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Home / science grant

LA County museums receive over $6.4M in science, research grants

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County have received more than $6.4 million in science, humanities, and research grants to fund projects including digitization of history, film and insect collections and local projects on biodiversity and indigenous artists, it was announced Monday.

Six of the 15 grants were awarded by the National Science Foundation, and others were made by the Association of Science and Technology Centers, Boeing, California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Institute for Biodiversity, Glendale Community College Foundation, Haynes Foundation, Louis B. Mayer Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S. Department of Energy, the NHMLAC said.

The NHMLAC is “a vital and unique organization that stewards research in a variety of scientific and cultural fields as well as a collection of more than 35 million specimens and objects, while serving Los Angeles and the international community at large,” Lori Bettison-Varga, NHMLAC president and director, said in a statement.

“Today, scientific and collections inquiries are more important than ever, and on behalf of our scientists and curators, we are so proud of being awarded these significant grants, enabling further understanding of our changing world,” Bettison-Varga said. “I congratulate all our staff members who have been successful at securing funds for their important research, and look forward to seeing the positive impact new mentorship programs will have on future generations.”

Among the grants were two sought-after and highly competitive National Science Foundation grants, totaling nearly $3.5 million, according to the museum. One of them was $2.9 million — the largest single grant the Research & Collections department has ever received — and will fund the post- baccalaureate mentoring program “RaMP: Understanding Nature and Los Angeles Biodiversity through Museum Collections and Field-based Research.” The program will facilitate biodiversity research, mentorship, professional development, and educational enrichment for mentees, according to the NHMLAC.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation awarded $666,696 to NHMLAC through the Outdoor Equity Grants Program for “Wild L.A.: Exploring the Amazing Nature In and Around L.A.” which seeks to increase participation in outdoor experiences at state parks and other public lands.

The money will help fund a hub for local activities and trips to natural areas for residents of South L.A. communities. Museum officials said the money will also support youth and families with outdoor leadership education, career pathways, environmental justice engagement and access to nature.

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