MISSOULA – Nick Wethington, University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area museum manager, has received a competitive Sustainability in Science Museums Fellowship from the Walton Initiatives. The fellowship empowers science museum professionals to advance public understanding of sustainability.
Wethington’s one-year fellowship kicks off this week with a four-day workshop at Arizona State University, where a cohort of 20 fellows will receive mentorship from ASU faculty members and develop an initiative to engage museum visitors in sustainability education and action at their home institution.
A self-described “tinkerer and maker,” Wethington previously managed a curbside recycling program, blogged about astronomy and worked as a bike mechanic, educating customers about improving their health and reducing their carbon footprint through bicycling. Currently, he manages spectrUM’s museum in downtown Missoula.
“People come to us to learn and have fun at the same time, so creating activities and experiences that blend sustainability, science and entertainment is something I hope to achieve,” Wethington said. “Science museums play a critical role in communicating the broad subject of science to the public, and they are unique environments that make science both fun and accessible.”
Through the fellowship, Wethington plans to partner with UM faculty members in the environmental sciences and other Missoula organizations to develop a set of activities, demonstrations and museum programs that engages the public in locally relevant sustainability education.
Committed to inspiring a culture of learning and discovery for all, spectrUM is an interactive sceience center located in the heart of downtown Missoula. Annually, spectrUM serves more than 50,000 Montanans at its museum and through statewide mobile engagement.
The public can visit spectrUM at 218 E. Front St. in Missoula from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission costs $3.50 per person.