The UC Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History Collections will hold an open house on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, at the Science and Engineering Library's Ching-Yi Dougherty Reading Room on the UCSC campus.

UCSC students  and the community are encouraged to attend for free on Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free parking will be available on Saturday at the nearby Core West Parking Structure.

The theme for this year's open house is "Skins and Bones." The museum will highlight the combined collections of the museum's many specimens of vertebrate animals, as well as the Anthropology Department's osteological collections. These collections are an invaluable resource for understanding local biodiversity and are used by many classes and researchers on campus.

Also on display will be the renowned Gerhard Ringel butterfly and moth collection; many mounted specimens from local master taxidermist Richard Gurnee; fresh fall fungus specimens; exhibits created by undergraduate environmental studies students; and much more.

The museum was established in 1996 as part of the Environmental Studies Department and is the main repository for natural science collections at UC Santa Cruz. The collections--which include plants, fungi, lichens, marine algae, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and skeletons--are for use by researchers, teachers, students, and the public. The museum is actively cataloging and expanding its collections and is involved in many internships, research projects, classroom laboratory exercises, and cooperative ventures with other organizations.

The collections are organized for research and classroom use, but the museum has opened its collections for public view several times since 2009. More information is available on the museum web site at mnhc.ucsc.edu or by calling (831) 459-4763.