Do you ever think about what goes on behind the scenes of a natural history or science museum?? We visit science museums all the time, but we never really stop to think about what had to happen for those beautifully informative exhibits to come to fruition. That information, those specimens, all had to come from somewhere. That somewhere- is natural history collections.
But what IS a natural history collection? What is the purpose of it? Why should I care about a bunch of jars with dead animals in them? Who is paying for these collections? Are people actually doing something with these collections? Does this in any way, shape, or form have an impact on my life? YES!
In this blog, run by the Non-Molluscan Invertebrates Unit of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, we will explore our collection and hopefully answer some of those inevitable questions. The thing is, natural history collections ARE important! They DO have an impact on YOUR life! We are doing INCREDIBLE research with these collections! And we want to share that with the world! We want to share that with you!
The Non-Molluscan Invertebrates collection at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC, is one of a kind. We specialize in crustaceans, but we definitely don’t stop there. Run by our fearless leader, Dr. Bronwyn Williams, our collection houses everything from sponges and annelids to sea stars and crayfish. All of which are used for educating the public, finding new material for the museum, and searching for answers to our millions of questions through research. On this blog page, our goal is to share a new fascinating specimen with you all each week. In no particular order, we will take you through the millions of organisms that make up our collection. Building off of the #1000Jars project that our museum had going a few years ago, the goal of #1001Jars is to communicate the importance of natural history collections while showing off this incredible collection that our unit has inherited and collected over the years. We hope you will join us each week for a new post about a new critter, and if you like what you see, follow our other social media accounts (@bwwilliamslab) for a look into the day-to-day adventures of the NMI unit!
by Andie Woodson