MSB in Education
A primary strength of the Museum of Southwestern Biology is the focus on hands-on training and active learning for all levels of students from highs school students to post-doctoral associates. Over the past six decades, hundreds of biology students passed through MSB doors studying mammals, birds, fishes, amphibians and reptiles, arthropods, plants, and parasites. Student projects, fieldwork, and curatorial efforts in the museum enhance what we know about biotic diversity, climate change, emerging pathogens, habitat degradation and a host of important societal issues related to our environment. Many of our students have gone on to leadership roles in academia, private industry, public agencies and museums.The Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB) continues to be a major contributor to educational initiatives at UNM. Numerous undergraduate projects, graduate theses and dissertations, or projects in Biology, Anthropology, Art, and elsewhere use MSB specimens as a basis for their studies. Many undergraduate students associated with MSB continue on to graduate programs, professional schools or obtain jobs in conservation and management agencies in state, federal, or private sector positions. Each division immerses students in natural history, systematics, molecular biology, morphology, specimen preparation and curation, field studies, and web-based informatics.
MSB is vital to educational initiatives in UNM Biology and has become a leader in training international students, especially those from Latin America. Recently MSB has been the locus of large STEM training efforts as we sponsored two museum-centered programs (funded by the National Science Foundation) that focus on student success: Undergraduate Opportunities (UnO) and AIM-UP!