Welcome to the Journal of the Sierra College Natural History Museum
Charles Dailey & Keely Carroll, Executive Editors
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Journal of the Sierra College Natural History Museum! The theme for our first edition is that of the Natural History Museum itself. For those who have not had the opportunity to visit the Museum in person, these articles should give you a glimpse into the wonders that can be found there and for those can not visit the campus you can still visit the museum online.
Charles and I represent two different ends of the spectrum when it comes to our experience with the Museum. As a new faculty member at Sierra College, I am just beginning to learn about the Museum and its history. Putting together this journal has been an education for me in and of itself because despite being a long-time resident of the Sacramento Valley and having many family members who attended the college, I had not visited the Museum until last year. Upon entering the building for the first time I was immediately in awe of the things that I saw. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I moved quickly from exhibit to exhibit hollering to a friend who had visited the college with me, “Look at this! Can you believe that they have this kind of material!” You can get a sense of the wonder that is felt when visiting the Museum by reading the article in this volume by Bill Martin entitled “Buried Treasure in the Sierra Nevada Foothills”.
Charles, on the other hand, started his tenure at Sierra College in 1971 and has been an integral part of the Museum for years. He is probably best known as the person who buried a grey whale in his yard, after trucking it in pieces from the coast. You can read about his quest to make the Sierra College Natural History Museum one of the few museums to have a grey whale skeleton on display in the article by Gary Noy.
The Museum itself has a very long and rich history as part of the community of Rocklin, California. You can read about this history in the article on the history of the Museum itself, entitled “The Sierra College Natural History Museum: A History”. The Museum’s history goes back more than 35 years and reaches far into the community. You can view some of that history by visiting the photo gallery slideshow which features some photos from the Museum’s past. Current Museum committee president Dick Hilton has also provided an audio commentary on the Museum that discusses some of the materials that can be found in the Museum itself.
It is our hope that you will find this edition entertaining and that maybe you will learn a little something that you didn’t know before. In each edition the plan is to provide you with articles based around a particular theme; this edition the theme is the Museum itself and the next edition will focus on sustainability. Each edition will also feature a short article on one of the course offerings that we have at the campus; this edition’s featured course is the Museum Methods class. We hope that this information will give you and idea of the focus and view of those involved in the Museum committee. The plan for this journal is to produce three editions per year, each with a different focus. Additions to the journal from its readers are welcome. If you are interested in making a submission email Keely at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important to note that while this journal is part of the Natural History Museum, it is produced under the Sierra College Press and would not exist if not for the creative thinking of Gary Noy and the technical assistance of Mike Price, without whom none of this would have come together.