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Ducks fly over rough water on the Bay of Green Bay.

What We Do

The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity originated out of a need to manage a diverse set of biodiversity related resources at UW-Green Bay and included a natural history museum, herbarium, greenhouse, and five natural areas. Since its founding in 1999, the Center has advanced its mission to better understand and disseminate information about regional biodiversity through scientific research, education, and community services that contribute to the conservation of the western Great Lakes. Our broader objective is to develop a model regional biodiversity center that will help guide conservation efforts elsewhere.

The Center is recognized for its ongoing long-term bird and forest research programs and for its scientific collections, which include over 35,000 plant vouchers and one of the world’s largest bird egg collections. The 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 through a student grants program and by quality research facilities and staff support.

Mission

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 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.

Available Resources

Richter Museum and UWGB Herbarium

The Richter Museum and the UWGB Herbarium are primarily research facilities and are not usually open to the public. However, the curators do conduct a number of tours for groups, such as college and K-12 classes, naturalists, teachers, Learning in Retirement, and other public organizations. If you would like to arrange a tour of the museum and herbarium for your class or group please contact Curators Tom Erdman at the Richter Museum or Gary Fewless at the UWGB Herbarium.

Researchers and faculty that would like to use the museum for research or are requesting specimens for study or to use in classes should contact Curators Tom Erdman or Gary Fewless.

Thomas Erdman, Richter Museum Curator
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Dept. of Natural and Applied Sciences
Green Bay, WI 54311
920-465-2713 / erdmant@uwgb.edu
fax: 920-465-2143

 
Gary Fewless, Herbarium Curator
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Dept. of Natural and Applied Sciences
Green Bay, WI 54311
920-465-2243 / fewlessg@uwgb.edu
fax: 920-465-2376

 

Biodiversity Center Conference Room and Library

The conference room is available for community groups to use as long as the group's work is focused on the preservation of local biodiversity and a CCB staff member is available to open the room. Priority is given to classes, students, staff, and faculty and campus organizations. The conference table seats 16 and the room includes a white board, projection area and WiFi. Groups are requested to furnish their own computers and projectors. Groups can arrange food service through the campus. Outside caterers are not allowed on campus. Groups must clean up the area and the white board after use. Please contact Kim McKeefry at 465-5032 or mckeefrk@uwgb.edu for more information.

The library contains a number of titles related to biodiversity, natural history, and ecology. It is open to campus students and employees and to Biodiversity Center partners when the conference room is not in use. Materials in the library are for reference only and may not be removed or checked out.

Greenhouse

The greenhouse attached to the Lab Sciences Building is managed by the CCB for the Dept. of Natural and Applied Sciences. The greenhouse is only available for use by NAS and Biology faculty and students. Priority is given to classroom instructional needs and to student and faculty research projects. Faculty should submit a letter requesting space as soon as possible so that space is allocated efficiently. Requests should be sent to biodiversity@uwgb.edu.

Cofrin Memorial Arboretum and Other Natural Areas

Access to natural areas depends on the availability of trails and public access. Those areas with public access and trail systems are open to the public during daylight hours for hiking and skiing. Biking is limited to paved trails only. No motorized vehicles, including segueways, are allowed on any trails. Dogs, except for service animals, are not allowed on any trails. Collecting plants or plant parts, animals, mushrooms, minerals, fossils, or archeological artifacts is strictly prohibited. Click for trail policies. Hunting is allowed in certain areas with permission. Click for hunting policies.

Arboretum: Trails through the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum are open to pedestrians every day during daylight hours. Only paved or gravel trails are open to bicycles during daylight hours. The trails are not plowed in the winter, although some trails are occasionally groomed for cross-country skiing. See hunting restrictions above.

Toft Point: The trail at Toft Point is open to the public and is cared for by The Friends of Toft Point. Trail users are asked to be especially careful at Toft and only use the designated trails so they do not disturb fragile habitat. See hunting restrictions under policies.

Kingfisher Farm: The trails at Kingfisher Farm are open to the public. Park in the designated area. Hikers are reminded that the house is occupied and to respect the tenants' privacy. Hunting is not allowed at Kingfisher Farm.

Peninsula Center: Trails through Peninsula are open to the public. See hunting restrictions.

Point au Sable: Point au Sable is not open to the public because there is no public access to the property. Access is available from the beach by boat or by written permission from the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Director only. See hunting restrictions.

Trail users are reminded to remain on the marked trails and that the following are not allowed in any of the natural areas.

  • Removal of any plants or vegetation without written permission
  • Trapping or hunting of animals without written permission
  • Dogs (on or off leash)
  • Motor vehicles (including ATVs, or segueways, except by maintenance staff))
  • Fires or use of fireworks
  • Fire-arms

Large Format Color Plotter

The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and NAS have purchased a large format printer that can print 36 to 46 inch wide posters of any length. Campus students, staff, and faculty may purchase posters. Posters should be ready to print in a gif or jpg file format or as a powerpoint slide scaled to actual poster dimensions. Fees are determined by the size of the poster, type of paper, amount of colored background and text, and amount of technical assistance needed to make the image ready to print. Printing must be ordered at least one week before it is needed. Please contact Kim McKeefry at 465-5032 or mckeefrk@uwgb.edu for more information

Fees: NAS faculty can print posters, etc. free of charge as long as the use is modest (e.g., < 5 posters or major jobs each year). If you have more needs, we hope that you will have grant money to reimburse the costs. Students in NAS courses that require a research poster will have the opportunity to print 1 poster free of charge. Any additional posters will be charged at the non-departmental rate. Note that re-printing of poorly edited drafts will be charged. Contact Kim McKeefry mckeefrk@uwgb.edu for more information.

Equipment

Field and research equipment: GPS units, binoculars, clipboards, traps, nets and other field equipment are available for checkout each semester by faculty, staff, and students for use in NAS and CCB supervised projects. Equipment must be returned or checkout renewed at the end of each semester. Students who do not return equipment at the end of each semester may have their records and registration permissions blocked until the materials are returned or paid for.

Computers: Computers are available for NAS and CCB student, staff, and faculty use in the main conference room and in the GIS room. A laptop is available for occasional checkout. These computers are only available for biodiversity-related use and the GIS technicians have priority in using the GIS computer. Other UWGB students and staff should use the general access computer labs.

Printers and Copiers: Office printers and copiers are only available for use by Center students, staff, and technicians. Other UWGB students and staff should use the general access computer labs, the library, or the copy center.