Programs & Services

Museum of Natural History & Science Receives Highest National Recognition

December 19, 2012

Albuquerque, NM - December 19, 2012 – The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science was initially accredited in 1988. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.

AAM Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 35 years, AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are currently accredited. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is one of only 14 museums accredited in New Mexico.

“As the state’s Natural History and Science Museum, we owe it to the citizens of New Mexico to meet the highest standards for care of the collections we hold in stewardship and for the exhibits and education programs we provide. Accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums demonstrates that we meet these standards, and we will continue to do so,” commented Museum Director Charles Walter.

Accreditation is a rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, consider the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes as much as three years.

“Accreditation assures the people of New Mexico that their museum is among the finest in the nation,” said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM. “As a result, the citizens can take considerable pride in their homegrown institution, for its commitment to excellence and for the value it brings to the community.”

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science preserves and interprets the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning.

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