The NSF-CSBR Joint Museums Project is focusing on three main areas, chosen for their historical significance and multidisciplinary nature.
The Geological Surveys of Michigan were responsible for some of the earliest geological, zoological, and botanical collections in Michigan– beginning in 1837, the year Michigan became a state. By act of the state legislature, specimens from the Surveys were given to the fledgling University of Michigan, and many remain in the museum collections.
Joseph Beal Steere, an Ann Arbor native, traveled through the Amazon, Philippines, China, and Taiwan in 1870-1875; the specimens he sent back to the University of Michigan formed the nucleus for the Museum of Natural History.
Walter Koelz traveled extensively in India, Iran, and the Himalayas on the first University-sponsored expedition to South Asia from 1930-1953.