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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU's Zuhl Collection acquires a new curator

New Mexico State University has hired Marilyn Huff as the curator of the Zuhl Collection, which includes more than 1,000 rare geological items of petrified wood, fossils, rocks and minerals.



Marilyn Huff, pictured with artifacts from the Zuhl Collection, has been named curator of the collection at New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

As curator, Huff will keep track of the collection's contents, display and make it accessible to the public. In the future, Huff plans on having a self-tour through the artifacts in the university's library and the Alumni and Visitors Center. She also plans to develop a traveling exhibit that may be used in public schools.
Huff has an undergraduate degree in geology from Georgia State University and a master's in geochemistry from Georgia Tech. She has also done work on her Ph.D. at Louisiana State University. She has taught the introduction to geology course at NMSU and the Dona Ana Branch Community College, among others, for five years and has worked in libraries and with rocks for many years. She has also volunteered in public schools for the past eight years.

The Zuhl Collection is housed at the NMSU Alumni and Visitors Center and the Zuhl Library and is one of the largest on permanent display in the world.

The collection began after Herb and Joan Zuhl, while vacationing in Arizona, saw a farmer remove a log of petrified wood from his field. The Zuhls dug up a log and shipped it home, beginning a passion and a new gallery in Manhattan. Cutting and polishing pieces of petrified wood, the Zuhls created museum specimens and art which can be found at sites throughout the world. After retiring in Las Cruces, they formed a relationship with NMSU, contributing a gift to name its new library, Zuhl Library, as well as remodel and expand space in the Alumni and Visitors Center to house their collection.

The gallery is accessible to local citizens, school groups and visitors to the university and to southern New Mexico.

The Visitors Center hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Special hours may be available for groups. For more information call the center at (505) 646-3616.