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Darwin, Australia
Cofrin Center for Biodiversity


The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity supports research throughout Wisconsin and the Western Great Lakes region. In addition faculty and staff associated with the center have active research programs as far away as Central America. Most of these projects include opportunities for well qualified students.


The Center supports several ongoing research projects in Wisconsin, including the longest annual survey of breeding birds in the Nicolet National Forest and a Forest Dynamics Research Plot near Crandon, WI. Every year students conduct research on our 5 natural areas in northeastern WI. Currently students are studying bluebirds, forest ecology, soil and plant interactions, and mammals through the Cofrin Research Grants program. Other students are conducting research on invasive plants in the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Brown County. Other research projects in Wisconsin include surveys of spiders and native bees, longterm monitoring of bats on the Cofrin Arboretum, Birds in the Nicolet National Forest, goshawks in northern Wisconsin, and nesting of colonial birds in the bay of Green Bay.

Great Lakes Region

Scientists from 14 universities and agencies, including Dr. Robert Howe, Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences and Director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at UW-Green Bay, have been awarded a large grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to systematically monitor the health of coastal wetlands across the U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes.  The grant (EPAGLNPO‐2010‐H‐3‐984‐758) will provide $10 million over 5 years to study birds, amphibians, plants, fish, aquatic invertebrates, and water quality in more than 1200 wetlands in the five Great Lakes and associated waters.  During summer of 2011 Howe and UW-Green Bay graduate and undergraduate students conducted frog and bird surveys in wetlands of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Central America

Students in the Costa Rica and Panama travel courses are doing long term monitoring of water quality in streams, benthic marine communities, and avian diversity at different elevations. Dr. Michael Draney is conducting research on spider communities in rainforests of Panama. He is also conducting research on spider communities in mangroves throughout the Caribbean.