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Staff and volunteers in Biology at the Science Museum of Minnesota perform the primary functions and goals of the department, which include:

  • to curate the biological collections;
  • to contribute support, content expertise, and specimens to exhibits and programs;
  • to establish collaborative research partnerships with organizations such as the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources;
  • to conduct research activities and publish significant or relevant findings;
  • to network with other researchers and institutions by increasing information about and accessibility to the biology collections;
  • to provide object identification and information programs for the general public.

Members of the public are encouraged to report road- and window-killed birds or unusual forms of wildlife for preservation in the museum's, DNR, or University of Minnesota collections. Donors should record the date and location of discovery with the specimens, then tightly bag, seal and freeze the specimens before arranging delivery to the Science Museum. The museum holds current Federal and State salvage permits for legally preserving these specimens.

Questions concerning wildlife or natural history are welcomed by the Biology Department, and information on the cleaning of skeletal remains by dermestid beetles is also available.

For more information about the Biology Department, or if you have a specimen to donate, please contact Richard Oehlenschlager at or (651) 221-9450.