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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to hold open house for natural history collections and laboratories

Natural history buffs will be able to view unique insects, plants and more during New Mexico State University's natural history collections open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 21.

The open house is part of NMSU's year-long celebration for the Year of Science 2009. The collections and laboratories to be showcased during the event are housed in buildings across campus and will be open for visitation at different times throughout the day.

The collections serve as teaching, reference and research tools. The Arthropod Museum, the University Museum, the Zuhl Collection, the Biology Herbarium, the Plant Pathology Laboratory, the Electron Microscope Laboratory, the Department of Astronomy, the Department of Geology, the Medicinal Plants Analytical Laboratory and the Food Microbiology Laboratory will be exhibited during the open house.

"We work for the people in the state and this is an opportunity for us to expand their knowledge and also show them that what we do at this university is important," said David Richman, associate professor of entomology, plant pathology and weed science and curator of the arthropod museum.

The Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) has designated 2009 as the Year of Science. Numerous landmarks in the field of science are being celebrated this year, including the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of a telescope to study the skies.

The NMSU Center for Natural History Collections joined with COPUS for the Year of Science. The center was formed in 2000 by NMSU faculty members, with the mission to preserve, document, protect, enlarge and enhance the natural history collections at the university.

It is currently working on establishing a central, permanent museum to house all of the collections. Another open house will be held in October. For viewing times and locations, contact Richman at (575) 646-2900 or nmbugman@taipan.nmsu.edu.