Contact Us

Contact:

Sternberg Museum of Natural History
3000 Sternberg Drive
Hays, KS 67601

Phone: (785) 628-4286

Email: sternbergpr@gmail.com

Staff

Dr. Reese Barrick

Title: Museum Director

Areas Overseen: Museum

Phone: 785-628-5664

Email: rebarrick@fhsu.edu

Additional Info:  Reese is from the small town of Osage, Iowa and grew up a fan of the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau and Tyrannosaurus rex.   His interests led him to graduate research at the University of Southern California where he studied Miocene oceans and the thermal physiology of Tyrannosaurus rex.  He taught paleontology for 8 years at North Carolina State University before embarking on the journey of working in museums.  Reese enjoys the opportunities to bring the stories of the history of life on the planet to a greater audience that comes with running a natural history museum and the opportunities for research and working with students that arise from the museum being apart of Fort Hays State University.


Amy Klein

AKleinTitle: Administrative Specialist

Areas Overseen: Main Office

Phone: 785-628-5516

Email: aklein@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Amy holds a degree in Accounting from Fort Hays State University. She is responsible for the financial record-keeping of the museum, oversees the day-to-day operation of the business office, and coordinates the scheduling of facility rentals. She and her family reside in Hays.


 

Brad Penka

Title: Manager of Visitor Services

Areas Overseen: Excavations Gift Shop, Admissions Desk, Membership Program

Phone: 785-628-5512

Email: bpenka@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Brad began working as a volunteer for Sternberg Museum in 1998 while attending FHSU and advanced to his current position in March 1999, two weeks before the museum opened. He holds a B.A. in Communications degree with an emphasis in business and public relations. Brad has over 20 years of experience in retail management, museum administration, and community development and serves on the boards of directors of several historical and economic development organizations. He has authored several historical publications and books on regional history and tourism and has recently published a new book on Post Rock Limestone. He currently resides in La Crosse.

 

 


Rachel Unruh

Title: Marketing and PR Assistant

Areas Overseen: Marketing

Phone: 785-628-5298

Email: sternbergpr@gmail.com

Additional Info: Rachel has been apart of the Sternberg staff since 2015. She originally started as a Student Manager working at the front desk. Now she is interning for the Sternberg this semester as their Marketing and PR Assistant. Rachel is attending Fort Hays State University and will be graduating in May of 2019 with a Bachelor in Marketing and two certificates, one in Leadership and the other in Museum Management.


 

Curtis Schmidt

IMG_2868-300x225Title: Collections Manager

Areas Overseen: Collections Department

Phone: 785-650-2447

Email: cjschmidt@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Curtis became the museum’s first official Zoological Collections Manager in July of 2011. A Hays native and FHSU grad, Curtis received his BS in biological sciences in 1999 and his MS in 2004. Curtis is no stranger to the museum, as he began as a curatorial assistant in Herpetology in 1998, eventually becoming associate curator of Herpetology and Mammalogy before being appointed Zoological Collections Manager. Because of his involvement in many research projects, Curtis’ contributions to the Herpetology and Mammalogy collections are numerous. As Zoological Collections Manager, his primary responsibilities are the Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Mammalogy, and Ornithology Collections. Curtis also plays an active part in educational programming and exhibits.

 


Ian Trevethan

Title: Outreach Coordinator

Areas Overseen: Public Relations, Education Outreach, Volunteer Program

Phone: 785-639-4738

Email: ijtrevethan@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Ian has earned a bachelors of science in earth sciences from Montana State University, and has earned a Master of Science in Geosciences from Fort Hays State University. His works consist of the isotopic analysis of core body temperature in mosasaurs and have also participated in research projects regarding individual cranial variation in dinosaurs. He is committed to educating the general public in all facets of paleontological and geological sciences, particularly through museum outreach programs.


Alicia Gaede


Title: Naturalist

Areas Overseen: Discovery Room and Animal Care

Phone: 785-628-5517

Email: algaede@fhsu.edu 

Additional Info: Alicia Gaede is from Blue Hill, Nebraska. She grew up with a love for animals which encouraged her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology. While attending Fort Hay State University, Alicia was a volunteer at the Sternberg Museum which eventually turned into a work-study position. In 2019 she accepted her current role of Naturalist. Her duties include caring for the many live animals, facilitating birthday parties, giving guided tours, and hosting children’s programs. She enjoys teaching the public about positive human-animal relationships.


Gregory Walters

Title: Exhibits Director

Areas Overseen: Exhibit Galleries

Phone: 785-628-4289

Email: gwalters@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Greg received his B.S. and M.S. in Geology from the University of Iowa. While in graduate school, he also went through the Museum Studies program and served as a curatorial assistant in the university’s herbarium. He moved to Hays in 1989 to take the position of Conservator/Preparator at Sternberg Memorial Museum, then located on FHSU’s main campus. Shortly after arriving, plans were initiated for a major expansion and consolidation of the university museums and Greg spent much of his first decade on staff working on the development of the museum’s present facility. He has served as Exhibits Director since 1998.


Dr. Laura E. Wilson

Wilson_DinoPhoto_reducedTitle: Chief Curator

Other Title(s): Curator of Paleontology, Curator of Geology

Areas Overseen: Collections Department

Phone: 785-639-6192

Email: lewilson6@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Laura joined the Museum staff in July 2012 as the Sternberg’s paleontologist. She received her M.S. from Montana State University (2006) and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2012). Her research focuses on reconstructing ecosystems from the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, with a particular interest in using bone histology to study vertebrate paleobiology. As the Curator of Paleontology, Laura is committed to safeguarding fossil specimens and their associated data housed at the Sternberg Museum, as well as utilizing the Museum’s fossil collections for public education and outreach.

http://www.fhsu.edu/geo/faculty/Wilson/

http://sites.google.com/site/wilsonpaleolab


 

David Levering


Title: Museum Educator

Other Title(s): Education Director

Areas Overseen: Education, Tours, Activities, Special Events, and Programs

Phone: 785-628-5502

Email: dalevering@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: David joined the Museum staff in August 2013 as the Museum Educator. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Geology in 2007, and for the last three years (2010 – 2013) he worked as a teaching assistant in the Zoology department at Oklahoma State University where he graduated with a Masters of Science. David worked for The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry outdoor science education camps for four summers. He also worked three summers with the National Park Service at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in southern Idaho. There, he carried out paleontology field and lab work and worked with kids showing them geology and paleontology. Here, he plans to work with youth as well as adults and hopes to make science apparent in its usefulness in everyday life.


Christina Byrd

Title: Paleontology Collections Manager

Areas Overseen: Paleontology Collections Department

Phone: 785-628-4286

Email: cjbyrd2@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Christina obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. While working toward her Bachelor’s Degree, she studied preservation of whale vertebrae at a fourteen-million-year old site in eastern Virginia.
She then worked toward her Master’s Degree in Biology at Marshall University in West Virginia. During her time as a graduate student at Marshall, Christina studied developmental changes of plesiosaurs from the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway (the seaway that used to cover Hays, KS).
After completing her Master’s Degree, she worked as an intern on the Panama Project at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City. Following her internship, Byrd worked as a paleontology technician at the Virginia Museum of Natural History photographing fossils for the Fossil Insect Collaborative Project.