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Archaeology Day Seattle’s Past Landscapes See the Seahawk Mask What is Coast Salish Art? Plan Your Holiday Party

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Archaeology Day

Saturday, January 10 – See recent discoveries and learn how archaeology is used to study both the past and the present.

Seattle’s Past Landscapes

Discover and explore how Seattle’s landscapes have changed over time with the Waterlines Project.

See the Seahawk Mask

See the Kwakwaka’wakw mask that inspired the Seattle Seahawks logo on display in the Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired exhibition through July 27, 2015.

What is Coast Salish Art?

Explore the history, objects, meanings and techniques behind the art of the Coast Salish people in this website feature. (Paddle by Shaun Peterson, Puyallup/Tulalip)

Plan Your Holiday Party

Located on the beautiful University of Washington campus, the museum can accommodate your reception, fundraiser, holiday party or special event.

Featured Content
Photos & Video

Video: Mask that inspired Seahawks logo unveiled (press event)

The mask that inspired the Seattle Seahawks logo was unveiled at a press preview event for the Burke Museum's exhibit "Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired." See the mask for yourself November 22, 2014 through July 27, 2015 at the Burke!

Video: Signing the Mammoth Tusk’s Cast (Time Lapse)

The 8 1/2 foot-long Columbian mammoth tusk found in Seattle in February 2014, is wrapped in a plaster cast, kind of like a broken arm or leg, while it dries out. So we handed visitors a pen to wish it well!

Video: A Mammoth Undertaking

A Columbian mammoth tusk was discovered at an AMLI Residential construction site in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. See photos and video of the tusk being excavated from the site and transported to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Video: Return a Story Pole Home

How do you mail a 37-foot totem pole? With a flatbed truck - and your help! Take part in our effort to bring a remarkable story pole back to the Northwest.

Video: Bug Blast

Each year we bug out as thousands of specimens, dead and alive, crawl to the Burke Museum for this favorite annual family event.

Video: Discover The Life Before You

How do we really know what happened before we were here? At the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, we bring together people, objects, and the stories that make them meaningful. 

Photos: Plastics Unwrapped Opening Party

Burke members and guests had a wonderful time exploring the Plastics Unwrapped exhibit at the opening party in early January 2013. Photos by Lora Shinn. 

Photos: Behind-the-Scenes Night 2013

Burke Members had a great time going behind-the-scenes in our collections where they discovered new objects, talked with curators, and learned about our cutting-edge research. Photos by Andrew Waits.

Video: Explore the Burke Museum Fishes Collection

Fishes collection manager, Katherine Maslenikov, takes SpaceSaver on a tour of the Fishes collection at the University of Washington.

Video: Studying tropical bats with Sharlene Santana

Sharlene Santana is an evolutionary biologist and the new curator of mammals here at the Burke Museum. She studies how behavior, diet, anatomy and function result in bursts of diversification in tropical bats -- mostly from Panama, Costa Rica and Venezuela. While Sharlene releases most of the bats she studies in the field, she collects some specimens to help preserve the biodiversity of these increasingly threatened habitats.

Video: Last Stands: Conservation Stories From Behind the Lens

Photographer TJ Watt regularly explores the remaining old-growth rainforests on Vancouver Island, B.C. These are some of the world's most spectacular old-growth temperate (non-tropical) rainforests, where trees have trunks as wide as living rooms and grow as tall as skyscrapers. Sadly, 75% of the island's productive old-growth forests have already been logged, including 90% of the valley bottoms. While hiking in March 2010, he took a photograph now known as "Last Stands."

Video: Unearthing the Giant Turtle Fossil

The Burke's fossil preparator, Bruce Crowley and a team of volunteers excavated a giant turtle - but finding it was only the beginning. We set up a camera to capture time-lapse video as our staff and volunteers prep the giant turtle in our fossil lab to show just what it takes to uncover the turtle.

Video: Cape Gannet Rescue: Conservation Stories From Behind the Lens

Photographer Cheryl-Samantha Owen recently documented a Cape Gannet rescue effort lead by the group SANCCOB in South Africa. This is her conservation story.

Video: Piecing Together Patagonia’s Ancient Vegetation

Studying the evolution of plants and climate change's impact on vegetation helps us better understand how our modern ecosystem evolved to be what it is today. Follow Regan Dunn, a graduate student in the University of Washington's Department of Biology, as she collects fossil plant remains in Costa Rica as part of a study with Burke Museum curator Caroline Strömberg.

Photos: ICP Awards member preview with the photographers

Our members were able to preview the ICP Awards exhibit before it was open to the public and mingle with several of the award-winning photographers.

Photos: Behind the Scenes 2012

One night a year, Burke members are invited behind the scenes of the museum. Behind-the-Scenes Night is an exclusive opportunity for members to see the Burke collections, meet curators and collection managers, and learn about current research. Members will discover every Burke division, including the Herbarium, archaeology, ornithology (birds), ethnology, ichthyology (fish), mammalogy, paleobotany, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, and entomology (spiders & insects).

Photos: Artifact ID Day 2012

Visitors accessed Burke knowledge on the natural and cultural world by bringing their heirlooms and objects on Artifact ID Day. Burke experts examined items ranging from fossils to Pacific Northwest Native American art. A record turnout with incredible objects made this year's Artifact ID Day a lively event!

Photos: Meet the Mammals 2011

Ever wanted to touch an otter? See a full-sized lion up close? These are just a few experiences visitors had at this year's annual family event, Meet the Mammals. Hundreds of specimens from the Burke's mammalogy collections were on display, with experts on-hand to answer questions.

Photos: Ice Age Archaeology Day, 2011

This year’s annual Archaeology Day focused on the last Ice Age. Visitors of all ages threw atlatls, touched artifacts, and learned how Clovis points were made.

Video: Meet the Squirrels! (And other mammals, too)

University of Washington Daily's "Double Shot" came to the Burke Museum's mammalogy collections to learn more about the squirrels on campus. They spoke with Collections Manager Jeff Bradley about the changes in the local squirrel populations over time.

Photos: Bug Blast 2011

Much fun had at this year’s Bug Blast! Visitors got to hold live bugs, see our Entomology collections, and talk with Burke experts.

Photos: ¡Carnaval! Opening Programs

Visitors enjoyed a day of colorful crafts, music, and programs about Carnivals around the world while exploring the ¡Carnaval! exhibit.

Burke Blog

A collection of Washington state symbols, natural history style

November 11, 2014

On Nov. 11, 2014, Washington state turns 125. In the spirit of celebrating, we highlighted 12 objects in the Burke collections that are quintessentially Washington—at least according to the Revised… Full post »

Digging for fossils in the Petrified Forest

November 4, 2014

By Tom KayeThe sky was crystal clear as my wife Carol and I geared up for our first day “on expedition” at Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona. This trip was particularly exciting for… Full post »

What do you collect? 10 unique visitor collections

October 25, 2014

Over the past four months, we've asked Burke Museum visitors to answer a simple question in our Imagine That exhibit: what do you collect?"What do you collect?" tags hang in the Burke's Imagine That exhibit.As… Full post »

Seattle’s ghost shorelines

October 13, 2014

By Peter Lape, Amir Sheikh, and Don FelsSomeday soon, Seattle’s downtown waterfront will look very different than it does today. The City of Seattle is replacing our crumbling seawall, and perhaps Bertha… Full post »

A mammoth state symbol from Washington’s prehistory

October 10, 2014

State symbols are designated to reflect the history and culture of a place. For instance, in Washington, we have a state tree that's common to our region (the Western Hemlock) and also a state bird (the… Full post »

Beautiful things: Still life photographs using Burke specimens & objects

September 26, 2014

When Dennis Wise and Malina Lopez wanted to use Burke Museum collections in their work, they weren’t interested in objects or specimens for the “usual” reasons. Often, the people who use Burke collections… Full post »

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