UVM Wins Grant to Establish Vermont Natural History Museum

This is pretty awesome. UVM announced today that they’ve won a $470,000 grant to establish a Vermont Natural History Museum from the National Science Foundation. According to their release, it’ll allow the university to consolidate three major collections which they currently house: plants in the Pringle Herbarium and invertebrate / vertebrate collections from the Thompson Zoological Collections.

The award will be used to improve specimen storage conditions for each of the collections, reducing the chance of damage from fire, water and pests. It will also enable the university to significantly expand digital imaging efforts currently under way of both the animal and plant collections and of data retrieved from the specimen labels and collection archives.

The museum, a joint project of the Department of Plant Biology and the Department of Biology, will be located in Torrey Hall, where the collections currently reside.

Read the full release here.

Vermont isn’t hurting for scientific museums: the Fairbanks Museum of St. Johnsbury is a fine Natural History museum, although it isn’t state-specific, and the Montshire Museum of Science of Norwich is a great introductory location. It’ll be cool to see what comes of this, and hopefully, it’ll be open to the public.

Geek Things for July 1

  • Historic Tours, 9AM–5PM, Wilson Castle, Proctor. $10. (Castle)
  • High School Book Group, 4:30–5:15PM, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Free. (Teens)
  • ‘Birds By Ear’. Meet at History Hike. 10AM, Little River State Park, Waterbury. $2-3; call to confirm. (Birds)
  • David Fairbanks Ford – “Baby Penguins, Two-Headed Calves and the World of St. Petersburg’s Museums.” 6–8PM, Main Street Museum, White River Junction. Donations accepted. (Museums)
  • ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, 8PM, Montpelier City Hall Auditorium, Montpelier. $10-30. (Theater)
  • FNM – Friday Night Magic – Type 2 / Standard – $8 Entry Fee, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Constructed, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Color Mixing, 11:00 a.m., Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Fossils, 3:00 p.m., Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Planetarium presentation, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Fairbanks Museum, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • Star Party at GMO. Call Jack St. Louis 802-658-0184 (H), 802-656-1287 or Paul Walker 802-388-4220 (H), 802-861-8640 (W) for invite. 8:30pm-11:30pm, Green Mountian Observatory, Observatory Road, Hinesburg. (Astronomy)

Waitsfield Welcomes New Museum


Waitsfield welcomes in a new museum to Vermont, the Madsonian (a play on Mad River and Smithsonian) Museum of Industrial Design, founded by David Sellers. From the museum’s front page:

Welcome to the Madsonian, a museum of Industrial Design.  Our collection represents a lifetime of appreciation for and devotion to good design, displaying the best designed and most artistic everyday objects.  From cars to toasters, and from toys to canoes…
It is becoming more and more important to think carefully about how we as a civil society use our resources.  By making the everyday beautiful and well designed, and by recognizing and valuing that effort, we can reduce our throw-away culture and become one that surrounds ourselves with beauty, thoughtfulness and art.
The museum has in its collection work by designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Aalvar Alto, Raymond Loewy, Norman Bel Geddes, Eero Saarinen, and Marcel Breuer, to name a few.

The museum is located on 45 Bridge Street in Waitsfield, with an admission price of $5 for adults and 25 cents for anyone 21 and under, with several membership plans avaliable. Hours are Saturdays 12-5 and Sundays 12-4.

Vermont Toy & Train Museum

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here’s a museum to look into in Quechee: The Vermont Toy and Train Museum!

From the Queechee Gorge Website:

I Had One of Those! A journey through our museum will truly be a walk down memory lane. Visitors will enjoy the display of thousands of toys from metal to wind-ups, TV toys, lunch boxes, Star Wars, two operating model train layouts, educational videos, hands-on stations, and much more! The Vermont Toy Museum & Gift Shop was voted, “Best Toy Shop”, by Yankee Magazine and The Vermont Train Museum is featured on PBS’ Tracks Ahead program! The museums are FREE admission. Take home a classic treasure from our award winning Museum Gift Shop located upstairs. Ride our miniature passenger train and antique Allan Herschell carousel weekends only through October 17th, weather permitting, 10am – 5pm. Fun for the whole family!

Photo by The Jenya