National Elk RefugeNational Elk Refuge - Photo by USFWS Mountain Prairie

Biodiversity Workshops






These two flowers are products from the Herbarium Workshop, conducted by Dorothy Tuthill (Biodiversity Institute) and Joy Handley (WYNDD) in May 2011.  Students in grades 6-12 learned why and how to mount plant specimens for Herbarium use, and what an Herbarium is used for.


Biodiversity workshops can be tailored to grades 5-12 and designed around a biodiversity topic of interest. Examples include:sciencefair1sm.jpg

  • Plant identification,
  • Tracking of rare and sensitive species,
  • Use of genetic data in biodiversity studies,
  • Wyoming's special flora and fauna, and
  • Visits to the Rocky Mountain Herbarium or the Vertebrate Collection.


Biodiversity Workshop:

How do biologists measure biodiversity? What makes a species valuable? Who decides the outcome when conservation of biological diversity conflicts with development?  Many kinds of biologists study biodiversity-including the collecting, mapping, genetic sampling, and naming of species. Biologists also want to know the roles each species plays in an intact ecosystem, since healthy ecosystems provide innumerable services to humanity.

This workshop includes visits to the Wyoming Natural Diversity DatabaseRocky Mountain HerbariumMacromolecular Analysis Core and the Stable Isotope Facility. The duration of this workshop is approximately 3 hours and is limited to 20 students.


Workshop Objectives:

  1. insectmuseum4.jpg

    Students will discuss in depth the meaning and applications of "biodiversity" and "conservation," and how these terms relate to natural resources.
  2. Students will explore multiple avenues of scientific study as it relates to biodiversity conservation, ranging from atom and molecular levels to landscapes and ecosystem levels.
  3. Students will interact with scientists researching biodiversity in Wyoming and beyond, discover ways scientists and non-scientists collaborate to conserve biodiversity, and learn the possibilities and challenges of biodiversity conservation.


Get Started:

Contact the Biodiversity Institute at 307-766-6240 or biodiversity@uwyo.eduto discuss with Dorothy Tuthill, Associate Director, what your class can do this school year!



Need more context?  Here is a poster outlining the program and offering suggestions, and a handy postcard summarizing the idea.  Contact Dr. Dorothy with any questions or to get your class involved.