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Museum of Culture and Environment

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Creating a Puzzle Room at the Museum

Puzzle Room Video

Current Exhibits

Sap in their Veins: Falling Trees with Portraits and Oral Histories of the Loggers Who Fell Them (traveling exhibit from the Moscow Contemporary, Jan. 4 – March 11)

This exhibit features the photography and oral history of David Paul Bayles, who became fascinated with the experiences and life-worlds of rural loggers in the midst of the 1980s Spotted Owl wars. Bayles photographed and interviewed loggers in order to learn more about their way of seeing the world.

Upcoming Exhibits

Animal Model: How a Tiny Worm Helps Us Understand the Human Brain, Feb. 15, 2023, Dec. 9, 2023 (a College of the Sciences “Window on Central” display!)

C. elegans, commonly referred to as the nematode, is a microscopic worm that lives in soils all around us. But scientists like CWU Biology professor Lucinda Carnell also grow C. elegans in their labs, since this tiny worm can be used as an “animal model,” a proxy for the human brain. In this exhibit, we learn about why C. elegans has been so important to neuroscience research—and how some of this research happens within our own university!

Upcoming Events

February 16 at 5:30 PM

Spotted Owls in Our Midst: A Community Discussion led by DNR Forest Manager Jason Emsley

In the exhibit Sap In Their Veins, we learn about how the controversy over spotted owls influenced deep political divides. For many, it seems that the debate is over. In reality, spotted owls are still struggling to survive—even within our Central Washington region. We will be joined by DNR Forest Manager Jason Emsley who will lead a conversation about the state of spotted owl habitat in our own backyard. 


February 23 at 5:30 PM

Hanford Reach: In the Atomic Field

This panel is inspired by the installation and exhibit of the same name, currently on display at the Wanapum Heritage Center. Led by artist Glenna Cole Allee, this panel will confront the realities of living in the shadow of one of the most radioactive places on the planet—a place that is both teeming with life yet which has also wrought much destruction and death.


February 28 at 5:30 PM

An inkling for the organism: A journey of biological discovery using a worm, C. elegans

We will hear from Dr. Lucinda Carnell (CWU Biology), who has spent much of her career working with a microscopic worm called C. elegans. This tiny creature may seem simple, with only 959 cells and 302 neurons, but they have helped make wondrous discoveries that show how organisms (including humans!) operate. We will hear the story of Dr. Carnell’s journey of co-discovery with CWU students, as they worked together to identify the genetic basis for different aspects of behavior, from the links between diet and diabetes, to serotonin and depression, environmental toxins and neural degeneration, and sensation in response to electrical fields and touch.


Check out our online exhibits!   Explore our collections!  Check out our social media (Facebook, Instagram)!

Three Museum Studies Students consider exhibit case arrangement

Students from the CWU Museum Club install their 2019 exhibit Thanks for the Memories.


The CWU Museum of Culture & Environment resides on land ceded by the Yakama people in 1855. We must respect and take care of this land and all that comes from it. The Yakama people continue their relationship with the land to this day, offering gratitude and stewardship. We acknowledge that the Museum and the collections we steward came to be at CWU because of the many complex legacies of colonialism. And we acknowledge Indigenous CWU students, past, present, and future.


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