Date of this Version
The Nebraska Academy of Sciences is the oldest interdisciplinary scientific organization in Nebraska and one of the oldest and most successful state academies in the United States. It was founded in Omaha on January 30, 1880, and there were seventy-five Charter Members from eighteen communities.
The Union Pacific Railroad officials and employees provided much of the impetus for the establishment of an Academy of Sciences in Nebraska by providing office space and meeting rooms near the Union Pacific headquarters. Railroad passes were issued to all science teachers, professional scientists, and interested citizens to attend monthly meetings. Five of the officers were from the Union Pacific staff.
The Academy was formed to encourage the exchange of scientific data and to improve the communication between the various disciplines of scientific research and teaching in the different educational institutions in Nebraska. The goals of 106 years ago are basically the same as those of today. Interest in the Academy has continued and now there are twelve sections; two divisions, GNATS (Greater Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science) and TER-QUA (Institute for Tertiary and Quaternary Studies); three Junior Academies; two Collegiate Sections; and nine associated societies.