February 9, 2022
The American Center of Research supported the establishment of the Natural Science Museum at Al Hussein Bin Talal University’s College of Science. The goal was to create an educational tool for the university campus, targeting in particular students of the College of Science, as well as, in general, students from the university’s other diverse colleges. Moreover, the museum will be a destination for learning and discovery for the local community and for students of all ages throughout the Ma’an Governorate.
Through its USAID-funded Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (SCHEP), the American Center supported implementation of the project concept, which came from the university’s dean of the faculty of science, Prof. Jebreel Khoshman, and was realized through displays depicting scenes of southern Jordan’s natural landscape, including its animal and plant life.
The funding and technical support that The American Center’s USAID SCHEP provided to the museum began with developing the idea visually, utilizing a three-dimensional approach. Initially, geometric drawings were created as a planning tool to formulate the layout of the museum. These included spaces allocated for display cabinets and stands, visitation routes and circulation, and a gallery area. Preservation guidelines were also developed to maintain the museum’s holdings, thus ensuring its sustainability.
The next step involved the process of installing the lighting system, cinematic sound system, and special monitoring devices for the purpose of light, temperature, and humidity control within the museum environment. At the same time, taxidermy-mounted animals and rare seeds and other plant specimens were purchased. The museum also received donated objects.
Support from the grant did not stop at the point of physically creating the Natural Science Museum and its displays but continued on to provide several training programs and capacity-building initiatives in the field of animal taxidermy and preservation, resulting in the creation of at least 150 examples of insects and domestic animals. The museum also displays high-quality videos and photographs to promote use of modern digital formats in line with international museum standards.
Today, the Natural Science Museum offers visitors the opportunity to see a large variety of taxidermy mounts, rare plants, and murals that reflect the topography of southern Jordan, serving as a beacon of knowledge for natural sciences in the region. At Al Hussein Bin Talal University, The American Center of Research’s continued support for such initiatives has produced an educational and engaging intersection between Jordan’s cultural and natural heritage.