Programs & Services

Museums’ Fossil Mammal Research Project Gets NSF Grant

July 25th, 2017

(Albuquerque, NM) - The National Science Foundation has awarded the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science a $101,125 grant to support research on early placental mammals and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) educational programs. The project, aims to shed light on how mammals fared after the Cretaceous extinction (K-Pg extinction), an event most famous for the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs. 

The Museums will partner with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Duquesne University, and Purdue University Northwest as well as international collaborators from the United Kingdom, China, and Brazil. 

The project aims to increase the understanding of the origins of placental mammals, the group of mammals that are dominant today. To accomplish this, the international team will be studying museum collections in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The project will utilize the fossil mammals from the collections of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, which has among the largest collections of early Paleocene mammals in the world. 

“This is an exciting opportunity to analyze the early history of placental mammals,” NMMNHS Paleontology Curator Tom Williamson, Ph.D. “Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation, we will also be able to create a teaching tool that will explain evolution, climate change, biology, evolution, and geology.” 

Grant funds will support educational and outreach programs as well as research. New information gleaned from this research will be incorporated into exhibits at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

In addition to enabling public-facing research through exhibits, the grant will enhance museum outreach and field trip programs. This project will also give undergraduate students from six universities laboratory and research experience and train four doctoral students and a postdoctoral fellow. 

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that promotes the progress of science by funding scientific research and education. 


###

# # #

New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to 15 exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

Icons of Exploration

Showcases some of the Museum’s most celebrated objects including a real "moon rock," rare replicas of the first
more »

Here, Now and Always

Here, Now, and Always is a major exhibition based on eight years of collaboration among Native American elders,
more »

Generations

The Museum’s first permanent exhibit takes visitors on an odyssey through 150 generations over 4,000 years of
more »

Horizons: People & Place in New Mexican Art

Drawn primarily from the New Mexico Museum of Art’s extensive collection, Horizons shows the wide and dynamic
more »