The Utah Museum of Natural History (UMNH, the Museum) was established by the Utah State Legislature and placed at the University of Utah (UU, the University), with specific responsibilities to recover, manage and care for collections from State lands, collect and exhibit natural history objects, make available educational and outreach programs to Utah’s residents and schoolchildren, and provide technical assistance to museums throughout the State. The Museum also is a repository for collections recovered on federally managed public lands, and cares for objects to which it holds title as a result of donations, bequests and other conveyances. In the broadest sense, the Museum’s work is grounded in the scholarship and stewardship of the collections, which we hold in trust for the public, and in our mission as a public educational institution.
As a non-profit institution, a state agency and an organized research and teaching unit of the University of Utah, the Museum complies with applicable local, state, and federal laws, and international conventions, with specific legal standards governing fiduciarial and trust responsibilities, with the Utah Public Officers’ and Employees’ Ethics Act and with the University of Utah’s formally adopted policies and procedures and its Ethical Standards and Code of Conduct and Research Handbook. The Museum adheres to the American Association of Museum’s Code of Ethics for Museums, and the Standards of Ethics for Nonprofit Organizations in Utah, as an institutional member of both the American Association of Museums and the Utah Non-Profits Association (These are listed as Appendix A). In addition, the Museum staff are guided by various discipline-specific ethics statements and guidelines (these are listed as Appendix C). These laws, legal standards, conventions, policies, procedures, codes of conduct and ethical statements apply to all Museum work environments, including field research sites and all other on or off-site programs and activities.