The Zoology Section provides collection access to many types of users who impact the specimens in different ways and to varying degrees. Our goal is to find the delicate balance between use and long-term preservation. To that end, we have put together several types of special collections which we hope will help retain that equilibrium. Each type of special collection has a different level of scientific importance, and therefore receives a different level of care and resources. Please contact the primary curatorial staff about use of this material.
K-12 Educational Collections: These collections have the highest availability to users and the lowest level of protection because, generally, they have no associated scientific data. These are available to K-12 educators and can be handled freely by students and family groups. As such, they will suffer some damage and wear over time. These specimens are also available to other users (e.g., general public, artists, university classes). Taxidermy specimens of birds and mammals are also available through the Museum 's Education Section (call 303-492-4843 for more information).
Synoptic Teaching Collections: These collections have a higher level of protection and more restrictive user availability. Specifically these specimens are for use in approved upper division biology classes on campus (e.g., Invertebrate Zoology, Mammalogy, Herpetology, Vertebrate Paleontology). They are composed of a mixture of specimens with little or no data and those with scientific data. While the approved classes have the first priority, the specimens are occasionally loaned out to other users (nature centers, other university classes, etc.) but, in those cases, they are not to be handled by students. Specimens in these collections are also available to researchers.
UCM Research Collections: This is the bulk of the Zoology Section's permanent collections holding. Generally, these are available for use inside the museum facility or for scientific loan to researchers and graduate students. Although their use in university classes is discouraged, they can be used occasionally to supplement synoptic material. These voucher specimens carry invaluable scientific and/or historic data and are given our highest level of professional care, intellectural control and preventive conservation.