Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History

Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History

The only natural history museum in the region encompassing southwestern Idaho, southeastern Oregon and northern Nevada, the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History is the premier resource for environmental and natural history education in the region. The museum’s extensive collections and programs support the education of The College of Idaho students and the general public.

The Museum is open to the public Fridays 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm and for workdays (normally the first Saturday of each month, moved to the second Saturday to accommodate holidays).  Entry is through the main entrance to Boone Science Hall at the first level.  The Museum is located downstairs in the basement. To arrange for group tours contact Kinga Britschgi at 208.459.5211 or KBritschgi@collegeofidaho.edu.

The public is invited to monthly research seminars, held in connection with workdays. Seminars are from 12-1, in the Grover M. Hermann Lecture Hall (Boone Science Hall Room 103). The next seminar topic is (on August 1) is "A new fossil flora from the middle of Payette Lake," by Dr. Patrick F. Fields (Museum Curator of Paleontology and Research Associate of Paleobotany). Click here for more information.

Congratulations to Museum researchers Howard and Darlene Emry! A newly identified species of fossil plant was named after them! Click here for more information about this and other Museum news.

Holdings of the museum include:

  • Fossil fish
  • Native American artifacts
  • Invertebrate collections (especially insect and aquatic)
  • Vertebrate collections (fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds)
  • Fossil leaves
  • Snake River mollusks
  • Artifacts from ancient Egypt & Rome including a falcon mummy
  • Herpetology