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Our Mission

The Georgia Museum of Natural History is among the largest and most diverse in the Southeast, with more than 5 million items in its collections. It was officially designated the state Museum in 1999, with a mission to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of Georgia, to provide instruction and foster stewardship among its people, and to encourage scholarship and service related to the collections.

The Museum’s 11 natural history collections are supported by five departments at the University of Georgia: Anthropology, Plant Biology, Entomology, Geology, and Plant Pathology. Each collection is the largest of its kind in Georgia. The collections are primarily administered and supported by their academic departments and colleges. While public service, outreach, and some administrative programs fall under the Office of Director of the Museum, 10 collections are supported by the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

The Friends of the Georgia Museum of Natural History was also founded in 1999 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the Museum and its holdings.

Board Members

President, Dr. Jim Porter

Emeritus faculty member in the Odum School of Ecology.  He studies coral disease in the Florida Keys and the ecosystem effects of underwater unexploded ordnance on coral reefs in Vieques, P.R. and Hawaii.

Vice President, Arlena Wartell

Secretary, Jane Boyd

Treasurer, Margi Flood

Associate Professor of Biology at University of North Georgia, Gainesville campus. She specializes in freshwater ecology. She likes to play in streams or plat daffodils when not trying to get dog and cat hair off the furniture.

Jared Bailey

Olivia Carlisle

Heidi Davison

Long time teacher, community volunteer and leader with a keen interest in the natural world. She is an observant and curious learner, qualities heightened through her service to the Friends' board.

Dr. Michael Day

Microbiologist with the United States Department of Agriculture. He and his family enjoy being outside and love to camp and travel to far-flung parts of the country. You'll probably find him sampling local fisheries with a fly rod from time to time.

Bobbie Epting

Retired. Former Director of Development for the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Community volunteer and activist. Nature lover. Aspiring visitor to a NEW Georgia Museum of Natural History facility worthy of the museum's extensive collection.

Carolyn Hally

Dr. Bob Matthews

Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Entomology, Emeritus, University of Georgia. An insect behavior specialist, he is also Associate Curator of Hymenoptera at the GMNH. He is author or co-author of over 175 research publications, including 4 books.

Dr. Doug Menke

Karl Scott

“I am a retired public school science teacher with lifelong interests in Nature, education, and outdoor recreation.  You could say I grew up in the museum as my zoologist father, D. C. Scott collected many of the early fish specimens, and in some cases I was holding the jar.” 

Anvi Srivastava

Undergraduate Student at the University of Georgia majoring in Ecology.

David Titshaw

Dr. John Wares

Professor in Ecology and Genetics, and a Curator at the Georgia Museum of Natural History.

Dr. Katherine Willoughby


Friends of the Georgia Museum of Natural History
Natural History Building
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Phone: 706-542-1663
Georgia Museum of Natural History

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