The mission of the Hefner Museum of Natural History is to inspire global stewardship by exploring the connections between people, the nature in their neighborhood, and the world. 


The Hefner Museum of Natural History will serve as the steward of authentic specimens and authoritative natural history information that appeal to people of all backgrounds and abilities and inspire new ways of thinking.  Through our unique exhibitions, public programs, experiential and on-line learning, and support of scholarship, we will create important educational and recreational connections between the University, students’ families, alumni, and the local community.


  • Involve students in all aspects of Museum work, focusing on training in the fundamentals of museology and practical natural history including all aspects of specimen preservation, data collection, exhibition, and use in scholarship and education.
  • Apply creativity and the highest industry standards in maintenance, hands-on classroom use, and inspirational display of the collections.
  • Provide support and consultation for projects that involve natural history, including grant-mandated broader impacts, across the University and community.
  • Provide physical and digital access to specimens, models, and standards-based inquiry activities to educators of all disciplines in partnership with the Cecilia Berg Center for Environmental Education.
  • Increase awareness and use of the Museum and its cross-disciplinary educational resources throughout the University and community, in partnership with Museums Miami, and function as an important connection between the University and parents, alumni, and the community.


The Hefner Museum of Natural History in Upham Hall serves students and professors throughout campus and is a fun and educational place for families and the community to gather when on campus.  Our exhibits and events bring together people of all ages and disciplines, while our training is instrumental in students getting their dream jobs quickly.  We involve students in every aspect of our work and are currently developing a big cat exhibit, revitalizing the campus-wide tree walk, restoring a historic diorama, and re-envisioning our Imaginarium Gallery, among many other exciting projects.  Stimulating adventures await at every corner.