• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

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John E. Simmons

John E. Simmons instructor for Transmitting Science

John E. Simmons

Bellefonte, United States of America


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I began my career as a zookeeper before becoming collections manager at the California Academy of Sciences and later at the University of Kansas, where I also served as Director of the Museum Studies Program until 2007. As a museum consultant I specialize in collections management, particularly natural history and anatomical collections. My research interests include the history of museums and specimen preparation, and collections management theory and practice. I have a BA in systematic and ecology and an MA in museum studies. I received the American Alliance of Musems Superior Voluntary Service Award (2001), the University of Kansas Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Mentoring of Graduate Students (2005), and the Carolyn L. Rose Award for Outstanding Commitment to Natural History Collections and Management (2011).  My books include Cuidado, Manejo y Conservación de las Colecciones Biológicas (2005, with Yaneth Muñoz-Saba); Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies (2006); Fluid Preservation: A Comprehensive Reference (2014); Foundations of Museum Studies: Evolving Systems of Knowledge (2014, with Kiersten Latham); Herpetological Collecting and Collections Management (3rd edition 2014); and Museums: A History (to be published July 2016). My chapter on “Collections Management: History, Theory, and Practice” appeared in Museum Practice: The Contemporary Museum at Work (International Handbook of Museum Studies) in 2015. I currently run Museologica (a museum consulting company), teach museum studies in the US and Latin America, and I am the Adjunct Curator of Collections for the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery at Penn State University.


Museums and Collections