Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Potter Park Zoo Animal Health Program: A Half-Century of Collaboration in Animal Health Education, Research, and Outreach

Dalen W. Agnew, College of Veterinary Medicine 

Potter Park Zoo

Since 1974, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and Potter Park Zoo have had a special relationship founded on shared goals of animal health, veterinary and public education, and environmental conservation. This collaboration was spearheaded by professors James Sikarskie and Dalen Agnew among others in the CVM, and Drs. Harrison, Nofs, and Eustace from Potter Park Zoo. Both institutions are deeply integrated in the decision-making, teaching, research, and community outreach surrounding animal health at the Zoo. Collaborations have included clinical training of veterinary students, outreach to K-12 students, advanced residency training, research, career advising, sharing of medical expertise, joint seminars, membership on complementary advisory boards, shared volunteer opportunities, and a coordinated approach to media communications. This relationship has resulted in a generation of MSU-trained zoo veterinarians and professionals distributed around the world, a zoo of which the greater Lansing area can be proud, thousands of children who have awakened to career opportunities in science and medicine through close interactions with animals and nature, many published professional papers and conference abstracts, and national media attention for the Zoo, the CVM, and MSU. The Potter Park Zoo and MSU-CVM plan to continue working together to address local and world-wide challenges.