Washington State University Vancouver has received a $50,000 science fund to focus on the ecology and conservation of Northwest butterflies and their prairie habitats.

Officially titled the “WSU Vancouver Science Fund for Ecology and Conservation of Northwest Butterflies and Their Habitats,” the fund was donated by Stuart and Sharon Shultz.

“It is our hope and expectation that the funding we provide will help the university conduct research that will become a magnet for additional grants that will help establish WSU Vancouver as a nationally recognized center for ecological research,” said Stuart and Sharon Shultz.

Current conservation activities at WSU Vancouver focus on at-risk butterfly species, such as Fender’s blue, Puget blue, Taylor’s checkerspot, Oregon silverspot, Valley silverspot, Island marble and Mardon skipper. Research topics such as behavior, reserve design, captive breeding, reintroduction, habitat restoration, effects of alternative management strategies on butterflies and their habitats, habitat fragmentation and population biology of prairie species are examples of areas the fund will support.

Over the last decade, Stuart and Sharon Shultz have supported and become actively involved in numerous organizations and programs designed to nurture the environment and protect its species.

WSU Vancouver offers 15 bachelor’s degrees and eight master’s degrees in more than 35 fields of study.