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Black Hills State University is committed to partner with the community to increase the business, economic, and environmental vitality within the Spearfish community and Black Hills region. These programs cover a broad range of interests.

A Native American boy dances at a powwow.

Center for American Indian Studies

The Center for American Indian Studies (CAIS) serves as the administrative unit for academic programs in American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University. It acts as a coordinating and liaison facility for issues and programs dealing with Indian students and promotes awareness of American Indian cultures, value systems, and social problems among both Indian people themselves and members of the larger society. CAIS also acts as a liaison with tribal governments, tribal educational facilities, and American Indian organizations in the Northern Plains region.

A person fills tubs in a science lab.

Center for the Conservation of Biological Resources

The Center for the Conservation of Biological Resources (CCBR) was established in Spearfish, South Dakota in association with the Science Department at Black Hills State University. CCBR exists to support genetic and genomic research that is important to the Black Hills and Great Plains regions with a focus on priority problems and needs expressed by various agencies and organizations region-wide.

A woman raises her hand as a man writes on a whiteboard in the background.

Center for Economic Education

The BHSU Center for Economic Education is affiliated with the National Council on Economic Education and promotes economic literacy for South Dakota K-12 teachers and students. The Center's main economic education program is the South Dakota Stock Market Game program, The Center also provides teacher training workshops and economic education resources to integrate economic lesson plans in a variety of grade levels and subject areas.

Seven people stand in the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

Sanford Underground Research Facility

The Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota has created unique opportunities for Black Hills State University. New research opportunities have emerged for BHSU faculty and students. BHSU faculty have initiated research projects in Physics and Biology. These projects, as impressive as they are, are only the initial research projects. BHSU has seven additional projects in the planning stages that are awaiting funding decisions from the National Science Foundation.

A man presses plants in the herbarium.


The BHSU Herbarium (BHSC) holds about 45,000 vascular plant specimens and is rapidly growing. The Herbarium includes the world’s largest number of specimens from the ecologically unique Black Hills, and the surrounding region. Most of the specimens are angiosperms (flowering plants) with some gymnosperms (mostly conifers). BHSU also supports a library that contains hundreds of books, reprints and journals. The Herbarium is available for use by qualified individuals. Specimens are available on loan to recognized botanical institutions engaged in taxonomic research. While BHSC frequently identifies plants for private individuals for no charge, a fee-based plant identification service is provided to various companies, agencies and individuals not part of BHSU and not involved in systematic research.

Three women sit at a table.

South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity

The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) provides business assistance and training to current and prospective entrepreneurs, from start up to expansion, to foster economic development in South Dakota. While services are available to all those interested in entrepreneurship, there is a special emphasis on women, women veterans, Native Americans, socially and/or economically disadvantaged, and youth entrepreneurs.

Western South Dakota DNA Core Facility Logo


The Western South Dakota DNA Core Facility (WestCore) was established as part of the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (SD-BRIN). The primary services of WestCore include DNA sequencing, genotyping, marker developing and library construction. Priority is given to SD-BRIN/INBRE research, but services are also provided to non-BRIN/INBRE university researchers as well as government agencies and some private organizations.

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