Tuesday, June 30, 2015

University of New England to open Natural History Museum

Armidale is to get another museum. The region’s first Natural History Museum will be the showcase of a $27 million development at the University of New England. The museum will feature the skeleton of a carnivorous dinosaur along with a diverse collection of animals, plants and meteorites.

Construction has commenced at the facility which is part of the multi-million dollar Integrated Agriculture Education Project precinct and is expected to open next year.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Annabelle Duncan, said the Museum will be a significant community asset. “The museum will be an important education resource for students and will become a central repository for natural history collections across the region,” Professor Duncan continued.

“The new Museum will feature a five-metre Australovenator dinosaur, UNE’s meteorite collection, animal and hominid skeletons, and fossils.”

As well as the new exhibits, the Museum will house UNE’s existing museum collections. Presumably, this includes the Classics Museum, the University's best know museum, presently housed in the Arts Building. I must find out what is happening here.

The Head of UNE’s School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, Professor Iain Young, said the museum will enhance teaching at UNE specifically in the areas of zoology, biology, botany and geology.

“It is envisaged that the Museum will also be used by schools as a learning resource and be accessible to the community and special interest groups.

“The long term vision for the museum is to have regular tours and displays, including loan exhibitions, an interactive museum website, and to use our knowledge of natural history to increase the awareness, understanding, technologies and tools needed to create an environmentally sustainable future.”

Community members interested in becoming a hands-on part of the exciting Natural History Museum project can contact Dr Romina Rader, Community Ecologist and museum coordinator, on museum@une.edu.au for more information.

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