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Screen Time

DMNS @ Home  These were short clips some of us collections managers did to highlight some of our cool collections while the museum was still closed to the public due to COVID-19. 

This bit I did on the "Oldest Rock in the World" - the Acasta Gneiss from the far North of Canada.

Here we have the Scientists in Action episode we did in February of 2020.  A live stream DMNS produces that connects students in classrooms with scientists in the field - or in this case, collections managers in their storage rooms..  Wizarding style.

It all started with a blog.  While my wife at the time was in a conference, I took my son up to see the Dotsero Volcano near Glenwood Springs, Colorado and wrote a short blog post for the museum's website about our little excursion. The USGS lists Dosterso in their volcano hazards pamphlet...Our local NBC affiliate found said pamphlet, found my blog post on taking my son up there.. and soon I was the "expert" on this little volcano. (which I'm not).

This is our quarantine at home Science on the Spot via Zoom. We literally did this episode with whatever pictures were on our phones for Earth Day 2020.  It's rough, but it's us adapting to a pandemic! 


Kent, J., Sanchez, V.V., Tham, T.R., Busch, R. Gaither, C.


          Gallinazo and Moche at Santa Rita B: Middle Chao Valley, Northern Coastal Peru. In Gallinazo: an Early                          Cultural Tradition on the Peruvian North Coast. Edited by Jean-François with Magali Morlion. UCLA Costen                      Institute of Archaeology Press. Los Angeles California.

Gaither, C., Bethard, J., Kent, J., Sanchez, V.V., Tham, T.R., Busch, R.


           Strange Harvest: A Discussion of Sacrifice and Missing Body Parts on the North Coast of Peru. Andean Past.                 Volume 9. University of Maine. Orono, Maine.


Busch, R.


            Excavaciones del Sito Cerro Santa Rita. In Informe Final: Manejo Ecosustentable y Desarrollo Cultural del                      Complejo Arqueologico Santa Rita “B”. Editors: Dr. Jon Kent, Lic. Teresa Rosales Tham and Lic. Victor Vasquez              Sanchez. Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Peru.


Kent, J., Sanchez, V.V., Tham, T.R., Busch, R.


            Analisis de Pigmentos Mediante EDAX (Análsisde Energía Dispersiva por Rayos X) de Contextos                                    Arqueológicos de Santa Rita “B”, Valle de Chao – Costa Norte del Peru. Universidad de Trujillo, Peru.


Kent, J., Tham, T. R.; Sanchez, V.V.; Busch, R.; Gaither, C.


            Las Entidades Gallinazo y Moche en Santa Rita B y Cerro Santa Rita: Valle Medio de Chao, Coasta Norte                        Peruana. Paper Presented at Gallinazo: Una Tradición Cultural Temprana en la Coasta Norte del Perú. Trujillo,                Peru.


Moore, L., Busch, R.


            The Hogback Valley and its relation to Denver Area Prehistory. Southwestern Lore. 69(3).





2018       American Alliance of Museums. Phoenix, Arizona

               Connect with Me and I Care.

                        Full Abstract:

                                             This session will explore the ways in which nonpermanent education and teaching                                                           collections are used in different institutions and settings to effectively engage and inspire                                                 audiences. Panelists will discuss how they assessed legal and documentation                                                                   requirements, set policies that sync with practice, determined what types of education                                                     collections were needed, and more.


2017    Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Annual Meeting: Denver, Colorado.

            All Access: Transcending the Present

                        Full Abstract:

                                            For a number of years now, we collections professionals have pondered how we might                                                    increase access to our collections. Indeed, many white boards and job descriptions alike,                                                have at one point, held the phrase “facilitate access to collections”.  But what does this                                                    exactly mean? Chances are, you’re currently thumbing your way through the gyri of your                                                  brain thinking to yourself “it means a variety of things!” And you’d be not entirely wrong.                                                    However, I can probably guarantee there at least a couple words you didn’t think of, that                                                  you need to start thinking of.  These absent words, however, few and small they are,                                                        represent a few key recognitions that we must internalize if we are to be successful in                                                      making our collections accessible.  In this talk, I will review a few definitions of what it                                                        means to have an accessible collections – and perhaps most importantly: why the “build it                                              and they will come” paradigm is no longer valid. Do not despair, we are on the right path,                                                but we are not there yet – there is still work to do (you might say being stewards of a                                                        natural history collections is an – evolving – process…).  I will also explore a few projects                                                  that the Education Collections at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is                                                                  experimenting with, while not polished products, we feel will help re-frame what museums                                                should be considering when we say our collections are accessible.


2017    IMERSA (Immersive Media Entertainment, Research, Science & Arts) Summit: Denver, Colorado.

            The Reality of Virtual Collections: A Museum Application

                      Full Abstract:

                                            In the last 5 years, remarkable advances in the accessibility of Virtual Reality (VR) and                                                      Augmented Reality (AR) systems and software have opened entirely new possibilities in                                                  granting public access to museum collections. Visitors to museums are well aware of the                                                  exhibits and objects we have on display, what they are less aware of, is that those objects                                                account for only 1% of what the museums store and preserve. This session will highlight a                                                DMNS exploratory project to make museum collections accessible to the world via VR. The                                              small project team is developing a prototype workflow to capture 3D likeness of Museum                                                  specimens using inexpensive photogrammetry techniques with the end goal of having the                                                models of be interacted with in virtual, native environments. These 3d models are then                                                      adapted for display using VR headsets, distribution on the web, and display on the                                                          Planetarium dome. Presenters will review the workflow, training and tools utilized for this                                                    prototype.

2016    Peer Revue/Science Riot. Denver, Colorado

            Scientists doing Stand-up Comedy… about science.  


2016    A DMNS Partnership with Great Divide Brewing Company and TRVE Brewing.

            Beers Made by Walking.


2015    Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Annual Meeting: Gainesville, Florida. 

            Door-to-Door Natural History: the Education Collections Loan Program at the Denver Museum of Nature              & Science.

                     Full Abstract:

                                          The Education Collections at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has been sending                                                  specimens off site to schools in the Rocky Mountain Region for nearly 25 years. Beyond our                                            normal outreach programs, which also prominently feature the DMNS Education Collections,                                            the School Loan Program works directly with teachers and their curriculum to get authentic,                                              natural history objects into the school classroom. In an age where digital media makes up                                                most of our lives, museums remain the Repository of the Real. Working on an individual                                                    basis with school teachers of all educational pedagogies–from Montessori to public schools                                            systems–on their terms with their curriculum and standards requirements, the DMNS                                                        Education Collections send real dinosaur bones, real minerals, real archaeological material                                              and real animals directly to their classroom or library. This talk focuses on the processes that                                            we have implemented to make this a successful program–not only for the DMNS Education                                              Collections, but also for the teachers that that are accessing the collections–as well as some                                            of the risks we assume with a program such as this (and just how real those risks are). This                                              presentation will also cover some of the additional learning curves we have faced–beyond                                                our normal collections management and preservation knowledge and into the realm of state                                            standards, classroom management, and standardized testing


2015  A DMNS Partnership with Great Divide Brewing Company.

          Beers Made by Walking.


2014    Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Annual Meeting: Cardiff, Wales

            Making Meaning with Museum Collections

                     Full Abstract:

                                         The museum world is changing.  Just in the last 30 years, the museum community has seen                                             a shift in their public audience base from passive observers to active participants. The t                                                   transition into the digital age has also given the world unprecedented access to media and                                             information.  We must also consider academic audiences and how their research and                                                       collecting practices have changed with technology and the impact this has had on our                                                     collections. The Education Collections at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has been                                           exploring this topic of making our museum collections relevant and accessible to our                                                       audiences for the last 20 years. Education Collections Manager, Rich Busch, will share some                                           insights and strategies on what has worked for this department, what we understand about                                             our audiences, what challenges we have faced and what direction we hope to take in the f                                               future.

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