Dr. Chris Barnhart

Biology, College of Natural and Applied Sciences

As a conservation biologist, Dr. Chris Barnhart has infused our community with the fun of science.  Through his volunteer work with Friends of the Gardens, Chris is Founder and Curator of the Roston Native Butterfly House housed at Nathanial Greene Park.  His contributions span every level from raising moths and butterflies, leading tours, developing materials to more than 80 hours designing and constructing the new brick floor and retaining walls.  Coordinating over 40 docents, including MSU students, the Butterfly House served over 36,000 visitors last year.  Chris also raises and distributes hundreds of caterpillars to K-12 classroom teachers for environmental lessons.     

For 18 years, Chris has volunteered with the Springfield Nature Center’s Annual Insect-O-Rama and other public programs such as the National Park Service’s BioBlitz events at George Washington Carver Monument.  

For these and numerous other long standing community service activities, we grant Dr. Chris Barnhart the 2016 Faculty Excellence in Community Service Award.