science division projects

Science Division Videos

Learn more about the research conducted by the Science Division

Scroll down to see a selection of videos from previously recorded programs like Science Division Live and Girls in Science.

Tune in for the live broadcast on our Facebook page. Here's what's coming up:

May 6th: If I Could Turn Back Time: A Snowmastodon Retrospective with Curator of Paleontology, Dr. Ian Miller

See more videos from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science at on YouTube.

Ancient Aztec

Join Dr. Erin Baxter in a view of unpublished 100 year old photographs that tell new stories about 1000 year old Pueblo from New Mexico.

Ancient Mummies, New Discoveries

In 2016, as the Museum prepared to update its Egyptian Hall, staff scientists decided to reexamine two ancient Egyptian mummies and three coffins. A trip to Children’s Hospital Colorado for CT scans was just part of a journey to uncover information about the unknown women wrapped in ancient linens. From new translations and analysis of coffin construction and wood to radiocarbon dating, find out what the latest science brought to light. Dr. Michele Koons, curator of archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and Caroline Arbuckle MacLeod, postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia, will share the most exciting findings detailed in their new book “The Egyptian Mummies and Coffins of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science." Purchase the book from the Museum Shop.

What's in a Name

The Hows and Whys of Naming a New Species

Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, Dr. Paula Cushing, will explain how new species are named and how species names are chosen. Scientists have lots of leeway in choosing species names and use that opportunity to honor people they admire, evoke a chuckle, or make you think. What taxonomists never do is name a new species after themselves - that's just plain tacky!



Tour of the Paleo Prep Lab

Join chief preparator Natalie Toth and earth sciences preparator Salvador Bastien for a behind-the-scenes look at the tools and techniques used to get a fossil ready for research and exhibition! 

Avian Tricksters

Join Associate Curator of Ornithology, Dr. Garth Spellman, as he discusses avian practical jokes from the relatively mundane (think Dad jokes) to the downright horrible. Who knew birds could be so funny?

Colorado's Rocks

Using a laser rangefinder and GIS, we're studying the ancient sandstones of Colorado and Utah to figure out what the Rocky Mountains looked like 500-600 million years ago. Join Dr. James Hagadorn, Tim & Kathryn Ryan Curator of Geology at the Museum, for this episode of Science Division Live.


Through the Universe

Earth is the only place in the entire universe with a biosphere that is uniquely suited to keeping us alive. What properties of the planet allows it to support life? Why have worlds like Mars and Venus, which started off similar to Earth, evolve to their present uninhabitable states? Explore the universe with Dr. KaChun Yu.

Girls & Science Chat

Clubhouse Chat with Kristen MacKenzie and Nicole Neu-Yagle

Women in STEAM careers share their inspirations and amazing achievements, and answer your questions about their jobs. Watch now: DMNS Earth Sciences collections managers Kristen MacKenzie and Nicole Neu-Yagle!



SUE the T. rex

Listen to Curator of Dinosaurs, Joe Sertich, discuss the life of this fearsome fossil.

Animal Anatomy

Are you an adorer of animals? Delighted by dissection, or fascinated by feathers and fur? Then you have something in common with Andie Carrillo, Zoology Preparator. Andie works behind the scenes of the museum, studying animal specimens to learn about their lives and environments from their physical characteristics, and preparing each specimen to be kept in our collection and studied by other researchers for years to come.

The Love Bugs

The humorous and poignant documentary "The Love Bugs" explores the love of nature and the nature of love--and what it means to completely devote oneself to both. Over the course of 60 years Charlie and Lois O'Brien traveled to more than 67 countries and quietly amassed the world’s largest private collection of insects. In their twilight decade, the two renowned, married entomologists decide to give their collection away. Watch the film before the event on POV, then join curator of entomology Dr. Frank Krell, Nico Franz, Professor and Biocollections Director at Arizona State University, and special guest Lois O'Brien to explore the joy of studying bugs.



Behind the Scenes

Join archaeology curator Dr. Michele Koons and anthropology collections manager Dominique Alhambra for a tour in the Anthropology collections. We'll visit objects from regions and cultures around the world.

A Smell to Remember

A smell can transport us instantly back to childhood, bringing to mind long-forgotten memories in an instant. Odors are capable of evoking powerful memories, and inciting strong physical and emotional reactions. However, most people struggle to describe smells more than our other senses because we process them differently in our brain. Learn from research manager Tiffany Nuessle why smell is potentially the most underrated sense we have.

Shrews - Live Fast, Die Young!

Shrews are among the smallest mammals on the planet, but a large part of many ecosystems including those in Colorado. Stuffing a high-energy lifestyle into a short lifespan, these voracious predators must eat constantly to stay alive. In Colorado we have nine species of shrews, many of which can be sometimes difficult to identify. To better understand the diversity and distribution of shrews in the state, we’ve been using genetics to ID the shrews in our museum collection. This has led to some interesting findings.  

Interview with Dr. Tyler Lyson

On our state's largest day of philanthropy, we're celebrating all you've done to support us. Join us for an interview with Dr. Tyler Lyson, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, and a live look at Tyler's recent groundbreaking scientific discovery out of Colorado Springs.


Rehousing Demonstration

Part 1

Join assistant collections manager Jeff Phegley to learn how collection items are housed and put into our collections cabinets, all part of the process that goes into preserving the collection items.

Check out Part 2 here.

Bees 101

There are about 20,000 be species in the world, and 970 of them can be found here in Colorado. But do you know what makes bees different from wasps? What separates solitary and social bees?  Learn more from Science Division vice president Dr. Gabriela Chavarria.

1918 Flu

With Museum Archivist and Enactor

In 1918, devastating flu pandemic swept over the world. Masks, cleaning protocols, resistance, and caskets became part of the norm. Health care workers, families, communities and government fought valiantly to stop the spread. What was it like in Denver, at the Museum and in communities around Colorado? Our Museum archivist, Sam Schiller, and one historical enactor discuss and imagine.

Tracks and Scat

Poop. Yeah, we said it...POOP! Talk poop with our collections team as they relate images of recent track/scat findings to collection pieces and discuss just why poop is so important. Gather your scat knowledge and prepare for a stinky discussion. Giggles permitted.

Vigango Repatriation

Join Senior Curator of Archaeology Dr. Steve Nash for a brief discussion about the Museum's decade-long and ultimately successful effort to repatriate sacred grave posts the Mijikenda of Kenya.

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