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Initial museum collections begun in Science Building by Bob Searles. Later that year, Charles Long, (Mammalogist-Biology) and Robert (Bob) Freckmann (Botany) formalized the Museum of Natural History under the auspices of a steering committee from various departments. Steering Committee consisted of both Long and Freckmann as well as: George Becker (ichthyology), Phil Bjork (paleontology), Vince Heig (ornithology), Garry Knopf (herpetology), John Moore (anthropology) Marshall Parry (geology). Museum was created to exhibit portions of the research and teaching collections and to acquire specimens related to research in Biology, Geology, and Anthropology/Archaeology.
Robert Searles (Biology) served as first volunteer director for one year.
Charles Long took over as Director in 1969, duties included organizing scientific publications, teaching the museum techniques course and advising the recently created Museum Methods Minor.
Art student Ed Marks (museum exhibit builder for 24 years) hired.
Museum moved to LRC (Albertson Learning Center).
Museum operated under the direction of the steering committee until Dean Joe Woodka appointed a .25 position as Director.
Ed Marks hired as "Curator of Education."
Museum partnered with, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at the Lincoln Center, Portage County.
Museum assigned to the Assistant Chancellor for University Relations, Dr. Helen Godfrey.
Museum offers off site programming with a 50-mile radius.
Bill LeGrande (Biology) served as Director and Museum Methods Minor advisor (.25 position), Menominee Clan Story Exhibit begun.
Museum Techniques course co-taught by Bob Freckmann and Ed Marks.
Passenger Pigeon donated.
New exhibit construction begins.
Frank Bowers (Biology) served as Director.
Administration severs collections and research from exhibits in opposition from volunteer curators, Museum website launched, Museum moves from University Relations to COLS under Justice Paul.
Volunteer curators publish 42 volumes of Reports on the Fauna and Flora of Wisconsin series.
Museum serves over 450 schools offering 150+ presentations per year.
Museum Collections Policy drafted, Museum Advisory Board assembled.
Dean Justice Paul retires, Dean Lance Grahn becomes Museum CEO and abolishes Advisory Board.
Ed Marks retires, Ray Reser appointed Interim Director.
Multiple interim Directors (Erik Wild-Biology, Sandhya Ganapathy- Anthropology, Ray Reser- Geography/Geology) cover museum duties, Dr. Reser conducts first comprehensive inventory of natural science collections held by UWSP. Annual "Collection Crawl" museum-wide collections open house for the public instituted.
Museum space remodeled with expansion of store, exhibit and office areas. Rotating exhibits added, new exhibits constructed, Curators Committee formed, American Association of Museums accreditation begun, Speakers program and annual events initiated, Website expanded and updated, Social Media pages created. Following a national search, Dr. Ray Reser hired as first permanent Director of the museum and appointed Curator of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Phase one, Organizational Assessment successfully completed for American Association of Museums, Exhibit redesign to integrate with existing research and academic coursework initiated. Collections Management Assessment completed. Updated Museum website launched.
Discussion and planning for relocating the museum to the Old Science Building begins. Museum programming for K-12 and store significantly expanded. Website redesigned.
Fluid collections become non-code compliant due to changes in state and national fire codes. Debates between campus agencies, state agencies, and local Fire Marshall's office reveal there is no standard approach for bringing scientific collections in flammable fluid mediums into compliance with recent code changes. Existing fire codes, where applicable, are inconsistent, conflict with each other, or do no apply to scientific collections. UW-System has no set approach to what fire codes campuses should abide by. The State Fire Marshall's Office refuses to provide comment. Museum Director's Office drafts multiple solutions including off-campus storage, construction of stand-alone flammable storage near maintenance area, renovation of existing storage areas.
Museum Director in concert with collection curator and Dean decides under duress to dump majority of flammable fluid mediums in ichthyology collections to meet fire code and bring UWSP back into compliance. This action was formally stated by the Museum as counter to collections management best practice, and is undertaken as a temporary action which by general agreement with all stakeholders will be reversed as soon as practicable (e.g. 2018).
UWSP, the Museum, and the Stevens Point Fire Department (SPFD) draft MOA after significant research and TNR 414 is remodeled with additional storage to meet updated local fire codes and fluid collections agreement. TNR room 414 has formal sign-off as code compliant by SPFD.