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May 1, 2006

ULM Museum of Natural History ready for grand opening in new location

In celebration of housing the ULM Museum of Natural History all under one roof, the museum will host a grand opening in its new location on the third floor of Sandel Hall May 5 at 6 p.m. Dr. Jan Hoover, research biologist at the Waterways Experimental Station with the Army Corp of Engineers, will speak at 7 p.m.

The museum will present "Neil's Favorites," an exhibit that features favorites of Neil Douglas, a ULM professor emeritus and the former director/curator of the museum vertebrate (fish and reptiles) collection from 1962-1997. "Neil's Favorites" includes endangered species in Louisiana, invasive species and oddities such as a five-legged frog.

Another museum exhibit features a simulated nest site that hosts live turtle eggs. Every year at this time, ULM biology professor John Carr and his students collect eggs from an endangered alligator snapping turtle's nest.

Raccoons and other predators often snatch the eggs from the nest, which hinders the hatchlings from making it into the wild. To help increase their chances, the eggs are collected and brought back to ULM to hatch. Once the eggs hatch, they are released back into the wild in October.

On May 6 at noon, the museum will host "NeilFest '06," a crawfish boil (with all of the trimmings and beverages) at Malone Stadium (east entrance) in honor of Neil Douglas.

Johnny O'Neal will provide the music. Admission is $50 for adults, $15 for patrons under 16 years and free for children under 8 years old.

All proceeds benefit the Museum of Natural History.

For more information, contact: 318-342-1868 318-342-1750.

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