WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE MUSEUM OF
NATURAL SCIENCE IN CONSERVATION?
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) contributes to
conservation by promoting a greater understanding and appreciation
of Mississippi's biological diversity through collections,
research, scientific databases, education, and exhibits.
The Museum of Natural Science accomplishes our conservation
objectives by addressing two of the central themes of the MDWFP
I. CONSERVE AND ENHANCE MISSISSIPPI'S
WILDLIFE, FISHERIES, AND PARKS
Since our beginning in 1935, Biological Collections have grown
to contain more than 1 million specimens, representing the largest
single reference for Mississippi's vertebrate animales, freshwater
mussels, crayfish, and fossils.
In addition, the MMNS curates important collections of plants,
insects, and DNA specimens. These irreplaceable specimens document
species diversity, distribution, ecology, conservation status, and
natural heritage of Mississippi. They are an essential source of
information that is used regularly by resource managers,
biologists, and educators.
Research contributes to our knowledge of Mississippi's species
and biological communities, which provides an understanding and
appreciation of the state's biodiversity. Ecological monitoring and
surveys provide a scientific basis for protecting and conserving
our state's rarest species.
The Museum-based Natural Heritage Program manages a
comprehensive database of Mississippi species, communities,
ecosystems, and natural areas of conservation concern. Information
contained within this and other Museum databases is regularly used
by resource managers and land developers, and provides guidance for
species conservation and wise use of our land and water.
II. ENGAGE THE PUBLIC IN NATURAL RESOURCE
Conservation educators at the Museum provide age-appropriate,
hands-on programs to thousands of students on site and in
classrooms accross the state. All of our programs are carefully
coordinated with the school standard curriculum.
Through teacher workshops, we certify more than 1,000
Mississippi educators each year to teach conservation programs such
as Project WILD, Project WET, and Growing Up WILD.
We host numerous conservation education events each year, such as NatureFest, Make a
Splash, Fun Fridays, interactive Fish Feedings, Snake Day, and
Fossil Road Show.
We also produce conservation focused instructional resources
that include: printed materials, videos, object kits, and web-based
The Museum also provides professional contributions to
conservation through its many scientific publications and lectures.
Although a visit to the Museum of Natural Science is a
fun-filled and entertaining experience, the facilities and exhibits
are carefully crafted to inspire our visitors by providing
substance to our conservation mission. Located along the Pearl
River in Jackson, LeFleur's Bluff State Park is an ideal
location for a museum that is focused on the conservation of
Mississippi's natural landscape and its inhabitants. The site
provides a 300-acre natural landscape with more than two miles of
flora and fauna-filled nature trails designed to give visitors
opportunities for nature walks, photography, and the study of
living things in their environment.
Located inside the Museum are a variety of exciting exhibits,
including: a series of life-size displays of the state's diverse
habitats, a 100,000-gallon aquarium network housing over 200 living
species, and a 1,700-square foot greenhouse called "The Swamp."
Mississippi Museum of