The Florida Museum Of Natural History

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The Florida Museum of Natural History is a government-sponsored museum that is incorporated into the University of Florida in the city of Gainesville. The museum was established by Frank Pickel, a professor of natural science at the Florida Agricultural College in Lake City, and was dedicated to understanding, preserving, and interpreting biological diversity and cultural heritage. The state of Florida formally assumed ownership of the museum in 1917 and established it as part of the state university system. The purpose of the museum is set by Florida State Statue 1004.56 and requires the museum “to collect and maintain a depository of biological, archaeological, and ethnographic specimens and materials in sufficient numbers and quantities to provide within the state and region a base for research on the variety, evolution, and conservation of wild species; the composition, distribution, importance, and functioning of natural ecosystems; and the distribution of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites and an understanding of the aboriginal and early European cultures that occupied them.” The major weaknesses of the museum are in the absences of interactive educational displays, adjuncts for the states educational system, and the inability to reach the vast majority of its target audience. The collection policy and mission statements require the museum to provide statewide access of sufficient biological specimens for education and research. The current museum has

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