The UTEP Biodiversity Collections originated as departmental teaching and research collections in the early 1960s. Between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s, the collections were formalized under the name Museum of Arid Land Biology (acronym MALB). In 1976, organizational changes instituted by the university resulted in the renaming of the collections and associated activities as the Laboratory for Environmental Biology (acronym UTEP, though locally called the "LEB"). In July of 1993, the Laboratory became associated with the University of Texas at El Paso's Centennial Museum through a memorandum of understanding. Curated specimens form the base for research by Centennial Museum personnel and faculty curators; by graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Texas at El Paso; and, through loans and visitation, graduate students and professionals from other institutions. The name was changed to UTEP Biodiversity Collections in August of 2012. Collections primarily are of modern and fossil vertebrate biology (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) and have a regional emphasis, but also contain material from outside the Southwest, particularly from Mexico. The research collections are maintained in the Biology Building.