Natural History Museum of Utah

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Natural History Museum of Utah
National History Museum of Utah.jpg
The Rio Tinto Center, home of the museum since 2011
Established1963[1]
LocationSalt Lake City, Utah
Coordinates40°45′51″N 111°51′04″W / 40.7642°N 111.8511°W / 40.7642; -111.8511
TypeNatural history
Visitors78,000 [1]
Websitehttp://nhmu.utah.edu/
 
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Natural History Museum of Utah
National History Museum of Utah.jpg
The Rio Tinto Center, home of the museum since 2011
Established1963[1]
LocationSalt Lake City, Utah
Coordinates40°45′51″N 111°51′04″W / 40.7642°N 111.8511°W / 40.7642; -111.8511
TypeNatural history
Visitors78,000 [1]
Websitehttp://nhmu.utah.edu/

The Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) is a museum located at the Rio Tinto Center on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The museum shows exhibits of natural history subjects, specifically about Utah's natural history. The mission of the museum is to illuminate the natural world and the place of humans within it. The new building was opened in 2011.

History[edit]

The George Thomas Building, former home of the museum

The museum was conceived in 1959, when the University of Utah faculty committee decided to consolidate natural history collections from around its campus. The museum was established as the Utah Museum of Natural History on the University of Utah campus in 1963 by the Utah State Legislature.[1] It opened in 1969 in the former George Thomas Library and included specimens from the Deseret Museum as well as from the Charles Nettleton Strevell Museum that was located in the old Lafayette School on South Temple Street from 1939 until 1947.[1] In 2011 the museum moved from the old George Thomas Library location into the Rio Tinto Center, east of the main university campus; the move also resulted in a change of name to the Natural History Museum of Utah.[2]

Collections and research[edit]

The Natural History Museum of Utah has over 1.2 million objects in its collection that are used for research and education. The Museum's collections emphasize the natural history of Utah and are accessible to researchers from around the world. The majority of the collections are from public lands within the inter-mountain region of the United States.

NHMU collections are used in studies on geological, biological and cultural diversity, and the history of living systems and human cultures within the Utah region. The goal of the museum is to increase the collections while providing the widest possible access to that information.

Anthropology collection[edit]

The curator of anthropology is Duncan Metcalfe, and the collections manager is Glenna Nielsen-Grimm.

Biology collection[edit]

The curator of vertebrate zoology is Eric Rickart, and the collections manager is Rebecca Rowe. The curator of botany is Mitchell Power, and the collections manager is Ann Kelsey. The entomology collection is managed by Christy Bills.

Geology collection[edit]

The curator of paleontology is Randall Irmis, and the collections manager is Mike Getty.

Previous exhibits[edit]

The museum's former exhibit areas occupied almost 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2) on the first and second floors of the George Thomas Building, located on the University of Utah campus. The exhibits targeted three broad areas of the natural sciences: geology/paleontology, anthropology, and biology.

Part of the paleontology exhibit in the old building
Exhibits in the new building

Cooper Hall of Anthropology[edit]

Earth science galleries[edit]

Geology/paleontology hall[edit]

Norton Hall of Minerals[edit]

Life science halls[edit]

Dumke Gallery[edit]

Quinney Dinosaur Discovery Hall[edit]

Educational programs[edit]

The educational programs are organized by the School Programs Department. Development of school programs is closely tied to the public school system's core curriculum. The museum's educational programs include:

Outreach[edit]

Role at the University of Utah[edit]

The museum is part of the academic life of the University of Utah. The collections offer research opportunities and provide a learning laboratory for students. Museum programs expose students to many aspects of museum studies: educational outreach, exhibit design and fabrication development, public relations, and curriculum development.

The museum is a repository for collections that were accumulated by the university's departments of Anthropology, Biology, and Geology. The collections are held in trust for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates who have access to the collections for research and teaching purposes.

In-service training is offered by the Utah Museum of Natural History Education Department; university credit can be earned with these courses, leading to salary lane changes for public school teachers. These courses are coordinated with the Academic Outreach and Continuing Education and the Department of Teaching and Learning. As the founder of the University’s Genetic Science Learning Center, the museum continues to partner in its teacher training program.

The museum meeting rooms are available for rental for on- and off-campus groups.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Museums in Utah". Donald V. Hague. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  2. ^ McKinlay, Michael Ann (November 13, 2011). "Museum makeover: Natural History Museum of Utah Rio Tinto Center will open November 18". Deseret News. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]