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November 1, 2017

Be sure to check out this list periodically for updates related to the VMNH staff, including new hirings, scientific projects, professional achievements and awards. 

November 2017

Project Learning Tree at VMNH
VMNH Education Manager Christy Deatherage, as well as educators Katie Hastings and Margaret Fey, participated in a Project Learning Tree K-8 Workshop held at the museum in partnership with Reynolds Homestead and Virginia Tech's Colelge Access Collarborative.  During the workshop, the staff - along with educators from across the region - investigated a variety of environmental topics through indoor and outdoor activiteis in route to becoming Project Learning Tree certified educators.

October 2017

VMNH at Hokie Bugfest
VMNH Assistant Curator of Recent Invertebrates Dr. Kal Ivanov, and museum staff, participated in the 7th annual Hokie Bugfest held on the campus of Virginia Tech. The event was visited by approximately 8,400 participants during the course of a single day and offered a great opportunity to promote VMNH and the work conducted at the Department of Recent Invertebrates.

Curator working with intern on study of blow flies
VMNH Assistant Curator of Recent Invertebrates Dr. Ivanov is working with Piedmont Governor’s School senior Kendall Copen on a medicolegal question involving the distribution and abundance of blow flies to grow our knowledge of necrophagous flies used in investigations of human death.

September 2017

Curator of Archaeology co-editor of upcoming archaeology book
Dr. Elizabeth Moore, VMNH Curator of Archaeology, is the new co-editor for an upcoming book on the prehistoric archaeology of Virginia. Sponsored by the Council of Virginia Archaeologists and funded by the Department of Historic Resources, this book will contain a series of chapters on each of the major periods in Virginia’s history prior to European contact.

New Educator appointed
Margaret Fey was hired as a VMNH Educator in September 2017. Most recently, she served as the AmeriCorps STEM Team Lead at New College institute. Prior to that, she taught elementary students in Henry County Public Schools for 9 years. Margaret graduated from the College of William & Mary with double majors in anthropology and history and earned a master’s degree in education from Averett University.

Executive Director teaching UVA lifelong learning course
Dr. Joe Keiper, VMNH Executive Director, is teaching the course "Natural History of the Blue Ridge and Valley," as part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program at the University of Virginia.

August 2017

Science Administrator appointed
Krystal Davis was named the museum's Science Administrator in August 2017. Davis, who previously served as an administrative assistant within the museum's research and collections department, now takes on an expanded administrative role within the department. Davis has a B.AS. in Leadership Studies from Averett University.

Part-time educator appointed
Renae Wagoner was hired as a part-time educator in August 2017. Renae has a bachelor’s degree from Mary Baldwin University and experience as a tour guide at Reynolds Homestead, a historical interpreter at Fairy Stone State Park, and a teacher’s assistant with Franklin County Schools.

Curator, director teaching online course
VMNH Assistant Curator of Recent Invertebrates Dr. Kal Ivanov and VMNH Executive Director Dr. Joe Keiper are teaching a fall 2017 web-based entomology course for forensic biology majors at Ohio Northern University. The semester long course is designed to introduce students to the history, theory, and application of forensic entomology in legal investigations.

July 2017

Executive Director leads forensics traning
VMNH Executive Director Dr. Joe Keiper led forensic crime scene investigation training at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in July 2017. Keiper provided training to 16 police officers, focusing on the forensic use of insects inhabiting decomposing bodies.

Curators named adjunct faculty
Several VMNH curators were appointed adjunct faculty at James Madison University beginning July 2017. Appointees include Dr. Elizabeth Moore, Curator of Archaeology; Dr. Kal Ivanov, Assistant Curator of Recent Invertebrates; Dr. Alex Hastings, Assistant Curator of Paleontology; and Dr. Nancy Moncrief, Curator of Mammalogy.

Deputy Director appointed to Virginia Fundraising Institute board
Ryan Barber, VMNH Deputy Director, has been appointed to the 2017-2018 board of the Virginia Fundraising Institute (VFRI), a statewide non-profit organization led by the six Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) chapters in Virginia.

Curator presentations at American Society of Mammalogists conference
VMNH Curator of Mammalogy Dr. Nancy Moncrief attended the annual conference of the American Society of Mammalogists in July 2017, presenting information about 2 of her collaborative research projects (ecology of raccoons on the Virginia barrier islands and morphological studies of fossil muskrats).