Humanity is embedded within nature and we are at a critical moment in the continuity of time ... We have the urgent responsibility to give voice to the Earth’s immense story and to secure its sustainable future.
— Excerpt from a declaration by natural history museums at a convening in February 2012 at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Welcome to an extraordinary resource! North Carolina’s most visited museum with one of the State’s most iconic landmarks—the SECU Daily Planet. The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is the largest institution of its kind in the South East and one of the nation’s most amazing museums about the natural world. This Museum asks four basic questions about the natural sciences—what do we know?, how do we know?, what’s happening now?, how can you participate?—with an integrated suite of onsite, offsite, online and outdoor experiences.
The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is a high-performing nexus of research, collections, living collections, exhibitions and digital media, school and lifelong education, community engagement, and a regional network—each fueled by great expertise and a diversifying portfolio of public, earned and contributed funds. Progress is forged by maximizing the dividends on a remarkable history of public and private sector investments with a growing array of partnerships.
Our high standards are reflected by our affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution; accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums; a National Medal at the White House in 2014 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services which recognizes just five of the nation’s 35,000 museums annually for outstanding community service; national model research partnerships with the University of North Carolina System; this year’s Thad Eure, Jr. Award from the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau for our economic impact through attracting conferences; and field-advancing innovations such as a fully accessible and free mobile app (NC NatSci) for visitors to navigate our exhibitions.
A special edition of WALTER, Raleigh’s Life & Soul magazine in October 2014 which featured On a Global Stage: A Day in the Life of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences was prefaced by this observation:
It seemed the best way for WALTER to tell the story of a place so big, dynamic, and complex would be to become a fly on its walls. To spend a day in the life who work here, and tell their stories. That day turned into a day and a half, and could easily have become a month … In the process, we learned that the museum is far more than the sum of its parts, and that the many, varied people who work there share a larger common purpose … inspiring the public to know about – and care about – the natural world.
— Liza Roberts, Editor and General Manager of WALTER
As you visit the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh and our branches at Prairie Ridge (west Raleigh) and in Whiteville (Columbus County, NC), please enjoy our distinctive meaning and value. And as you navigate this ever-improving website, please let us know what else you would like to see and know.
Emlyn Koster, PhD
Director, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences