Rebecca Hall at the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada in September 2022.
The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada board of directors has hired Rebecca Hall to be the museum’s director, according to a news release.
Hall, formerly of Henderson, is also the director of the Nevada Science Center, a community science education nonprofit. Nevada Science Center designs and implements activities for students from pre-kindergarten through high school, including virtual field trips.
Hall graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental science with a minor in biology. She is currently set to defend her master’s thesis, Vertebrate Ichnofossil from the Lower-Middle Triassic Moenkopi Formation of Clark County, NV: A record of the oldest Mesozoic tracks within the State of Nevada, this fall at UNLV.
Hall recently co-authored with Nevada State Museum's new director, Josh Bonde, the first described dinosaur unique to Nevada, Nevadadromeus schmitti, and soon to be released into publication in the Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science.
“As a paleontologist, I have used my background not only as a research scientist but also to excite others about (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) topics,” Hall said in the release. “I am eager to reinvent the offerings of the museum to launch a new and improved safe space for children of all ages by incorporating STEAM education into exhibits and to offer educational workshops, classes and activities.”
Hall said she plans on working with board members to build a strategic plan that includes increasing revenue through fundraising, memberships, classes, events and building an endowment for long-term financial stability, something that has been unattainable for the nonprofit museum.
“By offering quality educational programming, this museum and science center will begin the hard work of rebuilding the community’s trust in our mission and our vision of providing the children of Northern Nevada opportunities for play-based learning,” Hall said.
The museum board also released its Community Needs Assessment Survey results report on its website. The report can be accessed at https://www.cmnn.org.
“We received nearly 400 responses from the community,” Nathan Tobey, president of the museum’s board of directors, said in the release. “The feedback was fantastic. A lot of great ideas and more than a little tough love.”
Tobey said the response was mostly positive, with survey participants sharing fond memories and favorite exhibits and activities; as well as providing great insight into what a future iteration of the museum could look like.
“We want our treasured members and guests to know that we heard you,” Tobey said. “Hiring Rebecca Hall is our first step, and while we can’t do everything at once, you gave us clear direction on where to start.
Tobey said the first thing Hall and the board will tackle is a thorough deep clean of the facility including the removal of broken and non-functioning activities and exhibits.
“We are excited to open our doors again to our community of visitors,” Tobey said. “We are committed to refreshing, rebuilding and rebranding our museum as a valuable asset to the region.”
The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors. The museum depends on visitor admission fees and community donations to operate. CMNN receives no funding from the state or the city other than renting its current location on Carson Street for $1 per year from Carson City. CMNN has occupied its current building for 30 years
Founded in 1992, the museum features a play-based learning environment with hands-on learning adventures in the arts, sciences, and humanities.