VAST Presentation: Virginia Museum of Natural HistoryPresentation Transcript
Dr. Denny Casey
Director of Education and
Discovering the New Virginia Museum of Natural History
Virginia Museum of Natural History
Located in Martinsville, Virginia
30 miles to Danville 51 miles to Roanoke 81 miles to Lynchburg 175 miles to Richmond 235 miles to Hampton Roads
Founded in 1984
Housed in the former Joseph Martin Elementary School Building until 2007
Became an agency of the Secretary of Natural Resources in 1988
New building opened in 2007
VMNH Recognized Worldwide
Accredited by the American Association of Museums
Member of Association of Science -Technology Centers
Member of Southeastern Museums Conference
Member of Natural Science Collections Alliance
Member of Virginia Association of Museums
Member of Museum Store Association
Affiliate of Smithsonian Institution
All programs are designed within both the framework of the Virginia Standards of Learning and national standards to provide participants with stimulating natural history-related learning experiences in the high-demand subjects of science and social studies and also math, engineering, and technology.
Educational Programs Designed to Meet Virginia Standards of Learning
Since moving to the new facility, educational program participants have increased over 200% matched by a corresponding increase the number and scope of programs.
Over half of the people the Museum serves are school children and teachers.
Educational Program Participants Have Increased Over 200%
With a staff of 10 part-time and three full-time positions, we provide more than 800 education programs to over 21,000 participants, from 50 school divisions.
Over 800 Educational Programs Conducted Annually
Outreach education offices in Martinsville and Charlottesville extend the reach of education programming to Southside and Central Virginia.
Outreach Programming in Classrooms and Special Events
Professional Development Opportunities Virginia Science Standards Institute GLOBE Trout in the Classroom
Trout in the Classroom
The project involves schools or classrooms setting up aquariums to allow students to take care of and monitor brown trout from eggs to young fry. Trout in the Classroom is designed specifically for teachers who want to incorporate more environmental education into their curriculum.
Master Naturalists VMNH a founding partner in the Virginia Master Naturalist Program--a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, stewardship and citizen science dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. VMNH staff serve on the executive and steering committees and were instrumental in initiating two local chapters. http:// www.virginiamasternaturalist.org
After everyone has gone home and the doors have been closed for the evening, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts join us for an exciting night of exploration.
Scouts have participated from:
Scout Sleepovers Scouts complete Try-Its, Badges or pin requirements through hands-on programs
Research and Collections
Scientific research and natural history collections make VMNH unique.
The success of the VMNH research program is reflected in worldwide recognition of our scientific curators as leaders in their respective fields. Our scientists publish extensively in national and international journals, including Science and Nature and receive grants from outside organizations including the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society.
Research and Collections
The new museum facility opened in March 2007 and meets all current museum collections standards, enabling us to preserve and protect the collections for the benefit of future generations and in keeping with our mission. Douglas Avenue Collections Storage
Douglas Avenue Collections spaces in the old building…
and in the new building.
Research and Collections
The collections of the Virginia Museum of Natural History total approximately 21,616,717 specimens.
Amphibians and Reptiles
more than 10,300 catalogued
VMNH has approximately 700 pieces and 300 uncaptioned lots .
VMNH holds a variety of Native American artifacts from the eastern United States, prehistoric material from Saltville, Virginia, and historic material from Martinsville.
approximately 11,000 skins, 9,000 eggs and 650 nests
VMNH marine collections include about 5,000 specimens of bryozoans primarily from the coasts of the United States, the Western Atlantic, and Caribbean, and the Antarctic.
Bryozoans are a phylum of colonial invertebrates that are found almost everywhere in the oceans from the intertidal to the deep sea.
VMNH houses a large collection of rock samples, most of which have been collected and studied by our curators and research associates.
approximately 5,000 pieces and 7,500 catalogued lots of core
Exhibits and Education
More than 3,000 items and 300 taxidermy mounts
More than 29,000 specimens and more than 8,800 frozen tissue samples
more than 20,000 specimens
more than 10,000,000 specimens
approximately 1,200 pieces and 212 blocks, some with multiple samples
Recent Invertebrates We emphasis freshwater insects and mollusks and the faunas of forest litter (beetles, myriapods, spiders), which are important in the formation of new organic soil. The classification and distribution of millipeds worldwide is a second area of interest.
more than 1,500,000 processed and 10,000,000 unprocessed specimens
VMNH houses rich collections of Triassic vertebrate fossils, including dinosaur tracks. We also have hundreds of dinosaur bones from the famous Morrison Formation of Wyoming and excellent material of Miocene whales from Virginia.
Ice Age vertebrate remains from Saltville, southwest Virginia, are also well-represented in the collections.
more than 5,000 items and 955 unprocessed lots.
Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont Great Hall
Fossils, Labs, Museum Collections and Public Gathering Space
The Harvest Foundation Great Hall serves as an exciting gathering space that also introduces the Museum’s research and collections. The fossil skeleton of an Allosaurus dinosaur greets visitors as they enter and an ancient fossil whale, Eobalaenoptera , swims overhead.
Explores six actual VMNH research sites
Uncovering Virginia is designed as an interactive, lab-like environment where visitors explore how scientists work to uncover the secrets of Virginia’s past. Visitors encounter six real research sites, each represented through re-creations of dig locations and displays of the objects that scientists have discovered there.
Coal fields of Virginia – 300 million years ago
Cascade/Pittsylvania County – 220 million years ago
Caroline County/Coastal Plain – 14 million years ago
South of Richmond – 4 million years ago
Western Virginia – 10,000 years ago
Near Roanoke – 400-500 years ago
How Nature Works: Rocks Dramatic landscape models reveal how the world is shaped by geological forces that are themselves powered by the enormous energy deep within the planet
How Nature Works: Life Visitors learn that almost all living things on Earth depend, directly or indirectly, on the sun as their energy source.
New Exhibit Concept: Working with Trout Unlimited for an environmental exhibit around watershed education.