Cofrin Biodiversity Center

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What is the Cofrin Biodiversity Center? The Cofrin Biodiversity Center is a group of individuals who came together to protect Biodiversity on the UWGB Campus. These groups/projeects consist of...Arboretum/Natural Areas Field Crew, Richter Museum Assistants, CCB Videographer, Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Monitoring Project, Fund for Lake Michigan Project, Aquatic Invasive Species Crew, Ridges Sanctuary-Toft Point Invasive Plants, Wabikon Field Crew. There is also a CCB Faculty Advisory Committee and CCB Affiliates.

How will the Cofrin Biodiversity Center effect UWGB? The Cofrin Biodiversity Center has a mission. Their mission is "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." This effects UWGB students because it provides great opportunities to get involved with conservation and wildlife restoration. It also gives them a chance to get involved with the Arboretum, the Museum and the University Herbarium.[1]

The Creation

The Cofrin Biodiversity Center was started in the early 1970s. For short it is called the CCB. There are three places the CCB focuses on. Wisconsin, The Great Lakes region and Central America. The CCB supports many ongoing research projects in Wisconsin. Currently Students are researching blue birds, forest ecology, soil and plant interactions and mammals through the Cofrin Research Grants Program. Studies also include native bees, spiders and monitoring of bats in the Cofrin Arboretum, Birds in the Nicolet National Forest, goshawks in northern Wisconsin and nesting of colonial birds in the Bay of Green Bay.

There are Scientists from 14 universities and agencies that have been awarded a large grant from the US environmental protection agency for the Cofrin Biodiversity Center. This grant helps monitor the health of coastal wetlands across the US and Canadian Great Lakes. 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.

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. [2]

Who started this

Some of the Alumni include scientists, writers, technicians, educators, environmentalists, historians, and entrepreneurs. Most Alumni agree that their successes hinged on the real world and advanced training opportunities they received through the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the Natural and Applied sciences program.

CCB Faculty Advisory Committee

Karen Stahlheber, Assistant Professor, Natural & Applied Sciences (Chair)

Mike Draney, Professor, Chair of Natural & Applied Sciences

Matt Dornbush, Asst. Vice Chancellor, Dir. of Graduate Studies, Professor, Natural & Applied Sciences

Kevin Fermanich, Professor, Natural & Applied Sciences

Daniel Moore, University Videographer/Photographer

David Helpap , Assistant Professor, Public ad Environmental Affairs

Paul Pinkston, Director of Facilities Planning and Management (Ex Officio)

Some of the CCB Affiliates are

Matt Dornbush (Professor of Biology, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)

Mike Draney ( Professor of Biology, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)

Gary Fewless ( Emeritus Botanist, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)

Kevin Fermanich (Professor of Geosciences, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)

Patrick Forsythe (Assistant Professor of Biology, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)

John Luczaj (Professor of Geosciences, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay)

Wil Niedzwiedz (Emeritus Professor, Public & Environmental Affairs, UW-Green Bay)

John Stoll (Professor, Public & Environmental Affairs, UW-Green Bay)

Lora Warner (Associate Professor, Director of the Center for Public Affairs, UW-Green Bay)

Amy Wolf (Professor of Biology, Natural & Applied Science, UW-Green Bay) [3]

The word biodiversity is a contraction of the phrase "biological diversity" and was first coined in 1985 by Walter Rosen of the National Research Council as a title word in a seminar he was organizing to discuss biological diversity. Biodiversity includes all inherited information contained across all levels of variation, from genetic variation contained in individuals that then make up populations of species that form communities inhabiting ecosystems. Biodiversity is simply the variety of life on Earth, but its importance to global ecology has made it one of the most important concepts in modern science. Because biodiversity cuts across different levels of organization it is often useful to focus on a particular type of biological diversity [4]

The Center

The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity is a catalyst for both large scale and small scale research projects. On campus, the Cofrin Student Research Program has provided small grants for over 150 student researchers since 1989. These projects, conducted under the guidance of a faculty sponsor, are conducted on one of UW-Green Bay’s natural areas or affiliated research sites in northeastern Wisconsin. On a broader scale the Cofrin Center provides equipment, staff support, and an infrastructure for externally funded research projects ranging from taxonomic studies (e.g., plant and animal surveys) to ecosystem analysis (e.g., ecological health of Great Lakes coastal wetlands). Since the year 2000, support has been provided through direct funding and cost-share arrangements. Collaborating agencies include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service, The Nature Conservancy, Smithsonian Institution, and National Science Foundation.

UW-Green Bay offers a number of courses that give students real-world experiences to gain the skills that will need to be competitive in today’s market. A career in biodiversity or ecosystem studies is dependent on understanding the basic concepts of ecology. UW Green Bay offers several core courses in environmental science and biology that are focused on a solid foundation based on ecological concepts:

UW Green Bay offers a variety of majors related to ecology, biodiversity, and environmental science. Undergraduates should speak to faculty and advisors in their areas of interest and consult the catalogue for detailed information on requirements. Students interested in biodiversity should consider majors in biology, environmental science, chemistry, environmental planning and policy, geography, geosciences, global studies and mathematics (statistics or modeling).

Understanding biodiversity and effectively managing our natural ecosystems requires a good grasp of biota. Unfortunately, around the world, science is facing a tremendous loss of taxonomic expertise. UW Green bay offers a variety of courses that provide in depth taxonomic training on a variety of groups. Students can extend their knowledge through independent study and research opportunities with faculty in NAS and Human Biology. Currently we have faculty working on amphibians, arachnids, bees, birds, fish, fungi, and plants.

Employers in Biodiversity related organizations, agencies, and corporations often expect their employees to have command of a number of field and technology related skills. Employers are looking for people who understand and can use GIS, statistical software, and complex data collection equipment.

Grants are available to support independent student research projects conducted within the Cofrin Arboretum and the UW-Green Bay Natural Areas, including Toft Point and Peninsula Center in Door County, Point au Sable in Brown County, and Kingfisher Farm in Manitowoc County. An additional grant is available for research at other natural areas in the western Great Lakes area. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible although preference will be given to undergraduates.

Successful applicants will carry out a field project in collaboration with a UW-Green Bay faculty member and must submit a final report, copies of all data, and any specimen vouchers. Grantees will present their results in an Annual Research Symposium, held the last week of February. Funding for each project typically ranges from $500 - $1000 and can be used for travel costs, field equipment, and research supplies. Depending on availability of funds, a small stipend is sometimes included.

Undergraduate students with a major in Natural & Applied Sciences and graduate students in Environmental Science & Policy with an NAS sponsor can apply for travel money to attend conferences and workshops, or grant money to support independent research activities. Funds are also available to bring visiting scientists to UW Green Bay.

The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) announces two Graduate Research Assistantships for students pursuing the Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P). The purpose of these Graduate Assistantships is to support students who contribute to the mission of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Center and to help train professionals in the fields of biodiversity science and conservation. Each graduate assistant will be required to conduct research or related work for a minimum of 20 hours per week during the award period, under the supervision of a faculty or staff member affiliated with the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. In most cases, this research will be the basis for the recipient's master's thesis. Preference will be given to research involving ongoing Cofrin Center for Biodiversity projects such as the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot, the Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey, ecology and stewardship of UW-Green Bay natural areas, environmental monitoring in northeastern Wisconsin and the Great Lakes watershed, and diversity of the western Great Lakes flora and fauna, but any faculty-guided research that contributes to conservation of regional or global biodiversity is eligible for consideration. Each Research Assistant will receive an annual stipend equal to that of a teaching assistant (TA) position plus benefits [5]


Who are the Students

Arboretum/Natural Areas Field Crew

  • Bahling, Jennifer
  • Brodhagen, Patrick
  • Bulat, Fedor
  • Kessler, Jessica
  • Malcore, Rebecca
  • Raymond, Clint
  • Ruleau, Autumn
  • Stuart, Claire
  • Swenson, Norah
  • Richter Museum Assistants
  • Bontrager, Beth
  • Mittlestadt, Amanda
  • CCB Videographer
  • Pahl, Jared
  • Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Monitoring Project
  • Arneson, Jade
  • Bulat, Fedor
  • Hohman, Tara
  • Lafkas, Demetrius
  • Pantzlaff, Jacob
  • Tanner, Colton
  • Weber, Emily
  • Fund for Lake Michigan Project
  • Bahling, Jennifer
  • Brodhagen, Patrick
  • Bulat, Fedor
  • Kessler, Jessica
  • Malcore, Rebecca
  • Raymond, Clint
  • Ruleau, Autumn
  • Stuart, Claire
  • Swenson, Norah
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Crew
  • Bahling, Jennifer
  • Bulat, Fedor
  • Kessler, Jessica
  • Malcore, Rebecca
  • Raymond, Clint
  • Ruleau, Autumn
  • Stuart, Claire
  • Swenson, Norah
  • Ridges Sanctuary-Toft Point Invasive Plants
  • Kessler, Jessica
  • Ruleau, Autumn
  • Swenson, Norah
  • Wabikon Field Crew
  • Lukas Magee
  • Jonathon Schubbe
  • Jake Barnes
  • Brandon Byrne
  • Kyle Hansen
  • Alicia Krause
  • Matt Kugel
  • Margaret Magee
  • Kenzie Ostien
  • Woulf, Jacob
  • Juan Bedoyacastrillon

[6]

How it effects UWGB

Undergraduate students with a major in Natural & Applied Sciences and graduate students in Environmental Science & Policy with an NAS sponsor can apply for travel money to attend conferences and workshops, or grant money to support independent research activities. Funds are also available to bring visiting scientists to UW Green Bay.

The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) announces two Graduate Research Assistantships for students pursuing the Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P). The purpose of these Graduate Assistantships is to support students who contribute to the mission of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Center and to help train professionals in the fields of biodiversity science and conservation. Each graduate assistant will be required to conduct research or related work for a minimum of 20 hours per week during the award period, under the supervision of a faculty or staff member affiliated with the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. In most cases, this research will be the basis for the recipient's master's thesis. Preference will be given to research involving ongoing Cofrin Center for Biodiversity projects such as the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot, the Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey, ecology and stewardship of UW-Green Bay natural areas, environmental monitoring in northeastern Wisconsin and the Great Lakes watershed, and diversity of the western Great Lakes flora and fauna, but any faculty-guided research that contributes to conservation of regional or global biodiversity is eligible for consideration. Each Research Assistant will receive an annual stipend equal to that of a teaching assistant (TA) position plus benefits.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) announces a program of Graduate Research Assistantships for students pursuing the Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P). The purpose of these Graduate Research Fellowships is to provide outstanding research experience for developing professionals in the fields of environmental science, and environmental policy and administration. Each recipient will conduct research under the supervision on an ES&P faculty member for an average or at least 20 hours per week throughout the award period, and this research will be the basis for the recipient's master's thesis.

Graduate student teaching assistantships in biology, chemistry, and statistics are also available. Other grant funded research assistantships may be available from individual faculty. [7]

Students and Travel

The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity offers three courses that allow students to learn more about global biodiversity in some of the most interesting and diverse areas of the world.

Australia

Dr. Bob Howe and Dr. Amy Wolf will be leading a group of students on a trip to learn more about Australia's "Top End". The course will focus on the continent's unique flora and fauna, geography, and on the impacts of introduced species. For more information contact Dr. Howe or Dr. Wolf.

Costa Rica (Winter Break)

Dr. Matt Dornbush and Kevin Fermanich lead this service learning based course. Students will learn about tropical habitats as well as have the opportunity to help improve Carera National Park and teach children at a local school.

Panama (Winter Break)

This course allows students to participate in research projects in association with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Students will visit marine, lowland rainforest, and cloudforest habitats.

Independent Research Opportunities

The center also supports research opportunities for exceptional students to conduct independent research abroad. In the past we have had students complete theses in Trinidad and Tobego and in Panama. Travel funds are available for students through the NAS Heirloom Grants and the Land Trust Grant. [8]

References

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  • Merchant, Carolyn. The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed November 24, 2015).
  • Ostergren, Robert C. and Thomas R. Vale. Wisconsin Land and Life. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost (accessed November 24, 2015).

Archival Resources for Further Research

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