The Wildlife Education and Research Center, installed within the new ESF Gateway Building, is part of the Roosevelt Wildlife Forest Experiment Station (RWLC) established by NY State in 1919 memorializing Theodore Roosevelt. The wildlife collection originated from field research conducted throughout New York State; however, through numerous acquisitions it now represents many genera from throughout North America including many significant and irreplaceable specimens. The RWLS holds over 10,000 specimens of birds, mammals, freshwater and marine fishes, reptiles, and amphibians.
The existing shell space in The Gateway building allows connectivity to the active campus hub with existing RWLC lobby displays. It offers an architectural vernacular evoking the College’s commitment to natural systems and sustainability.
The research center design goals were:
Enhance the security and environmental conditions for the collection.
Maximize storage capacity, using a rail mounted compact storage system.
Improve access for research, education, and community outreach.
Provide a showcase for the collection to enhance SUNY ESF’s role in species exploration, conservation, and sustainability.
Pursue LEED certification for Commercial Interiors, a continuance of the existing building status.
The center’s systems provide a specialized climate-controlled environment to maintain the valuable specimens, as well as air filtration systems to protect students and staff from toxins used for specimen preservation. Secure archival facilities house the collection in purpose-built rail-mounted compact storage units. The project provides specimen examination and laboratory space; classroom with display areas to feature the collection; and a walk-in programmable -40˚ freezer to treat specimens for (pesticide free) pest control.
Sustainability features include high-efficiency mechanical systems, enhanced commissioning, individualized lighting controls, access to on-site solar systems and campus green energy systems.