University Of Louisiana At Monroe Dumps 6.5 Million Specimens To Give Way For Campus RenovationBy Khaleb Skye A. Cruz
The administrators of the University of Louisiana at Monroe asked the Museum of National History to relocate its 6.5 million plant and fish specimens or else, they will be destroyed. Apparently, more space is needed for the school's track team.
Per Gizmodo, a Facebook post from the caretakers of the Museum revealed that the management of the University of Louisiana at Monroe decided to "divest the research collections". In particular, it includes six million fish specimens from the Neil Douglas collection and about 500,000 plant specimens in the R. Dale Thomas exhibit. The College of Arts, Education, and Sciences is responsible for the gallery.
Since Tuesday, they were given 48 hours to find a new home for the collection. Now, with only less than 1 day left, a solution is yet to come. Dr. Eric Pani, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, noted that all specimens, except for the ones used in teaching, will be donated by mid-July. If the curators fail to do so, the samples will be destroyed before August.
The News Star clarified that several factors actually led to the decision to let go of the specimens. For one thing, they have been stored in the Brown Stadium since the original museum was transferred to the Hanna Hall last year. Unfortunately, the venue needs to be renovated starting this April and the school can no longer afford to store the gallery.
To be fair, most of the collection need to be preserved in flammable liquid. Moreover, it must be kept in a facility with a fire sprinkler system. Obviously, they require a significant amount of effort and funding.
On the other hand, the Facebook post made on Tuesday was probably misinterpreted as a move to destroy the collection in 48 hours. Another reason to just donate the specimens was the fact that no expansion for the museum is on the way. It has been planned but was postponed for about two years as more projects should be prioritized. Pani also clarified that the collection in the Hanna Hall are the ones for public viewing while the specimens in the Brown Stadium are intended for research.