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Students benefit from hands-on research facilities located on and off campus. These facilities are used by professors to complement classroom experiences, and are available for student-faculty reseach and independent study. In addition to the facilities listed below, biology courses and student-facutly research utilize the UW system Pigeon Lake Field Station, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and field stations in the Bahamas and Costa Rica.

The Greenhouses

The three greenhouses are subdivided into 5 rooms and are located on the fifth floor of Phillips Hall. Each room has separate environmental conditions that allows for the different requirements of various plants and also for different lab needs.  One of the rooms in the greenhouses is used exclusively for class projects and research.   Another room is used primarily for propagation.  Two of the rooms function as collection greenhouses. The Tropical House has a small collection of plants from many corners of the world, including our six foot staghorn fern. And the Succulent House has plants from arid regions including many cacti, living stones and carrion flowers. For more information visit the Biology Greenhouse or contact Lynn Janik .


The Herbarium

An herbarium is a collection of dried and pressed plant specimens, mounted on thick paper with collection data on a label, and arranged in a systematic sequence for study and reference. The UWEC Herbarium contains over 10,000 specimens, mostly from west-central Wisconsin. The herbarium is located in the Plant Taxonomy/Ecology Lab in Phillips 304 and is available for consultation and study when the room is not in use for teaching. Classes that use the herbarium include Taxonomy of Vascular Plants, Field Botany, and Dendrology. The collection is listed in Index Herbariorum and is known by the acronym UWEC. For more information, contact Dr. Joseph Rohrer.


Putnam Park

Putnam Park is a 230-acre natural area owned by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Most of the park is forested although there is a small marsh area at the eastern end of the park and a small prairie area at the western end. The land comprising the heart of the park was donated to the City of Eau Claire in 1909 by Henry C. Putnam, who wished to see the land remain in its natural state and serve as a botanical laboratory and park in perpetuity. Over the years smaller tracts of land have been added to the original tract donated by Mr. Putnam. Ownership of the park was transferred from the City to the University in 1957. The park is administered by the Putnam Park Commission, a body composed of representatives from the University, the Eau Claire City Council, and the community at large. It is advisory to the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. About half of Putnam Park is designated a Wisconsin State Natural Area. For the university the park provides diverse natural habitats for teaching and research that are available right on campus; for the community it is a quiet place for solitude, walking, relaxation, and nature study. For more information, contact Dr. Evan Weiher.

Putnam Park trail

Saltwater Aquaria

Biology houses two, 125-gallon tropical saltwater aquaria. The "reef tank" (shown below) contains a diverse assemblage tropical soft corals and other invertebrates, including sea anemones, brittle stars, and several species of snails. In 2006 a second tank was started with help from the Biology Club and private donations. This tank contains species of mobile invertebrates incompatible with corals, as well as marine fish. Students of the "Reef Team" maintain the aquaria and anyone interested learning about, or helping to maintain these amazing saltwater ecosytems by becoming a member of the Reef Team, should contact Dr. Todd Wellnitz.

Saltwater Aquarium

The James Newman Clark Bird Museum

The Bird Museum, circular in shape, contains four dioramas and surrounds the Planetarium in Phillips Hall. The over 530 species housed in the museum were collected by James Newman Clark from the 1870's through the 1920's. Two popular exhibits are the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle. The four dioramas depicting native birds in their natural habitats include: a white pine forest with ruffed grouse, a screech owl pouncing on a mouse, the now extinct passenger pigeons, and shorebirds from downtown Eau Claire. The Bird Museum is located near the front entrance to Phillips Hall, room 002. It is open to the public when classes are in session during the academic year and summer. Hours are 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday and on Saturdays during the academic year. There is no admission charge. For more information, contact Lynn Janik in the Biology Department.

bird museum

Fish Collection

The fish collection contains over 5,000 specimens representing more than 100 families of fish from throughout the world. The collection is principally used for teaching purposes although a small collection of larval and juvenile freshwater fish are being used in research. For more information, contact Dr. David Lonzarich.


Insect and invertebrate Collections

The insect collection contains over 350,000 insect specimens in a teaching collection and also a small research collection. The focus of the collection is on terrestial and aquatic insects of the Upper Midwest region. The invertebrate collection contains many terrestrial and aquatic specimens commonly occurring in West-Central Wisconsin, and there is also an extensive collection of marine inveretebrate phlya. These teaching collections are used for Biol 311 - Entomology and Biol 345 - Invertebrate Zoology. For more information contact Dr. Paula Kleintjes Neff (Entomology) or Dr. Todd Wellnitz (Invertebrate Zoology).

insect and invertebrate collection

Amphibian and Reptile Collections

The amphibian and reptile teaching collection contains over 1,200 preserved specimens representing 250 species primarilly from North America. For more information, contact Dr. Chris Floyd or Dr. Michael Weil.

Amphibian and Reptile Collection

Mammal and Bird Collection

The mammal and bird collection contains 932 specimens of birds besides the museum collection with 314 species represented. Hundreds of mammal study skins and skulls are included in the collection representing 65 species. For more information, contact the Dr. Chris Floyd.

Bird and mammals

Electron Microscope Facilities

Four departments currently use the electron microscopes for instruction of undergraduate students (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geology) and well over 100 students have been trained to do EM in the facility. Several biology classes use the facility including Biol 420 - Electron Microscopy, Biol 322 - Plant Anatomy, Biol 311 - General Entomology and Biol 345 - Invertebrate Zoology. The electron microscopes are housed in an electron microscopy suite which has six rooms off of a central room. This suite was designed specifically for EM. There are three electron microscopes: one scanning and two transmission. The scanning electron microscope was purchased in 1986 and is a Hitachi model containing a KEVEX EDX unit. The older transmission electron microscope was purchased in 1978 and is a Hitachi HS-9. The second transmission electron microscope is new in 1998 and is a JEOL 2010. It is a high resolution TEM capable of seeing atoms (or at least the clouds of electrons where the atoms are). This microscope is capable of elemental analysis with X-ray spectrometry. To encourage utilization of equipment there is no charge for beam time for any university faculty or students. Several student-faculty collaborative research projects have been completed using the facilities. For more information, contact Dr. Wilson Taylor.

Fly Eye   Electron Microscope

Shared Molecular Biology Lab Facilities

Among others, the departmental facilities include: Beckman-Coulter CEQ 8000 Genetic Analysis System (pictured below), 2 Sorvall Superspeed Centrifuges, Beckman Ultracentrifuge, 2 Revco -80° Ultra-low Freezers, Compound Epiflourescent Light Microscopes, Scintillation Counter, Autoclaves, Cold Rooms, Dark Rooms, Gel Dryer, 37° and shaker Incubators, and a Tissue Culture Lab.

Shared Molecular Biology, Sequencer

The Animal Care Facility

The Animal Care Facility (ACF) includes seven rooms for housing the animals, two storage rooms, a changing room, and a wash room. Rats, hamsters, and two strains of mice are the animals housed. They are utilized in biology courses, including Parasitology and Animal Behavior. For more information, contact Lynn Janik .