Morrill Hall Fourth Floor Map
Morrill Hall - Fourth Floor: Cherish Nebraska
After being closed to the public for more than 50 years, the fourth level has been transformed into state-of-the-art exhibits using modern technology. Celebrate Nebraska’s natural heritage – the diversity of life that has been shaped over the millennia by Nebraska’s changing environments. Journey from Nebraska’s landscapes through time and space, and learn how our state’s natural heritage – our birds, plants and animals - is shaped by geological changes and human-impacts.
Science Exploration Zone
Visitors are invited to explore their own natural history questions, sketch and write about their findings, create their own collections, and in the warmer months, observe honeybee behavior in a working hive. This lively hub of exploration is the perfect inclusive hangout.
State Museum Science
Follow the work of University of Nebraska scientists from field to laboratory – richly illustrated by videos, an interactive field station, and Nebraska research discovery wall complete with specimens and microscope stations for further exploration. The voices and enthusiasm of field biologists and paleontologists are captured throughout this space. An 8-foot interactive digital touch table brings to life the microscopic lives of parasites connecting the visitor to research of the museum’s H. W. Manter Parasitology Laboratory.
Modeled after Smithsonian working lab exhibits, this space is used to prepare fossils and other scientific specimens by staff scientists and volunteers. See first-hand how specimens are prepared for scientific research and preservation.
Learn the story of Nebraska from the arrival of the Paleoindians to present-day urban and agricultural land-use. Through the lens of how people changed the prairie, this gallery asks the visitor to ponder the value of water and other natural resources, as well as how small changes in how we live can have a big impact on sustaining natural resources for future generations.
A state-of-the-art digital exhibit featuring a five-foot diameter projection globe. Visitors will learn about Earth’s interrelated weather and climate processes and their relationship to Nebraska and the Midwest region. Custom globe programs run continually for the visitors in an intimate, theater like setting.
Nebraska Landscapes Through Time
Visitors are greeted by the iconic ambush predator Barbourofelis and the extinct Giant Bison when they arrive! Based on museum collections, this gallery tells the story of great animal migrations of prehistoric bears, cats and elephants, the evolution of the grasslands to the modern prairie, and the extinction of those animals that could not adapt as the climate dried and cooled over time.
Nebraska Modern Landscapes
Navigate the major ecological regions (ecoregions) and water systems of Nebraska and the Great Plains to understand how they tie together. Visitors can contemplate the Platte River system, play in a virtual watershed and explore why there is hidden water in the Ogallala Aquifer. Visitors will marvel at the complexity of prairies, including the Sandhills, the largest sand dune region in the western hemisphere. The plants, animals, and complex geology that creates these environments are featured in videos, and crawl-through exhibit spaces.