KU Natural History Museum

KU Natural History Museum The University of Kansas Natural History Museum, part of the Biodiversity Institute, has four floors of exhibits from microbes to mosasaurs, live events, educational opportunities, and more.
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Our researchers study the life of the planet on all continents.

Operating as usual

10/29/2020
Secrets of the KU Natural History Museum sneak peek!

Ready for a night of mysteries and true tales this Saturday? Join us for Secrets of the KU Natural History Museum at 8pm, October 31 on Facebook! What lurks in Dyche Hall’s tower? What mysterious message was discovered in the wall of a vault? Learn these true tales and more as our Collections & Facilities Manager, Lori Schlenker, takes you on a special virtual tour! This is a free online event. A video presentation will be available on our page through November 1st, when it will disappear at midnight!

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/events/345266076554977/

10/28/2020
STEM Challenge: UV Radiation

This month, Story Book Science has been looking at the eerie side of science, including the things that we can’t see with our naked eye. Prakriti, KU student and part of our education team, will explain radiation, or the movement of energy. She’ll also challenge you to investigate UV radiation. Follow along using the activity guide found at https://tinyurl.com/KUNHM-UV-Rays.

10/27/2020

This month, Story Book Science has been looking at the eerie side of science, including the things that we can’t see with our naked eye. Prakriti, KU student and part of our education team, will explain radiation, or the movement of energy. She’ll also challenge you to investigate UV radiation. Follow along using the activity guide found at https://tinyurl.com/KUNHM-UV-Rays.

We're excited to be a part of this Saturday's KU Carnival of Chemistry! Catch our video, Exploring Chemistry with Plants...
10/23/2020

We're excited to be a part of this Saturday's KU Carnival of Chemistry! Catch our video, Exploring Chemistry with Plants🌿, at 12pm, on the KU Carnival of Chemistry's page (CarnivalOfChemistry)! Three KU students on our outreach and education team will share the chemistry of cabbage, paper chromatography and even how to extract DNA from a strawberry!

EVENT INFO:
https://www.facebook.com/events/805919446905073/

Be sure to check out the brand-new 🔍🌱👩‍🔬 "Exploring Chemistry with Plants" activities from the online team at the KU Natural History Museum at this Saturday's 100% ONLINE Carnival of Chemistry! Watch for the separate role of chromatography 📊; and when all indicators show you’re pHed up 🧪 with cabbage, zip 🧬 over to their berry fun 🍓 DNA activity. No need to plant in front of your screen 🌵📺 all day – the Museum’s "Exploring Chemistry with Plants" link will show up right here at 12 NOON THIS SATURDAY, October 24, 2020!

10/20/2020

Join me for Story Book Science, THIS Wednesday on Facebook at 10am! I’ll be reading “I am Marie Curie” written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos with permission from Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. I hope to see you then!

10/17/2020
Pop Up Science: Radioactivity!

In honor of Earth Science Week, this Pop Up Science episode focuses on radioactivity and how geologists & paleontologists determine the age of rocks and fossils. Join Eleanor to explore particle radiation, learn how to use a Geiger counter, and try a quick licorice half-life demonstration!
Download the PDF instructions here: https://tinyurl.com/radioactivity-halflife

10/17/2020

In honor of Earth Science Week, this Pop Up Science episode focuses on radioactivity and how geologists & paleontologists determine the age of rocks and fossils. Join Eleanor to explore particle radiation, learn how to use a Geiger counter, and try a quick licorice half-life demonstration!
Download the PDF instructions here: https://tinyurl.com/radioactivity-halflife

10/14/2020
Happy National Fossil Day from Recent KU Alumni!

Join recent KU alumni, Matthew Downen, Ph.D. '20, and Alyson Wilkins, M.A. '18, for a look at what they're doing post-graduation. Matt will take you on a virtual fossil-collecting field trip in northern Kentucky, while Alyson will discuss what she does in her job as the Collections Digitization Coordinator at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

10/14/2020
Virtual Tour of the KU Paleobotany Collection

Check out some incredible fossil plants in this virtual tour of the KU BI/NHM Paleobotany Collection with Collection Manager, Dr. Rudy Serbet. The gorgeous Glossopteris, divine Dicroidium, and superb seed fern fossils will blow you away! Also featured is a clip of KU BI/NHM Curator of Paleobotany and KU Ecology and Evolutionary Biology assistant professor, Dr. Brian Atkinson, demonstrating the acetate peel technique used by paleobotanists to study the cellular structure of fossil plants.

10/14/2020
Exploring the New KU Paleontology UP CLOSE Exhibit

Have you ever wondered how a natural history museum exhibit goes from idea to reality? In this video, KUNHM Exhibit Designer Laura Mohr gives us a sneak peek at some of the design work that went into our new KU Paleontology UP CLOSE exhibit!

10/14/2020
Research Highlights from the Beard Lab, KU Vertebrate Paleontology

This video is a compilation of clips featuring five different researchers who study fossil mammals. Join Dr. Christopher Beard, Senior Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the KU BI/NHM and Distinguished Foundation Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, to learn about the discovery of a new species of fossil primate from the Eocene of Turkey. Then, see how scientific illustrator Kristen Tietjen creates digital 3D models from micro-CT scans of fossils. Next up, graduate student and KU Ecology and Evolutionary Biology GSO member, Matt Jones, shares how paleontologists collect and study tiny teeth from fossil bats! After that, join graduate students Kathleen Rust and Kristen Miller at their home lab where they study fossil primates using resin casts. And finally, hear from graduate student Spencer Mattingly as he discusses the oldest known fossil carnivoran from Africa!

10/14/2020
Virtual Tour of the Vertebrate Paleontology Collection

From sharks to dinosaurs to Ice Age mammals and much more, the KU BI/NHM Vertebrate Paleontology collection is vast and comprehensive. Join Collection Manager Megan Sims for a terrific tour through VP's newest collection space. (If you like trace fossils, you don't want to miss this video!)

10/14/2020
Meet Silvisaurus and Make Your Own Nodosaur!

Silvisaurus condrayi is the only known dinosaur to have lived in what is now the state of Kansas. Learn about this awesome armored dinosaur -- from its habitat to its diet and more -- with students Joy and Anna from the museum's outreach team! And then learn how to make your own nodosaurid ankylosaur out of Model Magic and pasta!

10/14/2020
The T. rex Fossil Collection at KUNHM

Think you know everything about T. rex? Dr. David Burnham, vertebrate paleontology preparator at the KUNHM, might surprise you with some fascinating facts! For instance, did you know that T. rex adults may have had degenerative foot issues due to weighing an estimated seven tons? Explore the T. rex collection with Dr. Burnham and see what new things you might learn!

Here's a fun activity from our friends at the Carnegie Museum: making "amber" slime! Dr. Engel shared a lot of awesome i...
10/14/2020
Create Bugs in Amber Slime! - Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Here's a fun activity from our friends at the Carnegie Museum: making "amber" slime! Dr. Engel shared a lot of awesome information about insects preserved in amber, and this activity would be a fun way to model how insects and other small organisms get trapped and preserved in it! https://carnegiemnh.org/create-slime-fossilized-bugs/

Create bugs trapped in amber slime at home! Creating your own slime is always a fun project at home, and we have recipes with and without borax.

10/14/2020
Fascinating Insect Fossils with Dr. Michael Engel

Insects dominate our world, but what about the fossil record? Join Dr. Michael Engel, Senior Curator of Entomology at the KU BI/NHM and Distinguished Professor in the KU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, to learn about the history of insects throughout geologic time. You'll get to see some truly gorgeous insect fossils along the way!

10/14/2020
| KU Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum

Learn more about our Invertebrate Paleontology collection and explore digitized specimens in the Specify database at: https://biodiversity.ku.edu/invertebrate-paleontology

Invertebrate Paleontologyconducts research, research training and graduate education on the world’s fossil invertebrates – their relevance to evolutionary theory, their phylogenetic significance, as well as their paleobiogeography, paleoecology, and morphology. These studies are grounded in rese...

10/14/2020
Permian Fossils of Timor at the Invertebrate Paleontology Collection at KU

Do you know the difference between a crinoid and a blastoid? You'll learn that, and lots more, in this video from the KU BI/NHM Invertebrate Paleontology Collection Manager, Dr. Natalia Lopez-Carranza. She will wow you with intriguing invertebrate fossils that come from the Permian of the Island of Timor in Southeast Asia!

10/14/2020
STEM Challenge: Make a Model of a Trace Fossil

Today’s Story Book Science STEM Challenge celebrates National Fossil Day! Join Kestrel and Mira, KU students and members of the museum’s education team, as they explain the difference between bones and fossils and discuss the two categories of fossils. They’ll even challenge you to make your own model of a fossil! Follow along using the activity guide found at https://tinyurl.com/KUNHM-Fossils.

Brand new for National Fossil Day 2020: a fantastic coloring book for kids (and all those who enjoy coloring)! "Prehisto...
10/14/2020
Prehistoric Life Coloring Book - Fossils and Paleontology (U.S. National Park Service)

Brand new for National Fossil Day 2020: a fantastic coloring book for kids (and all those who enjoy coloring)! "Prehistoric Life of the National Parks" can be found at the National Park Service website: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/coloring-book.htm?fbclid=IwAR2cxoa4hgr9kOP6l0OTaO5gg42sg33uFlEu7RgBYuzKhGv_Pveg4sI6P_I

In order to tap into your scientific detective skills and encourage your creativity, we are excited to share with you the Prehistoric Life of the National Parks coloring book. The main coloring book features 40 simple line drawings of ancient animals and plants known from fossils discovered in natio...

10/14/2020
Welcome to Discovery Day: National Fossil Day!

Happy #NationalFossilDay! We have an incredible lineup of fossiliferous films for you today. Join the museum's Outreach & Engagement Coordinator (and paleontologist by training), Eleanor, in this first video to kick off our day-long paleontology party! Learn about both ancient and modern crinoids, as well as how to make a stalked crinoid model!

10/14/2020

Happy #NationalFossilDay! We have an incredible lineup of fossiliferous films for you today. Join the museum's Outreach & Engagement Coordinator (and paleontologist by training), Eleanor, in this first video to kick off our day-long paleontology party! Learn about both ancient and modern crinoids, as well as how to make a stalked crinoid model!

Discovery Day - National Fossil Day is tomorrow, Wed., Oct. 14! Don't miss our big, all-day, online paleontology party, ...
10/13/2020

Discovery Day - National Fossil Day is tomorrow, Wed., Oct. 14! Don't miss our big, all-day, online paleontology party, right here on Facebook, 10am-4:30pm! We'll have something for everyone and all ages. The kids will love our Story Book Science special Fossil Day STEM Challenge at 10:30am on making trace fossils, or learn how to make a nodosaur at 12:30pm! How about a behind-the-scenes tour of our fossil collections? Don't miss a look at our T. rex collection at noon, a tour of the Vertebrate Paleontology lab at 1pm, or the Paleobotany collection at 3pm! KU scientists and graduate students will be sharing our collections, research and more!

EVENT INFO
https://www.facebook.com/events/316583873017188

FULL SCHEDULE
🦖 10am - Welcome + Crinoids (marine animal fossils)
🔎 Activity: Crinoid craft!

🦖 10:30am - Story Book Science STEM Challenge
🔎 Activity: Make your own trace fossils with KU students Kestrel & Mira!

🦑 11am – Intriguing Invertebrates Fossils from the Permian Period with Invertebrate Paleontology Collection Manager, Natalia Lopez Carranza!

🦟 11:30am – Fossil Insects with Curator of Entomology, Michael Engel!

🦖 12pm – The T. rex Fossil Collection at KUNHM with David Burnham, KUNHM's fossil preparator!

🦖 12:30pm - Meet Silvisaurus +
🔎 Activity: Make your own nodosaur with KU students Joy & Anna!

🦖 1pm - Virtual Tour of the Vertebrate Paleontology Collection with Collection Manager Megan Sims!

🦖 1:30pm – Research Highlights in KU Vertebrate Paleontology with curators, staff, and graduate students

🦖 2:30pm – Exploring the new KU Paleontology UP CLOSE Museum Exhibit with KUNHM Exhibit Designer, Laura Mohr!

🌿 3:00pm – Virtual Tour of the Paleobotany Collection with Collection Manager Rudy Serbet!

🦖 3:30pm - Learning about Permian fossils with avocational paleontologist Cameron Muskelly, 2020 recipient of the Paleontological Research Institution's Katherine Palmer Award for his contributions to the field of paleontology!

🦖 4pm – KU Paleontology alumni!

Explore Lawrence

10/06/2020

Join me for Story Book Science, THIS Wednesday on Facebook at 10am! I’ll be reading “She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein” written by Lynn Fulton and illustrated by Felicita Sala with permission from Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. I hope to see you then!

Are you ready for a brand new iNaturalist.org Bio Blitz with the KU Natural History Museum? We're taking this citizen sc...
10/05/2020

Are you ready for a brand new iNaturalist.org Bio Blitz with the KU Natural History Museum? We're taking this citizen science project from October through December 31, tracking seasonal species variation! Download the iNaturalist app, search for the project "KUNHM BioBlitz: Seasonal Species Variation" and start documenting the changes in the flora and fauna of Douglas County with us!

Our iNaturalist project is also a great tool to explore and learn more about the biodiversity of our area!

Some things to look for as we move into fall:
🌻Sunflowers - Our state flower, dry up during the winter and while some gardners "deadhead" them, removing the withering flowers, it's best to leave them intact for foraging birds to find!
🦉 Barred Owl - In the winter, the usually somewhat varied diet of a Barred owl is mostly or entirely made up of rodents.

JOIN THE PROJECT: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/kunhm-bioblitz-seasonal-species-variation?tab=species

10/01/2020
Ecosystems of Kansas Episode 1: Adaptations and Biomes

Welcome to the premiere of the new Kansas Ecosystems for Elementary Students video series! Today we’ll be sharing information about adaptations and biomes! How do animals and plants adapt to their ecosystems? To different biomes? What is a biome? Learn from KU scientists in Episode 1: Adaptations and Biomes! Note: all episodes will premiere with the Spanish-language version, followed by the English-language version. Questions? Comments? Let us know by posting in the comments.

This broader impacts project is led by Dr. Peggy Schultz, KU Environmental Studies Program Associate Specialist, and her team. (Grant: Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006.)

Wichita Public Schools
Buffalo Jones Elementary School
Manchester Park Elementary PTO
Hillcrest Elementary School-USD 497-Lawrence, KS
Kansas Biological Survey and KU Field Station
KU Environmental Studies Program
Kansas NSF EPSCoR
Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

10/01/2020
Ecosistemas de Kansas Episodio 1: Adaptaciones y Biomas

¡Bienvenidos al estreno de nuestra nueva serie de videos titulada Ecosistemas de Kansas para Alumnos de Primaria! ¡Hoy les compartiremos información acerca de adaptaciones y biomas! ¿Cómo es que las plantas y los animales se adaptan a sus ecosistemas? ¿Se pueden adaptar a otros ecosistemas? ¿Qué es un bioma? Aprende de los científicos de KU en el Episodio 1: Adaptaciones y Biomas. Nota: Todos los episodios se estrenarán primero en su versión español, seguidos de su versión en inglés. ¿Preguntas o comentarios? Escríbelos como comentarios debajo de cada video y te responderemos.

Este proyecto es dirigido por la Dra. Peggy Schultz, especialista asociada del programa de Estudios Ambientales de KU, y su equipo. (Conceder Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006.)

Wichita Public Schools
Buffalo Jones Elementary School
Manchester Park Elementary PTO
Hillcrest Elementary School-USD 497-Lawrence, KS
Kansas Biological Survey and KU Field Station
KU Environmental Studies Program
Kansas NSF EPSCoR
Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

Address


Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(785) 864-4450

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Videos

Category

Microbes, mosasaurs, and more!

The University of Kansas Natural History Museum, part of the Biodiversity Institute, is home to four floors of public exhibits from microbes to mosasaurs. Explore the historic Panorama, live insects and snakes, vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, parasites, and the flora and fauna of the Great Plains. The museum provides content-rich, hands-on informal science learning for K–12, scouts, college students, and communities. The museum also offers a wide range of public programs and events for all age groups. The museum is open to all and admission is contribution-based. Members and volunteers are integral to the museum and information on both can be found on our website.

The KU Biodiversity Institute studies the life of the planet for the benefit of the Earth and its inhabitants. The institute and the museum accomplish this mission through the acquisition, curation, and study of collections of plants, animals, fossil material, and cultural artifacts for undergraduate, graduate, and public education, as well as research and public and professional service.

The Biodiversity Institute’s worldwide collections of almost 10 million specimens and 1.2 million archaeological artifacts encompass the study of archaeology, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, mammals, plants, parasites, insects, fossil plants, and animals. More than 100 research scientists and graduate students study the species, ecosystems, evolution, and cultures of the planet. They use this information to model and forecast environmental phenomena that are critical to human well-being, including threatened and endangered species, the potential spread of diseases and pest species, and the effects of climate change on Earth’s biodiversity and habitats. Learn more at biodiversity.ku.edu

Nearby museums

Comments

Dr. Rudy Sookbirsingh....
We invite you to attend a first of its kind discussion in Kansas. The event is open to scholars and the public. FREE. Refreshments will be served. Panelists Courtney Little Axe, Assistant Native American Graves Protection & Reparation Act Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA. E. Felicia Cisneros, Graduate Student Global Policy;Arts & Cultural Management University of Texas, Austin, TX. Dr. Laura Murphy, Assistant Professor Sociology & Anthropology Department Washburn University, Topeka, KS. Daniel Bagheri Sarvestani, Ph.D. Candidate Anthropology Department University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. https://www.facebook.com/events/836903970020003/
Took my two youngest children(14&6)to the museum for the first time while my 18-year-old and his dad were in meetings at KU today. We enjoyed it except for the 6-year-old who cried about the "creepy building with dead animals." I, for one, thought the building was fabulous! We will try again when he is older.
KU researchers investigated the site in Idaho. Great place to visit. It’s on BLM land.
My blog post about your wonderful museum!
Susan Magee Riordan have the kiddos seen this yet?
Epic: