Angelo State University’s Department of Biology will host its annual Open House for the Angelo State Natural History Collections (ASNHC) on Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Room 100 of the Cavness Science Building, 2460 Dena Drive.
The Open House will begin at 6 p.m. and is open free to the public. Activities will include a presentation by Dr. Michael Dixon, associate professor of biology, titled “The Curious Complexity of Frogs: Things Your Elementary Science Teacher Forgot to Tell You,” at 6:30 p.m., followed by tours of the ASNHC and a reception.

An ASU faculty member since 2003, Dixon is also curator of the ASNHC’s Herpetology Collection. In that role, he oversees nearly 15,000 specimens of amphibians and reptiles. Known for his innovative teaching techniques, he was awarded the ASU President’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Teaching in 2012. He has also led several groups of students on biology study abroad trips to Central America and Europe. He holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texas.

The ASNHC contains more than 150,000 specimens of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants from the Concho Valley, other regions of Texas, many other states, Mexico, Africa, Asia, Australia and even the Galápagos Islands. The collections aid student and faculty research projects, are used as teaching tools, and are viewed by thousands of K-12 students every year through special programs like ASU Science Days.

In 2012, ASU was awarded a $480,865 grant from the National Science Foundation to modernize and digitize the ASNHC and make all the specimens available to researchers and educators around the globe on worldwide online databases. ASU biology faculty and student assistants are now nearing completion of the three-year project.

For more information, call the ASU Biology Department at 325-942-2189.