December 31, 2009

Top 10 of the Burke Museum in 2009

2009 was a busy year for the Burke Museum. In some ways it was a challenging year, as the museum was certainly not immune to the consequences of a national economic crisis, but the staff, board, and volunteers at the museum worked hard to accomplish a number of exciting things. Below, in no particular order, is a list of the top 10 moments at the Burke Museum from the past 12 months. Looking forward to an equally exciting 2010!

Curator discovers new fish species: “Psychedelica”Curator of fishes Ted Pietsch and UW master’s student Rachel Arnold discovered a fish unlike any other and named it “Psychadelica” for its wild and colorful patterns.

Education staff launch Burkemobile program
For the first time ever, Burke Museum educators traveled across the state to present programs to K-12 students in a new education outreach program called Burkemobile.

Museum starts natural history-themed trivia night at local pub
In a new effort to share knowledge about the museum’s exhibit, events, and collections, the Burke Museum communications staff started a monthly trivia night at the College Inn Pub, quizzing contestants about the natural and cultural world. Each trivia night exceeded our expectations, filling the College Inn to maximum capacity and creating an environment filled with lively competition.

Over 30 local coffee vendors help present Coffee: The World In Your Cup exhibit
Coffee: The World in Your Cup was an exhibit at the Burke Museum from January through September of this year that shared the stories behind global coffee production and consumption. Nearly each weekend during the run of the exhibit, coffee vendors from around the Puget Sound shared their knowledge of and passion for coffee at free tasting events.

Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway members’ preview draws record-breaking attendance
Two Fridays ago, over 550 members and friends of the Burke gathered at the museum to celebrate the opening of Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway, an exhibit featuring the art of Ray Troll and fossils from the Burke’s paleontology collection.

Olson Kundig Architects are selected to conduct a pre-design for a new Burke Museum building
Working alongside Olson Kundig Architects, Burke Museum staff and board members entered the first phase of expansion planning – a pre-design study to determine future building needs.

Paleontology curator studies new species
Christian Sidor, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum, was in the news a number of times this past year for his research on prehistoric mammals and mammal relatives, such as Kombuisia antarctica, a pre-mammal recently discovered in Antarctica.

David Boxley pole from Burke collection installed on UW campus
In September, a totem pole carved by Tsimshian artist David Boxley was raised at the UW Tower. Burke Museum staff and curators organized a dedication ceremony for the pole that was well attended.

Olympic Marmot designated as official state endemic mammal of Washington State
Curator of mammalogy Dr. Jim Kenagy spent many months advising a group of students from Wedgwood Elementary School as they prepared to testify to the Washington State legislature about the important of the Olympic Marmot to Washington’s heritage. The result? A new state endemic mammal!

UW student finds projectile point on campus
When a UW freshman stumbled upon a stone artifact while digging outside the Botany Greenhouse on campus, she called the archaeology experts at the Burke Museum who identified a 4,000-7,000 year old projectile point.

Posted by: Julia Swan, Communications