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The main areas of focus of the Science Learning Division include archaeology and ethnology; mammalogy, entomology, and ornithology; vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology; and river and stream ecology and watershed biology. Our artifacts and specimens are worldwide in scope and range in size from microscopic spores to dinosaurs.

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Start exploring our collections! Please visit often for updates as we continue to add more selections from the Ethnology, Archaeology, Biology and Paleontology departments.
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Collecting Mexican Folk ArtCollecting Mexican Folk Art
The Science Museum's Cordry Intern in Latin American Folk Art recently returned to the museum after three months in the Mexican village of Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca. Mya Dosch, a 2009 graduate of Carleton College, studied the pottery production of the famed Aguilar sisters, and purchased 50 of their artworks for the museum's ethnology collection. Learn More


The Anthropology Department collaborates with other museum staff on anthropology-related exhibits and programming while also maintaining traditional collections-based curatorial and research activities. Staff members work with tribal communities, state and federal agencies, community groups, and other scholars and scientists on projects ranging from ethnographic research and collecting, to archaeological research and fieldwork, to education and interpretation. Learn More


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


The Paleontology Department's mission is to collect, research, and care for the fossilized remains of past life and to promote the professional and public understanding of extinct and modern life on Earth. Science Museum paleontologists take an interdisciplinary approach to their research programs by integrating information from fossil and living organisms to extract answers to questions of broad evolutionary significance. Staff conduct original research, collect new data through field and lab-based explorations, preserve fossils through curation of our collection, and bring paleontology to the public through exhibits and educational programming. Learn More

St. Croix Watershed Research Station

The mission of the St. Croix Watershed Research Station (SCWRS) is to foster, through research and outreach, a better understanding of the ecological systems of the St. Croix River basin and watersheds worldwide. Since its founding in 1989, the station has hosted research projects focusing on the St. Croix River and its environs and has become a center for long-term ecological research studies of land-water interaction. Educational outreach through the exhibits and programs of the Science Museum of Minnesota reaches over 1 million people per year. Learn More

Collections Services

The Collections Services Department works to ensure the physical integrity of, protect and maintain the intellectual content for, and provide access to the collections and their documentation for museum staff, outside researchers, and the inquiring public. The anthropological, biological, paleontological, and geological collections are used as the basis for research and scholarly publications by Science Museum curators as well as visiting scientists. Working with curatorial departments as well as Exhibits and Education, Collections has specific responsibility for museumwide collections management. Learn More