Steven M. Sullivan serves as the Director of the Hefner Museum of Natural History. Steve's passion for museums as a teaching tool began at an early age. By high school, he had transformed his parent's basement into "Steve's Museum"—a place where local kids could come to learn about the nature in their neighborhood through examining the living and preserved specimens Steve had collected. At Brigham Young University, while majoring in zoology and conservation biology, Steve worked at the university's museum of natural history, and volunteered at the museums of art and paleontology, and took courses through the museum of anthropology, learning more about the technical aspects of running a professional research and display institution.
Early in his career, Steve worked at the US Fish and Wildlife service monitoring bird populations, teaching teacher professional development classes, and creating exhibits. Later he managed the scientific collections of at one of the oldest natural history institutions, the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Museum. As their senior curator of urban ecology, Steve worked with the exhibits department to develop permanent and touring exhibits, with the education department to develop lesson plans that brought specimens into the classroom, and worked with the public to establish an authentic connection to the natural world around them. Steve’s goal in all that he does is ,”to help people realize their direct and indirect connections with the non-human world and to maximize local biodiversity while minimizing human/animal conflict.”
In addition to his broad museological training and experience, Steve brings to the Hefner —and to Miami University—a passion for collaboration with diverse disciplines to tell the exciting stories of nature to people of all ages and interests.