Our natural history museum was created in 2008 and is currently housed in classrooms 308 and 309 Percival Hall on the Evansdale Campus at WVU. We created a natural history museum for West Virginia because we believe natural history museums are critical for educating future resource managers and the general public. We also believe that natural history museums are an essential component of a comprehensive land grant institution particularly in a rural state like West Virginia where people embrace a strong connection with the land.
Although we are young the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources’ Natural History Museum has already made great strides. In 2007 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Estler graciously donated to WVU the Robert Estler Collection. The Estler Collection includes about 400 taxidermied wildlife mounts. We have developed a Museum Concept Plan to renovate the Percival Hall Lobby into the Natural History Museum. Moreover, we have received several donations to help build the natural habitat dioramas. Currently we have funding for one diorama and partial funding for a second. However, many named still exist if we are to have enough funding to build our initial 20 displays. In the future we would like to have a fully-functional stand-alone building to house our Natural History Museum.