Integrating Natural History Collections into Undergraduate Education: Creating the Resources and Growing the Community

By Anna Monfils1, Libby Ellwood2, Debra Linton1, Molly Phillips3, Joseph A. Cook4, Joseph Kerski5, Tracy Barbaro6, Sam S Donovan7, Karen Powers8, L. Alan Prather9, Rob Guralnick3

1. Central Michigan University 2. Florida State University 3. University of Florida 4. University of New Mexico 5. Esri 6. Harvard University 7. University of Pittsburgh 8. Radford University 9. Michigan State University

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Natural history collection specimens and associated data provide unique physical and virtual opportunities to engage students in the practice of science in authentic, place-based lessons. We will present information on how collections, and the data associated with collections, can facilitate student learning and teach valuable skill sets necessary for the 21st century workforce. The talk will highlight ongoing efforts to engage students using museum data and provide examples of current educational opportunities and existing educational modules. We will present results from recent surveys of students working in collections, collection professionals speaking to new skill sets needed for workforce training, and the collections community's insight on future directions in the use of museums in undergraduate education. We will address challenges associated with implementing natural history collection modules into undergraduate education and introduce emerging collaborative efforts to incorporate specimens and associated data into the undergraduate curriculum.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Anna Monfils; Libby Ellwood; Debra Linton; Molly Phillips; Joseph A. Cook; Joseph Kerski; Tracy Barbaro; Sam S Donovan; Karen Powers; L. Alan Prather; Rob Guralnick (2016), "Integrating Natural History Collections into Undergraduate Education: Creating the Resources and Growing the Community,"

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Hayley Orndorf