This is a proposal for a water quality research center and recreation facility located along the old Erie Canal in a state park in Kirkville, New York. The facility is intended to support the Center for Environmental Systems Engineering (CESE) laboratory established in 2000 at Syracuse University. Lab research is focused on ecosystem responses to disturbances as assessed through environmental chemistry and biogeochemistry analysis. The project helps support these research efforts while simultaneously generating public awareness and engagement. The snow drift inspired series of pavilions establishes the role of this facility within the more extensive river eco-system and landscape as its bold, rounded forms protrude out of the steep 50 foot north-facing slope. The 6.6 acre site consists of a research space, an education pavilion, a covered boat launch, water quality laboratory and a public promenade along the canal. These programs are interconnected by a series of ramps and terraces that flow through each building and around the site. The pavilions utilize the sloping terrain to create buried insulated spaces dug into the river-side.