EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Worldwide, comparatively few training programs in environmental, evolutionary, and biomedical sciences are centered at university museums. Consequently, MSB plays a primary role in using collections-based experiences to train the next generation of investigators in these areas. UNM is a “Minority Serving Institution” and MSB is attracting top high school, undergraduate, and graduate students from diverse ethnic backgrounds to work on collections-based projects.
Graduate Students: A large proportion of the projects supported by MSB specimens are dissertation questions, ca.15 current or recently completed dissertations at UNM and a minimum of 30 dissertations at other institutions (e.g., Texas Tech, UCLA; Oregon State Univ.; Univ. Minnesota) are currently using MSB specimens.
Undergraduate Students: Students on NSF-REUs and in UMEB have participated in field, lab, or museum projects throughout the West and in Latin America. Our specimens support promising undergraduate projects and several recent honors theses have been based in the museum. The collection also serves as lab material in courses such as General Biology, Vertebrate Zoology, Molecular Evolution, and Mammalogy.
High School Students: Minority high school students also worked with support from NSF's program "Research Assistantships for Minority High School Students." Other programs such as "Resource Apprenticeships for Students" (Bureau of Land Management, 9 high school students over 4 years) and federal work-study funds (24 students since 1993) have provided training to many budding scientists. Indeed, many of today's best scientists and scholars began their careers associated with museums and a large number of MSB affiliated students are now professional scientists.
Undergraduate Opportunities (UnO) in research at the University of New Mexico has a goal in this 5-year program to recruit and prepare for graduate study and research careers at least 20 undergraduate students (5 cohorts of 6 students (as many as 12 students per year when cohorts overlap). All students will have 1-3 years of preparation and concentrated research with faculty mentors based in the Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB), Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER), Biology Department and University Honors Program.
AIM-UP! is a newly funded NSF Research Coordination Network focused on new ways
of incorporating the extensive archives and databases of natural history museums
into undergraduate education. This year’s theme is Integrated Inventories:
Complex Biotic Associations Across Space and Time”. AIM-UP! is refining existing
efforts and developing new integrated approaches to collections-based training
in large-scale questions using the combined and broad-based expertise of
educators, curators, collection managers, database managers, and scientists
whose teaching and investigations span various disciplines and relate to topics
covering a wide spectrum of time and space. AIM-UP! began as a collaboration
between the University of Alaska, Harvard University, the University of
California at Berkeley, and UNM, but is expanding to other educational
institutions, federal agencies, Latin American institutions, and a large
museum-based genetic consortium in Canada. Future educational themes to be
explored include Geographic Variation, Evolutionary Dynamics of Genomes, Biotic
Response to Climate Change, and Co-evolving Communities of Pathogens and Hosts
as Related to Emerging Diseases.
If you are interested in finding out more about the activities
and objectives of AIM-UP! please visit the website at: http://www.aim-up.org or contact Joseph Cook.
MSB has a stong tradition of undergraduate mentoring:
Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology
Mammalogy Class field trips
Animal Tracks of Humbolt County (A Guide to the Common Animal Tracks Found on California’s North Coast.)
Animal Diversity Web
SchoolWorld Internet Education - Endangered Species Project
Nearctica - North America Natural History
Education and Research (Undergraduate/Graduate)
New Mexico Bat Call - Library, Research, and Reference site for bat acoustics
Mammal Species of the World
New Mexico Game and Fish BISON-M Species Account Database
New Mexico Natural Heritage Program
University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web
Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Reseach (LTER) Field Station
BIOSIS and the Zoological Society of London - Zoological Record
Belize Biodiversity Information System