Students in Natural Resources at U of M, Crookston to Benefit from Recent Donation of Specimens Covering 79 Species of Minnesota Fishes

A generous 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."

This week 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 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photos: Junior Kristi Bernat (left) assists John Loegering, Ph.D., in processing the donated fish specimens in the Wildlife Museum at the U of M, Crookston. 

Contact: John Loegering, associate professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Dept., 218-281-8132 (; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (