Because Work is Ruff: Take Your Dog to Work Day at the Museum

by Victoria Smith, HMNS Executive Assistant

 

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Here at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, we love all animals, not just extinct ones. When we heard it was Take Your Dog to Work Day, we thought that sounded like fun. . . maybe a little too fun considering how many pre-historic bones are here. Since letting Fido roam free in the paleontology hall could be a bad idea (and by bad, we mean “potentially devastating to years of scientific research”), we decided the next best thing was to take pictures and show the world, that, yes, our pets love science as much as we do! Employees were encouraged to dress their pets in geeky, museum or science-related costumes, and the winner would receive prizes from the geek-chic line of pet products in our Museum shop. It was hard to pick just one winner, but we decided one little dog proudly embraced his role as a Museum Employee Pet.

 

Some people might think entomologists are nerds, but we think Celeste Poorte’s job as our Butterfly Rearing Coordinator is to help creatures find their inner beauty.  It is something she also does with George, her hairless and semi-toothless Chinese Crested dog, who may, in fact, be a bit of a nerd.

Some people might think entomologists are nerds, but we think Celeste Poorte’s job as our Butterfly Rearing Coordinator is to help creatures find their inner beauty. It is something she also does with George, her hairless and semi-toothless Chinese Crested dog, who may, in fact, be a bit of a nerd.

And here's what she won!

And here’s what she won!

 

There are so many great employee pets, we decided to share a few more.

Esteemed Anthropologist Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout has studied quite a few bones and skeletons, a love he shares with his dog Sparky (who isn’t afraid to wear his heart—or femur--on his sleeve)

Esteemed Anthropologist Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout has studied quite a few bones and skeletons, a love he shares with his dog Sparky, who isn’t afraid to wear his heart—or femur–on his sleeve.

Kenneth Collins has been with the Museum for almost 20 years.  He’s the Sugar Land Facilities Manger now, but he got his start taking tickets for the Butterfly Center.  His dogs stay true to his roots.

Kenneth Collins has been with the Museum for almost 20 years. He’s the Sugar Land Facilities Manager now, but he got his start taking tickets for the Cockrell Butterfly Center. His dogs stay true to his roots.

To become an HMNS Concierge, you need to be knowledgeable about various Museum topics.  Lourdes Martinez has earned her place on the team, with a little help from her chiweenie Chico, whose interests include Egyptology and paleontology.  At the end of the day, they like to unwind catching up on Doctor Who.

To become an HMNS Concierge, you need to be knowledgeable about various Museum topics. Lourdes Martinez has earned her place on the team, with a little help from her chiweenie Chico, whose interests include Egyptology and paleontology. At the end of the day, they like to unwind catching up on Doctor Who.

What does it take to learn the finances of a world renowned institution?  A lot of studying, hard work and maybe graduating at the top of your class, like this vale-dog-torian who is ready to join Jill Lee in the Museum’s accounting department.

What does it take to learn the finances of a world-renowned institution? A lot of studying, hard work and maybe graduating at the top of your class, like this vale-dog-torian who is ready to join Jill Lee in the Museum’s accounting department.

Victoria Smith is an Executive Assistant at the Museum, but at home she gets assistance from Captain Tripod McStumpy who is always willing to lend a paw (but only one).

Victoria Smith is an Executive Assistant at the Museum, but at home she gets assistance from Captain Tripod McStumpy who is always willing to lend a paw (but only one).

Karen Whitley plans birthday parties at the Museum, but it's not all fun and games.  Or is it?  Her cats get in on the fun with the ultimate game of cat and mouse.  Checkmate!

Karen Whitley plans birthday parties at the Museum, but it’s not all fun and games. Or is it? Her cats get in on the fun with the ultimate game of cat and mouse. Checkmate!

karen2

Kelly Russo is our Director of Online Media which means she has to follow proper rules and protocol . . . unlike her dog Wynnie who is quite the rebel.

Kelly Russo is our Director of Online Media which means she has to follow proper rules and protocol . . . unlike her dog Wynnie who is quite the Jedi rebel.

Have no fear, Coco and Loki are here, with their trusty sidekick Sheila George, Manager of Online Media at the Museum.  If your online media needs to be managed, just send the bat signal and Sheila George will be there, with her trusty sidekicks Coco and Loki.

Have no fear, Coco and Loki are here, with their trusty sidekick Sheila George, Manager of Online Media at the Museum. If your online media needs to be managed, just send the bat signal and Sheila George will be there, with her fearless superdogs.

Loki

 

Martine Kaye will go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your corporate group has a great visit to the Museum.  She hasn’t welcomed anyone with a parade and fireworks yet, but her dog Cleo thinks it’s a great idea.

Martine Kaye will go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your corporate group has a great visit to the Museum. She hasn’t welcomed anyone with a parade and fireworks yet, but her dog Cleo thinks it’s a great idea.

Swords and Shutterbugs: Our Samurai Pixel Party Recap

After-hours at the Museum on March 1, we hosted one of our exclusive Pixel Parties — where we open select exhibits just for photographers (both amateur and professional). For our first event of 2015, we gave photographers access to Samurai: The Way of the Warrior.

And here’s a small sampling of what they gave us in return:

B. Tse photography

B. Tse photography

B. Tse photography

B. Tse photography

scscphotography

scscphotography

Roberto Valerio

Roberto Valerio

Alfred J Fortier

Alfred J Fortier

Nicholas Foster

Nicholas Foster

James Woody

James Woody

Alfred J Fortier

Alfred J Fortier

Arie's Photography

Arie’s Photography

sulla55

sulla55

Reed's Photography

Reed’s Photography

Bethany Tiner

Bethany Tiner

Dwayne Fortier

Dwayne Fortier

Randall Pugh

Randall Pugh

We couldn’t fit all the wonderful photos into this blog post. To see even more photos from this event, please visit our HNNS Flickr Group page.

F-stops and Fabergé: Getting snap happy at HMNS Pixel Parties

After-hours at the Museum on November 2, we had another one of our exclusive Pixel Parties — where we open select exhibits just for photographers (both amateur and professional). This time around, we gave our photographers access to our newly re-opened Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg exhibit.

And here’s a sampling of what they gave us in return:

Faberge-1

Photo by Kirsten Tucker.

 

Faberge-2

Photo by Eddie Abbott Imagery

 

 

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Photo by Dwayne Fortier

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Photo by James Woody

 

Faberge-3

Photo by Allison Buchtien

 

Faberge-4

Photo by Reed’s Photography

 

 

To see more photos from around the museum, please visit our HNNS Flickr Group page.

 

And stay tuned! We’ll be announcing our next Pixel Party date just after the new year.

100 Years – 100 Objects: Selection of Mineral Specimens

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.

This description is from Lisa Rebori, the Museum’s Vice President of Collections. She’s chosen a selection of objects that represent our Museum’s history, and our collections of historical technologies, that we’ll be sharing here – and on hmns.org – throughout the year.

historic-minerals-4x6Right to Left:

1.  Kalinite, Esmeralda Co., Nevada, HMNS #1317
2.  Mercury, Knoxville, California, HMNS #285
3.  Cassiterite, Tin samples from Squaw Canyon, HMNS #782
4.  Soda-niter, White Plains, Nevada, HMNS #1248
5.  Mercury in soot, Reddington Mine, Knoxville, California, HMNS #285
6.  Chrysotile, Bajenova, Urals, U.S.S.R.
7.  Borax Crystals, New Boston, Nevada, HMNS #1251

8. (Laying down) “Stream tin”, Cassiterite, Malay Islands, Collected from Kepong Dredging, HMNS
     #791 (Milsaps no. M5478)

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John E.T. Milsaps 

One of the earliest collections acquired by the Museum belonged to John E.T. Milsaps, a native Houstonian.  As an adult, Milsaps joined the Salvation Army and eventually was given oversight for “all territories west of the Mississippi.”  In this capacity, he traveled widely, collecting wherever he went, and then sent his collection back to Houston. 

These mineral specimens are from his original collection and are representative of the storage and display techniques at that time.  The minerals were secured in the glass vials or bottles with a cork and wax seal.  This allowed the minerals to be handled, but prevented them from being contaminated and assured that they could be moved and set up for display easily.

When the Museum was first started in the early 1900s it was called the Houston Public Museum. The label you see here includes the original catalogue number M (for “Milsaps”)-5478 and the note of a second catalogue number “791.”  Beginning in 1970, in an effort to re-order the mineral collection, it was decided to catalogue all of the specimens a second time, starting the record making and numbering process all over again.
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J.E.T. Milsaps contributed much to the citizens of Houston.  Throughout most of his life he not only collected objects and specimens, but bought many books.  He gifted these anonymously to the City of Houston.  Within the Public Library, his collection was known as the ‘Circle M Collection.’  The inventories were marked with a circle around the letter M.

Check back soon for more of the 100 most compelling objects from the museum’s collections – we’ll be posting the series throughout 2009 as we celebrate a centennial of science in Houston.