Releases | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

NM Museum of Natural History & Science receives accreditation from American Alliance of Museums

March 28th, 2024

Albuquerque, NM –  The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS) is proud to announce that it has been awarded reaccreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), an industry-wide “gold standard” that a small fraction of museums across the country have received.   

Museum leadership received notification from AAM’s Accreditation Commission earlier this month informing them NMMNHS had been awarded this honor, in recognition of the museum continuing to meet national standards and best practices set by AAM. The Commission’s letter praised NMMNHS Executive Director Dr. Anthony Fiorillo for his work stabilizing funding, revitalizing the museum campus, and galvanizing the museum team by filling vacancies since his arrival in 2022. The AAM letter further highlighted the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA), which operates NMMNHS, for playing a critical role to help the museum improve on challenges with the active participation of staff. 

“Visitors to New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science know the museum is one of our state’s crown jewels, and we’re thrilled to see the institution recognized at the national level,” said NMDCA Cabinet Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego. “On behalf of the Department, we’re proud of Dr. Fiorillo and his team for their work guiding the museum through the reaccreditation process.” 

Accreditation through AAM, which represents 35,000 museums and museum professionals around the country, offers high profile, peer-based validation of a museum’s operations and impact. Additionally, accreditation increases a museum’s value to funders, policymakers, insurers, and its community and peers. The months long, intensive process is centered on self-study and peer review. Just over 1,100 of the approximately 35,000 museums nationwide are accredited. Of those, just 8 percent are natural history and anthropology museums, according to AAM. 

“This accreditation affirms what New Mexico families have known all along: our museum is a world-class institution that pairs quality outreach programs with outstanding research,” said Dr. Fiorillo. “I’m very grateful to our staff – the backbone of any great museum – for working to make this museum an institution that every New Mexican can be proud of.” 

AAM requires museums to undergo periodic reaccreditation reviews to ensure they maintain their level of professional performance. The next self-study is due in 2034. Visit nmnaturalhistory.org to learn more about the museum’s work and purchase tickets. 

About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Trustees of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Foundation, through the generous support of donors. Established in 1986, the mission of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning. The NMMNHS offers exhibitions, programs, and workshops in Geoscience, including Paleontology and Mineralogy, Bioscience, and Space Science. It is the Southwest’s largest repository for fossils and includes a Planetarium and a large format 3D DynaTheater. 

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The exterior of the NM Museum of Natural History & Science

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