For immediate release ‐ January 29, 2024
Contact: Kerry Irish, 919.707.9823. Images available upon request
The new director of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences approaches the experience at Raleigh’s state-of-the-art institution with an educator’s mind.
by Lori D. R. Wiggins | photography by Rob Hammer
In June, Dr. Denise Young became the executive director of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, including its flagship location downtown and four regional sites. She guides more than 250 staff to teach guests about our connection to nature and science. “All the questions aren’t answered yet, and people are working to better understand the natural world,” Young says.
Before taking over the helm, Young served since 2016 as executive director of the Bell Museum, Minnesota’s natural history museum; prior to that, she served as director of education and planning at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill.
In 2010, she cofounded the annual North Carolina Science Festival, an event that celebrates the cultural, educational and economic benefits of science. Young also has taught at the UNC School of Education and as a classroom teacher in Durham Public Schools.
Originally from Charlotte, Young moved to the area to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and American Studies, a masters in School Administration/Educational Leadership, and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction.