An award is made to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) to provide cabinetry for uncrowding and re-curating the insect collection, ensuring optimum physical accessibility and preservation, and to initiate the electronic accessibility of the collection through populating the Museum's new database system, KE Emu. The collection comprises more than 796,000 specimens recording 130 years of changing biodiversity in the region and the world, and since 2007, has experienced the greatest period of growth in its 110-year history, a 728% increase in overall size. This increase has been coupled with concurrent research and focused collecting programs. DMNS is currently building a new state-of-the-art collections preservation facility. Over 100,000 records will be databased over the course of the project. Substantially improved accessibility and visibility will increase the use of the collection for scientific and outreach purposes. The butterfly and moth collection will be showcased, partially uncrowded and in new cabinets, during an international lepidopterist's conference that DMNS hosts in July 2012.

As one of the larger natural history museums in the country with 1.4 million visitors annually, DMNS will build on a record of providing access and opportunities to the public to view and learn about collections (3,600+ visitors to the entomology collection in 2011). The collection will continue to be leveraged to enhance the Museum's exhibits, visitor programming, various educational programs, and online venues. The Museum's large volunteer program, which unites the public with collections and science, will help carry out project-related tasks. A series of Scientists-in-Action satellite broadcasts that connect curators with grades 4-12 students will highlight the collections and their importance. Additionally, underrepresented high school students (young women and minority students) interested in science careers will work in the entomology collections on research and collections projects through the Museum's successful Teen Science Scholars Program.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
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Reed Beaman
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Denver Museum of Nature and Science
United States
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