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quinta-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2015

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, 2148 Riverside Dr, Jackson, MS 39202, Estados Unidos

Fannye Cook and the Beginnings of the Museum

In the late 1920s, Francis 'Fannye' Cook led a grass roots effort to start the Game and Fish Commission. This grass roots effort largely included traveling education exhibits at local and state fairs. After the Commission was established by the legislature in 1932, Ms. Cook wrote the state's first game laws, and became the Museum's first director, thus founding the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

Fannye Cook was primarily a biological researcher. Though unseen by most visitors to the museum, the biological research collections provide the foundation upon which much of our knowledge of animals, plants, and fossils is based, and most of these collections have their origins in the mid-1930's when Fannye Cook sought to document the flora and fauna of Mississippi through a statewide plant and animal survey. Drawing on skills acquired as a museum worker at the Smithsonian Institution and backed by federal funding from the Works Progress Administration, Cook established 18 satellite museums around the state and trained field collectors in the methods of collecting and preparing museum specimens.

Between 1936 and 1941, thousands of specimens of birds, mammals, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and other life forms were collected, catalogued, and curated. This work became the basis for a number of Cook's scientific publications such as Freshwater Fishes of Mississippi and Snakes of Mississippi. Cook's own work was said to rival that of the United States Biological Survey. The Survey had previously conducted extensive research on flora and fauna throughout the United States, utilizing Cook as a consultant for species identifications.

We owe an incalculable debt to Fannye Cook who had the foresight and determination to document the flora and fauna of our state. Most of the specimens collected by Cook and her colleagues remain carefully preserved in our collections and are used today by Museum staff and other researchers. The administration of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science made a commitment years ago not only to safeguard these historic collections, but also to continue to build upon our biological collections as a resource of immense value to present and future scientists.

Fannye said, "In collecting specimens throughout the state, I have run into many interesting situations and have had many thrilling experiences. Wading through acres of swamp water infested with alligators and cottonmouth moccasins to reach heronries in which not only herons but Louisiana water turkeys, bitterns, rails, gallinules, grebes and other water-loving species were photographed or collected, gives rise to emotions of fear and exhilaration not produced by any other experience.

Like any institution, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science is nothing without the people who work hard to turn the ideas behind it into reality. Along with its own dedicated staff, the Museum also relies on a group of volunteers who, out of their own devotion to natural Mississippi and the importance of science, donate their time to help the Museum pursue its mission of study and preservation.

Along with the help of its volunteers and staff, the Museum also relies on the financial help of a long list of friends of the Museum. With their continual help, the Museum has established one of the largest collection of biological specimens in the state, has helped preserve and protect Mississippi's vital and precious natural resources, and continues to be one of the state's most successful scientific and education attractions.

Cultura e conhecimento são ingredientes essenciais para a sociedade.

Vamos compartilhar.

The MDWFP Museum of Natural Science is located in Jackson, Mississippi, tucked within historic LeFleur's Bluff State Park. The museum's vast expanses of glass overlook a 300-acre natural landscape, an open-air amphitheater, and 2.5 miles of nature trails. Inside, meet over 200 living species in our 100,000 gallon aquarium network and explore 73,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibits which include deer, waterfowl, fossils, and Mississippi's endangered species.

Displays of Mississippi's diverse habitats including a spectacular exhibit of white-tailed deer and soaring waterfowl

An entire wall of fossil specimens, Zygorhiza, Mosasaurus, and a giant Sloth

The Preschool Discovery Room features colorful murals and an iconic, giant treehouse with a slide

The Dragonfly gift shop

A safe storage environment for the museum's biological archives - a vast collection accessed regularly by scientist around the world!

Each year, more than 100,000 visitors are inspired by the natural world showcased in the Museum's permanent and special exhibits. We encourage you to share your time between the indoor exhibits and the outdoor environment, moving between informative indoor models and their reality in a natural Mississippi setting.

A range of nature trails meander through wooded bluffs, river bottoms, lakes, and scenic swamplands, offering ample and diverse opportunities for nature walks, photography, and the study of living things in their natural landscape.

The museum also hosts numerous award-winning annual events including NatureFEST, Family Fun Science Night, Fossil Road Show, Snake Day, Park After Dark, and more. Click here for the events calendar.

Our education team provides special programs for scouts andteachers and also coordinates the museum's popular summer camps.

Mission Statement

The museum's mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of Mississippi's biological diversity through collections, research, scientific databases, education, and exhibits; and to inspire the people of our state to respect the environment and to preserve natural Mississippi.


Established in 1932, the Museum was essentially born out of its founder Fannye Cook's passion for collecting and studying Mississippi's natural world and has continued to grow under the direction of strong leadership through the years. The museum's history has always been inextricably linked to a devotion to studying and preserving the state's natural resources. The efforts of over 80 years of study are assembled in the museum's vast scientific collections, housed in a safe-storage environment in order to better preserve the specimens. Our collections currently consist of more than 880,000 specimens, representing the largest single reference for Mississippi vertebrate animals and freshwater mussels in existence!


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and a member of the Association of Science - Technology Centers, the MDWFP Museum of Natural Science is a credible learning institution and a recognized attraction offering membership benefits.

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