• The Virtual Museum of Natural History The Virtual Museum of Natural History


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Mission Statement

The International CURATOR Project is the first phase in the creation of the Virtual Museum of Natural History, and is a pioneer in electronic data acquisition and retrieval. The primary function of this Project is to provide taxonomically structured access to data for all the species on earth and to provide as much information about each species as is currently available. This effort to bring all of the vast data extant to a central access point represents a major innovation for researchers, and is the next step for the evolution of information age technology.
The urgency of establishing this program lies in the unprecedented rates of destruction of natural habitats and extinctions of species. Global and local policies governing legislation, study, and preservation of our fellow creatures depends on these data, which are presently widely and incompletely distributed in myriad depositories. We concur with the environmentalist who observed that "if we ignore the environment, it will just go away," and hope to provide resources to prevent that "going away."


Management and governance of the VMNH will be along the lines typically followed in conventional museums. A Board of Advisors will oversee strategic planning. This Board will consist of the parent Order's Board of Directors plus rotating advisors in the fields of biology, technology, publishing and business.The Executive Staff, who will oversee the day-to-day operation of the program, will consist of the Directors of the VMNH and additional experts from the fields of biology, technology, and publishing. Our staff presently includes:

  • Robert George Sprackland, Ph.D., Chairman of the OSC Board of Directors, Director of the VMNH and Senior Curator of the International CURATOR Project's Board of Advisors. Dr. Sprackland is a professional systematic zoologist with over three decades of museum, university, and related experience.
  • Teri Ann Sprackland, President of the OSC Board of Directors and CEO of the VMNH and the International CURATOR Project, and chair of the Board of Advisors. She is an award-winning business and technology journalist with two decades of journalism and editing experience.
  • Daniel J. Diessner, M.S., Chief Engineer for the International CURATOR Project and Treasurer of the OSC, and of the VMNH. Mr. Diessner is a Program Lead Engineer for new technologies in a major Fortune 500 company.
  • Diana Carlson-Sherbo, Engineer and advisor for the International CURATOR Project. Mrs. Sherbo wears three hats, as a programmer for Macintosh compatibility, designer and manager of the website files, and as one of the illustrators for the International CURATOR Project. Her technology expertise includes work as a systems analyst for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and a computer specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • Geoffrey N. Swinney, Curatorial Advisor for the International CURATOR Project. Mr. Swinney is Curator of Fishes, Amphibians, and Reptiles at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh, and one of the creators of the CURATOR Project concept.
  • Terrence C. Miller, Ph.D., Chief Technology Advisor for the International CURATOR Project. Dr. Miller is a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Sun Microsystems, Inc. in Menlo Park, CA.
  • Chip E. Miller, M.B.A., Ph.D., Secretary of the OSC Board of Directors and advisor to the International CURATOR Project. Dr. Miller is a professor of marketing at Pacific Lutheran University, and has specialized in international marketing.



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