The Auburn University Museum of Natural History is dedicated to serving our community through education and outreach. Some of the ways in which we do so are by educating people of all ages about our flora and fauna and its importance, by bringing program participants in contact with Alabama’s vast biodiversity, and empowering Alabamians to help champion its conservation. To these ends, museum staff participate in various education and outreach programs here on campus and throughout the state serving over two thousand people over the last year alone. Below are a few select examples of AUMNH education and outreach programs. For more information on AUMNH programs, please contact the AUMNH Education Coordinator.
AUMNH School Programs
Led by the AUMNH Education Coordinator, museum staff provide interactive hands-on programming to school children on a wide range of natural history subsect. Participants range in age from Pre-K through high school. Programs are held at the museum, at schools, and at field sites like the Wehle Nature Center. Education programs are designed to be stand alone or purchased along with a tour of the collections.
Contact our Education and Outreach Coordinator, Toni Bruner directly to discuss a class designed for your specific needs.
Curious Curators – 5 days! 5th – 6th graders & 7th – 8th
Why do we have natural history museums? Why are they important? How do they grow? From field to museum, campers will explore our local biodiversity, make collections, and learn how to curate them. We will explore swamps, streams, forests, and grasslands for plants and animals and even some fossils. Campers will have a new appreciation for the diversity of the region and the scientists that study it.
First Wednesdays – Museum Tours (Currently Suspended due to COVID)
As a research and education museum, the AUMNH does not house public collection space. In order to provide opportunities for the public to visit the museum and learn about the collections, public tours are held the first Wednesday of each month.
AUMNH Fall Open House (Suspended due to COVID)
Auburn fans explore the AUMNH collections before partaking in another Auburn victory on the gridiron. In a growing tradition, the museum opens its doors to the public during a football weekend. Visitors are granted access to the collections and museum staff are present to answer any questions that they may have.
Merit Badge University
Each March the museum participates in Alpha Phi Omega’s Merit Badge University. Boy Scouts spend the day at the museum learning about Amphibians and Reptiles while earning their Reptile and Amphibian Study merit badge.
FrogWatch USA Volunteer Training Workshops
The AUMNH is home to a chapter of FrogWatch USA. FrogWatch USA is a national citizen science program where volunteers collect crucial data on when and where frogs are calling. Participation is open to everyone and no prior experience or expertise is required. To participate, volunteers must attend a volunteer training workshop and commit to learning the calls of our local frogs. To learn more about FrogWatch, visit our citizen science page or the AUMNH FrogWatch USA Chapter page.
Each year the AUMNH participates in COSAM’s Destination STEM Day. Destination STEM is an interactive experience where middle and high school students considering careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math! The event gives students a chance to learn about our campus, our programs and the incredible opportunities offered through Auburn’s COSAM. In 2019 over 1200 students had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with AU students and faculty and experience interactive exhibits.
Mountains to the Gulf
AUMNH is excited to continue our partnership with Legacy Partners in Environmental Education. During Legacy’s 7-day educator expedition, Mountains to the Gulf participants travel the state learning about Alabama’s amazing biodiversity. We’re always happy to share AUMNH collection with the group.
A great time was had by all at the 2019 Sustainability Picnic where students had the chance to connect with student groups, programs, and opportunities that make a difference. There was live music, food and door prizes. We loved seeing all the students and showing of some of our amazing animal ambassador like Blue our Indigo snake.
Green Ribbon Schools
AUMNH Education Coordinator Toni Bruner would be thrilled to talk to you about how your school can become an AL-GRS. The mission of Alabama Green Ribbon Schools (AL-GRS) is to recognize Pre-K-12 schools and institutions of higher education that nurture and promote environmental, health, and sustainability education and practices. This includes demonstrating responsible stewardship of Alabama’s natural resources, promoting the safety and wellness of children and adults, and encouraging an appreciation of Alabama’s rich natural heritage. AL-GRS mirrors the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) in recognizing Pre-K-12 schools and institutions of higher education (IHE) that show exemplary dedication to the following the three pillars.
Other AUMNH Education Outreach Participants
Girl Scouts of Alabama
Green Gables 4-H Club
Alabama Forestry Association
Auburn University SPARKS Program
City of Auburn
Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society
Birmingham Water Works