The R.G. White Large Animal Research Station (LARS) has a broad mission to support research, education, and outreach on Alaskan animals. We support the interests and activities of UAF scientists but we also serve scientists from other institutions and organizations in the United States and from around the world. LARS is a 130 acre facility on Yankovich Road currently housing muskoxen and reindeer but is also periodically home to other large animals.
Our animals are maintained for a wide variety of research and educational projects including reproduction, nutrition, energetics, and behavior. These herds are valuable for research on fundamental biological principles, biomedical sciences, validating and teaching wildlife and protocols, as well as evaluating and developing their use in Alaskan agriculture.
LARS animal management and herd health program ensure healthy, well-cared for animals with very reliable reproductive performance.
The facility is divided into a variety of holding areas and large pastures mixed with boreal forest and many smaller holding pens. We have a heated barn with handling facilities for both muskoxen and reindeer with sorting pens and raceways suited to these species. Projects can range from observational studies to projects involving regular handling and manipulation. In addition to our main handling barn, we have a small barn used for habituating young animals to handling and manipulations, a classroom, an office building, and a cabin to accommodate visiting scientists working at LARS.
LARS is currently the only animal research facility in the world with a herd of muskoxen habituated to routines allowing for low stress handling and manipulations needed for research and teaching protocols.
Our reindeer are also easily handled. Most of our adult females and young animals are halter trained and can be worked using a lead rope. Our bulls are not as cooperative; however, we have facilities to safely work with them!