UW-Stevens Point opens research, teaching collections to the public

For the Metro Wire

Go behind the scenes at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point this April to get up close and personal with the museum collection as part of the ninth annual Collection Crawl.

Hosted by the Museum of Natural History, the event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 7. Offered to the public free of charge, it allows participants to see some of the more than 400,000 mammal, bird, insect, fish, reptile and amphibian, parasite, geologic, archaeological and fossil collections on display in several university buildings.

“This year we are featuring our paleontology collections,” said Ray Reser, museum director. “Although not made up of huge dinosaur bones, we have some pretty amazing plant, insect, turtle and fish fossils dating back over 53 million years.” The paleontology collection is curated by Lecturer Pat Zellmer of the Biology Department.

Visitors begin the Collection Crawl at Albertson Hall (University Library), where they pick up passports then gather stamps at 11 collection areas around campus. At each stop, university students will provide information and answer questions for families, students and community members who attend. Visitors may park for free in Lot R, which is accessible from Portage or Reserve streets.

In addition to the Museum of Natural History, access will be available to the following collections: archaeology, entomology (insects), geology (rocks), herbarium (plants), herpetology (amphibians and reptiles), ichthyology (fish), mammalogy (mammals), ornithology (birds), paleontology (prehistoric life) and parasitology (parasites).

The museum is an outreach and educational facility within the College of Letters and Science. The only public academic natural history museum in north central Wisconsin, the museum’s exhibits are on the first floor of Albertson Hall. The hours are Monday-Thursday, 7:45 a.m. to midnight; Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight. Learn more at www.uwsp.edu/museum.