Faculty, staff, and students affiliated with the Georgia Museum of Natural History play an important role in public service and outreach in Georgia.
The Museum links collections and the research done with the collections to the needs of the state and the natural history curiosity of its citizens. Public service and outreach programs associated with the Georgia Museum of Natural History have two primary goals: to be a source of technical information for federal, state, and local agencies as well as private firms involved in managing the state's natural resources and to provide natural history education to the general public. The role of the Georgia Museum in the management and preservation of our natural heritage is vital.
The collections affiliated with the Museum are inventories of the cultural, biological, and geological heritage of the southeastern United States, one of the most diverse temperate regions in the world. Many of the collections contain unique historical records of locations and species that are now destroyed, extinct, endangered, or rare. These museum specimens are the only permanent existing record of much of our cultural and natural landscape. As more areas are developed, these specimens provide a picture of what once was and is no more.
The personnel affiliated with the Museum are often the only ones in the state who can provide accurate inventories and identifications of materials for managers, scientists, and members of the public. Using the specimens and the information associated with them to conduct applied research and provide technical service is an important activity. Each year the Museum's staff respond to thousands of requests for loans, surveys, general information, identifications, and inventories. Most of these originate within Georgia from agencies such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forestry Service, the Cooperative Extension Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Forestry Commission, and Georgia Department of Transportation as well as from private organizations and members of the general public.
An equally important role for the Museum is to provide education to the public in natural history. By stimulating public interest, support, and understanding of natural history through traveling exhibits, special events, tours, Science Boxes, workshops, web sites, and other outreach programs, the Museum contributes to a greater appreciation for our State's environment and to the importance of preserving it for future generations. The goal is to answer the public's questions about the natural world around them.
The GMNH Education and Outreach Program is dedicated to inspiring stewardship of the natural world by assisting the citizens of Georgia to develop and extend their awareness, appreciation, and understanding of our state and regional natural history, the global interrelationships of all natural systems, and the interactions of humans with these systems.