Skip to main content Skip to navigation

COVID 19 Update: Museum Reopening

Big news: After being closed to the public since March, 2020, Conner Museum is finally reopening!!!

Masking guidelines:

  • Visitors with an organized event, such as a K-12 class or children’s camp, are required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
  • Public visitors not part of an organized group should wear a mask if they are not vaccinated.
  • University students and staff are expected to follow current WSU masking guidelines (i.e., wear a mask if unvaccinated).


Welcome Moms!

Welcome to all Cougar Moms coming up for Mom’s Weekend (April 12, 13, 14, 2019). Conner Museum has no special events planned for Mom’s Weekend, but the public exhibit will be open, as usual, from 8 AM to 5 PM, including weekends. If you have a few minutes, stop by the museum on the first floor of Abelson and check out the displays.

News from the Research Collection, Spring 2019

The Research Collection is the “behind-the-scenes” part of the Museum, where specimens and tissue are kept for use by researchers.

The current long-term museum project for the research collection is to get all of the “fluid” specimen records in a computer file and ultimately available online in VertNet. VertNet is a public database of museum records worldwide.  In a fluid collection, specimens are preserved in ethanol. Most fish, amphibians, and reptiles specimens are preserved in fluid. Most birds and mammals are prepared as skins or skeletons and preserved dry, but sometimes they are stored in fluid for anatomical studies. Conner Museum has a bird fluid collection, along with a fluid collection of fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

Early in 2018, we finished the inventory and computerization of the bird fluid collection. Through most of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, we worked on inventory of the amphibians and reptiles (collectively known as “herps”). We have also replaced or replenished fluid if needed and replaced jar lids that were no longer maintaining a good seal.

The big news is that we are nearly finished with the work on the core of the herp collection. The plan is to have the records online in VertNet before the end of summer 2019.

Inventoried herp jars
Jars of lizards in the herp collection of Conner Museum. The contents of the jars have been inventoried, jars have been labeled, and fluid has been replaced if needed.

Museum Access Notes for the Labor Day Weekend

The Museum will be open its usual hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3, 2017. However, Saturday, September 2 is a football game day.  You will only be able to park in the nearby parking lots if you have a football day parking permit.

On Monday, September 4 (Labor Day), the museum will be closed.

Fall Semester 2017 Museum Notes from the Curator

The Conner Museum web site has finally been moved from the old, struggling platform to the Word Press platform. I am hoping the new platform will make it easier to keep the site updated.

The museum priority for this fall in the research collection is to continue our inventory of the “pickle” collections (consisting of specimens stored in ethanol) so records for those specimens can be added to the online museum database, VertNet. We are also replacing jars and lids that do not seal adequately. The pickle inventory and upgrading of jars and lids is a big task. We have thousands of specimens stored in ethanol and among them are hundreds of jars with rusting or cracked lids or jar liners that no longer seal adequately.

I am also hoping to devote some time this semester to improving some of the displays.  With so much of the last decade having been devoted to computerizing the research collection and working through our immense backlog of specimens awaiting preparation, the public exhibit has taken a back seat to the research collection.