Adrienne is the Director of the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Sugar Land.
After volunteering at HMNS since 1993, Allison joined HMNS full time in 2003. Her current job responsibilities include curating the education collections and keeping the summer camp classrooms stocked with materials, facilitating Education special events, and coordinating the Museum’s overnight program. In her “spare time” she volunteers with the Junior League of Houston and spends her time in artistic pursuits.
Amanda is responsible for TEKS based curriculum development as well as leading the teams tasked with marketing, scheduling, and hosting field trips from the 53 area school districts that regularly visit the museum. She also helps create staff development classes for educators seeking to meet state requirements for their teacher or gifted and talented certifications. Amanda taught Texas and U.S. History for over seven years in Fort Bend ISD. Amanda has a degree in History from the University of Texas at Austin.
|Amy C (1)
Amy is the Director of Corporate Giving at HMNS.
|Amy P (32)
Amy is the Director of Adult Education at HMNS.
|Austin Holland (3)|
The Museum’s Curator of Paleontology, world-renowned Dr. Robert T. Bakker (or, as some call him, Bob) is the leader of the handful of iconoclastic paleontologists who rewrote the book on dinosaurs three decades ago. Along with other noted paleontologists, Bakker has changed the image of dinosaurs from slow-moving, slow-witted, cold-blooded creatures to — at least in some cases — warm-blooded giants well-equipped to dominate the Earth for 200 million years. Dr. Bakker can be found all over the globe, notably leading the Museum’s paleontology field program.
|Carolyn L (13)
Carolyn coordinates the Science on Stage outreach program at HMNS and will blog about science toys and experiments, logic puzzles, and whatever else seems interesting at the time.
|Carolyn S (19)
Carolyn is VP of astronomy for the Museum; she develops Planetarium shows for the Museum that tour all over the world, developed the very first Challenger Learning Center and runs the Museum’s George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park. In her spare time, she does research in the field of archaeoastronomy, which attempts to replicate the night sky at critical moments in history.
Celeste is the Butterfly Rearing Coordinator in the Cockrell Butterfly Center.
Adventure is my middle name. Well… actually it’s French. Literally, it’s Christopher French Wells. But the spirit of adventure lives in me, and has always inspired me to go out and seek new experiences. I’ve traveled to Europe, Mexico and South America, as well as few places in the U.S. I’ve seen different places with different cultures, learned some things about humanity and about myself in particular.
My goal is to lend my unique perspective, carved out of my own triumphs and tragedies, fears and fancies encountered during my years of college and international travel, to the other great voices of this blog. Hopefully to the enjoyment of our readers…
Christine manages the live animal collection, teaches weekday dissection labs and summer camp classes, and presents Wildlife on Wheels programs. It has been said that she is “usually carrying something interesting.”
Corey combines a lifelong love of science with a passion for teaching. She specializes in kid’s tours and has been at HMNS since 2012. She enjoys music, physics, ceramics, and storm photography. When not in one of our special exhibits, she can usually be found explaining about mummies in the Hall of Ancient Egypt or dinosaurs in the Hall of Paleontology.
|Craig Hlavaty (6)
Craig Hlavaty has been covering Houston pop-culture since 2006 at various outlets around the city. He is currently the social media manager at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and eats his tamales with ketchup.
As curator of vertebrate zoology, Dr. Brooks has more backbone(s) than anyone at the Museum! He is recognized internationally as the authority on Cracids – the most threatened family of birds in the Americas. With an active research program studying birds and mammals of Texas and the tropics, Brooks advises several grad students internationally.
At HMNS, Brooks served as project manager of the world-renowned Frensley-Graham Hall of African Wildlife, overseeing building by an incredibly diverse array of talent by some 50 individuals. He has also created and/or served as curator for various traveling exhibits, including “Cracids: on Wings of Peril”.
An inveterate punster, amateur chef, and fencer, Daniel B has a double degree in History and Museum Science from Baylor. He currently serves as the Assistant Program Coordinator for the Wiess Energy Hall and Adult Education at HMNS.
David is the Museum’s associate curator of paleontology. In addition to running the Museum’s dig program in Seymour, TX and curating exhibits, he’s also unofficial head of The Department of Mysteries, a shadow wing of HMNS that deals with strange goo, unusual fossils, mysterious substances or any other unknown object you’d like to know what to do with.
As curator of anthropology, Dirk is responsible for the museum’s artifact collection and is involved in its temporary and permanent anthropology exhibits.
Dirk is an expert in human cultures; he curates the Museum’s Hall of the Americas and specializes in native American cultures like the Aztec and Maya.
Despite many childhood visits to HMNS, Donna was clueless that she would have a career here as a registrar instead of as a world famous ballerina. She has worked so long in the Collections Department that it must be more than a quirky, passing phase. When not processing new acquisitions into the permanent collections, peppering the curators with questions, or making people put on gloves, Donna can be found in a dance class, a bell tower, at a dance performance, or reading a book.
|Erin B (263)
Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS. In a past life, she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS.
|Erin M (71)
Erin Mills received her undergraduate degree in Entomology from Texas A&M University in 2004, and after a short tour of the pest control industry, joined HMNS as the Cockrell Butterfly Center’s Insect Zoo Manager in 2005. Over the years she expanded the butterfly center’s live arthropod collection, developed the ever popular “Bugs on Wheels” outreach program, and continued to establish her role as HMNS’s insect expert. In October of 2016, she achieved her long time goal of becoming Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center. She is constantly striving to improve the butterfly center and how it serves and educates the public about the wonderful and amazing world of insects! As a Board Certified Entomologist, Erin has extensive knowledge of insect identification, ecology, plant relationships, husbandry, really any insect-related topic!
Gary has been with the museum since 2011 and has served in variety of capacities. He first started as a volunteer docent leading HISD tours and offering training in Malacology. Since then he has sold tickets, acted as a concierge, and was a full-time Discovery Guide. Gary is currently the Inventory Manager for the Collections Department.
Ever since a 5th grade field trip, Greta has been enthralled by HMNS. She joined the Museum in 2012 as Outreach Coordinator, coming from a background in arts outreach. She loves helping teachers find the perfect program for their students!
|Guest Contributor (151)
From distinguished lecturers to scientific scholars to visiting curators to volunteers to leaders in their respective fields, we often invite guest authors to contribute content to our blog. You’ll find a wealth of information written by these fascinating individuals as we seek to expand your level of knowledge with every post.
James is the Planetarium Astronomer at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. He teaches students every school morning in the planetarium, and also answers astronomy questions from the public.
|Jeff Cummins (1)|
Jennifer is the Divisional Merchandise Manager for the Museum Stores.
Jessi works at HMNS where she is a full-time website and email manager and a part-time dinosaur mascot—no really. When she’s not juggling marketing campaigns, writing for Beyond Bones or tearing up the dance floor at Mixers & Elixirs, you can probably find her at the nearest dog park, musical theater performance or Torchy’s Tacos. Storytelling is a passion, particularly the way that words can be used to educate and inspire, so Jessi is excited to be able to contribute to the blog and help tell the stories of HMNS.
|Jilliane Johnson (11)
Jilliane began her HMNS career in Visitor Services, greeting and assisting guests on a daily. Now as a full-time member of Marketing, Jilliane educates visitors and viewers of the various stories and storytellers within the walls. When Jilliane isn’t writing, you can find her gaming, spending time with friends and family or watching trashy TV dating shows.
Not only is Joel the President of the Museum, he’s also a curator. He has the rare distinction of having held almost every job here – including security guard, back before his museum career took him to distinguished posts all across the country. At HMNS, he built our outstanding collection of gems and minerals and the world-renowned Wiess Energy Hall before being appointed President in July 2004. Since, he’s brought us Lucy, Leonardo and…check back here for his updates on the next big things coming up.
Josh is the Facilities Manager at the George Observatory.
Julia began at HMNS in 2008 as an intern and fell in love with the nerdy museum environment. She currently works in Business Analytics as the Program Growth Manager. When she’s not at the museum, she’s busy inundating her friends with the latest dinosaur facts. They’re mostly disappointed that pterodactyls aren’t actually dinosaurs.
Karen joined the birthday department in 2012 after chaperoning her nephew’s field trip to the museum, and went on to coordinate over 200 parties in 2 years. If you had your party here during that time, chances are good that she was the crazy one leading your group into roaring with the dinosaurs or flying like butterflies. In 2014, she moved into marketing. When not planning parties, you can catch her with a book or singing Disney tunes, to the dismay of everyone in hearing distance.
Kat has been both the spokesperson for the CSI: The Experience exhibit and project manager for the Imperial Rome exhibit and has a love of all things historical and cultural. She is responsible for the Xplorations summer camp program, coordinating weekday labs during the school year, writing department curriculum and presenting at teacher trainings. Kat has worked at the Museum since 1996.
|Kathryn Hokamp (5)
Kathryn is the butterfly entomologist at the Cockrell Butterfly Center, which includes taking care of the center’s butterflies, receiving shipments of butterflies from around the world, and educating the public about the wonderful world of arthropods. In less glorious terms, Kathryn spends the day cleaning up after butterflies. They are messy little creatures.
Kelsey started working at the Museum through Xplorations summer camp, and this fall she started working as a programs facilitator. She is a presenter for several outreach programs, assists with overnight programs, and assists with education collections during summer camp. Her favorite dinosaur is a Triceratops found at HMNS Sugar Land. The Triceratops is also named “Kelsey.”
|Maddie Hammett (1)
Matti Hammett has been an employee of HMNS since 2009, starting out as a Teaching Assistant in the Summer Camp Programs, then moving into Visitor Services, and finally moving over to Youth Education in her current position as Accessibility Programs Manager. She loves her job because she gets to learn new things every day and create resources and programming that help people! She also loves getting the opportunity to work with some of the COOLEST people and being able to take breaks in the world-renowned exhibits halls. When she’s not working, you can find Matti playing “conflict resolution supervisor” with her two cats and box turtle at home or doing yoga!”
As Visual Manager of the Museum Store, Marina is in charge of producing product images as well as social media content to better showcase what we have in store for you.
Matthew Dec is a Visitor Services Lead and has been working with the Houston Museum of Natural Science since 2014. History is his greatest passion; lesser passions include music and cooking! Matthew also plays several instruments and enjoys making and eating Chinese food. He studied History, Classics, and Dead Languages at the University of Houston and also in the field at archaeological sites around Greece, Italy, and Britain. Matthew’s biggest goal is to share his love of History with others, to educate and fascinate!
Ever since she held a tarantula for the first time, Melissa knew this was the job for her. Aside from presenting WOW outreach programs, Melissa also cares for animals such as alligators, degus, and caecilians here at HMNS.
|Melissa Fox (8)
Melissa is the adorkable online marketing manager at HMNS. When she is not geeking out over digital marketing trends and social media analytics, you can find her hanging out at the museum with her family, photographing as much of the world as possible or with her kayak- looking for adventure.
Melodie is a Public Relations Consultant at HMNS.
|Mike Rathke (1)
Mike Rathke works as a full time photographer at HMNS. He has been into, or least interested in photography since he was old enough to press a shutter button, having learned from his Dad who is wildlife and landscape photographer. Going against all business and entrepreneurial advice to find a niche and stick with it, Mike maintains a weddings and portrait business as well. He’s done sports, fashion, wildlife, landscapes, architectural and all types of portrait photography. This is all great training for being a museum photographer where the requirements include all the forms of photography you can imagine. When he’s not out shooting the Milky Way or a bridal session he’s spending time with his beautiful daughter and wife (probably photographing them too).
Dr. Nancy Greig is the founding director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center, which she oversaw from 1994 to 2016. As emeritus director she continues to work with the museum doing outreach and education. Her academic training is in botany and entomology, with a specialty in the interaction between insects, especially butterflies, and plants. In addition to cultivating backyard butterflies, she grows vegetables and bees
Neal Immega is a geologist and HMNS Master Docent. He loves to collect fossils and specializes in crinoids.
Nicole has worked for HMNS in some capacity since 1996, whether part-time, full-time or as a volunteer. She taught for seven years in public school, including four years in Fort Bend and a short stint overseas. While she never taught science, she was always the teacher called when someone needed to remove a swarm of bees, catch a snake in the playground, or get the bat off the ceiling of the cafeteria.
Paul Bernhard has been actively involved with the Museum’s Wiess Energy Hall for fifteen years, but he still doesn’t know how to assess the influence of the Boycott effect on drilling mud flow, or even how to calculate the Gibbs free energy of PEMFP fuel cells. Nonetheless, due to sheer longevity, Bernhard has become the spokesman for all things energy-related at the Museum. His blog will reflect this.
Sahil has worked for HMNS in some capacity each summer since 2007 with the Moran Ecoteen Program and Xplorations Summer Camps. He quite literally grew up at the Museum; Sahil and his mom made biweekly trips at lunchtime until he started school at age 5, and he was a regular camper in Xplorations from ages 6-13. In 2014, he was hired full-time as Outreach Presenter, a job where his friends think he spends all day playing with alligators, tarantulas, and dinosaur fossils. He doesn’t like to contradict them.
Theresa is the horticulturist at the Cockrell Butterfly Center. She maintains the rainforest atmosphere of the Butterfly Center and propagates plants for the spring and fall plant sales. She has a background in entomology and is specialized in raising tropical butterflies, so the CBC is her heaven!
Tom Hardwick is Consulting Curator of the Hall of Ancient Egypt at HMNS. He studied Egyptology as an undergraduate and postgraduate at the University of Oxford. He has worked as Keeper of Egyptology at Bolton Museum in the UK, as a researcher in the Wilbour Library of Egyptology in Brooklyn Museum, and as an Egyptologist in the Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo, where he now lives. Tom is a specialist in Egyptian art, the history of collecting, and in the forgery of works of art.
|Chris F (1)|
|Erin C (21)|
|Lauren G (1)|
|Lauren W (4)|