stations. Roads surrounding burn units are closed to OSBS users during fire operations.
  • Wildfires – Wildfires from lightning strikes do occur infrequently. Although wildfires mostly occur in the late spring and early summer, they can happen year-round.

Liability Waivers

Copyright 2000-2023, Ordway-Swisher Biological Station
Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Contact UsContent Last Revised: September 24, 2023