Civic leader and local physician, Mike Zambie (B.S. '71), is the current President of the Friends of the Natural History Museum, a group created to ensure the progress of the University of Louisiana at Monroe Museum of Natural History.
The Friends work to engage the public in their efforts to support one of the most respected and nationally known museum collections. The museum's importance is not lost on Zambie.
He said, "The most impressive thing about the museum is how the faculty has been able to assemble exhibits of amazing quality by investing their time and working many hours to provide a wide variety of displays, rock collections, archeological specimens, and a big-game collection that rivals some of the largest museums in the country."
Zambie's contributions of time and volunteer work, along with grants, and donations from the general public, help to provide supplies, and to sponsor exhibits and lectures, receptions, and outside entities that use the museum's facilities.
"In a technology-driven society, having a resource like the Museum of Natural History gives children and adults the opportunity to get back to nature," continued Zambie. "The museum is a great way for ULM to connect with the community and for children to experience ULM."
The museum promotes and advances the understanding and appreciation of natural history based on its collections, exhibits, education, and research.
The museum emphasizes the natural history of north Louisiana including the biodiversity, paleontology, geology, and archeology of the area.
Through grants and charitable donations from the people of northeast Louisiana, the museum has embarked on an extensive move and remodel project that is sure to impress visitors.
The museum boasts numerous rocks, gems, and minerals, dinosaur fossils, ancient vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and many others.
• "CyberFlora Louisiana" seeks to digitize the images and data of more than one million plant specimens in 15 Louisiana herbaria, of which 475,000 are housed at the museum.
• The museum houses the world's third largest university-based fish collection.
• In October 2011, Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler inducted the museum into The Heroes and Heritage Trail, which highlights 17 Louisiana museums.