The Museum of Natural History helps faculty communicate the latest scientific research to the community through exhibits and public programs. With over 100,000 visitors a year, including over 20,000 school children, many of whom are students from diverse and under-served communities, the Museum provides a targeted audience interested in the natural sciences. The Museum of Natural History is an excellent venue in which to develop public outreach programs and to display findings.
The Museum of Natural History staff work closely with faculty to develop exhibits representing their research.
Recent projects include:
- The Invisible World of Mites (2011)
Professor Barry OConnor, Professor of Biological Sciences, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Curator of Insects, Museum of Zoology
- Back to the Sea: The Evolution of Whales (2011)
Professor Philip Gingerich, Ermine Cowles Case Collegiate Professor of Paleontology; Curator, Museum of Paleontology; Professor of Geological Sciences; Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Professor of Anthropology
Museum staff work with faculty to develop educational programs for school children and/or the general public that highlight their research. For example, the Museum recently collaborated with Chris Poulsen, Department Chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences, to develop a series of school programs using a 12-foot stream simulation table. Hundreds of children continue to participate in these programs each year.
Faculty may conduct visitor research projects at the Museum of Natural History with IRB and Museum Director approval. A current example is a visitor study associated with the NSF-funded "Explore Evolution" exhibit conducted by U-M Research Scientist E. Margaret Evans.