Endowments at the Museum
Dr. Melvin and Mary Jackson Endowment
This endowment provides public education to youth 18 years of age and younger, including but not limited to summer camps, after-school programs, and programming.
John White Vertebrate Paleontology Endowment
This endowment provides general support for vertebrate paleontology collections and programs in the Idaho Museum of Natural History.
The Friends of Marie L. Hopkins Endowment
This endowment provides project support for the Idaho Museum of Natural History as selected by the Museum Director.
Akersten Family creates Endowment for Idaho Museum of Natural History
ISU graduate and undergraduate students apply a plaster jacket to a Columbian mammoth tusk found near American Falls alongside IMNH paleontology curator Dr. Brandon Peecook.
The family of Dr. William (Bill) Akersten has created the William Akersten Vertebrate Paleontology Endowment at the Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) on the campus of Idaho State University (ISU).
The William Akersten Vertebrate Paleontology Endowment fund provides financial support for the IMNH Department of Vertebrate Paleontology to be used to fund research, field work, and student travel to professional meetings in vertebrate paleontology.
Dr. Brandon Peecook, Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, says "The last few years have been extremely exciting for Idaho paleontology, the Akersten family endowment comes at a perfect time. The William Akersten Vertebrate Paleontology Endowment will allow Idaho students and researchers to get out into the field and continue to make contributions to our understanding of the History of Life that only Idaho fossils can make."
Dr. Akersten served as the Vertebrate Paleontologist at the IMNH from 1985 to his retirement in 2009. Bill’s impact on students was tremendous, in 2018, the IMNH honored Bill as a Natural History Hero, and in 2019 former student Dr. L.J. Krumenaker named a new species of Cimolodonta, a multituberculate mammal that he found in the Idaho Wayan Formation after Bill: Cimolodon akerstenI.
Dr. Leif Tapanila, Museum Director, states “Bill was a dedicated mentor to young paleontologists here in Pocatello. We're grateful that this endowment will continue his legacy by supporting student research and public awareness of Idaho's rich history.”
Bill’s family invites the community to an open house in memory of Bill on September 4th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Museum, refreshments will be provided. That family encourages those who want to remember Bill to contribute to the ISU Foundation with a memo William Akertsen Vertebrate Paleontology Endowment and mailed to 921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8050 Pocatello, Idaho 83209-8050 or online at isu.edu/give.