Daniel Ksepka, PhD, will join the Bruce Museum
as its newest Curator of Science in June. Ksepka earned his PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University in 2007 and spent five years in residence at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he performed his dissertation research on the fossil record of penguins and gained broad experience in the curation and study of natural history objects including fossils, skeletal materials, skins and geological specimens.
Informative, engaging exhibits are central to the education mission of natural history museums, and Ksepka is an expert at designing scientifically accurate and visually striking content for special exhibitions. Ksepka has recently contributed to several important museum exhibitions, including the traveling Race to the End of the Earth and Mythical Beasts exhibitions at the American Museum of Natural History and the Polar Palooza special exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. His extensive background in science includes science education, always an important and vibrant aspect of the Bruce Museums exhibition programming. Ksepka has a long track record of successful collaborations with K-12 educators including designing science content, presenting formal professional development talks for science teachers, and designing workshops for teaching special topics in geology, biology and paleontology.
Ksepka is also a popular speaker and writer. He has been a featured speaker at the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Field Museum. In addition to more than 30 formal peer-reviewed research papers, he has written articles for popular science magazines including Scientific American, American Scientist, and Dig. Even his personal blog, March of the Fossil Penguins, attracts more than 50,000 visitors per year.
Science and natural history have been integral to the Bruce Museums mission since the Museums origin. The wealthy textile merchant and member of the New York Cotton Exchange Robert Moffat Bruce (1822-1909) gave his property to the town of Greenwich in 1908, stipulating that the building be used as a natural history, historical, and art museum for the benefit of the public.
We are delighted that Daniel Ksepka is joining the curatorial staff at the Bruce, says Peter C. Sutton, Executive Director of the Bruce Museum. Daniel comes to us not only with a vast body of knowledge but also with a great deal of creativity and enthusiasm. He is already planning some exciting new science exhibitions for the Museum.
Ksepka joins the Bruce Museum from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina where he served as a postdoctoral researcher, and retains associate positions at the Field Museum, the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
*NESCent is the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and is funded by the National Science Foundation (award #EF-0905606) as a collaborative partnership between Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.