Wildlife Science Center (WSC) was founded as a federally funded research facility in 1976, in order to observe and document the physiology and behavior of a captive population of gray wolves. Although the Center no longer receives federal funding, its distinctive research continues. However, since achieving 501(c)(3) status in 1991 it has concentrated its assets and knowledge on educational programming. In 2017, WSC moved from its original location in Columbus, MN to its permanent home in Stacy, MN. WSC offers both on and offsite interactive presentations and overnight camping experiences to Minnesota youth by partnering with school and community-based organizations. Through its research and educational efforts, the WSC’s expertise is often sought by international, national, and regional institutions, regarding the care, handling, breeding, and ecological significance of wolves.
The mission of WSC is to serve as an educational resource for all ages; by: providing exposure to wild animals and the body of knowledge generated for their conservation;to advance understanding of wild animal biology through long-term, humane scientific studies on captive populations, thus contributing to technical training for wildlife agencies, educational institutions and conservation agencies.
The primary goal of the Wildlife Science Center is to provide science education programs for pre-K-12th-grade students, as well as public tours and educational events for people of all ages. Our school-based programs were developed to give students a broad and realistic picture of nature and science.
The objectives of WSC education programs are as follows:
• To provide equal access to programs for students of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, and of all developmental abilities
• To “make a connection” between a student’s natural affinity for animals and science
• To use scientific research to create a living classroom for all students
• To provide examples of science careers which are gender-fair and without ethnic or racial bias
• To communicate a multidisciplinary ethic of environmental conservation
• To expose nontraditional students and those who may not be college bound to the field of science and the complexities of the natural world.