Olson Seminar features history, mission of NU State Museum

Visitors line up to gain entry to the University of Nebraska State Museum on Feb. 18.
Visitors line up to gain entry to the University of Nebraska State Museum on Feb. 18.

The mission and history of the University of Nebraska State Museum will be the topic of the next Paul A. Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies.

Priscilla Grew, director of the museum, will present "Engaging Lifelong Learners in Natural History: The Land-Grant Mission of the University of Nebraska State Museum," from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St. Sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies, the seminar is free and open to the public.

"Established just nine years after the Morrill Act of 1862, Nebraska's 'cabinet and museum' was originally funded by the university Board of Regents to provide accessible, hands-on study materials for students and faculty," Grew said.

"A national leader in informal science education today, the State Museum continues the land-grant traditions of teaching, research, and service to users of all ages, engaging them in the excitement of discovery and learning about natural history and world cultures. The museum's collections help preserve for future generations the natural and cultural heritage of the Great Plains, and of the world beyond."

Also a professor in UNL's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Grew has conducted interdisciplinary research on environmental and social impacts of coal and water development in the Colorado River Basin, particularly in the region around Lake Powell. She serves as the UNL coordinator for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, under which Native American human remains from past university archaeological collections are returned to tribes through a complex federal process. As director of the State Museum, Grew focuses on promoting the understanding of biodiversity through geologic time.

For more information or accommodation, contact the center at 402-472-3082 or visit http://www.unl.edu/plains.

— Linda Ratcliffe, Center for Great Plains Studies