Idaho Museum of Natural History

Director: Dr. Leif Tapanila

Mission Statement

The mission of the Idaho Museum of Natural History is to acquire, preserve, study, interpret, and display objects relating to the natural history of Idaho and the Northern Intermountain West for research and education. The Museum seeks to enhance in the citizens of Idaho and visitors an understanding of Idaho’s natural and cultural heritage. Specific areas of interest encompass the anthropology, botany, geology, paleontology, and zoology of Idaho and the Northern Intermountain West. Audiences served include citizens of Idaho, visitors, and the national and international community of students and scholars. Information is disseminated through exhibitions, public and professional presentations, publications, formal and informal education, telecommunications, and other interpretive programs.

Curators in Anthropology, Earth Science, and Life Science lead national and international research. Our active research profile supports acquisition and use of collections for all areas of natural history research and education. ISU faculty and students have access to Museum collections for instruction, training, and graduate theses and dissertations.

Our Public Programs Division develops and implements programs and exhibitions on a wide range of science topics, emphasizing current Museum research and environmental and ecological themes. These programs are both university level and for K-12 education.

The Museum offers undergraduate and graduate students educational credits under the Museum subject code and through courses in Anthropology, Biology, Education, Geosciences, History, and other affiliate Idaho State University departments. See Museum course descriptions in the All Courses section of the catalog.

For more information, please visit the Idaho Museum of Natural History's website at: