Construction on the building has already begun. The facility, which will be located on the zoo grounds in Fargo, will likely be ready for use in August.
“The Red River Zoo and the department of biological sciences have a similar commitment to conservation and ecology of regional species, which makes for a great partnership,” said Wendy Reed, associate professor and head of biological sciences.
Reed said the building provides NDSU researchers with an ideal place for large-scale research projects on bats and birds. It also will have the potential to serve other animals from free-living populations.
The ability to pair laboratory and captive studies that control and manipulate specific factors with field studies that capture the nature of ecological interaction is crucial, Reed said.
Reed said the facility also could build new capacity to link the research and education mission of the department of biological sciences to outreach and education for the general public.
An exhibit area is planned to showcase research animals. It will have educational signage and multimedia tools to explain the research.
The $90,000 project is funded by a $60,000 National Science Foundation Advance FORWARD Institutional Transformation grant and $30,000 in private donations.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.