On Saturday, the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology (MWFB) will host an afternoon open house displaying a full collection for students, faculty and residents to see.
The first-time event will take place at the museum, located on campus at 1394 Academic Surge Building from 1 to 4 p.m. with free entrance. MWFB staff members and student interns will guide visitors the collection of various vertebrates.
“This is the first time we really get to show, on large display, the research that has happened involving the museum over the years,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the MWFB and the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
The MWFB, which will celebrate 40 years on campus next year, is sponsored by the UC Davis Department of Wildlife and Fish Biology and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and is a product of collection grants from the National Science Foundation.
“The museum is a bit of a hidden treasure,” Yang said. “When people find it, they are amazed. It’s a word-of-mouth gem and we would like everyone to know about it so that we can open your resources up.”
The MWFB’s collection is among the top 10 collections of vertebrate in California and the third-largest university managed collections in the state, with over 40,000 specimens of fish, birds and mammals.
“In the past we have only had portions of collections open to the public on Picnic Day, but this year we are extending our display to a full collection,” Yang said.
This special open house is based off of the success of the Bohart Museum of Entomology’s open weekend hours.
“We really want people to explore their curiosity and ask questions,” Yang said. “If someone has a question about something not on display, it is very likely that we will be able to show them that as well.”
The bird collection at the MWFB is one of the primary strengths and houses nearly 13,000 specimens with an emphasis in California and Western North America.
In the collection includes an owl, dated back to the 1930s when the UC Davis campus was still Berkeley’s farm.
Visitors will also find entire animals prepared in alcohol or freeze dried at the museum, as well as osteo materials such as bones, skeletons, skulls and tissues.
Part of the WMFB’s mission statement is to help serve to teach and support the conservation in vertebrate and natural history.
“The beauty of the collection is that people can compare and contrast as well as understand how the world works based off of the specimens,” Yang said.
Over 35 courses across 10 different departments on campus interact with the MWFB and their research.
“We are not only a museum, but a crucial resource for students and classes around campus,” Yang said. “I hope that people come to the museum and are amazed. This open house will give people a new place to explore and learn about something new.”
– Rachel Levy