Date of this Version
Pages 193-209 in Museum Studies: Perspectives and Innovations, Williams & Hawks, editors. Washington, D.C.: Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, 2007, 281 pages.
Selected literature and Internet sites were used to identify universities that provide graduate academic degrees relevant to the management and care of natural science research collections. Twelve universities with degree programs not dedicated to the arts or humanity fields were selected for closer evaluation. By analyzing the courses offered in museology and the natural sciences at each university, seven universities were identified as currently in a position to provide some level of education and training needed by the future workforce of natural science research collections. However, only two universities stood out as being in the best position to serve most of the academic needs for the entire natural science field. The primary ramification of this situation is that staffing will become a serious challenge for natural science research collections in the near future. To address this challenge universities should reevaluate programs in natural sciences and museum studies, and develop curriculum standards for museum studies programs.