The past year has been a particularly notable and exciting one at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (BBM) and I am pleased to be back as the Director. The theme of this year’s annual report is “impact.” It is undeniable that the BBM has become a popular attraction at UBC and in Vancouver. We are closing in on 200,000 visitors and we average about 35,000 per year. It is equally undeniable that each collection and department of the BBM has been working very hard since we opened and over the past year, but what has been the impact of all this effort in terms of our mission of enhancing the understanding of biodiversity through collections-based research, teaching, and public outreach? Each collection provides insights to answer to this question and it is clear that the BBM is impactful in myriad ways.
I will highlight one—our expanded efforts in terms of undergraduate education. Over the past year, curators, faculty, and education and outreach staff provided services to over 6,500 UBC students largely from the Faculty of Science, but also from Arts, Commerce, Education, Forestry, Library Science, and specialized programs (English Language Institute). You can read more about these efforts in the Education report, but I highlight them here because they clearly indicate the impact the biodiversity collections can have on enhancing undergraduate and graduate education, they represent a successful new initiative, and they represent a productive partnership among curatorial staff, education staff, and course instructors.
I wish to thank all of our visitors who spent time at the BBM this year, our dedicated volunteers (over 100!), donors, and all of the staff of the BBM, from work-learn students, to full-time staff and faculty. Your commitment to, and passion for, biodiversity and the BBM are inspirational. Finally, on behalf of all at the BBM, I want to acknowledge the continuing wonderful support that we receive from Drs. Simon Peacock (Dean, Faculty of Science), Lacey Samuels (Head, Department of Botany), and Bob Shadwick (Head, Department of Zoology). Your continued commitment to the BBM is greatly appreciated and clearly impactful!