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View from the Canopy Research Crane in Parque Metropolitano in Panama.
Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

What we do

The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity enhances educational programs at UW-Green Bay by providing hands-on resources for undergraduate and graduate courses, by establishing student internship opportunities, and by attracting visiting scientists and speakers. Research at UW-Green Bay is promoted by a student grants program and by quality research facilities and staff support. The Center aims to become a regional clearinghouse of information resources for professional biologists, naturalists, educators, and local private enterprises. Collectively, these activities contribute to quality of life in the western Great Lakes region and help strengthen the connection between UW-Green Bay and the people of this area.

The primary purpose of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity is to promote education, research, and community services that contribute to conservation of the western Great Lakes fauna and flora. These activities provide

1) a highly visible example of the University’s interdisciplinary, problem-focused mission, and
2) a stronger identity for existing programs, including the Cofrin Arboretum, the Richter Museum of Natural History, the University Herbarium, and faculty/student research projects.

A broader objective is to develop a model regional biodiversity center that will help guide conservation efforts elsewhere.

The center is responsible for administering and managing the following:

  • The Richter Museum, a natural history museum that houses over 50,000 animal, fossil, mineral, and anthropological specimens, including one the world’s largest bird egg collections

  • The UW-Green Bay Herbarium, which includes over 35,000 pressed plant specimens

  • The UW-Green Bay Greenhouse

  • Five natural areas that total over 1200 acres of ecologically important habitats including forest, wetlands, and beaches

  • The Wabikon Lake Forest Dynamics Plot, one of 40 global forest research plots in the Smithsonian-directed Center for Tropical Forest Science

  • Several research and travel grants that support biodiversity-related student research for undergraduate and graduate students

  • An annual international research travel course in Panama coordinated with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

  • Coordinating the Lower Fox River Watershed management program that offers unique hands-on research opportunities for high school students to study water quality in local streams in 8 area schools