The Durham Museum

Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition Exhibition and Story Safari
September 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016
This 12-poster exhibition was developed by the Center for Great Plains Studies in Lincoln, Nebraska and features the artistic talents of Katie Nieland. The images are based on the 1930s Works Progress Administration’s National Parks prints, which were intended to show Americans the beauty of their country and encourage tourism. These prints in particular highlight the unique aspects of Nebraska and the state’s grasslands, though many depict scenes that could be found throughout the Great Plains.

The exhibition is being presented in conjunction with The Durham’s Story Safari, an interactive play space for our youngest visitors. This space includes a 10 foot by 12 foot “treehouse” complete with bean bag chairs, puppets, puzzles and games all centered around the animal kingdom. Visitors will find a selection of classic animal stories in the treehouse, along with books from wildlife photographers like Nebraska’s own Thomas Mangelsen and Michael Forsberg - as well as The Durham Museum’s guest presenter Brian Skerry.

Wild Weekends
Saturdays in October, 10:30-11:30AM
Saturdays are about to get wild at the museum in the month of October! Join area animal experts and conservationists and a few of their furry (and sometimes slimy) guests during Wild Weekends. Each Saturday, a different animal presentation will take place in the Swanson Gallery. Come learn about some amazing animals and make some new furry friends. All guests will take home an animal mask for participating.
Saturday, October 3 – Gifford Farms
Saturday, October 10 – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
Saturday, October 17 – Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery
Saturday, October 24 – Nebraska Humane Society
Saturday, October 31 – Wildlife Encounters

*Saturdays in the Gallery
October 3, November 7 and December 5, 9-10AM
Join selected scholars on the first Saturday of the month for a special tour and commentary of Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Space is limited on these tours (25) so please make reservations by either calling 402-444-5027 or emailing
October 3 - Katie Nieland
Katie Nieland is the Assistant Director and Communications Coordinator for the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska. A former graphic artist for the Chicago Tribune, much of her design works to tell a story – in this case the story of the Great Plains’ amazing sights. Katie is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She exhibits her personal artwork in the Lincoln area.

November 7 - Sonya Stejskal

Sonya Stejskal, a Fulbright-Hays scholar who studied in Calcutta, was born in Omaha, graduated from Creighton University (where she studied History, English and Religion) and holds a Masters in Asia Studies from New York University. She taught thirty years in Millard high schools, and led twenty-six tours of students to Europe to appreciate the history they had learned in school. Sonya’s recent trips have been to Vietnam and Cambodia, the Ukraine and last year, before it was officially open, to Cuba with other UNO professors. Travel and photography have always been an integral part of her life and her teaching career.

December 5 - Katharine Sires-Anderson

Katharine Sires-Anderson, author of Grandfather Big Elk: An Omaha Chief: Witigon Onphontonga teaches art in Omaha, Nebraska and will be hosting guests in The Durham Museum’s Great Plains Ecotourism exhibit this Saturday, December 5. Kat holds a BFA in illustration and incorporates her life experiences to create learning opportunities across core curricula areas. Her work in many areas allows her to demonstrate that art is fun, but it can also be a career path for some students. Katharine has taught a variety of ages from pre-K through adult learners, including implementing Montessori art methods, private art lessons, development and implementation of courses at the Durham Museum, "Discovery Day" for Native American Month at her school, and mini lessons at the Joslyn Art Museum. As a professional artist, she draws from years of freelance art, illustration and photo styling experience and a working knowledge of the art field as a career. Says Kat, “I believe that the beauty of art is in the act of creating. It is not always about the outcome; it can sometimes be about the simple act of trying. Art is striving to become a better being during the process of creating-to make something for yourself while unintentionally hiding your soul in the work for others to discover.

Where’s the Wildlife?
The Durham Museum’s permanent galleries are home to lots of wildlife of their own. Make sure to pick up a wildlife scavenger hunt at the front desk and see if you can find where our animals may be hiding! Find them all and get a special prize.

Treehouse Story Time
October 12 and November 9, 1PM
Join The Durham Museum’s education department in the Story Safari treehouse for a special story time.
Watch live online as we explore some of our favorite animal story books.
Monday, October 12, 1PM – Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship
Monday, November 9, 1PM – Verdi

*Ocean Soul
Presented by Brian Skerry
Tuesday, October 6
6:30PM Lecture
Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Lecture Hall

Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine (NGM) covering a wide range of subjects and stories. In 2014 he was named a National Geographic Photography Fellow. An award-winning photographer, Brian is praised worldwide for his aesthetic sense as well as his journalistic drive for relevance. His uniquely-creative images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea, but also help bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our oceans and its inhabitants.

His year-round assignment schedule frequently finds himself in environments of extreme contrast from tropical coral reefs to diving beneath polar ice. While on assignment he has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to canoes to the Goodyear Blimp to get the picture. He has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater in his career.

For NGM, Brian has covered a wide range of stories, from the harp seal’s struggle to survive in frozen waters to the alarming decrease in the world’s fisheries, both cover stories. His latest, about dolphin intelligence, was the cover story in May 2015. Other features have focused on subjects such as the planet’s last remaining pristine coral reefs, the plight of the right whale, sharks, marine reserves, sea turtles and squid. He is currently at work on his 24th story for NGM.

Brian has also worked on assignment for or had images featured in magazines such as US News and World Report, BBC Wildlife and Smithsonian. He is a frequent guest on programs such as NBC’s TODAY Show, CBS’s Sunday Morning and ABC’s Good Morning America. In 2010 National Geographic magazine named one of Brian’s images among their 50 Greatest Photographs of All Time. He has had recent exhibits in cities such as Geneva, Barcelona, Lisbon and Shanghai. An exhibit of Brian’s work is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC and two of his photographs are featured in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

Members: FREE!
(Not a member? Join online)
Adults: $9.00
Seniors (62+): $7.00

*Space is limited and registration is required. Please contact The Durham Museum at 402-444-5071 or email to reserve your spot today!

  Story Safari is sponsored by the Patterson Family.