Roberson Announces Gift From Robert F. Schumann Foundation, Plans for New Natural Science Exhibitions and Programs
Roberson Museum and Science Center is honored to announce a major gift from the estate of Robert Ford Schumann, Binghamton businessman and philanthropist, in the sum of $250,000. Mr. Schumann, who passed away in 2011, was a passionate environmentalist who served on the boards of the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, as well as the Board of Directors at Roberson. In honor of his passion for environmental experiences, Mr. Schumann’s gift, together with support from the Roger Kresge Foundation and the George A. and Margaret Mee Charitable Foundation, will allow Roberson to embark on new exhibits and programming opportunities in Natural Sciences.
The following exhibitions and educational programming will be made possible by these generous donations:
A Walk In The Woods
A Walk In The Woods, slated to open in Fall 2017, will allow guests to interact with local habitats including wet land, woodland, backyard and meadow. The exhibition will feature life-sized trees and animals from Roberson’s vast collection of mounted specimens as well as interactive experiences of sounds and sights of nature and wild-life.
Nature’s Best Photography
Nature’s Best Photography is an award-winning showcase of stunning photographs. The only other museum to feature Nature’s Best Photography is the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History! Visitors will find images and the stories behind the shots on topics such as: wildlife, landscapes, plant life, travel, how-to photo tips, inspirational essays, and other wonders of the natural world. This exhibited is slated for a February 2017 opening.
Areas of Expanded Educational Programming in Natural Sciences
Pre-school thru Grade 12 Public Education that incorporates Next Generation Science standards and curriculum designed by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology to engage students in science inquiry and discovery.
Public programming that focuses on understanding ecosystems, what makes a sustainable habitat and conservation efforts that are vital to the species found throughout the Southern Tier.
Providing content and hands-on experiences to children that attend after school programs, belong to scout organizations and are involved with several other non-traditional learning environments.
Educational Themes Incorporated
- Bird Anatomy & Adaptations for Survival
- Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
- Sustainable Habitats
- Citizen Science Inquiry
- Area School Districts
- The Naturalists’ Club of Broome County
- The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Binghamton University
- NYS Bluebird Society
- Broome County Environmental Management Council
- Broome County Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Services
- Finch Hollow Nature Center
- Waterman Conservation Education Center
- The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park
- NYS Ornithological Association
New York State Museum
Museum Association of New York
Also Featured: The Lee Loomis Collection
Lee Loomis was born around 1898 in Maine, NY; a small rural town about 20 minutes west of Binghamton and lived in the area all his life. Like many who live in rural central NY he hunted and spent a lot of time out in the woods and developed an appreciation of the natural environment.
At some point Lee took a Taxidermy course and for many years was the only federal and state licensed Taxidermist in the Broome County area. Although taxidermy was a hobby for him and over his lifetime he prepared a reported 10,000 specimens, Lee’s philosophy is summed up in a quote from 1976, ““I do this for two reasons: I like to preserve wildlife for future generations and I love my work.”
He was recognized for his skill in preparing the specimens and won awards and accolades for his work, including a regional Environmental Protection Agency Award for his efforts in conservation. His work can be found at SUNY Broome, the Waterman Conservation Center, Finch Hollow Nature Center, and Cornell University among other locations.
In 1970 Lee donated over 3,000 specimens to Roberson; 90% consists of bird and 10% are mammals. The collection consists of all birds of prey, all waterfowl, and nearly all the warblers found in New York State; as well as birds from all over the United States and the world. One of the oldest specimens we have is a Juvenile Bald Eagle prepared by Lee’s father, Grant, in 1896.
Roberson utilizes the Loomis collection of mounted specimens in many of our exhibitions and educational programs. “Walk in the Woods” will be Roberson’s first long-term exhibition developed from this collection.
We couldn’t be more thankful for this generous gift and we look forward to showcasing our new exhibits to all of our visitors, members, staff and sponsors!