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New Texas Natural Science Center offers education, exhibits and research

New Texas Natural Science Center offers education, exhibits and research
AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin will combine the Texas Memorial Museum, nationally known natural history research collections, public exhibits, and science education and outreach efforts in a new Texas Natural Science Center.

The center, which hosts a variety of science outreach programs such as Austin Science Fun Day, will be a unit within the College of Natural Sciences.

“The name ‘Texas Natural Science Center’ reflects the scope of activities in which we are engaged,” says Dr. Ed Theriot, director of the center. “Everything we do is built on leading-edge research by our scientists and by faculty and students in biology and geology, and on the more than five million specimens we have collected over the years.  People know the Texas Memorial Museum best, but our three research labs and their collections are at the core of all we do.”

Texas Natural Science Center exhibits at the Texas Memorial Museum include dinosaurs and fossils, Texas wildlife, gems and minerals, and an interactive working paleontology lab where scientists prepare fossils. Many spectacular fossils found in Texas are on display, including the largest flying creature ever found—a Pterosaur.

Center staff and scientists participate in a variety of science education and outreach efforts, including Austin Science Fun Day, Identification Days, Family Dino Days and the enormously successful Science Express program, where center scientists and staff visit K-12 classrooms around central Texas.

All exhibits and education programs are based on the center’s collection of 5.7 million specimens, most of which are from Texas and many of which are unique and irreplaceable. Specimens come from the disciplines of paleontology, geology, herpetology, ichthyology and entomology.

Research facilities at the Texas Natural Science Center include the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory (the ninth largest collection in the nation), the Non-vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory (the sixth largest collection in the nation) and the Texas Natural History Collections.
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Friday, 22 September 2017

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