Skip to main content

Cofrin Student Research Grants

Male student researching in the woods
Female student researching in the woods
Male student with a clipboard in a field

Since 1989, the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity has awarded funding through the Cofrin Student Grant program to nearly 200 students to assist with independent projects in the fields of ecology, biology, geology, water chemistry, environmental policy, exercise fitness, photography, and art. The main requirement for acquiring funding is that the project must take place at one or more of the six UW-Green Bay Natural Areas and contribute to our understanding of these special places. Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Student Grants are made possible thanks to a generous endowment from the family of Dr. David Cofrin and the late John Cofrin. Learn more about the program and how to apply by clicking here.

Current Grant Recipients
Sarah Baughman '24

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Project Title: A bird community science analysis of river mouths along the Western Lake Michigan shoreline

Advisors: Erin Giese, Dr. Robert Howe, and Dr. Keir Wefferling

Objectives of this project aim to: 1) highlight the importance of studying the mouths of smaller streams to resident and migratory birds, 2) provide recommendations for restoration and land management, and 3) provide a foundation for future research focusing on bird habitat use of small stream and river mouths.

Annissa Derbique '24

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy with an emphasis in Ecosystem Studies and certificates in Applied Bioinformatics, Sustainability and Wellbeing, and Foundations of Biodiversity Conservation and Management

Project Title: The assessment of solidago growth paterns of different rhizome lengths and the comparison between natural and early restoration habitats in Brown County, Wisconsin

Advisor: Dr. Karen Stahlheber

The objectives for this study are to determine if rhizome length changes the shape and distribution of goldenrod genets in the field; observe how clones develop in early succession and restoration processes; and see how removing physiological integration across a genet affects Solidago growth and the plant neighborhood.

Haillee Fritsch '24

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a minor in Chemistry

Project Title: Macrofungal diversity study associated with oak trees at Wequiock Creek Natural Area: A preliminary investigation and record of the fungal community

Advisor: Dr. Lisa Grubisha

The objectives of this study are to do a preliminary research of the new restoration project at Wequick Creek to lay a bases of fungal information for future research. The goals are to provide a photographic inventory of the identified fungi, along with a seasonal ectomycorrhizal phenology associated with oak trees and add to the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay herbarium collection.

Natalie Hanneman '24

Bachelor of Science in Biology with a double emphasis in Ecology and Conservation and Animal Biology

Project Title: Fall and winter travel patterns, areas of high use, and diet composition of Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) populations within the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum

Advisor: Dr. Dan Meinhardt

The objectives of this study is to effectively gather data regarding fox behavior, travel patterns, diet composition, and pack make up via trail camera footage and fox signs to provide insight on how to best conserve and promote the prevalence of the species in the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum.

Marissa Helgesen '23

Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in Conservation and Ecology

Project Title: The reproductive habits of anuran species at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay properties

Advisor: Dr. Dan Meinhardt

The objective of this study is to observe how restoration efforts on the UW-Green Bay properties affect anuran distribution and behavior so that the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity can use this knowledge to minimize disturbance when doing restoration work during the breeding seasons.

Tony Klingert

Project Title: Changes in breeding birds in Door County

Advisor: Erin Giese

The main objective of this study is to conduct an inventory of the breeding birds in a natural area in Door County and map this site’s plant communities during the summer of 2023. He will then compare changes in breeding bird and plant communities from 1976-77 and 1993 studies (Petzke 1994; Trick 1976, 1977) and provide the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity with land management guidance for this natural area.

Ellie Scott '24

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Chemiery with an emphasis in Environmental Chemistry

Project Title: Lichen used as a bioindicator of air quality in Door County

Advisor: Dr. Keir Wefferling

The objectives of this study are to compile an inventory with photographs and collected samples of the lichen species observed at a Natural Area in Door County and compare them to those that were observed from 1964-1990. The temporal comparison will offer insight to the effects of changes in air quality over time while the comparison across habitats will offer insight into the communities across the site.

Haley Spargur '25

Masters of Science in Environmental Science and Policy with an emphasis in Ecosystems

Project Title: Educational booklet of herpetofaunal ecology within the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum

Advisor: Dr. Dan Meinhardt

The objective of this study is to create the first volume of a series highlighting the herpetofaunal ecology of the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum. The book will have a detailed description of each species, including, identification, habitat, diet, reproduction, life stages, native range and ranges within the Arboretum, threats, and proper observation methods. The book will also include ways for visitors to interact with the different areas and herptiles throughout the Arboretum. Interactions between readers/visitors with our herptile species will create a personal connection or at the very least an understanding and respect for the wildlife.

Data Requests

Student, faculty, and others may view our list of past projects and request final reports or presentations from the Data Manager at In the future we plan to make these reports and presentations available for download on the web, though some are available through the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Library's Phoenix Research Collection.