SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A partnership between Augustana University and the Butterfly House & Aquarium is allowing students’ academic pursuits to take flight.

With so many species of butterflies and other animals, it has led to a unique partnership for Augustana University and the organization.

“It’s everything from internship opportunities and research opportunities to volunteer opportunities and then being a part of some of the courses that they are teaching,” CEO of the Butterfly House & Aquarium, Audrey Otto said.

Carrie Olson-Manning is an assistant professor at Augustana University and brings her students here to conduct research projects.

“Studying behavior is important for the classes that I teach and so I always brings students here, we do some observation and then the students design their own research projects, so they get to figure out a question they want to test,” assistant professor at Augustana University, Carrie Olson-Manning said.

“In 2016 I was an undergraduate at Augustana University, Dr Carrie Olson-Manning came to one of my classes and asked for help with her research project, and so I volunteered to help part time, so I helped out by coming out and logging butterfly behavior and activity,” research technician at Augustana University, Sydney Kreutzmann said.

That opportunity led Kreutzmann to a career in research.

“That was my first introduction to research and it was a really fun research project, just coming here to the Butterfly House, and it actually made me realize I wanted to do research as a career and so that jumpstarted me into a research job,” Kreutzmann said.

A partnership that’s good news for everyone involved.

“To have this with butterflies, rain forest, ocean, right here for those students is really broadening their horizons and giving them a taste for everything that’s out there for them in their future,” Otto said.

Kreutzmann said the research she did even led to a publication.