Tag Archive for: new mexico museum of natural history and science

Kudos Affiliates!! September 2022

Kudos to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature (Bradenton, FL) has secured $547,000 in state funding to expand its manatee care program, providing additional holding and acute care space in the statewide effort to rescue, rehabilitate, release, and monitor Florida’s manatees.

The National Coral Reef Conservancy (ReeFLorida) at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) secured $1,150,000 in state funding for the Conservancy. The monies will provide groundbreaking research, education, and conservation to save Florida’s damaged coral reef while connecting the Miami community to STEM-based education opportunities with the goal of conserving, restoring, and sustaining Florida’s Coral Reef.

The Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) was awarded $15,000 under the Morris County Small Business Grant Program, to assist in part with operating expenses following a four-month shutdown of the museum due to the pandemic. In addition, the Museum was approved for a $186,939 Historic Preservation Trust Fund grant. The grant will help the museum to continue restoring the slate roof of the historic building.

The Putnam Museum and Science Center (Davenport, IA) received an equity grant from the Terracon Foundation, which support organizations that mirror Terracon’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. These grants are focused on systemic changes in racially diverse and underrepresented communities.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced grant awards for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities through the agency’s largest competitive grant program, Museums for America, and its special initiatives, Museums Empowered and Inspire! Grants for Small Museums.

Museums of America supports projects that strengthen the ability of individual museums to benefit the public by providing high-quality, inclusive learning experiences, maximizing resources to address community needs through partnerships and collaborations, and by preserving and providing access to the collections entrusted to their care. Affiliates funded through this year’s Museums for America program include:

  • Las Cruces Museum System (Las Cruces, NM) ($54,000) to adapt a museum exhibit into an educational resource for school-based settings. The Indigenous Borderlands exhibit will launch at the Branigan Cultural Center in late 2022, exploring Indigenous history and culture of the “borderlands,” in the present-day Las Cruces, NM, El Paso, TX, Ciudad Juárez, MX region. The project team will collaborate with local Indigenous academics and cultural leaders to develop educational activities that complement the exhibit and augment school curricula. They will design a traveling trunk as a mobile educational kit loaned to schools for use by teachers. Indigenous partners will provide in-classroom and recorded talks in connection with the trunk.
  • Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) ($224,961) to implement an outreach program to support history organizations and individuals across Indiana in preserving their local stories. In response to a statewide needs assessment, the project will provide local organizations with training on best practices for collecting and retaining digital content.
  • Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA) ($151,580) to redesign the True Northwest: The Seattle Journey exhibition with a focus on integrating accessibility and inclusive design principles. The redesign will incorporate findings from a three-year evaluation of True Northwest and develop an exhibit that better reflects the lived experiences in the Puget Sound region.
  • Mercer Museum (Doylestown, PA) ($111,907) to improve the care, management, and intellectual control of 500 objects installed in 1916 in its Central Court, which has been preserved and exhibited as an historic interior.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($249,810) to launch the “Marking Queer Ohio” project to identify the stories, spaces, and places that reflect the impact of LGBTQ+ Ohioans in shaping the state’s larger history. As part of its Gay Ohio History Initiative, the museum will partner with Equality Ohio and a network of partners to build a foundation of primary sources to support the placement of ten LGBTQ+ historical markers across Ohio.
  • Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH) ($250,000) to fabricate and install the exhibit Ancient Worlds Hiding in Plain Sight, combining its invertebrate paleontology collection of more than 450,000 specimens with cutting-edge technology. Using an interdisciplinary approach and inclusive lens, the exhibit will blend science, history, and technology to enliven stories of the city’s prehistoric environment.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($222,670) to conduct a three-year project to advance collections stewardship for logistically challenging large bones of dinosaurs in the Morrison Formation fossil collection. The project will increase access to these scientifically significant specimens—including holotype specimens—for scholars and the public.
  • Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic, CT) ($236,788) to stabilize and improve the condition of film negatives from its collection that have been affected by a form of severe deterioration known as vinegar syndrome.
  • Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ) ($245,678) to improve the care, management, and long-term preservation and access to its collection of Native American materials, books, artist documentation, and archival collections.
  • Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA) ($104,690) to catalog and conserve items from its collection of art and associated ephemera of Japanese American artist Henry Sugimoto.
  • Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) ($116,857) to collaborate with Illinois library system partners to reach audiences throughout the state in advance of the October 2023 and April 2024 solar eclipses. The planetarium will develop a booklet and poster for librarians featuring solar eclipse educational activities and content. It will distribute these resources, along with a supply of solar viewing glasses, to every public library in Illinois, equipping them to share sky observing resources with their community members.
  • City Lore (New York, NY) ($190,000) to expand its “Creative Traditions” initiative by implementing a series of community-curated exhibitions, public programs, and mentoring opportunities to sustain the cultural traditions of diverse communities in New York City. The center will create a citywide network of folk and community-based artists, host monthly convenings and performances, and offer fellowships for four Cultural Ambassadors to curate exhibitions about their communities’ traditions and aspirations.
  • South Carolina State Museum (Columbia, SC) ($249,856) to improve the stewardship of its collections through a collections inventory and digitization project of 3,500 objects in its science and technology collection as well as 2,000 objects currently on view in its exhibition galleries.
  • Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, CT) ($84,015) to provide digital access to primary sources as a response to new state legislation mandating every secondary school in Connecticut offer a course on Black and Latino studies starting in the 2022–2023 school year. Project activities include developing 10 digital resource packs that will contain digital copies of primary sources from the history society’s collection, a lesson plan linking the primary sources to themes in the state curriculum, and a short video giving deeper context to the primary sources.
  • Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI) ($92,129) to improve the care and management of over 2,000 vertebrate specimens that include rare, endangered, threatened, and extinct species.

Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff is a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program supporting staff capacity-building projects that use professional development to generate systemic change within a museum. Affiliate awards include:

  • Wolfsonian (Miami Beach, FL) ($249,877) to expand the professional development opportunities that it offers to undergraduate and graduate students at Florida International University, a designated Hispanic Serving Institution.
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO) ($211,531) to develop a training program for emerging leaders in the museum. Six cohorts of 12 staff members will participate in a 12-week training program led by a newly hired training specialist to develop leadership skills.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums, a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program, is designed to reduce the application burden on small museums and help them address priorities identified in their strategic plans. Awarded Affiliates include:

  • Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA) ($37,781) to enhance its science education programs and outreach activities by transforming an existing underutilized laboratory into a new Exploration Lab.
  • Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI ) ($24,665) to improve the care of its collection through rehousing and inventory updates. Informed by a recent Museum Assessment Program (MAP) report, the museum will purchase and install five compact shelving units and reorganize their storage space to optimize collections care for approximately 165 objects from Michigan and the Midwest.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the projects for the National Leadership Grants for Museums program including:

  • Spurlock Museum (Urbana, IL) ($48,454) to develop an affordable, simple tool to measure the presence of ultraviolet (UV) light, which can cause irreparable damage to museum collections in galleries, work areas, and storage.
  • Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH) ($49,340) to test and evaluate a community of support program model to encourage museum visits through Museums for All, an initiative through which museums offer free or reduced admission to people receiving food assistance.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Union Station, Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) has been named one of the 37 most beautiful train stations in the world by Architectural Digest.

LEADERSHIP

The trustees of the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) announced the selection of Betsy Richards as the new Executive Director and Senior Partner with Wabanaki Nations. For over 25 years, Betsy Richards has been dedicated to building cultural and narrative power for Indigenous peoples and other BIPOC communities. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, she brings to her role a wealth of experience in museums, philanthropy, social justice, and the performing arts.

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs has named Anthony R. Fiorillo as the new executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (Albuquerque, NM). Previously, Fiorillo has been a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University. He will begin on September 19.

Kudos Affiliates!! November 2021

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced $87.8 million in American Rescue Plan funding to cultural and educational institutions to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, retain and rehire workers, and reopen sites, facilities, and programs including these Affiliate organizations:

History Colorado (Denver, CO)-$500,000-the continuation of adult and youth humanities programs, an installation of new exhibits, and new technology infrastructure, the retention of five positions and creation of six new contract positions.

Kona Historical Society (Kealakekua, HI)-$50,000- the creatation of a collections assistant position to increase the collections department’s capacity to catalog, digitize, house, and store a photograph collection documenting Hawaiian local history that is not currently accessible to the public.

Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA)-$50,000-the development and implementation of an oral history exhibition Vietnam: The Real War and The Things They Carried and the retention of 10 positions.

B & O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD)-$200,000-the implementation of the African American Railroad Oral Archives project, retaining eight jobs and creating three part-time positions.

USS Constitution Museum, Inc. (Boston, MA)-$199,676-the creation of “hands on” museum experiences and virtual
programming for children about the historic navy ship, the retention of seven staff positions and the restoration of four part-time positions.

Framingham State University (Framingham, MA)-$192,306-the creation of six digital humanities fellowships cut due to the pandemic, and the development of a digital humanities center.

Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA)-$117,655-updating the depiction of the history of the Native American people, retaining five jobs and creating six new contract positions.

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)-$200,000-the rehiring of a community history specialist to oversee the oral history collection project and the partial funding of six other staff positions.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS)-$458,007- to support ten positions for educational programming, My Mississippi: Virtual Visits and Shared Storytelling, at the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York, NY)-$199,510-the retention of five staff members to digitize and provide online access to the Vilna Territorial Collection, the Records of the Lithuanian Jewish Community Council, and the Jewish Customs Collection.

Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH)-$499,424-the creation of three curatorial and exhibition positions, as well as the retention of four archives and collections positions, for a cross-organizational project between the Cincinnati Museum Center and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH) OURstory: Making History Relevant for New Generations that would build collections management and exhibition development capacity.

Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK)-$93,442-the digitization of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s African American collections and retaining two jobs.

High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)-$187,487-the development of archival work and public programming on the history and culture of Central Oregon, focusing on the Plateau tribes in the region.

Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc.-($87,928)-to research and develop an exhibition on the historical contributions of women and African Americans to the Delaware and Lehigh Canal region, sustaining two staff positions and creating one additional position.

Whatcom Museum Foundation (Bellingham, WA)-$158,477-to support three staff positions and consultants to deepen scholarship and enhance a core exhibit about Coastal Native people, as well as the production of an educational video and establishment of an apprenticeship program related to historical totem poles to be exhibited and preserved.

Burke Museum (Seattle, WA)-$129,677-to develop K–12 educational materials and programming on Indigenous knowledge and perspectives.

Wing Luke Memorial Foundation (Seattle, WA)-$149,468-the retention of three core humanities staff positions to support curriculum development, teacher workshops, and live-virtual and in-person school field trips.

Buffalo Bill Memorial Association (Cody, WY)-$121,272-the retention of five staff members to further develop and
implement a teacher-training program in Native American studies.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota, FL) and Gulf Coast Community Foundation announced an expansion of their long-standing partnership.  During 2022, Gulf Coast will provide grant support for a variety of programs at Selby Gardens including the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series signature exhibition, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light; the My Garden membership program; and Seeing the Invisible: An Augmented Reality Contemporary Art Exhibition.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI) has officially completed the return of sacred land to the Narragansett Indian Tribe. The land is believed to be the site of the “Great Swamp Massacre.” Tribe members lit three fires representing the past, present and future, and recognized the return of five acres of sacred land.

LEADERSHIP

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs announced that Margaret M. Marino, executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (Albuquerque, NM), will retire effective Oct. 22, 2021. Marino was appointed in November 2015. A search for the Museum’s new executive director will begin immediately. Deputy Director Gary Romero will serve as acting director.

Kudos Affiliates!! November 2019

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced grant awards totaling $21,726,676 for museums across the nation to improve services to their communities including the following Affiliate projects:

Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA): $128,200 to conduct formative evaluation and community research to guide the redesign of its core exhibit, “True Northwest,” which traces the history of Seattle.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO): $249,950 to redesign and expand its Space Odyssey exhibition with a renewed focus on inclusive and accessible informal learning opportunities.

Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH): $250,000 to develop a permanent exhibition to showcase its invertebrate paleontology collection and develop related educational programming that builds on a strong commitment to gender equity.

Ohio History Connection (Columbus, OH): $233,403 to continue its work to empower New Americans to become community leaders and advocates for their communities of origin. Originally funded through the IMLS Community Catalysts initiative, the project connects New American leaders with established community resources and fundamental civic education in order to build a base of knowledge that increases their sense of belonging in the larger metropolitan community.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA): $167,522 to rehouse a portion of its mycology and fish collections to secure their long-term preservation and to improve access for the benefit of researchers, students, government biologists, and citizen scientists.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, WA): $136,134 to draw on its collections to supplement the Asian Pacific American (APA) history curriculum in Washington state schools.

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, MI): $113,221 to improve accessibility, environmental conditions, and housing for more than 5,000 vertebrate specimens, including rare, endangered, and threatened species.

Conner Prairie Interactive Historic Park (Fishers, IN): $104,500 to address institutional challenges relating to diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion (DEAI) and strengthen its relevance to the communities it serves by implementing policies, procedures, and training.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC): $105,085 to train staff members on the design and delivery of accessible content for its public programs and exhibits.

 

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, IN) received a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation’s “Powerful Communities” program, to support conservation, habitat and forest restoration and other environmental initiatives. The funding will be used to provide White River shoreline stabilization and conduct a pond analysis in Hamilton County.

The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, NE) received a grant of $2,000 from Humanities Nebraska to support an Apollo 11 50th Anniversary exhibit.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (Canton, OH) was awarded $189,800 by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to support Camp Invention and Invention Project programming.

The PNM Resources Foundation awarded “reduce your use” grants totaling $100,000 to 21 New Mexico nonprofits, including the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Foundation (Albuquerque, NM). The $5,000 grant will allow the organization to spend less on electric bills and more on providing essential services.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The Indiana Historical Society (Indianapolis, IN) was the recipient of the Best Practices Award from the Association of Midwest Museums. The award recognizes the Heritage Support Grants program for its support of regional historical societies, museums and sites across the state. Created in 2016 with support from a $3.48 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., the program provides grants and workshops to Indiana organizations, allowing them to raise the bar when caring for the state’s history. The grants help meet high-priority needs while workshops provide education on fundraising.

The Association of Science-Technology Centers awarded its first Leading Edge Overcomer Award to the American Museum of Science & Energy (Oak Ridge, TN) for the collaborative ways the Museum engaged its local community partners during a move into a new building with state-of-the-art exhibits.

Science Museum Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK) has been recognized with a 2019 Reader’s Choice Award as a top venue for special events in Oklahoma City by the publishers, editors and readers of ConventionSouth, a national multimedia resource for event planning.

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, part of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (Jackson, MS) was honored at the international museum conference Best in Heritage. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum was selected for its Chaney Goodman Schwerner Theater that received the 2018 MUSE Gold Award from the American Alliance of Museums. The award winning theater examines story of the murder of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner during the 1964 Freedom Summer.

From left to right: Denice Blair (MSU Museum Education Manger), Chong-Anna Canfora (MSU Museum Development Director), David Mittleman (Grewal Law), Amanda Smith (Sister Survivor), Mark Auslander (MSU Museum Director), Mary Worrall (MSU Museum Curator), Elena Cram (Sister Survivor)

Michigan State University Museum’s (East Lansing, MI) “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” exhibit was awarded the 2019 Peninsulas Prize for its impact and exceptional programming by the Michigan Museums Association.

LEADERSHIP

The Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO) has hired Todd Bastean as its next president and CEO, effective October 7. Barbara Boyle, who has served as the center’s interim president and CEO for the past year, will resume her role as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Kudos Affiliates! June 2018

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have a kudos to share? Please send potential kudos to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

Funding

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) announced a partnership with Ritz Charles to invest approximately $3 million to renovate and expand Eli Lilly’s historic Chinese House. Support for the project includes a $500,000 pledge from Jay and Nancy Ricker, the founders of Ricker Oil Company, Inc., and a $500,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities announced a total of $136,429 in new grants to 14 humanities initiatives across the state including the Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence). The Society received a $12,000 Documentary Films grant to support films that preserve Rhode Island’s stories and bring its history to life.  The funding goes towards the development of the film Triple Decker, A New England Love Story.

DaVinci at New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ScienceThe New Mexico Humanities Council awarded a $5,000 grant to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to support its series of education programs, Da Vinci Dialogues. The Dialogues consist of public lectures, panel discussions, and workshops that illustrate the many facets of Da Vinci’s genius as an artist, inventor, and scientist.

Awards and Recognition

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) has named the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, Iowa) the “Silos & Smokestacks People’s Site of the Year.”

During the Pennsylvania Museums Annual Statewide Museum Conference, the winners of statewide Institutional Achievement Awards were announced including two Senator John Heinz History Center sites. Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village was recognized for its newest educational curriculum, First Peoples: Archaeology at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. The Fort Pitt Museum at Point State Park, Downtown, was recognized for its newest exhibition, From Maps to Mermaids: Carved Powder Horns in Early America.

Leadership Changes

W. James Burns has been named the new executive director of the Arizona Historical Society (Phoenix, Arizona). Dr. Burns comes to the Arizona Historical Society from the University of Arizona, where he served as Director of the Center for Creative Photography and the University of Arizona Museum of Art.

W. James Burns, Ph.D., Executive Director, Arizona Historical Society, Phoenix, AZ

what’s up in Affiliateland in March 2016

CONNECTICUT
Roger Connor, Curator at the National Air and Space Museum, will present a talk on “By the Stars to Victory: Making Aerial Celestial Navigation Practical Between the World Wars” as part of the Stars of the Smithsonian lecture series at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, 3.3.

PENNSYLVANIA
The traveling exhibition Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s opens at the Heinz History Center with two artifact loans from the National Museum of American History – a toy computer from 1965 and a vintage Mr. Potato Head, in Pittsburgh, 3.4.

NATIONWIDE
Over 40 Affiliates nationwide will take place in the special edition of Museum Day Live!, offering free admission and special programming on 3.12.

Carla Dove, Program Manager at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Carla Dove, Program Manager at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology

NORTH CAROLINA
Carla Dove, forensic ornithologist at the National Museum of Natural History, will explain to visitors her job in identifying what types of birds collide with airplanes, and how that helps to make aviation a safer industry at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, 3.12.

NEW MEXICO
Jeffrey Post, Curator at the National Museum of Natural History, will present a talk on the American gemstone jewelry collection at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, 3.15.

IDAHO
The Idaho Museum of Natural History opens SITES Titanoboa: Monster Snake exhibition in Pocatello, 3.19.

Briana Pobiner of the National Museum of Natural History holds a hominid skull.

Briana Pobiner of the National Museum of Natural History holds a hominid skull.

MASSACHUSETTS
Dr. Briana Pobiner, educator at the National Museum of Natural History, will present a talk on “Ancient Appetites: What Our Ancestors Really Ate and How We Know” at Framingham State University in Framingham, 3.21.

Road Report: Smithsonian Dazzles in New Mexico

The beauty of the “Land of Enchantment” began gradually as the plane started its relatively smooth descent over the Sandia Mountains into Albuquerque, home of two Smithsonian Affiliates and the nature of my visit. As I drove to my first destination of the day-National Museum of Nuclear Science & History-I understood why the Sandia Mountains got its name as the reddish hue of the coming sunset came into view. (Sandia means watermelon.)

I arrived at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to find Museum Director, Jim Walther, and Deputy Director, Greg Shuman, working tirelessly painting an exhibition space for the upcoming show “Art of the Reactor.” Jim extended me enough time to show some new collection additions, including a Delorean, which fit nicely in the “Pop Culture” gallery and explained how he has spent the past few days fielding media inquiries regarding the “hydrogen bomb” and its potential repercussions.

Chris highlights the Apollo Capsule (NASM) and details the story behind the lettering on the capsule.

Friday, I woke up early to begin my three hour drive through southwestern New Mexico to Alamogordo, site of the New Mexico Museum of Space History and home to over 30 artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum (NASM). I found Chris Orwoll, Division Director, at the Museum Support Center, appraising a huge collection donation from California. Chris showed me the lunar rover from NASM and explained the details for the restoration project, scheduled to be completed in 2017. Chris took me to the main museum complex, located in the foothills of the Lincoln National Forest and provides a magnificent view of the Tularosa Basin, home of Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range. Chris highlights the Apollo Capsule (NASM) and details the story behind the lettering on the capsule.

The culmination of my visit ended with a series of events at one of our newest Affiliates-New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science for the opening of the “Post Diamond Tiara” exhibit. A year in the making, the Post Diamond Tiara, on loan from the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), was unveiled by new Executive Director, Margaret (Margie) Marino to the “oohs” and “aahs” of the excited crowd of volunteers, donors and general public. The events were capped with the formal presentation of Certificate of Affiliation. The Post Diamond Tiara excitement will continue on March 15, when NMNH curator, Jeffery Post, will present a lecture on this and other artifacts of the NMNH gem collection.

My flight home allowed me to reflect on my stay in New Mexico and as with so many other trips, I understood and appreciated all the hard work, energy and enthusiasm the Affiliate staff members put into maintaining and showcasing their partnership with the Smithsonian. The reward was seen on the faces of the visitors seeing a thousand glistening diamonds for the first time and an appreciative smile came across my face.

So if you find yourself in New Mexico or any of the other 44 states where Affiliates reside, I encourage you to stop in and put a smile on your face.