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WSC to Host Grand Opening of Natural History Museum


Wayne State College is proud to announce the grand opening of the A. Jewell Schock Museum of Natural History from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Carhart Science Building. The public is invited. Teachers will find this opening to be an important opportunity to see what the museum has to offer for a future field trip.


The museum houses more than 15,000 specimens of birds, mammals, invertebrates, plants, and fossils. The museum was created by Jewel Schock, former zoologist at Wayne State College. He collected and prepared specimens from Northeast Nebraska over the course of 30 years. Schock was assisted by numerous students and used the collections to aid in teaching and science education and outreach. 


The museum’s regular hours will be 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Groups are welcome. The mission of the museum, according to the director, Dr. Barbara Hayford, is to preserve natural diversity of life in Northeast Nebraska through maintaining and adding to college collections, through science education and outreach, and through actions to conserve and restore natural habitat in the region.


The museum’s science education and outreach activities include interactive tours of the museum, classroom visits by museum staff to area K-12 schools and volunteer biological monitoring and assessment of regional streams, wetlands, lakes, and prairies. Museum staff and other faculty involve WSC students and regional K-12 students on service learning projects, as well. The museum’s conservation and restoration activities include beta diversity analysis of spring fed streams to find habitat in need of restoration or conservation and restoration of regional prairies.


Museum collections include more than 10,000 plant specimens, 3,000 invertebrate specimens, 1,700 vertebrate specimens excluding birds, and 1,300 bird specimens many of which were collected and prepared by Wayne Mollhoff.  Once a database of collection identifications and site information is completed it will be made available at the museum’s Web site at


For information or to schedule a tour: Dr. Barbara Hayford at or 402-375-7338.


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