The E.H. Steffen Center of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences is a university research center and outdoor ecological laboratory hosting education and research activities in ecology and conservation science for students and faculty at Washington State University. The Steffen Center is situated on 45 rolling acres on the edge of the expansive WSU Pullman campus and contains greenhouses, research labs, a work shop, and specialized facilities for studying wildlife and threatened and endangered species. The Center also supports a campus forest and naturalized habitats for studying ecological restoration of Palouse Prairie – one of the most endangered grassland ecosystems in the United States.
Palouse Prairie Ecological Reserves
The close proximity of the Steffen Center to the core of the Pullman Campus provides excellent opportunities for students and faculty to utilize the extensive campus landscape and a variety of riparian, wetland, grassland, and forest habitats as an outdoor laboratory. The Steffen Center also contains a native plant nursery and a botanical science garden for teaching and display. In addition, the Center is a hub for managing several tracts of native Palouse Prairie, including the Kramer Prairie Ecological Reserve and the newly-acquired Magpie Forest Ecological Reserve, both of which are available for scientific studies and educational uses.
Research Labs in Conservation Science
The E.H. Steffen Center supports the activities of several research laboratories in conservation science at Washington State University. The focus of these labs is advancing education and basic knowledge about conservation science, wildlife ecology, and the preservation of biological diversity: