In 2017, the NSC Alliance engaged in a number of notable activities to raise the profile of natural history collections with policymakers, researchers, and the general public. A few highlights are presented below:
- Helped secure a 3 percent funding increase for the Smithsonian Institution in fiscal year 2017 and prevented large cuts to the budgets for the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies that support natural history collections.
- Worked with other museum supporting organizations and museums to defeat a Trump Administration proposal to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
- Intervened when the University of Louisiana Monroe planned to dispose of its natural history collections. NSC Alliance’s involvement helped garner media attention and encouraged the university to facilitate transfer of the collection to other organizations.
- NSC Alliance President Joseph Cook and Board member Scott Edwards organized the inaugural PFRB Symposium for 40 postdocs. The symposium highlighted new research uses of collections and provided an overview of opportunities in collections-based employment. The symposium was followed by a smaller BCoN workshop aimed at identifying new directions and opportunities for museums in the near future.