New discount programs for guests using EBT cards

We’ve joined Museums for All, a signature access program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), to encourage people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits. The program supports those receiving food assistance (SNAP) benefits visiting the museum for a minimal fee of $2 per person, up to four people, with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Similar free and reduced admission is available to eligible members of the public at more than 850 museums across the country.

Museums for All helps expand access to museums and also raise public awareness about how museums in the U.S. are reaching their entire communities. More than 850 institutions participate in the initiative, including art museums, children’s museums, science centers, botanical gardens, zoos, history museums, and more. Participating museums are located nationwide, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

We’re also a member of Art Reach’s ACCESS Delaware. The programs are similar, but with some geographic differences: ACCESS is primarily for residents of Delaware and Pennsylvania, while Museums for All is for residents of all 50 states. Additionally, ACCESS offers the Art-Reach ACCESS Card. Individuals with disabilities can purchase an ACCESS Card directly from Art-Reach that allows them to receive $2 admission to over 70 museums, gardens, theaters and cultural sites throughout Greater Philadelphia.

To use Museums for All

Upon the display of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, the individual and up to three additional people will get a discounted admission rate of $2 per person. The person whose name appears on the EBT card must be present to obtain the discount.

To use ACCESS

Bring a valid Art-Reach ACCESS Card, Pennsylvania ACCESS Card or Delaware EBT Card with a photo ID to the front desk. One (1) EBT or ACCESS Card admits the cardholder and up to three additional people at a rate of $2 per person. The person whose name appears on the EBT or ACCESS Card must be present to obtain the discount.

MOTUS detects Lesser Yellowlegs

A bird species that migrates through our area — a Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) — was detected by the Motus Wildlife Tracking System (MOTUS) tower on the museum’s roof, installed by University of Delaware scientists in early 2021 to track movement of Purple Martins (Progne subis).

Lesser Yellowlegs © U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

MOTUS is an international collaborative research network dedicated to tracking the migration of small birds, made possible by radio telemetry towers, which read the transmitter tags carried by birds that fly within about 15 km of the tower. Since our tower was installed, it has logged more than 3,200 readings.

The MOTUS tower was installed in early 2021.

The vast majority of detections are of banded Purple Martins, with some individual birds detected many times. The tower has also detected a few American Kestrels (Falco sparverius).

The tower detected the Lesser Yellowlegs on July 13, 2022. According to Dr. Nicholas Bayly, it had been banded in late April near Cali, Colombia, by researchers associated with Audubon Colombia and Asociación Selva, a non-profit organization supporting research and conservation in the Neotropics (selva.org.co).

After it was banded, the bird flew north and was detected by three towers in Missouri, and one in Michigan, before heading to our area. Five other MOTUS towers in our region also detected the bird, including Longwood Gardens. Dr. Matthew Halley, the museum’s Interim Curator of Birds, says the detection highlights the value of projects like the MOTUS program, which enable scientists all over the world to collaborate on migratory research.

This map shows the flight path of the Lesser Yellowlegs detected near DelMNS.

Map data © 2022 Google, INEGI Imagery © 2022 NASA

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to the museum with three special programs developed for students as part of Plastic Free Delaware’s initiative to bring the films to schools in the Mid-Atlantic region. Each weekend is designed for a different age group – but all are welcome – and includes approximately one hour of short featured films along with themed activities.

Join us September 9-11, October 14-16, and November 11-13. Details are below for upcoming weekends!

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Tour has been curating and touring inspiring film festivals across the country since 2003, but Plastic Free Delaware is the first to bring their new grade-centered film programs to schools on the east coast. We’re delighted to host the program this year.

Show times:

5 p.m. Friday as part of Flex Hour Fridays, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Free with general admission or with DelMNS or Winterthur memberships. Pre-registration is preferred for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, regular museum admission may be purchased in advance or at the door.



October 14-16: Becoming an Activist and Activism through Art  

Geared to grades 9-12 
Featured films include:

An Alaskan Fight

Sometimes conservation can feel like an ultramarathon. In this short biopic, runner and wild fish advocate Sam Snyder fights for Bristol Bay, Alaska over the course of a decade and learns the meaning of home and place in the process.

Hidden Wild

Join science educator Alex Freeze as she takes three South Florida students on an expedition to discover the wilderness hidden in their own backyards.


November 11-13: Monarch Migration

Geared to grades 5-8
Featured films include:

Protecting the Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies have one of the longest migrations of any insects, so they depend on critical habitats for their survival during their long journey. Organizations like the Pollinator Conservation Association are committed to protecting and restoring habitat to help save this iconic species.

If You Give a Beach a Bottle

Inspired by a picture book, Max Romey heads to a remote beach on Alaska’s coastline in search of marine debris. What he finds is a different story altogether.


The Wild & Scenic Film Festival School Program is partially funded by a grant from Delaware Humanities, a Delaware state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The screening of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival at the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.


Our sponsors include:


The Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in 2003. The festival’s namesake is in celebration of SYRCL’s landmark victory to receive “Wild & Scenic” status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River in 1999. The 5-day event features over 150 award-winning films and welcomes over 100 guest speakers, celebrities, and activists who bring a human face to the environmental movement. The home festival kicks-off the international tour to communities around the globe, allowing SYRCL to share their success as an environmental group with other organizations. The festival is building a network of grassroots organizations connected by a common goal of using film to inspire activism. With the support of National Partners: Peak Design, Hipcamp, EarthJustice, Miir and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, the festival can reach an even larger audience.

Gala & Glow

A heartfelt thank you to all who celebrated the museum’s 50th anniversary — and the completion of our metamorphosis into the new Delaware Museum of Nature and Science — at our Gala and Glow on Friday, May 13, 2022.

Research Headquarters

How we know what we know:

In the Research Headquarters, sponsored by DuPont, explore stories about scientific research and related projects from our local area and beyond.

Scientists help us better understand the world around us. They conduct research in all kinds of environments: in the field, in the laboratory, and even in the museum’s natural history collections. They observe animals and plants in the air, on the land, and in the water. They conduct experiments and collect data to test their observations. Over time, they draw conclusions based on what they find, helping us make sense of what’s happening on the planet. What we know changes as scientists gather and share new information.

Tucked into the Regional Journey Gallery, the Research Headquarters currently includes stories about the Delaware Shorebird Project and the juvenile humpback whale collected by museum scientists in 2018. Other stories currently on view also include some of the research behind DuPont’s Kalrez® technology, citizen science project Coast Snap by Delaware Sea Grant, and exploring with carnivore ecologist Rae Wynn-Grant, courtesy of the IF/THEN® Collection.

On the back end, the stories in the Research Headquarters are installed in a content management system created by digital design studio RLMG. It’s set up so new stories can be uploaded seasonally.

Stories involving museum scientists

The juvenile humpback whale skull was weighed on its way to the museum.

A tale of a whale

A juvenile humpback whale died at sea and washed ashore near Port Mahon, Delaware. The whale, one of 34 humpback whales stranded on the East Coast in 2017, presented an opportunity to tell this important story at the Delaware Museum of Nature & Science. But first, museum staff had to determine how to retrieve the 280 lbs. skull from the beach.

Shorebirds at Mispillion Harbor.

Shorebirds on the bay

Each spring millions of horseshoe crabs migrate into Delaware Bay to lay their eggs on sandy beaches. At the same time, nearly half a million shorebirds arrive to rest and refuel on their way to breed on the Arctic Tundra. Their primary food is horseshoe crab eggs. The Delaware Shorebird Project studies the birds and the importance of the bay to their survival. Learn more about the Delaware Shorebird Project.

Stories from our partners

DuPont’s Kalrez® technology

From aerospace and chemical processing to chip manufacturing and oil and gas applications, DuPont™ Kalrez® elastomers are engineered to provide more stability, more resistance, and more effective sealing. Learn more about this technology from DuPont scientists. Learn more about Kalrez®. 

Coast Snap by Delaware Sea Grant

To manage coastlines, we need to understand how they behave. Delaware Sea Grant’s CoastSnap is a citizen science program harnessing smartphones and orthophotogrammetry to help scientists learn more about the shoreline. By using CoastSnap, the community becomes an integral part of the science team. Learn more about CoastSnap.

From the IF/THEN® Collection

Image by Tsalani Lassiter, courtesy of the IF/THEN® Collection

Carnivore ecologist Rae Wynn-Grant, courtesy of the IF/THEN® Collection

Rae Wynn-Grant, Ph.D. might just have the coolest job on the planet. As a carnivore ecologist working for National Geographic, she researches how endangered species are impacted by human interaction. Her work currently focuses on grizzly bears in Montana, but has previously taken her around the world — including to Tanzania and Kenya to study lions. The If/Then Collection is a digital asset library of women STEM innovators. Learn more about the If/Then® Collection.

The Research Headquarters is sponsored by DuPont

Coral Reef

One of the most frequent questions asked about our exhibits: “Is the coral reef staying?”

It is! The museum’s popular coral reef exhibit is getting a new look, with updated and refurbished elements. The scene is designed to look like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The exhibit features a wide variety of corals — the animals that make the coral reefs — in many shapes, sizes, and colors. In addition, fish, mollusks and other specimens are represented.

Delaware Community Foundation supports new Respite Room with capital grant

Tucked into the Regional Journey Gallery is the new Respite Room, a dedicated, calming space for visitors with sensory challenges and developmental disorders to take a break, as well as being a quiet and private option for nursing parents.

Supported by a recent $19,864 grant from the Delaware Community Foundation, the room is designed to be a cozy and safe area, with limited furniture, soft lighting, and a sink for washing hands. The room will be secured, with access available at the front desk.

The Respite Room project was made possible by a grant from the Delaware Forever Fund and other funds supporting capital needs of nonprofits throughout the State of Delaware at the Delaware Community Foundation. We’re grateful for their support in creating this warm, safe and inclusive space for our guests.

The mission of the Delaware Community Foundation is to improve the lives of the people of Delaware by empowering and growing philanthropy through knowledge and relationships, now and in the future. As a facilitator, information resource and manager of charitable funds, the DCF helps communities and philanthropists focus charitable resources for the greatest community benefit statewide.

Metamorphosis in Progress

Take a look at some of the new exhibit components and other changes happening at the museum!

Up on the roof: How flying a kite is part of bird research

Though researchers have studied of bird migration in general, the ability to track the journey of small-bodied birds has remained a mystery for years. Motus Wildlife Tracking System is an international collaborative research network dedicated to tracking the migration of small birds. The tracking of the birds is made possible by radio telemetry towers which read tags from animals passing nearby. Motus is dedicated to involving numerous locations in tracking a wide variety of small animals locally, regionally, and even internationally, describing their research as “the ultimate hands-on community science project.”

The museum is participating in this community project with a radio telemetry tower installed in January 2021 on our roof with the help of graduate student Katie Bird, University of Delaware professor Jeff Buler, Ph.D., community scientist ​Steve Cotrell, and Ian Stewart of the Delaware Nature Society. The project is funded by the Delaware Audubon Society and Delaware Ornithological Society.

Katie is conducting research in Dr. Buler’s lab at the University of Delaware’s Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology focusing on Purple Martins (Progne subis), and she worked tirelessly to get her equipment ready before the Purple Martins return in April.

Dr. Jean Woods, former curator of birds, helped Katie prepare for their return through regular visits to our roof to perform system updates on our tower. The tower consists of an antenna, a receiver which records the data, and a solar panel which powers the entire thing. The tower can record the compatible tags of any birds that pass by within a range of 10 miles. The radio tags used are solar powered and tiny (0.5 grams), so they can remain on the bird for its entire life and acquire the data without having to recapture the bird. Once the data is recorded, it is automatically made available to researchers. This data is what Katie will use to study the movements of Purple Martins in the early spring as they return to their colonies.

This map shows where the local Motus towers are that Katie is using for research, including London Grove TownshipBucktoe Creek PreserveLongwood Gardens, DMNH, and the Delaware Nature Society’s DuPont Environmental Education Center.

While she awaits the return of the Purple Martins, Katie has collected data in various ways to train the receiver’s algorithm. She previously used a drone to replicate the flight of small birds, but the drone is out of commission. Katie then came up with the idea of using a kite to simulate the flight of a tagged martin. By flying a kite on our roof, Katie collected both GPS and radio data similar to the data the LifeTags will provide to the receiver.

Kite flying, algorithms, and — most importantly — patience are the main ingredients in Katie’s recipe for successful Purple Martin migration research. We will be watching closely for the return of the Purple Martins, and the data our tower collects as they fly through Delaware.

Mobilizing millions of marine mollusks

The museum has teamed up with scientists at several major museums and universities for a $2.3 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation to digitize data for more than 4.5 million marine mollusk specimens such as mussels, oysters, clams, and snails collected along the Eastern seaboard from the U.S.-Canada border to U.S.-Mexico border.

The project, Mobilizing Millions of Marine Mollusks of the Eastern Seaboard, will have a world-wide impact on biodiversity documentation and study by making data from these ecologically and commercially important species available through online portals. Previous digitization projects have focused on freshwater and land mollusks; this is the first major project of this type for marine mollusks.

The Field Museum of Natural History is the lead (principal investigator) for the project. Other collaborating institutions include the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, University of Florida, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, and North Carolina State Museum.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 2001510, 2001290, 2001507, 2001515, 2001523, 2001528, 2001536, 2001546, 2001570, 2001600. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.