Biodiversity Science Exhibits

The University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute has seven permanent exhibitions throughout the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center and its grounds. many include interactive elements for the enjoyment of all ages.

The University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute has seven permanent exhibitions throughout the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center and its grounds. many include interactive elements for the enjoyment of all ages. 

The Biodiversity Institute exhibits explore the research and interests of biodiversity science and scientists--from atoms to scientific collections, to the organisms and landscapes of Wyoming. Learn about why keeping specimens of plants and animals is important, explore the evolution and diversity of life, or become familiar with the raptors of our state. Exhibits are located on all three floors of the building, and even outdoors. 

Additionally, the Institute hosts frequent biodiversity themed art exhibits in the Berry Center lobby. Check below, or visit our events calendar for more information on our current and upcoming special exhibitions. 

Jump to Exhibits:

Tree of Life | The UW Natural History Collections | UW Stable Isotope Facility | WYNDD and Biodiversity in Wyoming Raptors of Wyoming | The Spruce Court | Animal Eyes!


5f1654070c79a6baa92a75dd3af23c81_f466.JPG3b37933a275248417825d43bd908031b_f467.pngThe large wall mural represents our current (as of 2014) scientific understanding of the evolution and diversification of Eukaryotes (organisms that contain nuclei within their cells), with emphasis on animals and their closest relatives.

The Tree of Life exhibit includes a variety of interactive activities to let you explore the Plant and Tetrapod branches, delve into the history of life of Earth, or explore some of the less well-known, but no less important, branches of the tree.


Interactive Elements


The Diversity of Eukaryotes

Explore the diversity of the eukaryotic branch of life in this interactive touch-driven presentation! A eukaryote is an organism with a complex cell or cells, in which the genetic material is organized into a membrane-bound nucleus or nuclei.

Eukaryotes comprise animals, plants, and fungi—which are mostly multicellular - as well as various other groups that are collectively classified as protists (many of which are unicellular).

In contrast, prokaryotes are organisms, such as bacteria and archaea, that lack nuclei and other complex cell structures


The OneZoom Interactive
Tree of life

Use your fingers to explore an interactive map of the evolutionary relationships between the species on our planet. Explore the diversity of life on Earth, and discover your favorites on our tree of life displays. 

OneZoom displays the full evolutionary tree of life as a fractal, so that every living species can be viewed easily. Each leaf on the tree represents an individual species (colour-coded by conservation status), and branches represent different lineages. The branching points represent points in the history of life where different groups have split from one another, and they are labelled according to when scientists believe this divergence occurred. General navigation of the tree is done by using touch- or click-and-drag to pan the tree, and using a pinch or scroll to zoom.


The History of Life on Earth

Learn more about the history of life and the rise of complexity on the planet we all share. This interactive presentation is broken into 5 sections, starting with the "Cosmic Creation of the Solar System of Earth" then moving on to explore the geological timeline, geological periods, theories on the beginning of life, and finally the great mass extinction events. Browse your way through the collective history we know as life



Located outside the University of Wyoming Museum of Vertebrates, on the first floor of the Berry Center, the Natural History Collection Exhibits explore the history and importance to science and society of natural history collections. Natural history collections are repositories of our knowledge of the natural world. They contain specimens of beauty, utility, and interest, collected for specific purposes, but often used for functions never imagined by the collector. 


UW Natural History


What Value are Natural History Collections?


The Kinds of Natural History Collections


The UW Stable Isotope Facility is a core research lab at the University of Wyoming. The facility provides quality isotopic analyses for the research community at UW and researchers world-wide. The University of Wyoming Stable Isotope Facility offers a hands-on teaching and research facility for UW students, postdocs and faculty. The Facility is engaged in development of novel analytical techniques for research in biological and earth system sciences.

Using illustrated information, and interactive content the Stable Isotope Facility exhibition explores the science and real world applications of the science performed in the Facility. Large laboratory windows and available tours and demonstrations of the facility offer the public a unique view on science as it happens.


The Biodiversity in Wyoming Exhibition explores biodiversity across the state, as explored and demonstrated by the work of WYNDD, the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database. WYNDD's mission is to offer the most complete source of data for species and vegetation communities of conservation concern in Wyoming, through a threefold methodology:

  1. Identify and rank species that are priorities for conservation effort in Wyoming.

  2. Amass existing data and develop new data for species needing conservation effort and for Wyoming vegetation types.

  3. Distribute these data upon request under the philosophy that the best decisions regarding natural resources will be made only when everyone has access to complete and current scientific data.


The exhibit includes overviews of Wyoming's terrestrial and aquatic biological diversity, and includes interactive content exploring the biodiversity of the state through mapped applications and interactive galleries.



1c97ff836c54b1600f78c35b4cad6958_f489.pngThe Wyoming Raptor Exhibit glides through the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center atrium. Fifteen species of Wyoming's birds of prey are displayed, sculpted in life-size patinaed, hand-formed steel. 

Raptors hunt and feed on other animals. The term "raptor" is derived from the Latin word rapere (meaning to seize or take by force). These birds are characterized by keen vision that allows them to detect prey during flight, and powerful talons and beaks to capture and tear prey.

How many do you recognize?


The Spruce Court


e5c9b34bc63d2acec7fdab8d7ba0de7f_f485.jpgcc030560300658e7c428d1f5c2977373_f486.jpgThe Spruce Court, located on the south side of the Berry Center, is the perfect place for a quiet lunch, an outdoor meeting, or even a dance! Sit in the shade of the mature blue spruces and enjoy the breeze, or explore the on-site exhibits, including a dendrochronological history, and a survey of Wyoming's conifer tree species.