About the U-M Museum of Natural History

The museum is a part of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

The U-M Museum of Natural History opened its spectacular new facility in the Biological Sciences Building on April 14, 2019. The building design blurs the boundaries between public and research areas, putting science on display. All-new exhibits and educational programs feature LSA’s world-class natural science collections, cutting-edge research by U-M faculty, and interdisciplinary topics of global and local concern.  

 

Governance

A unit of the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science & the Arts.

 

Mission Statement

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History transforms hearts and minds by promoting understanding of the natural world, our place in it, and our impact on it. We bring campus and community together in participatory and inclusive learning experiences to explore the processes of science and to address urgent global and local challenges.

 

Vision

A world in which people understand the interconnectedness of all life and the responsibility we have to sustain it.

 

Strategic Plan

2018-2022 U-M Museum of Natural History Strategic Plan Summary

 

UMMNH Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Access

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (UMMNH) is actively and purposefully working to create an anti-racist, diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible museum that is welcoming and inspiring to all. 

Call to Action 2020

In this momentous year of the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened awareness of the deep-rooted racism in our country, we support the Black Lives Matter movement and are joining in the fight to dismantle systemic racism. We are committed to using our platforms to explore and reveal how racism plays out in our field, and to highlight the contributions of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to natural history and science.  

 

Brief History

  • U-M's natural history collections were founded in 1837
  • Collections were on public display already in the early 1840s
  • Ruthven Museums Building completed in 1928
  • Exhibit Museum formally established in 1956
  • The museum changed its name to the "University of Michigan Museum of Natural History" in 2011
  • The U-M Museum of Natural History opened in the Biological Sciences Building in 2019

Read more about the museum history

 

Communicating research is a priority for the new UMMNH:

  • Visitors will be able to see working labs in the new facility.
  • Over 140 faculty, postdocs, and grad students have completed UMMNH’s Science Communication Fellows program, based on NSF’s Portal to the Public framework.
  • Since 2005, UMMNH has supported Broader Impacts outreach components for more than 150 faculty NSF proposals, with a 25% funding rate (32% rate for junior faculty CAREER grants).
  • Beginning in November 2019, the Naturalist and Micro Worlds Investigate Labs featuring hands-on science activities will be open to the public, and Research Stations featuring faculty research will be on view.

 

Attendance

165,000+, including about 18,000 school children in groups (based on fiscal year 2017 in our previous location).

 

Audience

General visitors, families, U-M students, faculty, staff, and alumni, tourists, and school children.