Donation of nearly 600 specimens enhances learning opportunities.

A donation of some 590 fish specimens was recently added to the Wildlife Museum in the Natural Resources program at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

    The specimens, donated by the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum of Natural History curated by Andrew Simons, cover 79 species of fish in Minnesota.

    Simons is an associate professor in the U of M’s  Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and Curator of Fishes, Amphibians, and Reptiles at the Bell Museum of Natural History. He is also a colleague of Associate Professor John Loegering, who has a joint appointment with the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the U of M and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the U of M, Crookston. Loegering serves as curator and manager of the Wildlife Museum on the Crookston campus.

    “I have taught an introductory principles of fisheries management course for years, and we did not have a very good fish collection until now,” says Loegering. “The staff at the Bell collected these as part of a larger project with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to assess the biological condition of Minnesota waterways and our campus is reaping the benefit.”

    Kristi Bernat, a junior natural resources major from Fisher, Minn.; Jenny DuBay, a senior natural resources major from Apple Valley, Minn.; and Jeremy Walker, a senior natural resources major from Villard, Minn.; processed the specimens and labeled them before placing them into the teaching collection for students to use for years to come.

    The donation is also an example of inter-unit collaboration and the unique opportunities afforded the campus as part of the U of M system. To learn more about the Bell Museum, visit