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November 18, 2008

Press Release: Martinsville Bulletin

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Virginia Museum of Natural History has named retired curator Lauck "Buck" Ward as its first curator emeritus.

Ward served as curator of invertebrate paleontology at the museum for 19 years before he recently retired. He also has been the director of the VMNH paleontological field trips and is a cenozoic mollusk specialist, according to the VMNH Web site.

The museum announced his new appointment Monday.

The curator emeritus positions are non-salaried appointments that recognize the important contributions to the Virginia Museum of Natural History that have been made by curators who have rendered many years of service before retirement, according to the VMNH Web site.

Curator emeritus appointees continue their contributions to VMNH and their academic disciplines through service to the scientific and museum community. Criteria for appointment as curator emeritus include evidence of leadership in or service to the institution, community and professional discipline, along with evidence of involvement in professional organizations and scholarship, the Web site states.

Curator emeritus appointments are awarded by the museum's board of trustees upon the recommendation of the museum's executive director.

Executive Director Tim Gette said he hopes the museum can attract other retired scientists from other museums and universities to continue their work at the Martinsville facility as curator emeriti.

"I am very pleased that Dr. Lauck Ward has accepted this appointment as the first curator emeritus at VMNH and will continue to be an important resource to the museum although retired," Gette said. "It is my hope that Dr. Ward is only the first curator emeritus and that VMNH can attract other retired scientists from other museums and universities to come to Martinsville and continue their research and writing at the Virginia Museum of Natural History."

Ward was appointed as the museum's curator of invertebrate paleontology in 1989, having previously held positions with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Maryland Academy of Science and the Virginia Department of Agriculture. He has a bachelor's degree in biology from Frederick College and a master's degree and doctorate in geology from the University of South Carolina.