Undergraduate Student Support
Undergraduate engagement in biodiversity collection development is a vital part of the UMMZ’s educational mission and participants get training in the knowledge, skills and operational competencies required for research museum function. The results are often remarkable, e.g., the expert curatorial skills demonstrated by Michael Schmidtke (’11) in a compelling recent YouTube video - that has garnered many thousands of views. Working in collections exposes our students to the sheer diversity of life on earth – thousands of species of birds, snakes, fishes etc. (including extinct taxa) collected from all around the world – that can only be experienced in museums.
Indeed, a number of leading biodiversity researchers have attributed their career choice to formative undergraduate experiences in university natural history collections. Your support will enable undergraduates interested in animal biodiversity to have a fully immersive research museum experience.
The UMMZ’s mission is enhanced by investments and gifts made by our friends and colleagues worldwide. These funds are put to good use, especially in training the next generation of leaders in biodiversity science and conservation.
Graduate Student Support
The UMMZ is justifiably proud of its track record of attracting and training excellent graduate students who are encouraged to initiate and develop their own research programs. From its inception, the UMMZ has had a global frame of reference and a large fraction of its research and collection efforts are directed toward geographically distant faunas, a large fraction of them tropical - where most of the planet’s biodiversity is concentrated. Success in research for many of our graduate students is predicated on being able to spend weeks-to-months in the field, becoming familiar with their study organisms, setting up long term experiments and sampling voucher material for detailed analyses back in the laboratory and for deposition in the UMMZ’s collections. Some of our students have recently started blogging about their fieldwork, including the sampling of mosquitos in Cameroon, howler monkeys in Mexico, colobus monkeys in Uganda,captive snails in London Zoo and wild snails in Oregon. Your support can be of great practical assistance in facilitating world-class biodiversity research by our graduate students, enabling them to successfully travel to remote study sites, perform detailed experiments and enrich our collections.
UMMZ Strategic Fund
Gifts of undesignated, expendable funds are particularly helpful in addressing emergent issues and opportunities for the UMMZ and its museum program. In the recent past, such funds have been used for
- Providing seed money for pilot projects by faculty-curators.
- Purchasing new equipment to enhance our educational and research activities.
- Funding travel to professional meeting for students and collection mangers.
- Funding seminars by visiting scholars
- Underwriting extraordinary UMMZ publications, such as the recent
Fishes of the Greater Mekong System with Species List and Photographic Atlas
Dr. Phil Myers Endowed Award for Field Research
To honor Professor Emeritus Phil Myers’ passion for and contributions to field biology and his commitment to education, Professor Emeritus James Patton, University of California, Berkeley, gave a generous gift to create the Dr. Phil Myers Endowed Award for Field Research.