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The State of Wisconsin Collection

Wisconsin academy review (Dec. 1989)

View all of Milwaukee Public Museum: A Century of Wisconsin Botany

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Education

As adjunct professors of botany, staff members teach aspects of graduate and undergraduate courses in the plant sciences at UW-Milwaukee. Special topic seminars are also given at Marquette University and the Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design. Student project or M.S. thesis studies completed during the last dozen years have reported on Amanita Mushroom Toxicity, Bryophytes of the Upper Milwaukee River. Conservation of Coastal Mosses, Distribution Patterns of Urban Tree Lichens. Fern and Fern Ally Hybrid Species, Fungi of the UW-M Field Station, Graveyard Lichens and Pollution History, Isozyme Protein Banding Patterns. Kettle Moraine Freshwater Spring Algae, Quillwort Spore Morphology and Ornamentation, Regenerative Multiplication of Conifer Cuttings, Rural and Urban Soil Ascomycetes, and Ultrastructure of Lichen Fruiting Bodies.

Adult plant education is conducted at the museum and selected   [p. 40]   field sites by means of Elderhostel, Museum Naturalist, or Vision Quest-type courses. Indirect teaching of public groups through training of teacher naturalists is also performed at area centers through Ecofocus-type classes. Brochures, field guides, identification keys, and 35 mm slide sets have resulted from such programs given at The Clearing, the Ridges Sanctuary, UW-Milwaukee’s Field Station, and the Retzger, River Bend, River Edge, River Wildlife, Schlitz Audubon, and Wehr nature centers. Plant related teacher in-service has also developed at MPM from a NSF-funded workshop on “Learning to Read Natural History Objects” jointly organized by botany, education, and the state’s Milwaukee-based Havenwoods Environmental Awareness Center.

As a supplement to MPM education staff, curatorial training of volunteer docent and muse guides is done to improve exhibit hail botanical tours. And across the year additional plant education is provided by the museum’s garden club for Arbor Day activities, festive holiday celebrations, and selected museum exhibits. Two seasonal programs that provide specific plant information are run by the clubs affiliated with the botany section. The Mushroom Fair (last Sunday in September) and Wildflower Show (first Sunday in June) are each one-day events focused on specimen identification that attract around 2000 persons.

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