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Meeting of the Board of Regents | November 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 9:20am

sed seal                                                                                                 

 

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

signature of Jeff Cannell

TO:

Cultural Education Committee

FROM:

Jeffrey Cannell

SUBJECT:

Museum Research 

DATE:

November 2, 2009

STRATEGIC GOAL:

4 and 5

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

Issue for Discussion

Dr. Jeremy Kirchman, Curator of Birds, will discuss the relationships between curation and research and the results of his recent research in New York and elsewhere.

Background Information

Research is one of the foundations of a museum. The New York State Museum is a world-class research institution with programs focused on archaeology, biology, geology and history. Researchers study molecules and whales, 1-billion-year-old rocks and recently built furniture, new species, extinct species, invasive species, and incipient species. Archaeologists study the beginnings of agriculture in the state and the conditions at the Albany Almshouse in the early twentieth century. Geologists unearth information on the beginnings of life in the state and on the oil and gas in rocks of the state. Biologists study insects that affect forests and crops and the plants that make up the forests and crops. Historians bring back to life the early Shaker communities and study the role of motorcycles on the state’s economy and people. NYSM abounds in exciting, interesting and important research projects that mimic the variety, beauty and grandeur of New York.

The diverse staff, composed of individuals with particular areas of expertise, tackles interesting and far-reaching topics that affect the environment and economy of the state and make the results available to state and federal agencies, academies and universities, schools and the general public.

Much of the funding for research at NYSM is obtained through extramural grants and contracts. In the last few years, for example, NSF has funded five research programs at NYSM as have numerous other smaller foundations and government agencies.