Since 2016, Southwestern Adventist University’s Dinosaur Science Museum and Research Center has provided an educational experience for the local community, as well as for students. Each year, the museum and its staff have continued to grow and expand to better serve their guests. With a focus on examining and sharing the past, rarely does an opportunity come along where the museum gets to share a look at their future.
In a recent museum update, museum curator, Dr. Jared Wood, announced a change to the general tours offered by the museum. The museum plans to increase accessibility by expanding regular operating hours and offering more special events and classes for the community each year. In order to fund these changes, the museum, which has been operating on a donation only model, will begin charging a small admission fee.
In regard to these changes, Dr. Wood stated the museum is, “no longer able to meet demands using only volunteers and student workers. . . Charging admission [will] allow us to hire additional staff and give you the best experience.”
The museum is excited to be able to expand their hours of operations and increase the number of staff, allowing more tours throughout the day. As accessibility continues to increase, this will in tandem allow the museum to put priority into advancing their research.
Each summer, the museum adds an additional 2,000 fossils to their collection of over 30,000. Their focus is on being able to properly process these new fossils, thereby, providing new experiences for all guests. To do this, they plan on expanding their team to greatly increase the speed at which these new findings can be processed and displayed. With a larger workforce, new exhibits will be displayed more frequently, and tours can be more consistent while remaining at a more personal group size, so each guest has the ability to ask and learn more about the museum’s amazing discoveries.
With a focus on growing the number of fossils for their collection and allowing more guests than ever to experience the museum, the next priority is to release new publications. Research and work have already begun on a paper about Triceratops Quarry. Being able to publish will allow the museum to share new discoveries, not just with the local community, but with the greater scientific community. This is an essential aspect for the future progress of the museum.
As the Dinosaur Science Museum and Research Center continues to work towards examining the past and sharing new discoveries, we invite you to join their journey into the future. To learn more about the museum, visit swau.edu/dinosaur, and subscribe to the museum’s newsletter to keep up to date with new events and discoveries.
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