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Bug Blast Imagine That Exhibit See the Tusk! Plan Your Event The New Burke

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Bug Blast

Sunday, September 21, 10 am – 4 pm | Buzz on by the Burke as thousands of specimens fly, inch, or crawl to the museum for this favorite annual family event!

Imagine That Exhibit

See some of the most fascinating and rare items from the Burke’s collection (many of which have never been displayed) and discover what they teach us about our world.

See the Tusk!

Starting April 12, the South Lake Union mammoth tusk is back on view! See it any day of the week in Imagine That.

Plan Your Event

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

The New Burke

Have you noticed our new look? It’s part of bigger plans for the “New Burke,” a flagship natural history museum that inspires wonder and pride about the Northwest.

Featured Content
Photos & Video

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

Explore the past and present near San Juan Island’s American Camp

August 11, 2014

For the past 20 years, Julie Stein, executive director of the Burke Museum and a professor of Archaeology at the University of Washington, has led walking tours on the southern edge of San Juan Island… Full post »

Scientific illustration: What’s the point? Reflections on the craft’s ongoing value

July 15, 2014

By Nora SherwoodMore than 400 years ago, European explorers were traveling to distant corners of the globe and discovering unfamiliar landscapes, people, animals and plants. In a time when travel was prohibitively… Full post »

It’s a new holiday! Burke Education makes one kid’s dream come true

June 11, 2014

When 6-year old John, of Friday Harbor, Washington, was asked make up his own holiday, he let his imagination run wild—prehistoric wild.Image excerpt courtesy of Scholastic Book Clubs, Inc.John… Full post »

7 good reads recommended by Burke staff

May 31, 2014

Tell us what you're reading this summer in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. Photo: Simon Cocks / Creative CommonsWhether you're heading out on the road or hanging… Full post »

Making connections through Burke collections

May 18, 2014

In honor of this year's International Museum Day, I sat down with one of our curators, Dr. Holly Barker, also a University of Washington (UW) anthropology professor, to talk about some of the connections… Full post »

Object in focus: A mug made from a walrus

April 10, 2014

The journey from walrus to mug is actually shorter than you might think, as a few objects in the Burke's collection show.First, the mug.Photo credit: Richard Brown PhotographyObject… Full post »

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