Agency Strategic Plan
4/21/2014   3:03 am
Virginia Museum of Natural History (942)
Biennium:
Mission and Vision

Mission Statement
The mission of the Virginia Museum of Natural History is to interpret Virginia's natural heritage within a global context in ways that are relevant to all citizens of the Commonwealth.
Vision Statement
The Virginia Museum of Natural History vision for collections is to ensure that the collections held in trust for the Commonwealth of Virginia are handled in a professional manner, are preserved for future research, are provided state-of-the-art care and management, and are accessible in appropriate ways to a variety of constituents. Collections Management is the responsibility and function of an institution that fosters the preservation, accessibility, and utility of collections and associated data. Collections care involves developing and implementing policies and procedures to protect the long-term integrity of specimens and artifacts, as well as their associated data and documentation. We are committed to providing a professional collections staff trained in the method and theory of collections management to ensure that this vision is met.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History vision for Administration and Services is to support and ensure excellence in financial services, procurement, payroll and human resource services, and operations of the facility. We will endeavor to keep abreast of and adhere to all state rules and regulations. With a well-trained staff and effective communication, we will deliver the highest quality services to the museum staff.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History vision for technology is to ensure that the overall quality of service that the Virginia Museum of Natural History provides to the community is not compromised because of inadequate technology. Our charter mandate will be supported by up to date infrastructure, staff well-trained in technology and information systems that allows us to deliver the highest quality service. We will pursue, where appropriate and sustainable, technology tools that increase our capacity to educate the public, get vital information to those who need it most, measure and evaluate our work, enable staff to do their work efficiently, and effectively communicate with the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History Department of Education and Public Programs vision is to further the interpretation of Virginia’s natural heritage in ways that are relevant to all citizens of the Commonwealth. To achieve this vision, DEPP will ensure an inclusive educational program for all people in a welcoming, supportive, and visitor-oriented environment. DEPP will collaborate with and lend departmental expertise to other functional areas of the Museum, community organizations, and other state agencies. DEPP will serve as a professional center for life-long learning programs. DEPP will pursue the appropriate use of technology to expand interactive learning opportunities for the citizens of Virginia and beyond.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History's vision for Marketing and Development is to have a broad and deepening awareness of all of the Museum's programs and services among its constituencies. Increased awareness will be turned into increased Museum attendance, participation in special events and programs, increased membership and increased financial support.
Agency Values

Executive Progress Report

Service Performance and Productivity
  • Summary of current service performance
    VMNH measures its service performance through performance measures tied to our strategic goals and objectives.

    VMNH’s first goal is to create and deliver value for the Commonwealth of Virginia through research, innovative and engaging exhibits and educational programming based on scientific and educational research with discovery opportunities which attract visitors to the Museum and enhance the Museum's scientific and educational reputation in the Commonwealth; VMNH’s second goal is to increase multiple visits per person through maintaining up-to-date and interesting programming; VMNH’s third goal is to generate operating revenue through tangible value creation for our customers and partners and our fourth goal is to preserve and maintain the Commonwealth's natural history--the library of our natural heritage--for future generations.

    Each department at VMNH has specific objectives to allow the Museum to measure its progress in meeting its goals. Some of the accomplishments and work in progress are:

    ADMINISTRATION AND SERVICES
    Accomplishments
    This service area has general oversight over accounts payables, deposits, purchasing, budgeting, human resources, and building operations. It also involves internal control management, account reconciliations, and various accounting reports.

    •Post museum jobs and IFBS/RFPS on VMNH website and other state sites to get better responses in applications and bids/proposals. All job openings and solicitations have been posted on the museum website and Virginia State sites.
    •Provide first aid and CPR training to employees needing recertification. Training has been offered and staff has been recertified. We will continue to offer training for recertification each year.
    Work In Progress
    •The former facility continues to perform an important role for the Virginia Museum of Natural History as a storage facility for collections that are not environmentally sensitive now that the new building is open.
    •Offers training sessions for employees and offer incentives for participation.
    •Provide guides (docents) throughout the museum to answer questions.

    EDUCATION AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS
    Accomplishments
    In 2008-2009, 949 educational programs were delivered reaching 20,297 people. We served 16 locations with 412 programs at the museum and 38 locations with 544 programs by outreach from the Martinsville/Henry County and Charlottesville education offices. We delivered over 100 outreach programs to John Redd Smith Elementary School.
    • Education staff hosted and participated in the annual Virginia Environmental Education Conference sponsored by the Virginia Resource Use Education Council. Staff also hosted meetings of the Virginia Association of Science Teachers board of directors, and the Virginia Science Education Leadership Association.
    • The department director taught a graduate level course entitled Trout in the Classroom from July 7-11 as adjunct faculty in the Masters of Teaching with an emphasis on environmental education at Mary Baldwin College. Sixteen educators from Douthat State Park to Chesapeake completed the course.
    • The department director presented two, two-day Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment Workshop at Glenvar High School in Roanoke County. Teachers were trained in hydrology and water quality assessment methods and became GLOBE certified.
    • Now in its second year, the VMNH Community Nature Initiative, a program started with a $215,350 grant from the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont, is delivering a variety of community-based programs aimed at reconnecting children and adults to nature and the outdoors. Fifteen community organizations joined together to plan Earth Week, April 18 to April 26, 2009. Citizens participated in a variety of educational and fun-filled activities both at the museum and throughout the community. An Earth Day celebration at the museum brought nearly 400 children and teachers to environmental-themed activities at the museum. CNI provided Earth Force training on June 10 with 16 educators and adult youth leaders in the community attending.
    • For the first time in its 13-year history, two separate Virginia Science Standards Institutes (VSSI) were held at two different Virginia state parks. Fourth and fifth grade teachers from across the Commonwealth participated in inquiry-based demonstrations, investigations, and field trips.
    • Education staff hosted professional development meetings at the museum including the Virginia Science Education Leadership Association, Virginia Association of Science Teachers board meeting, and annual Virginia Environmental Education Conference.

    Work In Progress
    • We continued our commitment to the Martinsville/Henry County After 3 program. VMNH operates as a service site and program provider for seven after-school providers. We provided 14 summer camp programs for MHC After 3.
    • Museum staff are working with the Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority in an advisory capacity in preparation of Old Point Comfort being turned over to the Commonwealth in 2011. Staff collaborated with other individuals, agencies, and organizations to produce recommendations for a Museum Interpretive Plan and a Natural Resources Use Plan.
    • Staff continue to provide support for the Virginia Master Naturalist Program both at the state and local levels in both Martinsville and Charlottesville.


    RESEARCH AND COLLECTIONS
    Accomplishments
    • Published 17 peer-reviewed scientific papers and published 34 articles in popular publications, including newspapers.
    • Provided content (specimens and text) and assisted in planning, design, and fabrication of 3 special exhibits.
    • Secured funding for 1 special exhibit and acquired specimens and funding for 3 new major exhibit elements in the Great Hall.
    •Completed transport of cabinets containing environmentally sensitive collections from Douglas to Starling Avenue.


    Work In Progress
    •Implementation of Re-discovery (collections management software); VMNH can begin to implement this software as soon as VITA resolves web-access issues
    •Organizing and re-housing collections recently moved from Douglas Avenue
    •As of September 2009, 4 peer-reviewed scientific publications in press, and 4 scientific publications under review
    •Assisting in planning, design, and fabrication of 2 special exhibits that will be based on specimens from the VMNH collections.

    MARKETING AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
    Accomplishments
    •Completed re-branding of the Museum, with a new logo and all new marketing and promotional publications. Newly designed publications include the monthly e-newsletter, new Museum rack cards, and the "Inside VMNH Research" publication.
    •Completely re-designed Museum Web site, which includes up-to-date news, and information about the many areas of the new Museum, including the exhibit halls, the theater, the education center and more.
    •62% increase in visitation in the new Museum compared with the old facility.
    •Excellent media coverage following the grand opening of the new Museum, with local, regional, and national media coverage.
    •Increased awareness of VMNH across the region using a variety of marketing and promotional strategies, including the generation and dissemination of press releases promoting the museum's many programs and exhibits.
    •Average sales per visitor in the Museum Store have more than doubled, with the average sales per visitor currently at $1.97. The Museum Store Association's projected sales per visitor for a Museum our size is $1.29.
    •Comprehensive exhibits promotional program that includes working closely with other departments. Developed as a package that includes targeted press releases, advertising, opening receptions for Members and VIPs by special invitation, media coverage and special programming. Serves to increase awareness of exhibits, raise profile of Museum, increase membership and increase participation in events
    •Visitors Services recruits volunteers through schools and colleges and use older adult services. We have had several student interns placed through Patrick Henry Community College. We have also participated in a job shadowing activity with Sacred Heart School in Danville. In addition, we have placed several students from Henry County Public Schools and students from the Piedmont Governor's School.

    Work In Progress
    •We are continuing to promote the Museum to potential visitors across the region using new and proven marketing tools.
    •We are continuing to add new interactive content to the new VMNH Web site, with regular updates.
    •We are constantly adding new and unique items to the Museum Store that will draw customers from a wide region.

    DEVELOPMENT
    Accomplishments
    •Our membership base is nearly 700 members as of September 2009, and 1,000 members are targeted for the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
    •Selling Memberships online (new and renewals) as well at Museum activities and events
    •Corporate membership rates and benefits were restructured in 2009 to create additional benefits for members as well as funds.
    Work in Progress
    •Continue to identify new individual, corporate, foundation and public sector prospects for Capital Campaign and for annual membership/giving.
    •Submit at least 3 foundation grant requests per month.
    •Complete at least one major grant proposal annually.
    •Continue to increase annual fund giving by at least 10% a year.
    •Complete the "Make a Lasting Impressing" capital campaign by the end of FY2012.

    MUSEUM-WIDE
    Accomplishments
    Completed new permanent exhibits from exhibit master plan that focus on Virginia natural history.
    Completed relocation of collections from Douglas facility to the new Starling location.
    Added new exhibits and increased visitation by 62%.
  • Summary of current productivity
    VMNH has provided an increasing larger set of services to a greater number of customers over the years. VMNH has provided the increased services with fewer employees and resources than in past years, reflecting increased productivity.

    VMNH currently has 47.5 FTE (full-time equivalent) positions (36 filled).

    VMNH’s FY 2010 adjusted base budget is approximately $2.6 million. This is very close in actual dollars to our FY 1991 base budget. Adjusted for inflation, this 1991 budget is equivalent to $ 3.4 million today. VMNH is today providing an increased level of customer services with only 63 % of the inflation-adjusted budget from the agency’s first full fiscal year.

    The Virginia Museum of Natural History is operating and staffing its new 89,127 square foot facility and its existing 30,000 square foot building has been converted into a collections and research warehouse to allow storage of collections that are not humidity sensitive. VMNH is supported by general funds, federal funds, admissions revenues, memberships and donations.
Initiatives, Rankings and Customer Trends
  • Summary of Major Initiatives and Related Progress
    Construction of new building in Martinsville for Virginia Museum of Natural History: Construction, started in June 2004 with formal opening in March 2007.


    All information on VMNH collections will be consolidated into one database (ReDiscovery) and eliminate the multiple databases currently used. When complete, access to the Museum collections listings will be provided on-line via the VMNH website. This requires additional server support from VITA.

    Statewide educational programming continues to be expanded. The education staff is currently comprised of three full-time and seven part-time educators in Martinsville, three part-time outreach educators in Charlottesville, and one in Gloucester, with the help of many community volunteers. VMNH offers in-services, workshops, and institutes for educators across the state. In-house programming includes: Standards of Learning designed programs for school group visits; family-oriented Special Saturday programs; birthday parties; sleepovers; toddler and parent designed Doodle Bugs program. Outreach programming includes off-site classroom programming; community programming including Family Festivals; Summer Camps; Scouts; and the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. Professional development: operation of the VMNH Education Resource Center; Global Learning to Benefit the Environment state partner and trainer; coordination of annual Virginia Science Standards Institute; and, adult and youth volunteer programs.

    Virtual visitors to VMNH will continue to be reached via the Museum web site at www.vmnh.net which was completely overhauled in 2007 and now provides extensive education material and a fully functional database keeping information up to date and for selling memberships on-line.
  • Summary of Virginia's Ranking
    The Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) is the only collections-based, research-driven museum in Virginia and is accredited by the American Association of Museums, a distinction earned by only 756 Museums or fewer than 10% of museums in the United States.

    In addition, VMNH is one of only 138 museums and other organizations in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Panama and Puerto Rico that Smithsonian Affiliations has established partnerships with and VMNH is the only museum in Virginia that is a member of The Natural Science Collections Alliance, an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.
  • Summary of Customer Trends and Coverage
    The Virginia Museum of Natural History defines "senior citizen" for purposes of admission to the museum as a person who identifies himself as someone 60 years of age or older. Last year the Museum served 953 senior citizens as paid visitors to the museum. The Virginia Museum of Natural History also has approximately 75 senior citizens who volunteer at the museum. In addition the Virginia Museum of Natural History offers a discount of $10 on any museum membership purchased by a senior citizen age 60 or over.

    At present the Virginia Museum of Natural History has the capacity to serve interested seniors through programs, lectures, and special events.

    At present, the Virginia Museum of Natural History does not have programs specifically targeted for seniors; however, the museum offers programs for all ages.

    The publications and website of the Virginia Museum of Natural History are designed to appeal to a broad audience, including seniors.

    The Virginia Museum of Natural History will continue to offer a broad range of programs and events designed to appeal to audiences of all ages.
Future Direction, Expectations, and Priorities
  • Summary of Future Direction and Expectations
    The Virginia Museum of Natural History, in addition to its outstanding education and public programs for lifelong learners of all ages, will continue to expand its excellent scientific research and expand its collections for future generations to enjoy. In addition, the museum will serve as an important economic engine and a major part of the developing "tourism industry" for southern Virginia.
  • Summary of Potential Impediments to Achievement
    The outstanding research staff is aging and efforts must be made to recruit scientists to the museum staff so that an overlap in research can be achieved. This will require additional funds that are currently not available to maintain the current level of scientific research for the future.
Service Area List

Service Number Title
942 145 01 Collections Management and Curatorial Services
942 145 03 Education and Extension Services
942 145 07 Operational and Support Services
942 145 08 Scientific Research
Agency Background Information

Statutory Authority
§ 10.1-2000. Museum created; essential governmental function. There is hereby created an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be known as "The Virginia Museum of Natural History," hereinafter referred to as the "Museum." The Museum is hereby declared to be a public body and instrumentality for the purpose of preserving and protecting Virginia's natural history. The exercise by the Museum of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed an essential governmental function. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)

§ 10.1-2001. Purposes. The purposes of the Virginia Museum of Natural History are: 1. To investigate, preserve and exhibit the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world; 2. To foster an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved; 3. To encourage and promote research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world; 4. To encourage individuals and scholars to study our natural history and to apply this understanding of the past to the challenge of the future; 5. To establish a state museum of natural history in Virginia where specimens of natural history, especially those of Virginia origin, can be properly housed, cared for, cataloged and studied and to ensure a permanent repository of our natural heritage; and 6. To coordinate an efficient network in Virginia where researchers and the public can readily use the natural history material of the Museum, its branches, Virginia's institutions of higher education and other museums. These purposes are hereby declared to be a matter of legislative determination. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)

Customers
Customer Group Customers served annually Potential customers annually
Career Development Post-Secondary and Graduate Students 7 7
Children and their families 11,000 25,000
Elementary and secondary school teachers and students 22,000 50,000
Natural history enthusiasts including Tourists and Eco-tourists 25,000 140,000
Scientists and Researchers 375 1,206
Seniors and adults with disabilities (over the age of 18) and their families 1,500 4,000
Virtual Visitors 109,500 300,000

Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
[Nothing entered]

Partners
Partner Description
Fort Monroe FADA Report for Natural Resources Working Group with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Marine Resources Commission, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
GLOBE VMNH serves as a state Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment partner, providing training and support for teachers participating in the GLOBE program.
National Science Foundation Grant program to study igneous rocks in Martinsville and Henry County
Science Museum of Virginia VMNH provided curatorial, educational, and administrative services for SMV Discovery Room exhibit project related to Virginia's natural resources and natural history.
Smithsonian Institution Through the Smithsonian Affiliates Program, participate with almost two hundred other program members as an affiliate member to share information and potentially develop joint educational programming, exhibits, and research programs. Collaboration with National Museum of Natiural History staff at the Marine Biology Research Station inb Florida.
Smithsonian Institution Collaborative work on cathodoluminescence
The American University Together with the Maryland Historic Trust and with consultation by the Maryland Indian Commission, operate a joint research project on the development of Late Woodland (A.D.900-A.D.1600) Native American villages in the Potomac River drainage area.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management VMNH curates and houses vertebrate fossils from federal lands and BLM provides access to these vertebrate fossils.
U.S. Forest Service Provide accurate identifications of species prior to any potential clear-cutting programs in the Commonwealth.
University of Virginia Adjunct appointments of VMNH curators to teach courses at UVa and to supervize graduate students
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage Identify fauna collected by Natural Heritage staff during inventories and cuarte and house voucher specimens to maintain a database of the Commonwealth's fauna
Virginia Department of Education In collaboration with other state museums and natural resource agencies, VMNH coordinates an annual teacher training institute supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning. VMNH also provides support for VDOE initiatives including the Earth Science Academy.
Virginia Department of Forestry Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level.
Virginia Department of Historic Resources Develop joint educational programming that promotes an understanding of Native American history and the relationship of human history, settlement and the built environment with Virginia's natural environment. Provide consultation on the Burial Task Force which has been convened to recommend to the Department a policy for consideration of any burial permit application with particular attention to the issues of long-term curation and the display of human remains.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level. Adjunct appointments of VMNH curators to teach courses at VPI and SU and to supervize graduate students
Virginia State Parks (Department of Rereation and Conservation) Completion of teacher resource guide. Virginia's State Parks: Your Backyard Classrooms, Mountain Edition and coordinating work on next in series, Piedmont Edition. Work with the parks particularly in this region to promote programs of mutual interest.
Washington and Lee University and Appalachian State University Joint marine biology research program using combined facilities and expertise of the partners.
Products and Services
  • Description of the Agency's Products and/or Services:
    Research and Collections
    • Scientific specimens used for research and as a record of the natural history of the Commonwealth.
    • Exhibit quality specimens
    • Educational program specimens: Specimens appropriate for use in educational programming where objects can be handled by students and visitors.
    Specimen Information: Information such as the presence and distribution of certain species or other natural resources in various geographic areas, the effects of varying preservation practices upon specimens, and historical information about the collection and acquisition of some of our older 19th c. collections.
    Ongoing preservation of and accessibility to collections.

    Education and Public Programming
    1. Present meaningful education programs that are aligned with state and national education standards and trends including the delivery of outreach and in-house programming to audiences of all ages.
    2. Implement effective methods of museum exhibitry to support and enhance comprehensive learning experiences and the mission of the museum.
    3. Provide educational and scientific offerings via VMNH web site to include educational products, database development, eCommerce integration, and content management systems.
    4. Produce scientific and educational books and other text and electronic publications.
    5. Provide GLOBE teacher training opportunities as state GLOBE partner.
    6. Educational content and overall coordination of the annual Virginia Science Standards Institute for teachers.
    7. Sponsor annual State Arbor Day Poster Contest.
  • Factors Impacting Agency Products and/or Services:
    Reduction in budget and staff will impact the museum's ability to provide the same quarlity products and services to its customers.
  • Anticipated Changes in Products or Services:
    We anticipate providing more electronic publications and less printed publications to reduce spending because of budget cuts.
Finance
  • Financial Overview:
    VMNH's funding comes from general funds (84%) and special funds (16%). Special funds are generated from miscellaneous sources such as admissions to the museum, events, field trips, sales of museum publications, memberships, education programs, and gift shop sales. The museum also receives funds from the city and county and the VMNH Foundation. Federal funds are received from NSF grants and pass-thru grants from other agencies.
  • Financial Breakdown:
    FY 2011    FY 2012
      General Fund     Nongeneral Fund        General Fund     Nongeneral Fund  
    Base Budget $2,966,792  $776,938     $2,966,792  $776,938 
    Change To Base    -$305,289  $18,814     -$305,289  $18,814 
               
    Agency Total $2,661,503  $795,752     $2,661,503  $795,752 
    This financial summary is computed from information entered in the service area plans.
Human Resources
  • Overview
    The Virginia Museum of Natural History requires a wide range of skills, experience, and educational backgrounds to operate successfully. The most critical skills are directly related to the museum's three-part mission of research, education, and preservation. To accomplish its mission, the museum must employ a number of staff who possess specific bodies of knowledge and skills that are directly related to one of the three primary functions shown above. About one-third of the museum's staff have advanced professional degrees. Turnover at the Virginia Museum of Natural History is relatively low. In general, employees tend to stay long-term.
  • Human Resource Levels
    Effective Date 9/1/2009    
    Total Authorized Position level 47.5    
    Vacant Positions -11.5    
    Current Employment Level 36.0    
    Non-Classified (Filled) 0    
    Full-Time Classified (Filled) 36    breakout of Current Employment Level
    Part-Time Classified (Filled) 0    
    Faculty (Filled) 0    
    Wage 26    
    Contract Employees 0    
    Total Human Resource Level 62.0   = Current Employment Level + Wage and Contract Employees
  • Factors Impacting HR
    The Virginia Museum of Natural History, along with other state agencies, has been successful in doing more with less in recent years, primarily through the use of technology. However, the combined effects of the aging workforce, budget reductions, reduced staff, increased workloads, and increasingly complex programs place limits on how much more can be done with less, particularly for those occupations requiring advanced knowledge and experience.

    Some factors impacting the Museum's workforce are:
    1 - The average age of Museum employees has increased along with the general aging of the "baby boomer" generation.
    2 - In general, the Museum continues to be an "employer of choice" in the area due to state benefits and good pay. Also, the Museum is housed in a state-of-the-art facility, which attracts potential employees.
    3 - In general, Museum pay and benefits are equal to or better than those of any employer in the area.
    4 - Employees eligible for retirement have not retired when they became eligible as a result of such facts as the cost of health insurance and medical care, low returns on investments, and the soft job market. This situation affects the age of the workforce and may affect its morale, productivity, and healthiness. State retirement programs' liabilities may decrease as a result of delayed retirements, but this savings may be offset by the increasing costs of providing health benefits.
    5 - The soft job market in Martinsville and Henry County along with plant closings in the area have contributed to the availability of applicants.
  • Anticipated HR Changes
    Based on the demographics, VMNH expects to have a critical shortage of scientists within the next 10 years. Fully 100 percent of the curators will reach eligibility for retirement with reduced or full benefits within the next 10 years. Other members of senior management will also be eligible to retire. This will create a critical shortage of experienced administrators. With the addition of 9 FTEs in FY 2008, the Museum will be able to hire needed staff in research and education as funds allow, since only 2.5 positions were funded by the State and all other positions will require grant funding or earned income. Of the 9 positions created, three are laboratory technician positions and two positions are educators that remain unfilled. The other four positions would support visitor services and membership development. The revenue to support all these positions would come from admissions income and monies raised by the Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation. Although these positions will require specialized knowledge and skills, the Museum should be able to fill them from the local workforce as funds become available. Educators may require some college and teaching experience; the technicians to be hired may have experience or can be trained on the job if they have the scientific background. Added capacity is needed in the area of collections; a Collections Manager, and one (1) full-time Collections Assistant to help in managing the museum's more than 22 million specimens.
Information Technology
  • Current Operational IT Investments:
    The services of VITA in planning and establishing information technology systems in the new building has progressed well while service to the old building has been discontinued. In addition, the refresh has greatly improved performance including the areas of software standardization, compatibility, security, and delivery of services. In addition, more VMNH applications and hardware are available for public use for education and public programs.
  • Factors Impacting the Current IT:
    Continued changes and increases in rates has caused a great impact on the agency budget. Also, security and compliance requirements, continuous reporting and requests for information has caused an increase in normal performance of a limited staff.
  • Proposed IT Solutions:
    In the Services to Citizens business area, the agency is engaged in the Education line of business. In Education, the agency intends to improve the Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education function that provides educational programming at the museum and through outreach programs to local and area K-12 schools. The agency will accomplish this through a Non-major IT Project called Adventure Classroom. The project is scheduled to install a state of the arts videoconferencing science classroom at VMNH by May 2011. The videoconferencing science classroom will serve as a distance-learning laboratory connected to the local and Virginia IT network where science education at-a-distance can be performed, studied, and improved.

    Adventure Classroom will promote opportunities for citizens to expand their knowledge, skills and cultural awareness through science, art, music, drama, literature, dance, and other educational services and to assist the Governor in statewide management of state activities. This initiative is also directly related to the Commonwealth Business Strategies to meet the access needs of citizens, improve efficiency and effectiveness of government services, and support Virginia's Economic Development. In addition, the initiative will be in line with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in which professional development is supported by: 1. Bringing “mathematics and science teachers in elementary schools and secondary schools together with scientists … to increase the subject matter knowledge of mathematics and science teachers and improve such teachers' teaching skills through the use of sophisticated laboratory equipment and work space…” 2. Promoting “…strong teaching skills for … science teachers and teacher educators, including integrating reliable scientifically based research teaching methods and technology-based teaching methods into the curriculum.” 3. Establishing “…distance learning programs for mathematics and science teachers using curricula that are innovative, content-based, and based on scientifically based research that is current as of the date of the program involved.” (No Child Left Behind, 2001. Available at: http://www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA02/pg26.html)
  • Current IT Services:

    Estimated Ongoing Operations and Maintenance Costs for Existing IT Investments

    Cost - Year 1 Cost - Year 2
    General Fund Non-general Fund General Fund Non-general Fund
    Projected Service Fees $176,706 $565 $179,357 $574
    Changes (+/-) to VITA
    Infrastructure
    $0 $0 $0 $0
    Estimated VITA Infrastructure $176,706 $565 $179,357 $574
    Specialized Infrastructure $0 $0 $0 $0
    Agency IT Staff $0 $0 $0 $0
    Non-agency IT Staff $0 $0 $0 $0
    Other Application Costs $0 $0 $0 $0
    Agency IT Current Services $176,706 $565 $179,357 $574
    Comments:
    [Nothing entered]
  • Proposed IT Investments

    Estimated Costs for Projects and New IT Investments

    Cost - Year 1 Cost - Year 2
    General Fund Non-general Fund General Fund Non-general Fund
    Major IT Projects $0 $0 $0 $0
    Non-major IT Projects $174,600 $0 $0 $0
    Agency-level IT Projects $0 $0 $0 $0
    Major Stand Alone IT Procurements $0 $0 $0 $0
    Non-major Stand Alone IT Procurements $0 $0 $0 $0
    Total Proposed IT Investments $174,600 $0 $0 $0
  • Projected Total IT Budget
    Cost - Year 1 Cost - Year 2
    General Fund Non-general Fund General Fund Non-general Fund
    Current IT Services $176,706 $565 $179,357 $574
    Proposed IT Investments $174,600 $0 $0 $0
    Total $351,306 $565 $179,357 $574
Appendix A - Agency's information technology investment detail maintained in VITA's ProSight system.
Capital
  • Current State of Capital Investments:
    The new home for VMNH opened to the public in March of 2007. The new museum will have a major impact on the area of Martinsville and Henry County. While the Museum will play a major role in providing science education to schools in the region with its new education center and distance learning center capability, VMNH will also serve as a tourist attraction for Southside with the potential of drawing visitors to the area throughout Virginia as well as from North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, Washington, DC, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Although the State has funded $24 million of the $29 million needed to complete the project, VMNH is challenged to raise the remainder of the project budget and pay the remaining capital funds.
    The museum's proposed six year capital outlay plan consists of the following projects:
    (1) - Install Great Hall Acoustical Treatment (2010-12 Biennium). This project is estimated at $300,000. It will correct the existing conditions in the Great Hall which are not adequate for intended use.
    (2) - Construct additional exhibit space in new museum (2010-12 Biennium). This project is estimated at $5,000,000 and will provide additional dedicated exhibit space to meet the needs of the museum's growing number of visitors from throughout the Commonwealth and the region. The museum proposes adding an additional 15,000 square feet of exhibit space to house 5,000 square feet temporary exhibit space and 10,000 square feet of permanent exhibit space to house a collection of fossils including dinosaurs. The additional exhibit space is needed to attract visitors to the museum and Southern Virginia.
    (3) - Fund Distance Learning Classroom (2008-10 Biennium). This project is estimated at $235,000 and will provide the museum with an appropriate technology infrastructure to expand and deliver scientific education programs across Virginia.
    (4) - Construct Outdoor Structure Rock Garden (2012-14 Biennium). This project is estimated at $500,000 and will further enhance the museum's ability to serve as both a tourist attraction to Southside and as an educational facility for the region's students. The garden will feature rocks from throughout Virginia as well as appropriate outdoor sculpture such as Jefferson's Sloth. (5) The Discovery Place - This project will provide an exciting, hands-on area of investigation and exploration, offering endless fun and learning activities geared for early learners and family members.
    MAINTENANCE RESERVE PROJECTS PLANNED AND APPROVED ARE AS FOLLOWS:
    (1) Replace compressor on #1 chiller, $42,000
    (2) Upgrade/winterize chiller and HVAC system, estimated at $12,000
    (3) Upgrade dust collection systems in labs, estimated at $50,000
    (4) Install drainage control system in control room
    (5) Install pivoting lift arm on B side loading dock, estimated at $10,000
    (6) Upgrade freight elevators doors, estimated at $40,000
    (7) Replace sewer sump hatchway lid
  • Factors Impacting Capital Investments:
    Costs of materials and construction: Because the schedule for these projects range over an extended period of time, the museum faces the problem of inflated costs at the time that the project is actually done. This could require additional costs over and above the estimates.
  • Capital Investments Alignment:
    Assures facilities adequate to achieve the museum's educational and programmatic outcomes. Provides improved facilities for operational effectiveness and efficiency.
Agency Goals

Goal 1

We will create and deliver life-long learning opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as its visitors through programs, exhibits, and publications based on scientific and educational research.

Goal Summary and Alignment

1. We will be the premier resource in understanding and interpreting Virginia’s natural heritage within a global context in ways such as exhibits and publications that are relevant to all the citizens of the Commonwealth. 2. We will develop meaningful education programs that are aligned with state and national education standards and trends. 3. We will develop well-designed and maintained exhibits which are emotionally charged, immersive, well-paced, dramatic, and social and grounded in content. 4. With the opening of the new facility, we will make the Virginia Museum of Natural History into an attraction that draws visitors to Martinsville, VA, from as far as 250 miles away. 5. We will develop and support external exhibits in conjunction with VMNH affiliates and branches to promote museum programs which are informative and memorable. 6. We will retain existing volunteers and recruit new volunteers. 7. We will raise awareness of current and upcoming exhibits and programs resulting in increased attendance. 8. We will continue to enhance our existing web site to include functionality enhancements including database development, eCommerce integration, and content management systems

Goal Alignment to Statewide Goals
  • Elevate the levels of educational preparedness and attainment of our citizens.
  • Engage and inform citizens to ensure we serve their interests.
Goal 2

We will conduct and disseminate research relevant to stewardship of Virginia's natural environment, leading to enhanced appreciation of these resources for improving the quality of life for our citizens and contributing to the global reservoir of knowledge.

Goal Summary and Alignment

1. Build collections through appropriate research. 2. Operate scientific labs that are visitor friendly and provide public education by encouraging interaction with Museum visitors. 3. Develop a web-accessible collections and scientific library database that enables scientists and educators to find information and perform research. 4. Provide collections management, preservation, care, and accessibility to protect the long-term integrity of specimens and artifacts, as well as their associated data documentation.

Goal Alignment to Statewide Goals
  • Elevate the levels of educational preparedness and attainment of our citizens.
  • Engage and inform citizens to ensure we serve their interests.
  • Protect, conserve and wisely develop our natural, historical and cultural resources.
Goal 3

We will develop visitor experiences that are interesting, emotionally charged, immersive, well-paced, dramatic, social and grounded in content which result in multiple visits per person.

Goal Summary and Alignment

1. Develop meaningful education programs that are aligned with state and national education standards and trends and promote repeat visits. Create ongoing learning opportunities with educators. 2. Improve communication with schools, education-related organizations, and the public to increase visibility of new and ongoing programming. 3. Increase collaboration with other museums and agencies. 4. Implement effective methods of gallery interpretation. Create multiple levels of interpretation to enhance learning opportunities to enable a full family learning experience. 5. Provide museum experiences that are engaging, educational, memorable and visitor friendly. 6. Provide a high level of customer focus that enhances the visitor experience. 7. Provide a safe and secure environment for the Museum visitor.

Goal Alignment to Statewide Goals
  • Elevate the levels of educational preparedness and attainment of our citizens.
  • Engage and inform citizens to ensure we serve their interests.
  • Protect, conserve and wisely develop our natural, historical and cultural resources.
Goal 4

We will generate operating revenue through increased grants and other voluntary contributions from the public and private sectors and through cooperative arrangements with other museums, state agencies and organizations.

Goal Summary and Alignment

1. Increase corporate support for the Museum 2. Increase Foundation/Corporate grants for education and research programs 3. Increase contracts and contacts for the Museum. 4. Increase upper level memberships 5. Obtain Sponsorships for exhibits and programs. 6. Increase membership base annually. 7. Develop quality and popular fee-based programs. 8. Develop a strong retail environment that encourages visitor purchases.

Goal Alignment to Statewide Goals
  • Elevate the levels of educational preparedness and attainment of our citizens.
  • Engage and inform citizens to ensure we serve their interests.
  • Be recognized as the best-managed state in the nation.
Goal 5

We will preserve and maintain the record of the Commonwealth's natural history - the library of our natural heritage - for future generations.

Goal 6

We will strengthen the culture of preparedness across state agencies, their employees and customers.

Goal Summary and Alignment

This goal ensures compliance with federal and state regulations, polices and procedures for Commonwealth preparedness, as well as guidelines promulgated by the Assistant to the Governor for Commonwealth Preparedness, in collaboration with the Governor’s Cabinet, the Commonwealth Preparedness Working Group, the Department of Planning and Budget and the Council on Virginia’s Future. The goal supports achievement of the Commonwealth’s statewide goal of protecting the public's safety and security, ensuring a fair and effective system of justice and providing a prepared response to emergencies and disasters of all kinds.

Goal Alignment to Statewide Goals
  • Protect the public’s safety and security, ensuring a fair and effective system of justice and providing a prepared response to emergencies and disasters of all kinds.
Goal Objectives
  • We will be prepared to act in the interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth and its infrastructure during emergency situations by actively planning and training both as an agency and as individuals.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
Goal 7

We will maintain and expand outreach education programs to more areas of the state, reaching more Virginians.


Service Area Strategic Plan
4/21/2014   3:03 am
Virginia Museum of Natural History (942)
Biennium:
Service Area 1 of 4
Collections Management and Curatorial Services (942 145 01)
Description

Collections Care and Management: Develop, maintain, and preserve the state's natural history collections held by VMNH, make them available to scientists and the public, utilize them in research projects, exhibits, and education programs, and preserve them in perpetuity as a record of Virginia's natural history.
Background Information
Mission Alignment and Authority
  • Describe how this service supports the agency mission
    This service supports the mission of the Virginia Museum of Natural History by preserving the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world; where specimens of natural history, especially those of Virginia origin, can be properly housed, cared for, cataloged, and studied and to ensure a permanent repository of the state's natural heritage.
  • Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
    § 10.1-2000. Museum created; essential governmental function. There is hereby created an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be known as "The Virginia Museum of Natural History," hereinafter referred to as the "Museum." The Museum is hereby declared to be a public body and instrumentality for the purpose of preserving and protecting Virginia's natural history. The exercise by the Museum of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed an essential governmental function. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)

    § 10.1-2001. Purposes. The purposes of the Virginia Museum of Natural History are: 1. To investigate, preserve and exhibit the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world; 2. To foster an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved; 3. To encourage and promote research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world; 4. To encourage individuals and scholars to study our natural history and to apply this understanding of the past to the challenge of the future; 5. To establish a state museum of natural history in Virginia where specimens of natural history, especially those of Virginia origin, can be properly housed, cared for, cataloged and studied and to ensure a permanent repository of our natural heritage; and 6. To coordinate an efficient network in Virginia where researchers and the public can readily use the natural history material of the Museum, its branches, Virginia's institutions of higher education and other museums. These purposes are hereby declared to be a matter of legislative determination. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)
Customers
Agency Customer Group Customer Customers served annually Potential annual customers
Elementary and secondary school teachers and students High School student volunteers 9 12
Career Development Post-Secondary and Graduate Students Interns and volunteers at a college or graduate school level pursuing career exploration or requesting specific training 7 12
Scientists and Researchers Scientists and researchers from various universities, agencies, and organizations worldwide 180 300
Virtual Visitors Visitors accessing an online collections database 0 1,600

Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
Scientists and Researchers: We anticipate continuing to hold scientific meetings at VMNH thus increasing the number of sciencists and researchers who will be visiting the collections.

Virtual Visitors: We anticipate having a web accessible version of the collections catalog available. This will allow scientists, researchers, and just curious site visitors to access information about the estimated 22 million specimens managed by this service area. Although this catalog is available in-house and is ready to go on-line, we still need completion of the project by VITA to make the service available to the public at large.

Elementary and Secondary School Teachers and Students and Post-Secondary and Graduate Students: Budget cuts have precluded hiring the anticipated Collections and Curatorial Services Technician position. Currently, this customer base is being served by a reduced collections and curatorial staff. Additional staff would allow us to accommodate a larger corps of volunteers in this service area.
Partners
Partner Description
Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage VMNH serves as the repository for Recent invertebrate specimens acquired through systematic survey conducted by the Division of Natural Heritage.
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries VMNH is the repository for vertebrate specimens that serve as vouchers to document distribution and occurrence.
Smithsonian Institution Through collaborations with staff of the National Museum of Natural History, facilitate the approproate use of specimens and their preservation in joint programming. Through the Smithsonian Affiliates Program, participate with almost two hundred other program members as an affiliate member to share information and potentially develop joint collections-based programming, exhibits, and research.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management VMNH curates and houses vertebrate fossils from federal lands and BLM provides access to these vertebrate fossils.
University of Virginia In partnership with the Virginia Coast Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research (VCR/LTER) program at the University of Virginia, Department of Environmental Sciences, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, VMNH serves as the repository for specimens recovered by project members.
VDOT VMNH serves as a repository for archaeological materials generated by transportation projects
Virgina Tech Accepts from time to time geological and biological collections developed in the course of university research.
Products and Services
  • Factors Impacting the Products and/or Services:
    Budget cuts and historically low personnel counts will impact delivery of these services.
  • Anticipated Changes to the Products and/or Services
    Budget cuts etc. will reduce specimen acquisition and accessibility. Some of this may be alleviated by external funds. Preservation and care of the collections must receive top priority during tight fiscal times.
  • Listing of Products and/or Services
    • Natural History Collections: Scientific specimens used for research and as a record of the natural history of the Commonwealth. • Exhibit quality specimens • Educational program specimens: Specimens appropriate for use in educational programming where objects can be handled by students and visitors. Preservation of specimens collected from sites or areas that are no longer accessible.
    • Specimen Information: Information such as the presence and distribution of certain species or other natural resources in various geographic areas, the effects of varying preservation practices upon specimens, and historical information about the collection and acquisition of some of our older 19th c. collections.
    • Ongoing preservation of and accessibility to collections.
    • Preservation of at-risk collections obtained from other state agencies and universities.
Finance
  • Financial Overview
    VMNH's Collections Management and Curatorial Services area is funded partly by general fund and partly by grants.
  • Financial Breakdown
    FY 2011    FY 2012 FY 2011    FY 2012 FY 2011    FY 2012 FY 2011    FY 2012
      General Fund     Nongeneral Fund        General Fund     Nongeneral Fund  
    Base Budget $108,671 $2,018    $108,671 $2,018
    Change To Base -$8,434 -$1,877    -$8,434 -$1,877
               
    Service Area Total   $100,237  $141     $100,237  $141 
    Base Budget $108,671 $2,018    $108,671 $2,018
    Change To Base -$8,434 -$1,877    -$8,434 -$1,877
               
    Service Area Total   $100,237  $141     $100,237  $141 
    Base Budget $108,671 $2,018    $108,671 $2,018
    Change To Base -$8,434 -$1,877    -$8,434 -$1,877
               
    Service Area Total   $100,237  $141     $100,237  $141 
    Base Budget $108,671 $2,018    $108,671 $2,018
    Change To Base -$8,434 -$1,877    -$8,434 -$1,877
               
    Service Area Total   $100,237  $141     $100,237  $141 
Human Resources
  • Human Resources Overview
    Currently, this service area consists of one full-time interim Collections Manager who supervises one-full-time Librarian. Due to budget reductions, this is down 1 FTE from the last report and 2 FTE from the 2002 staffing level.

    This service area is heavily supported by the VMNH Curatorial staff, which has been reduced from 8 to 5 over the past two years. This will impact several areas, but especially our ability to accept collections from other entities.

    Overall, reductions in staff will further reduce the museum's ability to protect existing collections, to make the collections and associated data more accessible to the public and to acquire and curate additional specimens and collections, including at-risk collections.

    As identified in an audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts in 2002, this service area is currently understaffed and unable to fulfill all of the duties required to protect the Museum's more than 22 million items in its collections.
  • Human Resource Levels
    Effective Date 7/10/2007    
    Total Authorized Position level 3    
    Vacant Positions 1    
    Current Employment Level 2.0    
    Non-Classified (Filled) 0    
    Full-Time Classified (Filled) 2    breakout of Current Employment Level
    Part-Time Classified (Filled) 0    
    Faculty (Filled) 0    
    Wage 0    
    Contract Employees 0    
    Total Human Resource Level 2.0   = Current Employment Level + Wage and Contract Employees
  • Factors Impacting HR
    Support staff in this area is needed. Specifically, one full-time Collections Manager to replace staff that resigned and the position was eliminated in the 2008 budget reductions and a Collections Assistant (Historian Archaeolgist/Preservationist I) is needed for this service area to replace staff laid off in 2002. Otherwise, it will be impossible for current staff adequately to catalog, maintain, and preserve these specimens.
  • Anticipated HR Changes
    Any changes in staffing in this service area can be made only if funding becomes available.
Service Area Objectives
 
  • Provide collections management, preservation, care, and accessibility to protect the long-term integrity of specimens and artifacts, as well as their associated data documentation.
    Objective Description
    Collections staff will provide appropriate collections management, preservation, care, and accessibility for the natural history collections of the Commonwealth held in trust by VMNH.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will preserve and maintain the record of the Commonwealth's natural history - the library of our natural heritage - for future generations.
    Objective Strategies
    • Implement a pest management program. On a monthly basis, staff will collect existing traps and distribute new traps. They will identify and record presence of pests observed in traps, will enter data into existing spreadsheet. Will make recommendations to be implemented in conjunction with Building and Grounds staff
    • Monitor and adjust ph levels for fluid preserved specimens on an annual basis.
    • Catalogue specimens as numbers are requested by reseach workers both from inside and outside the institution.
    • Undertake accessions and any necessary deaccessions of specimens.
    • Maintain collecting permits and submit all reports associated with the permits
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Percentage of specimens monitored for pest infestation and excessive heat and humidity fluctuations.
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Output
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: Monitoring is done on a weekly basis.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      60
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: In FY 2009, 60% of risk factors identified, documented and addressed within 30 days

      Measure Target Value:
      90
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 90% of risk factors will be addressed within 30 days in FY 2010

      Data Source and Calculation: Data is collected monthly and recorded in Collections Records

  • Develop a web-accessible collections and scientific library database that enables scientists and educators to find information and perform research.
    Objective Description
    To permit all citizens of the Commonwealth some access to the collections that are not on exhibit, we are developing a web-accessible collections database. The database uses Re:Discovery Software. The Library holding will also be accessible through this site.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will conduct and disseminate research relevant to stewardship of Virginia's natural environment, leading to enhanced appreciation of these resources for improving the quality of life for our citizens and contributing to the global reservoir of knowledge.
    • Agency Goal: We will preserve and maintain the record of the Commonwealth's natural history - the library of our natural heritage - for future generations.
    Objective Strategies
    • Specimens will be added to the database as they are accessioned into the collections
    • Work with Re:Discovery to make part of the database accessible to the public
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Percentage of data entered into Re:Discovery collections database
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Output
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: % Collections data converted annually.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      55
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: Software application 55% completed in 2009; data not entered.

      Measure Target Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 100% of collections data converted into collections database by FY 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Software application is installed and contains all necessary fields and functions. Data is currently being entered. Measure will be based on the amount of data entered.



Service Area Strategic Plan
4/21/2014   3:03 am
Virginia Museum of Natural History (942)
Biennium:
Service Area 2 of 4
Education and Extension Services (942 145 03)
Description

Develop meaningful education programs that are aligned with state and national education standards and trends; provide museum experiences that are engaging, educational, safe, memorable and visitor friendly by implementing effective methods of interpretation to enhance learning opportunities to enable a full family learning experience. Provide scientifically informed and accurate natural history and related educational programs for students, teachers and the public and develop awareness of Virginia's natural heritage among all citizens through presentations, exhibits, web site, and publications.
Background Information
Mission Alignment and Authority
  • Describe how this service supports the agency mission
    This service area supports the agency mission to exhibit the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world and to foster an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved. The mission of education and public programs is to facilitate the interpretation of Virginia's natural heritage while providing a comprehensive and effective program relevant to all citizens of the Commonwealth. This service also supports the Museum’s mission to encourage and promote research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world while encouraging individuals and scholars to study Virginia's natural history and to apply this understanding of the past to the challenges of the future.
  • Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
    § 10.1-2000. Museum created; essential governmental function. There is hereby created an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be known as "The Virginia Museum of Natural History," hereinafter referred to as the "Museum." The Museum is hereby declared to be a public body and instrumentality for the purpose of preserving and protecting Virginia's natural history. The exercise by the Museum of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed an essential governmental function. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)

    § 10.1-2001. Purposes. The purposes of the Virginia Museum of Natural History are: 1. To investigate, preserve and exhibit the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world; 2. To foster an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved; 3. To encourage and promote research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world; 4. To encourage individuals and scholars to study our natural history and to apply this understanding of the past to the challenge of the future; 5. To establish a state museum of natural history in Virginia where specimens of natural history, especially those of Virginia origin, can be properly housed, cared for, cataloged and studied and to ensure a permanent repository of our natural heritage; and 6. To coordinate an efficient network in Virginia where researchers and the public can readily use the natural history material of the Museum, its branches, Virginia's institutions of higher education and other museums. These purposes are hereby declared to be a matter of legislative determination. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)
Customers
Agency Customer Group Customer Customers served annually Potential annual customers
Children and their families Children and their families 10,000 35,000
Elementary and secondary school teachers and students Elementary and secondary school teachers and students 22,000 50,000
Natural history enthusiasts including Tourists and Eco-tourists Natural history enthusiasts including Tourists and Eco-tourists 25,000 140,000
Career Development Post-Secondary and Graduate Students Post-Secondary and Graduate Students 7 8
Scientists and Researchers Scientists and Researchers 379 900
Seniors and adults with disabilities (over the age of 18) and their families Seniors and adults with disabilities (over the age of 18) and their families 1,500 4,000
Virtual Visitors Virtual Visitors 109,500 300,000

Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
The family festivals draws a considerable visitation along with the need for educational programs and volunteer services.
Since moving to the new building in 2007, we have seen an increase in demand for some programs and a decrease in demand for others. school and tour group visits have leveled off; children's birthday parties, group sleepovers, middle and high school out-of-school offerings, scouting, adult naturalists have increased; the demand for outreach progams and professional development for educators has increased.
There is need for increased program offerings for seniors and for high school aged children.
Partners
Partner Description
Chesapeake Bay Foundation In collaboration with CBF and other state agencies, VMNH coordinates an annual teacher training institute supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Clean Virginia Waterways Through the Clean Virginia Waterways program and in collaboration with the City of Martinsville, the Museum has adopted neighboring Wilson Park to monitor water quality, provide educational experiences, and to improve and maintain water quality.
Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority Serve in an advisory capacity toward program development and interpretive design in planning for Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort as a future property of the Commonwealth.
Foundation for Virginia's Natural Resources VMNH staff participate in an advisory capacity for FVNR, and organization established to diversify and increase support for non-regulatory programs that address environmental education, pollution prevention, and citizen monitoring of the environment. Another goal of the new foundation is to stimulate opportunities for citizen engagement in such programs.
Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment VMNH serves as a state Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment partner, providing training and support for teachers participating in the GLOBE program. The department director delivered two GLOBE workshops focused on hydrology at Glenvar High School in Roanoke County.
Hollins University Hollins University will provide a professional development opportunity in the form of a summer institute (Summer 2010) with academic year seminars for 30 grades 3 – 5 teachers in Southwestern Virginia addressing content in life, physical, and earth-space science specified in the Virginia Standards of Learning and in leading national documents. Using science as a focus, participants will learn how to integrate and teach SOL content using inquiry and active learning strategies and also how to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners. Contributing educators and scientists will provide hands-on sessions focusing on major concepts and will share perspectives on the nature of science. Participants also will learn about effective use of community resources and technology in the classroom science program.
Mary Baldwin College The department director taught a graduate level course entitled Trout in the Classroom from July 7-11, 2008 as adjunct faculty in the Masters of Teaching with an emphasis on environmental education at Mary Baldwin College. Sixteen educators completed the course.
MHC After 3 The MHC After 3 program is a local cooperative program between after school service providers and local education and civic agencies. With support provided by The Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont, partnering agencies include Martinsville-Henry County Boys & Girls Club, Martinsville-Henry County YMCA, Bassett Community Center, Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness, and Patrick Henry Community College. The program provides after-school programming for middle and high school students.
Rockfish Valley Foundation Efforts are underway to xplore ways in which the Museum and the RVF can partner to benefit each other's mission toward natural history-related programming in Nelson County.
Science Museum of Virginia In collaboration with SMV and other state agencies, VMNH coordinates an annual teacher training institute supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Science Museum of Western Virginia In collaboration with SMWV and other state agencies, VMNH coordinates an annual teacher training institute supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Smithsonian Institution Through the Smithsonian Affiliates Program, participate with almost two hundred other program members as an affiliate member to share information and potentially develop joint educational programming, exhibits, and research programs.
Understanding the Tree of Life The Understanding the Tree of Life (UToL) proposal has received funding by the NSF Informal Science Education program. This project has three components: (1) a two-day planning meeting for scientists, learning researchers, and educators to meet and share ideas; (2) a series of pilot learning research projects into how visitors understand phylogenies and the tree of life; and (3) a two-day conference with museum professionals to discuss the results and consider strategies for more effective teaching about the tree of life through exhibitions. David Uttal, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University will study the role of graphic representation in understanding evolutionary relationships. Margaret Evans, Research Investigator in the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan will explore how phylogenies can be used as cognitive organizers for museum graphics. Jeff Dodick, Lecturer in the Department of Science Teaching at The Hebrew University will examine how museum visitors understand evolutionary relationships in geological time. Sam Donovan, Professor in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh will study interpretation and biological problem solving with evolutionary trees, particularly, the impact of inference making on understanding evolutionary ideas.
Virginia Air and Space Center In the summer of 2009, VASC and VMNH staff produced a joint summer camp entitled "Rock-It!" for middle schoolers.
Virginia Association of Science Teachers The department director hosted the Virginia Association of Science Teachers board of directors on September 13, 2008. Teleconferencing is offered at the museum for the board members who were unable to attend meetings in Richmond. VMNH provides free admission to VAST members. VMNH delivers presentations and exhibits at the annual VAST Professional Development Institute.
Virginia Cooperative Extension Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level.
Virginia Department of Education In collaboration with other state museums and natural resource agencies, VMNH coordinates an annual teacher training institute supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning. VMNH also provides support for VDOE initiatives including the Science Standards fo Learning and other state initiatives.
Virginia Department of Forestry Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level. DOF was a sponsor of the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. In collaboration with VDOF and other state agencies, VMNH coordinates an annual teacher training institute supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level. In collaboration with SMV and other state agencies, VMNH coordinates an annual teacher training institute supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Virginia Department of Recreation and Conservation, State Parks Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level. Work with the parks to promote programs of mutual interest.
Virginia Institute for Marine Science In collaboration with VIMS and other state agencies, VMNH coordinates an annual teacher training institute supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Virginia Master Naturalist Program Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level. VMNH staff serve on the state steering and executive committees and as volunteer members of local chapters.
Virginia Resource Use Education Council Two education staff are members of the Virginia Resource Use Education Council. The governor's charge for VRUEC is to coordinate the development and consistent delivery of environmental education programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia by linking current environmental education efforts to creative, innovative approaches; nurture and promote alternative methods of reaching and educating our citizens from all sectors of the public; and, promote sustained life-long learning and professional development based on Virginia's academic standards.
Virginia Tech Operate a joint Virginia Master Naturalist program related to natural resource outreach, education and stewardship. The goals of this joint effort are: to enhance existing natural resources stewardship, education, and outreach activities by providing natural resources training at the local level, thereby developing a supply of dedicated, informed and certified “Master Naturalist” volunteers and provide leadership, guidance and oversight to a largely self-sufficient network of local Master Naturalist chapters that adhere to a set of objectives, procedures, and minimum requirements set at the state level.
Products and Services
  • Factors Impacting the Products and/or Services:
    Depending on the nature of the program, economic factors have impacted, to some degree, most products or services. In addition, as research shows, the number of visitors to a new facility peak in the first year after the facility is open, followed by an accompanied decrease in attendance, and generally stabilizes after a few years.
    Special exhibits, rented particularly, are difficult to afford very often due to the number of visitors (that underwrites exhibit rental) and the museum's ability to raise substantial funds. Without the draw of special, relatively expensive, special exhibits, staff contribute to creative ways to produce exhibits internally, without professionally-trained exhibit design and fabrication staff.
    Due to decreased operating budget and the associated costs of producing hard copies, several publications have been discontinued or are being produced either in-part or entirely electronically.
    Outreach education programs have seen an increase in demand likely due to school system budget decreases for expenses that are associated with fieldtrips.
    Largely due to insufficient staff, the travelling exhibit program has been drastically reduced in offerings with some key exceptions.
    Festivals and special events rely on external funding sources including sponsors for support.
  • Anticipated Changes to the Products and/or Services
    Since we will be entering our third year in the new building, we may likely see attendance numbers stabilize.
    After current rented special exhbit contracts obligations are fulfilled, we will look for opportunities to maximize special exhibits with a combination of sponsored exhibits, inexpensive exhibits, and in-house produced exhibits.
    When appropriate, we will likely continue to produce an increasing number of publications electronically.
    As we respond to demand and new partnerships in other areas of the state, outreach education programs will likely continue to increase.
  • Listing of Products and/or Services
    • Education programs and presentations based at the museum.
    • Special exhibits.
    • General, scientific, and educational text and electronic publications.
    • Instructional technology services and products.
    • Outreach education programming from centers in Martinsville/Southside, Charlottesville/Central, and Gloucester/Eastern regions.
    • Traveling exhibit program.
    • Family-oriented festivals and special events.
Finance
  • Financial Overview
    Based on current levels, 58% funding will come from nongeneral funds in FY 2010-2012.
  • Financial Breakdown
    FY 2011    FY 2012 FY 2011    FY 2012 FY 2011    FY 2012
      General Fund     Nongeneral Fund        General Fund     Nongeneral Fund  
    Base Budget $408,820 $356,362    $408,820 $356,362
    Change To Base -$59,128 $134,515    -$59,128 $134,515
               
    Service Area Total   $349,692  $490,877     $349,692  $490,877 
    Base Budget $408,820 $356,362    $408,820 $356,362
    Change To Base -$59,128 $134,515    -$59,128 $134,515
               
    Service Area Total   $349,692  $490,877     $349,692  $490,877 
    Base Budget $408,820 $356,362    $408,820 $356,362
    Change To Base -$59,128 $134,515    -$59,128 $134,515
               
    Service Area Total   $349,692  $490,877     $349,692  $490,877 
Human Resources
  • Human Resources Overview
    Currently this service area is staffed full-time by Director of Education and Public Programs, the Exhibit Hall Technical Specialist, the Exhibit Hall Program Specialist, the Editor, the Senior Graphic Designer, the Museum Education Coordinator, and the Nature & Outdoor Education Manager. Part-time employees in this service area are: Administrative Assistant, Out-of-School Education Coordinator, Youth Education Coordinator, Sleepover and Birthday Party Coordinator, four educators, and one education assistant. In addition, there are three part-time staff located in Charlottesville: the Outreach Education Coordinator/Central Virginia and two Outreach Specialists, and an Outreach Education Coordinator in Eastern Virginia.
  • Human Resource Levels
    Effective Date 7/1/2007    
    Total Authorized Position level 10    
    Vacant Positions 1    
    Current Employment Level 9.0    
    Non-Classified (Filled) 0    
    Full-Time Classified (Filled) 9    breakout of Current Employment Level
    Part-Time Classified (Filled) 0    
    Faculty (Filled) 0    
    Wage 12    
    Contract Employees 0    
    Total Human Resource Level 21.0   = Current Employment Level + Wage and Contract Employees
  • Factors Impacting HR
    All of the part-time positions, currently 11, and the equivalent of (1) one full-time position in this service area is funded through nongeneral funds (0200 monies). All of the monies to support these positions come from grants and service area contracts. The biggest impact on human resources in this area is the ability to obtain grants and service contracts the continuance of funding. Also, the lack of funding has caused this area to be under-staffed.
  • Anticipated HR Changes
    New positions supported by grant funding have been requested and approved. However, the ability to hire these positions depends on the availability of grant funding. If funding for the distance learning "Adventure Classroom" is approved, an instuctional technology coordinator will be needed.
Service Area Objectives
 
  • We will provide meaningful education programs that are aligned with state and national education standards and trends.
    Objective Description
    Education staff design, produce, evaluate, analyze, and modify educational programs to ensure a high level of quality and customer satisfaction in correlation to state and national education standards.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will create and deliver life-long learning opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as its visitors through programs, exhibits, and publications based on scientific and educational research.
    Objective Strategies
    • Train staff in program design, delivery, and evaluation. Share results with staff as a means of providing feedback and making program adjustments as needed.
    • All existing, modified, and new programs are analyzed for the associated academic content. Keep abreast of existing and new Virginia and North Carolina learning standards.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Percentage of program evaluations with overall rating of good or better.
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain

      Frequency Comment: Program evaluations recorded regularly.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      90
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 90% program evaluations are rated good or better in FY2009.

      Measure Target Value:
      90
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 90% program evaluations are rated good or better in FY2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Collect and analyze both formative and summative evaluations of all relevant programs. Percentage based on program evaluations and numbers served.

    • Correlate standards into new programs for school groups and review existing education programs.
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain

      Frequency Comment: Each program will be reviewed for standards correlation.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 100% programs correlated by 6/30/2009.

      Measure Target Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Maintain 100% programs correlated by 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Each program will be reviewed for standards correlation.

  • We will produce well-designed and maintained exhibits that are dynamic, educational, interactive, thought provoking, and grounded in scientific and social content for a wide range of audiences.
    Objective Description
    Permanent exhbits, special exhibits and displays, rented or internally produced, are well-designed and have a high level of quality and customer satisfaction.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Percentage of exhibit evaluations with overall rating of good or better.
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: On-site surveys and electronic kiosk results collected daily and analyzed.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      96
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 96% exhibit evaluations rated good or better in FY2009.

      Measure Target Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 100% rated exhibit evaluations are rated good or better in FY2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: On-site surveys and electronic kiosk results collected and analyzed by staff.

  • We will produce text, electronic, and web-based publications and educational materials.
    Objective Description
    To design, produce, evaluate, analyze, and modify publications to ensure a high level of quality, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Internal quality control.
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain

      Frequency Comment: Publications review system will be used.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 100% publications are reviewed internally for accuracy and quality by the Publications Department in 2009.

      Measure Target Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Maintain 100% publications reviewed internally for accuracy and quality by the Publications Department by 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: By publication review system.

    • Number of publications produced and distributed annually.
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Output
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: All publications are counted monthly.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      24
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 24 publications produced in FY 2009.

      Measure Target Value:
      26
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 26 publications produced by FY 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Count number of text, electronic, educational, and scientific documents produced.

  • We will provide technical and security management expertise and support for information technology services to enhance museum programs.
    Objective Description
    Staff design, produce, evaluate, analyze, and modify instructional technologies to ensure appropriate use and a high level of quality and customer satisfaction.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will create and deliver life-long learning opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as its visitors through programs, exhibits, and publications based on scientific and educational research.
    Objective Strategies
    • Offer periodic staff training opportunities for staff in the use of information systems, security, and applications.
    • Offer on-line training opportunities through the Commonwealth Learning Center.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Technology-based training.
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: All training will be tracked.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      5
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 5 training opportunities offered in 2009.

      Measure Target Value:
      7
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 7 opportunities will be provided in 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Number of trainings offered for employees.

  • We will maintain and seek new strategic partnerships with individuals, agencies, and organizations toward serving more areas of the state.
    Objective Description
    Museum staff will maintain and seek new strategic partnerships with individuals, agencies, and organizations toward serving more areas of the state through outreach education programs and services.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will create and deliver life-long learning opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as its visitors through programs, exhibits, and publications based on scientific and educational research.
    Objective Strategies
    • Strategically identify, cultivate, and recruit new relationships with individuals, agencies, and organizations that may be able to further the objective.
    • Maintain existing relationships with outreach programs and locations.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Increase outreach programs and services to areas of the state not currently being served.
      Measure Class:
      Agency Key
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: Calculated annually.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      544
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: Number of outreach programs delivered.

      Measure Target Value:
      38
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Number of locations receiving services.

      Long-range Measure Target Value:
      570/40
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Long-range Measure Target Description: Number of programs and locations served.

      Data Source and Calculation: Determine number of existing outreach programs and locations currently being served. Calculate difference each year with a targeted increase of 5% in 3 years.



Service Area Strategic Plan
4/21/2014   3:03 am
Virginia Museum of Natural History (942)
Biennium:
Service Area 3 of 4
Operational and Support Services (942 145 07)
Description

This service area provides overall direction and management of the museum ensuring adherence to applicable State laws, rules and regulations.
Administration and Services: Provides management of the museum's cash flow, internal controls, cost effectiveness, and overall operations of facilities and resources. It ensures that the museum continues to be well-managed and cost-efficient, using its resources effectively to advance its mission. This division provides policies and procedures and ensures that the museum has an efficient and diverse workforce. It provides efficient facility operations, maintenance, protection, and improvement of the museum facility. This area supports the museum in providing goods and services for operations and programs. It manages capital outlay and maintenance reserve projects.
Marketing and External Affairs:
- Raises awareness of the Museum resulting in increased attendance
- Provides information to the public on the museum's programs and services
- Supports the museum's programs by generating revenues from gift shop sales and admissions.
Development
- Promotes an active membership base resulting in increased membership retention and increased levels of membership
- Provides increased individual, foundation, corporate, and range of government support for exhibits, events, education, research and public programs.
Background Information
Mission Alignment and Authority
  • Describe how this service supports the agency mission
    This service supports the establishment of a state museum of natural history in Virginia where specimens of natural history, especially those of Virginia origin, can be properly housed, cared for, cataloged, and studied and to ensure a permanent repository of the state's natural heritage which fosters an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved and to encourage and promote research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world.

    This service also directly aligns with the mission to "interpret Virginia's natural heritage within a global context in ways that are relevant to all citizens of the Commonwealth" as the service area seeks to build awareness of the Museum, attendance and participation and support.
  • Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
    § 10.1-2000. Museum created; essential governmental function. There is hereby created an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be known as "The Virginia Museum of Natural History," hereinafter referred to as the "Museum." The Museum is hereby declared to be a public body and instrumentality for the purpose of preserving and protecting Virginia's natural history. The exercise by the Museum of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed an essential governmental function. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)

    § 10.1-2001. Purposes. The purposes of the Virginia Museum of Natural History are: 1. To investigate, preserve and exhibit the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world; 2. To foster an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved; 3. To encourage and promote research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world; 4. To encourage individuals and scholars to study our natural history and to apply this understanding of the past to the challenge of the future; 5. To establish a state museum of natural history in Virginia where specimens of natural history, especially those of Virginia origin, can be properly housed, cared for, cataloged and studied and to ensure a permanent repository of our natural heritage; and 6. To coordinate an efficient network in Virginia where researchers and the public can readily use the natural history material of the Museum, its branches, Virginia's institutions of higher education and other museums. These purposes are hereby declared to be a matter of legislative determination. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)
Customers
Agency Customer Group Customer Customers served annually Potential annual customers
Children and their families Children and their famililes 14,000 28,000
Scientists and Researchers Scientists and Researchers 887 1,206
Seniors and adults with disabilities (over the age of 18) and their families Senior Citizens 3,000 7,000
Elementary and secondary school teachers and students Teachers 25,000 60,000
Natural history enthusiasts including Tourists and Eco-tourists Tourists and Eco-Tourists 31,000 91,000
Virtual Visitors Web site visitors 340,000 500,000

Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
Marketing and External Affairs customer base is expected to grow significantly with the new Museum now open. In the past, Marketing efforts were focused generally in a 50 mile radius. Marketing efforts leading up to the grand opening of the new facility included an expanded area beyond this core to a primary market of 100 miles, with selected marketing activities to the secondary radius of 250 miles.

The new Museum will continue its evolution into an attraction for a wide audience, including school age children and teachers, children and families, natural history enthusiasts, tourists and eco-tourists, adults and seniors. This is distinct from the visitor bast to the old facility, which was perceived as primarily an attraction for children.

Virtual visitors are important to this service area to the extent that their virtual visit results in an actual visit, a membership or other financial support. The Museum's newly designed content-rich Web site will be further developed to continue attracting online visitors around the world.
Partners
Partner Description
Martinsville-Henry County Office of Tourism VMNH Marketing and External Affairs staff work closely with staff of the Martinsville-Henry County Office of Tourism to maximize marketing efforts for both the Museum and entire region. A strong working relationship ensures that marketing resources are used to their fullest potential.
Patrick Henry Community College As an underwriter of educational programs, like the Jefferson Awards and scientific symposium, PHCC is able to strengthen its regional identity among the scientific community and students desiring a career in the sciences.
Piedmont Regional Governor's School for Math, Science & Technology Students are receiving valuable experience in the sciences by year-long placement in labs and other areas of the Museum.
Southern Virginia Route 58 Tourism Partnership The Southern Virginia Route 58 Tourism Partnership is a newly formed 501(c)3 organization that exists to promote the many tourism destinations in the newly formed Southern Virginia tourism region. The Director of Marketing and External Affairs is a member of the board of directors for the organization.
Virginia Tourism Corporation With the opening of the new VMNH facility, efforts were made to strengthen the Museum's partnership with the VTC. The VTC's relatively abundant marketing resources are vital to the Museum's ongoing efforts to reach potential visitors from a wide radius.
Products and Services
  • Factors Impacting the Products and/or Services:
    [Nothing entered]
  • Anticipated Changes to the Products and/or Services
    [Nothing entered]
  • Listing of Products and/or Services
    • Development of contributed income from individuals, corporations, and foundations through the VMNH Foundation - Provides income to the Museum for education, exhibits, research and public programs
    • Communications: -Marketing and External Affairs staff will continue to provide information to broad and specialized audiences through the quarterly newsletter, monthly e-newsletter, the newly designed Web site, calendar and events listings in variety of media and other organization's literature, press feature coverage in newspapers, periodicals, radio and television.
    • Advertising and Promotions -Marketing and External Affairs staff will continue to promote programs and events for the different areas within the Museum through paid advertising, brochures, coupons and other incentives and discounts.
    • Special Events -Development and Special Events staff and Marketing and External Affairs staff will continue to create and implement major special events, family festivals, exhibit openings, guest lectures and performers to provide additional enhancements to visitors' Museum experiences. With the new facility now open, several annual family festivals have been added to the Museum calendar; the family festivals are a major visitor draw and source of income in all areas.
    • Membership Development -Provide membership value and opportunities for increased engagement to museum visitors and supporters through the cultivation of new members and nurturing of existing members. Provide increased revenue to the Museum.
Finance
  • Financial Overview
    VMNH's operational and support services are funded mostly by general funds and earned income. The museum generates earned income in this area from admissions, gift shop sales, room rentals, memberships, miscellaneous sources such as sales tax, and special events. A portion of the payroll is funded by the VMNH Foundation and various grants. Exhibits are partially funded by sponsorships through the Foundation.
  • Financial Breakdown
    FY 2011    FY 2012 FY 2011    FY 2012
      General Fund     Nongeneral Fund        General Fund     Nongeneral Fund  
    Base Budget $1,527,732 $260,213    $1,527,732 $260,213
    Change To Base $61,789 -$52,789    $61,789 -$52,789
               
    Service Area Total   $1,589,521  $207,424     $1,589,521  $207,424 
    Base Budget $1,527,732 $260,213    $1,527,732 $260,213
    Change To Base $61,789 -$52,789    $61,789 -$52,789
               
    Service Area Total   $1,589,521  $207,424     $1,589,521  $207,424 
Human Resources
  • Human Resources Overview
    As of July 2009, the FTE level in the operational and support services area is 25.5 positions. Currently, 18 positions are filled and one (Executive Director) is under recruit. Budget reductions in 2008 caused 2 positions to be eliminated in this area.
  • Human Resource Levels
    Effective Date 7/1/2005    
    Total Authorized Position level 25.5    
    Vacant Positions 7.5    
    Current Employment Level 18.0    
    Non-Classified (Filled)    
    Full-Time Classified (Filled) 18    breakout of Current Employment Level
    Part-Time Classified (Filled)    
    Faculty (Filled) 0    
    Wage 13    
    Contract Employees 0    
    Total Human Resource Level 31.0   = Current Employment Level + Wage and Contract Employees
  • Factors Impacting HR
    Lack of funding will require VMNH to offer low salaries which could impact the quality of the workforce hired in these positions. It will also limit the museum's ability to hire additional staff to support a larger, more complex facility.
  • Anticipated HR Changes
    Lack of funding and budget reductions will impact the museum's ability to hire any additional staff in this area.
Service Area Objectives
 
  • We will increase Museum attendance annually
    Objective Description
    We will successfully promote the Museum as a visitor destination to a wide range of potential visitors across the region. We will ensure that visitors have a positive experience at the Museum to increase repeat visitation. As the number of members grows, so will Musuem visitation.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will create and deliver life-long learning opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as its visitors through programs, exhibits, and publications based on scientific and educational research.
    Objective Strategies
    • VMNH Marketing and External Affairs staff will target Museum marketing and public relations efforts including press releases, the Web site, advertising, signage and promotions to a wider geographic region with 100 miles as the primary radius and 250 miles as the secondary market. Continue to promote the Museum's exciting special exhibits, one-of-a-kind family festivals, opportunities for lifelong learning, and groundbreaking scientific research. Continue to promote the new Museum as a must-see destination in Virginia
    • We will continue to develop the highly successful annual family festivals. Festivals include Dino Day, Bug Daze, and Reptile Day.
    • We will continue to develop new and strengthen existing institutional relationships across the region in order to create new opportunities to reach potential visitors. Potential relationships include convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other museums and cultural institutions, other state agencies, and other educational institutions
    • We will continue to support the efforts of other departments in order to effectively disseminate information to potential visitors about the important mission of the Museum. Particular departments to be supported and promoted include Education and Public Programs, Research and Collections, and Development
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Increase annual Museum attendance
      Measure Class:
      Agency Key
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Quarterly
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: Data will be collected from monthly attendance and revenue reports.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      32345
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: Annual attendance for FY 2009 was 32,345.

      Measure Target Value:
      50000
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: We will increase annual attendance to 50,000 by FY 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Monthly attendance and revenue reports

    • Cost per visitor to provide temporary exhibits
      Measure Class:
      Productivity
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain

      Frequency Comment: We will track costs annually because most display dates overlap quarters.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      3.09
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: Based on temporary exhibits displayed during 2009 with a cost of $99,946. Visitation was 32,345.

      Measure Target Value:
      3.09
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: We will maintain the cost of temporary exhibits with average cost per visitor at $3.09 by 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Divide the total cost required to provide a temporary exhibit by the number of visitors attending the exhibit. Cost is the resource or input. It includes rental costs, advertising costs, and setup costs. The output is increase in visitors and overall income. Calculate the average cost per visitor.

  • We will stimulate use of the Museum by increasing individual and corporate memberships and expanding benefits and cost-benefit to members.
    Objective Description
    Members are more likely to use the Museum during the course of a year, and to become advocates for it. Members are informal marketers for the Museum through their social networks, and their level of engagement ensures that the Museum and its programs are used to the benefit of natural history and learning.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will create and deliver life-long learning opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as its visitors through programs, exhibits, and publications based on scientific and educational research.
    Objective Strategies
    • Membership benefits will reflect additional perks offered by the new facility.
    • A new corporate membership structure will reflect actual needs of businesses -- use of facility, etc., so that the facility becomes an asset to corporate members.
    • A part-time contract worker retained to sell event and exhibit sponsorships also will "sell" corporate memberships.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Number of Museum members
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: Numbers will be collected from Blackbaud membership software.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      645
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 645 members at the end of FY2009

      Measure Target Value:
      800
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Increase membership to the Museum to 800 by FY 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Membership records from Blackbaud

  • We will provide natural history-related retail products to customers in the Museum Store and Web site visitors.
    Objective Description
    We will provide natural history related products in our museum gift shop to help develop a more interesting visitor experience.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will create and deliver life-long learning opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as its visitors through programs, exhibits, and publications based on scientific and educational research.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Amount of revenue generated through retail sales
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: Total revenue deposits from retail sales during the year

      Measure Baseline Value:
      62492
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: Total revenue generated for FY2009 was $62,492.

      Measure Target Value:
      75000
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Revenue generated from Museum Store increases to $75,000 by FY 2012

      Data Source and Calculation: Total revenue deposits from retail sales during year.

  • We will provide a safe and secure environment for the museum visitors and staff
    Objective Description
    Provides efficient facility operations, protection, maintenance, and improvements to the facility to ensure comfort and safety of visitors and staff.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will develop visitor experiences that are interesting, emotionally charged, immersive, well-paced, dramatic, social and grounded in content which result in multiple visits per person.
      Comment: Assure adequate facilities for visitors and staff to help achieve the museum's educational and economic outcomes.
    Objective Strategies
    • Assure proper operation, protection, improvement, and maintenance of the facility to ensure comfort and safety of visitors and staff.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Percentage of operating days that Museum operates accident-free for visitors and staff
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: Data will be recorded at the end of each fiscal year from the museum incident report.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      99
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 98% of operating days accident and incident free in FY 2006

      Measure Target Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 100% of operating days accident and incident free in FY 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Calculation will be based on the number of accidents reported in the fiscal year.

  • We will retain existing volunteers and recruit new volunteers
    Objective Description
    Support museum programs by providing volunteers and assigning them in appropriate areas where needed.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will conduct and disseminate research relevant to stewardship of Virginia's natural environment, leading to enhanced appreciation of these resources for improving the quality of life for our citizens and contributing to the global reservoir of knowledge.
    Objective Strategies
    • Offer incentives for individuals and groups to increase their participation in the museum and its programs.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Number of active Volunteers
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: The data will be reported annually from the volunteer database.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      251
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 251 active volunteers in FY 2009

      Measure Target Value:
      260
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 260 active volunteers in FY 2012

      Data Source and Calculation: Number of volunteers supporting Museum programs and recorded in the volunteer database.

  • We will increase revenue from contributed or grant support from individuals, corporations, foundations and range of public sector sources and rental of Museum facilities
    Objective Description
    Increase funding for Museum programs through: (1) increased memberships, (2) fundraising events, (3) sale of sponsorships for events and exhibits, (4) completion of grant proposals, (5) maximizing partnerships, (6) increased annual fund donations, and (7) completion of the $5 million capital campaign.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will generate operating revenue through increased grants and other voluntary contributions from the public and private sectors and through cooperative arrangements with other museums, state agencies and organizations.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Amount of contributed support
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: Support from Foundation for exhibit and special events sponsorships

      Measure Baseline Value:
      8704
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: $8,704 in FY 2009

      Measure Target Value:
      55000
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: $55,000 in FY 2012

      Data Source and Calculation: Exhibit and special event sponsorships

  • We will ensure that resources are used efficiently and programs are managed effectively, and in a manner consistent with applicable state and federal requirements.
    Objective Description
    Ensure that all resources are used efficiently and programs are managed according to State rules and regulations.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will preserve and maintain the record of the Commonwealth's natural history - the library of our natural heritage - for future generations.
      Comment: Provide efficient management of resources to ensure successful research and programs.
    Objective Strategies
    • Provide adequate management to support programs.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Percent of Governor''s Management scorecard categories marked as meets expectations for the agency
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain

      Frequency Comment: Scores will be recorded annually based on the Management Scorecard.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: All areas meet expectations.

      Measure Target Value:
      100
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: All areas meet expectations.

      Data Source and Calculation: Results will be based on agency Management Scorecard grades based on five criteria: Human Resource Management, Government Procurement, Financial Management, Technology, and Performance Management.

  • We will be prepared to act in the interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth and its infrastructure during emergency situations by actively planning and training both as an agency and as individuals.
    Objective Description
    The agency and its employees will train and plan to act in the interest of the citizens of the Commwealth and its infrastructure during emergency situations.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will strengthen the culture of preparedness across state agencies, their employees and customers.
    Objective Strategies
    • The agency Emergency Coordination Officer will stay in continuous communication with the Office of Commonwealth Preparedness and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked


Service Area Strategic Plan
4/21/2014   3:03 am
Virginia Museum of Natural History (942)
Biennium:
Service Area 4 of 4
Scientific Research (942 145 08)
Description

Research: Provide scientifically informed and accurate natural history programs and exhibits for students, teachers and the public and develop awareness of Virginia's natural heritage among all citizens via the VMNH website, newsletter and publication series.
Background Information
Mission Alignment and Authority
  • Describe how this service supports the agency mission
    This service supports the mission of this agency to investigate and preserve the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world and to foster an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved while encouraging and promoting research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world.
  • Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
    § 10.1-2000. Museum created; essential governmental function. There is hereby created an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be known as "The Virginia Museum of Natural History," hereinafter referred to as the "Museum." The Museum is hereby declared to be a public body and instrumentality for the purpose of preserving and protecting Virginia's natural history. The exercise by the Museum of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed an essential governmental function. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)

    § 10.1-2001. Purposes. The purposes of the Virginia Museum of Natural History are: 1. To investigate, preserve and exhibit the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world; 2. To foster an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved; 3. To encourage and promote research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world; 4. To encourage individuals and scholars to study our natural history and to apply this understanding of the past to the challenge of the future; 5. To establish a state museum of natural history in Virginia where specimens of natural history, especially those of Virginia origin, can be properly housed, cared for, cataloged and studied and to ensure a permanent repository of our natural heritage; and 6. To coordinate an efficient network in Virginia where researchers and the public can readily use the natural history material of the Museum, its branches, Virginia's institutions of higher education and other museums. These purposes are hereby declared to be a matter of legislative determination. (1988, cc. 707, 891.)
Customers
Agency Customer Group Customer Customers served annually Potential annual customers
Scientists and Researchers American Society of Mammalogy 40 125
Scientists and Researchers Archaeological Society of Virginia 20 150
Scientists and Researchers Council on Virginia Archaeology 20 150
Scientists and Researchers Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage 6 6
Scientists and Researchers Geological Society of America 200 400
Scientists and Researchers International Bryzoology Association 176 176
Scientists and Researchers International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature 28 32
Scientists and Researchers Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 250 350
Scientists and Researchers Virginia Academy of Sciences 30 60
Elementary and secondary school teachers and students Virginia Association of Science Teachers 50 100
Natural history enthusiasts including Tourists and Eco-tourists Virginia Master Naturalists 15 25
Scientists and Researchers Virginia Natural History Society 65 125
Scientists and Researchers Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 10 20
Elementary and secondary school teachers and students Virginia Science Standards Institute 50 100

Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
Loss of personnel has and will result in reduction of numbers of customers (e.g. loss of discipline will result in loss of customers related to that discipline).
Partners
Partner Description
Carnegie Museum of Natural History In collaboration with the Department of Anthropology, VMNH is conducting research on pre-1600 Native American villages. Products associated with this partnership will be scientific publications and presentations to both scientific and general audiences.
Caroline County, Virginia Collaborative research and program development
Harvard University Collaborative research
Radford University Adjunct appointments of VMNH curators to teach courses at New college institute and supervise graduate students
Smithsonian Institution Collaborations with staff from the National Museum of Natural History
The American University Together with the Maryland Historic Trust and with consultation by the Maryland Indian Commission, operate a joint research project on the development of Late Woodland (A.D.900-A.D.1600) Native American villages in the Potomac River drainage area.
The Nature Conservancy Joint research program on mammal populations inhabiting the barrier islands (also with DEQ, UVa, and DCR). Assist in species identifcations to monitor effects of land use
University of Sao Paulo Collaboraive research
University of Virginia Research on mammal populations inhabiting the barrier islandsJoint research program on mammal populations inhabiting the barrier islands (also with DCR,TNC and DEQ). Adjunct appointments of VMNH curators to teach courses at UVA and to supervise graduate students.
University of Wyoming Collaborative research projects
US Bureau of Land Management VMNH curates and houses vertebrate fossils from federal lands and BLM provides access to these vertebrate fossils for VMNH to use in research and exhibits.
VA Department of Environmental Quality Joint research program on mammal populations inhabiting the barrier islands (also with UVa, DCR, and TNC)
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage Identify fauna collected by Natural Heritage staff during inventories and cuarte and house voucher specimens to maintain a database of the Commonwealth's fauna
Virginia Department of Historic Resources Develop joint educational programming that promotes an understanding of Native American history and the relationship of human history, settlement and the built environment with Virginia's natural environment.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Adjunct appointments of VMNH curators to teach courses at VPI and SU and to supervise graduate students
Products and Services
  • Factors Impacting the Products and/or Services:
    Personnel and Budget reductions
  • Anticipated Changes to the Products and/or Services
    Decrease in numbers of programs and publications
  • Listing of Products and/or Services
    • Scientific Publications
    • Public Programming Content to include educational and exhibit materials
    • Scientific Knowledge to support educational materials and advance scientific research
    • K-12 teacher education programming
Finance
  • Financial Overview
    This area is financed partially by general funds and partially by grants.
  • Financial Breakdown
    FY 2011    FY 2012
      General Fund     Nongeneral Fund        General Fund     Nongeneral Fund  
    Base Budget $921,569 $158,345    $921,569 $158,345
    Change To Base -$299,516 -$61,035    -$299,516 -$61,035
               
    Service Area Total   $622,053  $97,310     $622,053  $97,310 
Human Resources
  • Human Resources Overview
    This service area consists of curators and lab technicians. Currently, there are 5 curators at the Museum, down from 7 in 2007. At present there is one lab technician for biology and none for earth sciences

    This area was identified in an audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts in 2002 as being understaffed. This was prior to the loss of 3 full-time positions in the past two years. Relocation to the new facility has raised public expectations, while staffing levels have fallen. Budget requests were made in the FY2007 and FY2008 (prior to the current fiscal crisis) to fill all three positions.
  • Human Resource Levels
    Effective Date 7/1/2005    
    Total Authorized Position level 10    
    Vacant Positions 2    
    Current Employment Level 8.0    
    Non-Classified (Filled) 0    
    Full-Time Classified (Filled) 8    breakout of Current Employment Level
    Part-Time Classified (Filled) 0    
    Faculty (Filled) 0    
    Wage 1    
    Contract Employees 0    
    Total Human Resource Level 9.0   = Current Employment Level + Wage and Contract Employees
  • Factors Impacting HR
    The challenge to get funding from grants to meet half of the costs for lab technicians. More recently, budget cuts have reduced staff and impacted our ability to hire even partially grant-funded personnel.
  • Anticipated HR Changes
    The museum has been heavily impacted by the lack of a Research and Collections Director to manage this service area. We anticipate filling this position in the near future.
Service Area Objectives
 
  • We will be the premier resource in understanding Virginia’s natural heritage within a global context in ways that are relevant to the citizens of the Commonwealth.
    Objective Description
    The Commonwealth boasts an incredible diversity of plant and animal life that is surpassed by few other states in the Nation. VMNH is the state repository for natural history collections, including voucher specimens. It also has a wealth of world-class archaeological and paleontological sites, and specimens from many of these localities are housed at VMNH. With these ich resources it is incumbent upon VMNH to develop world-class research programs that form the basis for innovative and exceptional educational programs. To realize the full potential of the Commonwealth's rich natural heritage requires expertise in numerous specialized areas. We will facilitate this by developing and enhancing formal collaborative programs with scientists at 6 other State agencies, universities, and scientific instritutions around the nation and the world. Dissemination of the results of the research programs to the scientific community is critical. In order to facilitate this process VMNMH has its own peer-reviewed publications series including "Jeffersoniana", "VMNH Memoirs", and "Special Publications". Increasing the production of these series enables VMNH to reach not only the State and National scientific community, but also the International one. Contributions to these publ;ications is open to the entire scientific community, and not just VMNH researchers and affliates.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will conduct and disseminate research relevant to stewardship of Virginia's natural environment, leading to enhanced appreciation of these resources for improving the quality of life for our citizens and contributing to the global reservoir of knowledge.
    Objective Strategies
    • Research staff will publish the results of their findings in peer-reviewed research publications on a regular basis.
    • VMNH Reserach staff will seek continued collaboration with colleagues at institutions in the Commonwealth as well as nationally and iinternationally.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Increase the number of scientific collaborations
      Measure Class:
      Agency Key
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up

      Frequency Comment: Track scientific publications, articles, and meeting abstracts.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      28
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: Collaborate with 28 State Agencies, Federal Agencies and Universities to conduct scientific research in FY 2009

      Measure Target Value:
      35
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Increase our collaboration to at least thirty-five agencies by 2012

      Data Source and Calculation: Data is collected during the year as we publish scientific articles and meeting abstracts with collaborators. It is also derived from information input into our collections catalogs. The total used is the total number of collaborations with various agencies during the year.

  • Build collections through appropriate research.
    Objective Description
    Determining the ecological impacts of activities such as road building, clear-cutting or new industrial development is reliant upon up-to-date knowledge of the natural history of an area. The Natural History Collections from the most comprehensive base reference for inventories of fauna and flora in Virginia, and must be kept up to date. Collections form the reference "library" and the database for research into all aspects of natural history, and therefore must be continually updated to reflect advances in our knowledge. Building collections through research also includes curatorial field work programs in the Commonwealth together with those of sister agencies, in particular Natural Heritage.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will conduct and disseminate research relevant to stewardship of Virginia's natural environment, leading to enhanced appreciation of these resources for improving the quality of life for our citizens and contributing to the global reservoir of knowledge.
    • Agency Goal: We will preserve and maintain the record of the Commonwealth's natural history - the library of our natural heritage - for future generations.
    Objective Strategies
    • VMNH will continue to receive and catalogue specimens received from sister agencies with the goal of an extensive inventory of the Commonwealth's fauna and flora
    • VMNH will accept collections from private sources that increase the diversity of the collections
    • VMNH scientists will conduct field work in Virginia and incorporate new material into the collections
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Number of specimens added to Museum collections
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain

      Frequency Comment: All acquisitions are recorded as they come in and a report is prepared.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      16986
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: 16,986 specimens added, curated, and maintained by the Museum and are accessible to scientists in FY 2009.

      Measure Target Value:
      16986
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Maintain the same rate of growth of the collections throughout by 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Acquisitions of appropriate specimen and output of prepared specimens from the laboratory. All acquisitions are recorded as they come in and a report is presented to the Board of Trustees each quarter.

  • Operate scientific labs that are visitor friendly and provide public education by encouraging interaction with Museum visitors.
    Objective Description
    Develop the Vertebrate Paleontology, Archaeology and Stereoscanning Electron Microscope (SEM) laboratories so that the visitors can see and understand cutting-edge scientific research in action. Specimens brought back from collecting programs will be prepared and examined in the laboratories on public view. Develop a vehicle that will aid K-12 students uinderstand the scientific method and provide visitors with an interactive experience of fundamental research procedures. This is particularly impoortant in an under served rural community. Provide consultancy services for local industries using the state-of-the-art equipment in the VMNH laboratories.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: We will create and deliver life-long learning opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as its visitors through programs, exhibits, and publications based on scientific and educational research.
    • Agency Goal: We will conduct and disseminate research relevant to stewardship of Virginia's natural environment, leading to enhanced appreciation of these resources for improving the quality of life for our citizens and contributing to the global reservoir of knowledge.
    • Agency Goal: We will develop visitor experiences that are interesting, emotionally charged, immersive, well-paced, dramatic, social and grounded in content which result in multiple visits per person.
    Objective Strategies
    • VMNH will continue the operation of the three laboratories that can viewed by the general visitor and increase the numbers staff, volunteers and students that work in the laboratories.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Number of hours that laboratories are available for public viewing each week
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain

      Frequency Comment: Hours labs are available for public viewing is monitored daily.

      Measure Baseline Value:
      30
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: Vertebrate Paleontology and Archaeology laboratories are operational and visible to public 30 hours each week in FY 2009.

      Measure Target Value:
      30
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Maintain the operational levels of the three laboratories at 30 hours per week visibility to the public. Have student volunteers working in the laboratories for 4 hours per week. Increase operating hours to the weekend by 2012.

      Data Source and Calculation: Hours Labs are available for public viewing and volunteer hours are monitored daily.


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