Science Division

Richard Pyle deep sea diving in Palau

Scientists from the Bishop Museum are studying the natural world from the bottom of the ocean to the tops of the highest volcanoes. Some like Richard Pyle (left) are helping to understand the ocean's "twilight zone" - the depth at which light from the sun starts to fade into darkness.
Bishop Museum scientists monitoring wekiu bugs

Others (right), working with the University of Hawaii, are helping monitor the rare wēkiu bug and potential threats to its population at the summit of Mauna Kea. Our researchers communicate their findings in professional journals, lectures, blogs, and at our regular Science Alive! events.

Collections
The Bishop Museum’s biological collections are split into 7 separate sections: Entomology (insects)Botany (plants)Vertebrate Zoology (animals)Invertebrate ZoologyIchthyology (fish), Malacology (shells) and the Pacific Center for Molecular Biodiversity (DNA). Much of the material in these collections was accumulated by researchers around the Pacific over the past century, including many Bishop Museum staff. Each collection continues to grow as researchers study the natural world and deposit voucher specimens at the Bishop Museum. Once specimens are accepted and accessioned by collections managers upon arrival to the museum, staff curate and install specimens into the permanent storage spaces. Some specimens are showcased in semi-permanent or temporary exhibits throughout the museum. In special cases, guided back-of-house collections tours are given to groups or individuals based on time and availability of collections staff. Specimens are also available for research by scientists and qualified personnel.

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