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The CWRL has a mission of teaching, research, and service consistent with that of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Laboratory teaching efforts focus on graduate training: in addition, staff contribute to undergraduate teaching and advisement of zoology majors, especially those students with an emphasis in wildlife ecology.
The conduct of basic and applied research emphasizes the welfare of people, wildlife resources, and their environments. Laboratory research programs first address regional/state needs and priorities, but extend to international scales to serve the needs and interests of many publics concerned with land use and its influence on the well-being of wildlife and other natural resources.